GLADSTONE BOWLING CLUB

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Membership Page

Gladstone Bowling Club welcomes both playing and non-playing (social) members.   Social members are entitled to enjoy all the facilities of the Club except for full use of the green, and they form a much valued element of the Club's membership.

Currently we have around sixty men bowlers, forty five lady bowlers and two junior members.   The members take part in social competitions and can represent the Gladstone Bowling Club in one or more of the following leagues :-


Flintshire Midweek League (two teams)

Deeside Midweek League (three teams)

Chester league (one team)


Membership fees for 2014 season


Ladies under the age of 60/men under the age of 65 on 1st April 2014       £25.00
Members over the above ages on the 1st April 2014                                          £20.00
Students/Juniors (under 18 or in full time education)                                     £5.00


An invitation to non-members


If you would like to come along to the Club and have a look, please feel free at any time after the 1ST April. You'll find the club in use most evenings or weekend afternoons.   There is plenty of seating around the green for spectators — after all, what could be more relaxing on a warm summer’s afternoon than watching a game of bowls?   Remember, all visitors are welcome.

To become a member, just pick up a membership application from the Club,  have a word with a Club member or email Gladstone Bowling Club.

For new bowlers, coaching sessions can be arranged (club bowls and equipment are available for hire) and you’ll always find other bowlers prepared to offer guidance and encouragement.


History of Gladstone Bowling Club

In 1937 land belonging to the Hawarden Estate was turned into a recreation area for the people of Hawarden. This lovely length of ground stretching along The Highway from High Park westward to the Penarlâg council estate had a line of Silver Birches forming a screen along this road. The recreation area, which became known as The Gladstone Playing Fields, also ran from The Highway back to Bennett’s Lane including a small woodland area which ran alongside Bennett’s Lane. The Gladstone Playing Fields were opened by Field Marshall, the Earl of Cavan, in that year.

A Gladstone Playing Fields committee was then formed to manage this area and a yearly Garden Fête was held, every Whit Monday, to raise money to maintain the playing fields. There was a children’s playground, tennis courts, a bowling green and numerous football pitches with a very attractive pavilion which was used by various groups making use of the Gladstone Playing Fields.

Unfortunately during 40s and 50s, vandalism made it impractical to keep the glass windows and covered balcony intact so the whole area was bricked in. Although the Pavilion is still much in use its appearance is very much spoilt.

The Whit Monday fêtes were most successful and a great attraction not only to the people of Hawarden but to those living in nearby areas. In 1965 the fête was opened by Michael Parkinson and other celebrities including stars of Coronation Street who took on the same role in the following four years, until, sadly, in 1969, the last fête was held. 1970 saw the Gladstone Playing Fields being handed over to the care of the Hawarden Parish Council as the high maintenance costs became too heavy a burden for the Playing Fields Committee.

The original bowling club on the Gladstone Playing Fields was opened shortly after the playing fields were given to the people of Hawarden. Although records are very sketchy it appears right from the very first days there were difficulties regarding the upkeep and maintenance of the green.


First known picture of Hawarden Bowling Club


Back Row  Left to right:- E Hughes, W.Roberts, A.Hommersley, Jackson, J. Ellis, T.Roberts, A.Jones, T. Jackson, W.Ellis, W.H.Ellis

Front Row Left to right:- E.Ellis, W.Hollins, E.Davies, T.Twist, J.Roberts, A.Davies

This became more pronounced when the Gladstone Playing Field area was taken over by the Hawarden Council as the money and equipment had to be shared with similar areas in Shotton and Connah’s Quay. Hawarden Bowling Green then through 1970’s became much neglected and very slowly the club disbanded and the green finally became unusable. In the early 1980’s, a Youth Training Scheme (Y.T.S.) enabled some renovation work to be carried out to the old Bowling Green paths, seating and surrounding area. However, the green itself lay virtually untouched. In 1984/85 various plans for an alternative uses of the bowling green were discussed by the Hawarden Community Council. Roused by the prospect of losing the Bowling Green altogether, a group of enthusiastic residents met in January 1988 in the Hawarden Institute and formed the Gladstone Bowling Club. A committee was formed and Mr Peter Bonnell was elected chairman, Mr Geoff Nuttall as secretary and Mr Eddie Hughes appointed as the treasurer. The newly formed committee decided to approach the Hawarden Community Council for permission to re open the green. The Hawarden Community Council granted a year’s probationary period for the use of the green with a promise of a formal lease at the end of this period if the new club proved successful. The bowling committee nominated a number of members to look after the green who took professional advice and work began to get the green in suitable condition for play to commence at the beginning of the 1988 bowling season. The Gladstone Bowling Club was opened on the 2nd April, (Easter Saturday). 
 
Opening

of green on

2nd April 1988 


The opening

bowl.
In the first season the club boasted an amazing 80 members.  With so many members it was decided that they needed a club house to store equipment, serve refreshments, and hold meetings and to welcome visiting league team members.

Old Club House

alongside

Castle gates

Vets team
in front of
Refurbished Club House
The club joined the Flintshire Midweek and Flintshire Vets leagues in the following year, 1989.  As luck would have it, an old club house had been standing idle for many years, right in the centre of Hawarden Village on a piece of overgrown land to the right of the Castle Gates. Many old villagers from that time admitted that they could not remember seeing the clubhouse, hidden as it was, in this waste land. This land prior to 1939 was used for playing tennis having two tennis courts, and the club house had been used as a changing and refreshment room belonging to the Glynne Arms. The unused club house, although it looked very much worse for wear, when examined, was found unbelievably to be in good repair and was very kindly given to the newly formed Gladstone Bowling Club. With difficulty the club house was dismantled and with permission from the Community Council was transported to the Gladstone Playing Fields. The club house was re assembled; two new windows were fitted, some minor repairs carried out and after being painted green was up and ready for the 1989 season.  The kitchen units and interior divider island were kindly supplied Michael James Securities of Buckley.  Later that year the Gladstone Bowling Club won a £250 grant from Shell Better Britain Campaign, for improvement work on the green. By the end of 1989 the club membership had grown to 100 and in 2013 the figure is still a very healthy 95+ members