Honiton bowlers preparing for centenary celebrations
- Credit: Honiton Bowling Club
The year of 2021 will be especially significant for Honiton Bowling Club, as they celebrate 100 years since their formation.
The club formed in 1921 but actually played a small role in local life before then, with Honiton bowlers staging annual events for wounded soldiers from the First World War.
“We have two celebration matches scheduled to mark the centenary,” said David Tooley from Honiton Bowls Club. “We play Bowls Devon on June 25 and then Bowls England on August 12.
“The first record of bowls in Honiton dates back to 1916, when a couple of local guys got together and approached the headmaster of Allhallows School to see if they could use part of the playing field for bowls.
“The first official game was played in 1922 but we do have a picture from 1916 that shows some Honiton bowlers with wounded personnel from the Great War of 1914-18. They were injured soldiers in local hospitals and the bowlers would put on a tea for them, but this was before we became a formal club.”
The modern club comprises six outdoor green and a four-rink indoor green, which was opened in 1990.
“We were lucky to be in a good position before the pandemic started,” said Tooley. “We closed in March last year and our last game was actually to host the National Disability Bowls Championship.
“We had to close until July and the indoor facility has been closed throughout. We returned to playing outdoors last month and competitive games against other clubs are on the agenda for later this summer. The first team match is scheduled in June, when we travel to Tiverton Park.
“For those celebrations matches with Bowls England and Bowls Devon, we are obviously preparing for a special event but everything will depend on the rules and restrictions.
“It is a case of tentatively planning for the occasion and see how things pan out, but we are just happy to mark 100 years of Honiton Bowling Club.”
The club is always looking to attract new enthusiasts to the sport and will be hosting a Bowls Big Weekend on Saturday, May 29 and Sunday, May 30, from 10am – 2pm. Visit www.honitonbowlingclub.co.uk for more information.