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Leyburn bowling club established 1920

The club was established in 1920 when a group of 6 local businessmen, acting as trustees for the club, purchased land for the sum of £70 to create a bowling green.

They hacked through the rock, without the aid of modern machinery. Through sheer hard work and determination the bowling green was created.  At that time they had a basic hut with no toilet facilities.

Preparing the bowling green - Circa 1922.
Preparing the bowling green - Circa 1922.
Circa 1922 - J. Oates, Three contractors, Geo, Spence, John Campbell, H.E. Brook. Dog-Campbell's "Rex"
Leyburn Bowling Club founding members.
Leyburn Bowling Club Founder Members

From facts and figures in the Minutes Books it is evident that the Club was in existence in 1916.  The club rented a piece of land from farmer and butcher John Graham for the sum of £2 per year.

During the 1920's

7 January 1920 at a committee meeting, a proposal to purchase a plot of land, next to the school on Moor Road for £70, was agreed. Therefore enabling the Club to own its own site, create a new green and build a clubhouse. To fund the purchase the Club issued 200 x £1 shares with a share dividend of 5%.

27 April 1920 Mr H E Brook, Organist and one of the Trustees, organised a concert which raised £8 7s 1d  for club  funds.

28 May 1920 the land purchase was completed.

23 June 1920 (Wednesday, half day in the town) the Green was opened by the President Captain H R Chapman at 2pm, followed by a tea at 4-30pm at a cost of 1s each.

Subscriptions for the year in 1920 were 10s for men and 5s for ladies.  There were 36 men and 21 lady members.
Club Rule 11 in 1920 said that “ladies are requested not to wear high heeled boots when playing on the green”.

3 August 1920 at a committee meeting it was proposed to build a pavilion, 24ft x 10ft, with a kitchen, a veranda at the front and a W.C. for ladies.  It was to be built by a contractor. The accounts for 1920/21 show that it cost £66 4s 6d.

4 August 1920 after a written invite had been sent to Bedale Club a match was played at Leyburn on the new green and tea was provided.  The Captain for the match was John Bamford, the Leyburn Workhouse Master.

1921 a ladies committee was formed.

1922/1923 Barnard Castle and Hawes were invited to play at Leyburn, and in 1924 Newton le Willows were also invited.

During the 1920s the Green was opened mid May on a Wednesday afternoon with a tea and closed in October. Regular friendly matches were played, both home and away with Masham, Bedale, Thirsk, Richmond and Northallerton.

Bowling continues

Flat green bowling continued even during World War Two when members were few.  The green has been cared for by a succession of green keepers, who have nurtured the green, ensuring that it is in prime condition at all times, for the benefit of the members and the local community, enabling all to enjoy the sport, exercise and social aspects of bowling.

More recent times
26 June 2021 On Saturday we belatedly celebrated the club centenary as it could not be celebrated properly last year.  The club was established in 1920.  To celebrate the occasion we competed for The Dennis Boyes Centenary Trophy. Congratulation to John Gorman on winning the trophy.

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02 August 2021  The Inaugural Match replay held between Leyburn and Bedale was a great success and enjoyed by everyone.  The bright sunny and warm weather certainly helped.  It was so nice to see so many people in 1920's costume.  The raffle made £103 superseding the excellent £90 made from the centenary day raffle.  See article in Darlington and Stockton Times

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