In the beginning

In the early 1970s, a band of bowls enthusiasts got together with the aim of playing lawn bowls in Woodingdean. After approaching Brighton council parks and gardens department officials they were told that indeed a bowls pavilion and bowls green would be built in Central Park Woodingdean and work would commence in 1972.

The Woodingdean bowls club was formed in 1972 and for the next two years the members played their matches at Queen’s Park.

This image, from the official opening on the 4th of May 1974, shows the Treasurer (L. J. Bennett), President (C. E. Crowther), Councillor (Alfred Feld), Captain (F. H. Portas), Vice Captain (T. F. Curtis) and Secretary (H. G. Bellingham).

A place to call home

The club became affiliated to local, county and national associations, committees were formed and matches were played. The club came to their new home in 1974 and membership increased.

The officers of the club were forward-thinking with the result that after many meetings with council officers a proposal was put to the members at a memorable special general meeting in the late 1980s to the effect that the small pavilion be increased in size and that a substantial extension be built all along the front of the pavilion with a patio overlooking the bowls green.

In order to finance the building work, members generously gave interest free loans and in December 1990 the extension was completed. Other financial help was given by Sports Council by way of a 5-year loan and a small grant. Local shops also contributed to the fund.

I don’t mind if I do

A drinking licence was approved and given, and a small bar was built in January 1991.

The first member’s short mat league was played until April when the open season started and since then short mat bowls has been played during each closed season and is popular with members.

In the latter part of the 1990s further construction work was carried out, the new patio making it one of the best viewing areas of any bowls club in the county.

Here to stay

The club has recently obtained a further 25-year lease and is responsible for the total maintenance of the pavilion.

It has a vibrant social committee who organise a number of excellent socials throughout the year. Over past years the captains of the club have with the support of members, visiting clubs and by various other means made very worthwhile donations to charities.

The members take great pride in the club and believe the Woodingdean bowls club is amongst the best outdoor bowls club in the city and indeed in the county. It hosts several touring bowls clubs each year, some of which often return.

The club has teams competing in The Brighton Hove and District Bowling League and throughout the outdoor bowls season play an average of 80 to 90 matches.

Want to play lawn bowls in Woodingdean?

New members are always welcome here. Why not come along and try lawn green bowls for yourself? You might like it. Our outdoor season runs between April and October each year.

Head over to this page, and we look forward to seeing you soon.