Happy 100th birthday North Walsham Bowls and Snooker Club
20:07 15 September 2012
Archant © 2012
Proud members of a 100-year-old north Norfolk bowls club raised a new flag today to mark a celebratory anniversary afternoon of bowls and a barbecue.
The flag, created through the combined talents of North Walsham shop Photoworx and professional curtain-maker Sally Bishop, flies over the immaculately-manicured green of North Walsham Bowls and Snooker Club.
When the New Road attraction was first opened in 1912 it was a private members’ club for the town’s notables, according to Bob Bishop, chairman of the club’s Nansa afternoon league.
They included the men behind Marjoram’s the former Market Place outfitters, Edwards the bakers, and John Dixon, a leading light in the fund-raising drive for what became North Walsham’s War Memorial Hospital.
The club dropped its private status in 1997 as a condition of receiving a lottery grant to help extend and improve its building.
Originally a tin hut, the brick-built clubhouse now houses a bar, two full-sized snooker tables and a pool table.
Outside, the green is looked after by four members who voluntarily cut it every other day during the season.
VIP guests at this afternoon’s flag-raising ceremony were Kathleen Plummer and her daughter Hazel. Mrs Plummer’s late husband Charles was a county bowls player, club president and a major force behind the fund-raising drive to improve the building.
Membership stands at about 114 and includes three men in their 90s: George MccCombie, 94, and Stan Hudson and Fred Hoar, both 91.
Mr Hoar said he had never played bowls or snooker before moving to North Walsham three years ago from Milton Keynes. He now visits the club six days a week, enjoying the activity and companionship.
Today’s centenary party marked the end of the bowls season until next May and club members will now meet indoors for snooker.
● The club is keen to recruit new members. Contact secretary Barbara Walland 01692 402627.