Biddulph Bowling & Recreational Club History

Back in 2007 Biddulph Labour Club were given the devastating news that their Bowling Green was to be dug up to make way for a new Supermarket, leaving members having to find somewhere else to play. Formed in 1923, the club eventually closed in 2008, but not before a small committee set themselves up, headed by local bowler Graham Swift, to find new premises in the area. A new Green was a necessity for all the bowlers and after years of discussions and inspections of possible sites, Staffordshire Moorlands District Council eventually approved the use of the derelict site of the old tennis courts at St. Lawrence’s Church Recreation Ground as the new site venue, which would form part of the Biddulph Sports Village project.

A small steering committee was formed to negotiate with the Council as to what form the new green would take and if a pavilion could perhaps be included. A Public Meeting was organised in January 2013 to test the interest of Biddulph residents and bowlers in the area and at the same time Staffordshire Moorlands District Council appointed architects and yet more discussions took place about the type of green and pavilion. An artificial surface was discussed, which would give all year round use and a pavilion was included in the plans. Approval was eventually granted, work commenced and everything went well. In 2015 the green and pavilion were complete and looked fantastic, but then red tape held up the hand-over of the facility to Biddulph Bowling & Recreational Club. It had taken 8 long and hard fought years, but Biddulph now has a brand new Crown Green with an all-weather artificial surface and a new pavilion, together with floodlights for evening matches and in October 2015 the club finally opened.

Graham Swift, current Chair of the Biddulph Bowling & Recreational Club and President of the Stoke-On-Trent and District Bowling League, was the main leading light in the negotiations, he learned to play in Tunstall Park as a young man, before transferring to Biddulph Labour Club. Graham says that he believes, strangely, there was originally a bowling green at the new site, which became defunct during the war.

This new facility for Biddulph opens up all year round bowling with very low maintenance and there are floodlights enable play during the dark nights and it can even be used when it is raining, provided the players don’t mind getting wet!! The Biddulph Bowling & Recreational Club has been able to enter 4 teams in two local leagues and are looking to expand on this in 2017. Free weekly lessons are being provided to pupils from the nearby Woodhouse Academy and other facilities at the Biddulph Bowling & Recreational Club now include a brand new Table Tennis Table and short mat indoor bowls, along with catering facilities and the pavilion room is available for hire during the day and evenings when not in use by bowlers. Special “Open Days” are held throughout the year when anyone can come along to try out the facilities.

In July 2016 Biddulph became the first place in the County to have a dedicated outdoor recreational space for permanent protection in memory of those who lost their lives during World War 1.  The honour was nominated and Biddulph Bowling & Recreational Club’s facility is now safeguarded as a Centenary Field through Fields in Trust.

Biddulph Bowling & Recreational Club Membership is available on different scales with Annual basis, Summer Outdoor Bowling, Winter Outdoor Bowling, as well as Social and use of the Indoor Table Tennis and Short Mat Bowls.

The Biddulph Bowling & Recreational Club are also staging some special events with top County Players in action and “open” round robin events will be held, as well as those for club members only.