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Harpenden and District Indoor Bowls Club 50 years old and still going strong

In the early years of the 1970s, a group of enthusiastic members of Harpenden’s Outdoor Bowls Club sought the permission of the then Harpenden Borough Council to construct an indoor bowls facility in the town.

Sites at Rothampstead Park and what is now the tennis club were discussed. However, after many meetings between the council and the bowls club committee the present site in Waldegrave Park was agreed at a cost of around £70,000. The decision was made just prior to Harpenden Borough Council being consumed into St Albans and District Council. The club officially opened on December 15, 1973, with the first official wood being bowled by the town council chairman Mr Fred Groom. The first unofficial wood was bowled by a young electrician’s apprentice who was installing the club’s electrics Mick Chatfield, now one of the club’s long-term members and previous men’s club champion.

The club opened with approximately 400 members, and over the intervening years has attracted membership of approximately 300. Membership is represented across the full social spectrum and is a place where lifelong friendship are forged.

One previous club chairperson, Margaret Allen, was once president of the sport’s governing body The English Indoor Bowls Association and is now a life member of the association.

The standard of bowls has remained high with teams and individuals competing at club, county and national levels,with successes in all disciplines.

The club has national qualified coaches providing free coaching for new and experienced players whilst maintaining and improving members standards.

It is an often -misplaced notion that bowls is only played by older people.

NOT SO…watch the World Bowls series on your TVs in January each year and you will find young players showing their skills…as in most sports, the younger you start..the better you will become.

The club is open to everyone with an active social programme to enjoy.

This year’s OPEN WEEKEND in on September 8 and 9.

SO.. check out the club website www.harpendenibc.co.uk through which you can contact the club to make your first steps in a new sport..

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