Club History

Established in 1873, West Heaton Bowling, Tennis and Squash club has a long and interesting history.

Timeline

West Heaton has always been run by volunteers and always in our current location. People have always played sports and enjoyed a social activities here.

 

The opening of Heaton Moor railway station in 1851 brought about development of both housing and shops along Heaton Moor Road and surrounding locality. Much remained green fields in 1873 and were developed over time to become the vibrant suburb

we know today.

What made a group of people decide to create a sports club, and on this location? We don’t know - only that on 15th July 1873 the first meeting of the Club took place. These members formed West Heaton Bowling Club Ltd.

1873

24th July Bowling Green and Croquet Lawn opened as 'West Heaton Bowling Club Limited'.

1880

Lawn Tennis arrived. 3 tennis lawns and one 'cinder rink' (like shale or clay) were built.

 

The modern game had only been “invented” in 1873, and the first Wimbledon Tennis Championships was held in 1877.

1888

Original Pavilion built for £80.

 

That's £6564 in 2017 money. In 1890 £80 could buy: 2 horses, 8 cows, 62 quarters of wheat or 242 days skilled work.

1890

Lease was renewed for 11 years.

1892

Earliest record of a bar.

1904

All grass courts were replaced with 'cinder rink'.

1913

On renewal it was decided that a Club must be formed “apart from the Limited Company” named “West Heaton Bowling and Tennis Club”. The Club paid the Ltd Co. rent so there was: landlord (Mr Brown), tenant (Ltd Co.) and a Sub-tenant (the Club).

1921

Following the death of Mr Brown, the freehold was purchased for £450 by West Heaton Bowling Club Limited (£13,075 in 2017 money). In 1920 £450 could buy: 16 horses, 46 cows, 351 quarters of wheat or 1363 days skilled work.

1923

3 shale courts laid where the 'bottom' courts now exist. 

1933 - 1935

The Club and Ltd Co. grew apart, and The Club bought most of the £5 shares for £2.50 each, accumulating 196 of the 230 shares issued and gaining control. The remaining 34 shares proved untraceable.

1936

The changing room extension was built.

1937

The Entertainments Section was formed.

1960s

Croquet began to die out.

1962

First tennis team entered into a competitive league.

1966

Football section and table tennis team formed.

1969

Small bar and bowler's hut replaced by Bar lounge and Bowler's Lounge.

 

Badminton section formally disbanded as play had been made impossible due to the false ceiling added to the club house.

1973

First squash court built.

Bar end toilets added.

1974

First squash team entered into a competitive league.

1975

Floodlights added to bowling green.

1978

Bar Lounge extended toward the tennis courts. Changing rooms and Kitchen improved.

1979

First bowling team entered into a competitive league.

Upper grass courts were converted to Playdeck Tarmac all-weather courts.   

1980s

Shelters and side boards added to bowling green by volunteers. Floodlights hinged to enable easy bulb-changing.

1982

Major Refurbishment, replacing wooden sides with brick walls.

 

Floodlights were added to 2 of the all weather courts.

1990

Top Tarmac courts replaced with artificial grass carpet.

1995

Bar relocated to current position in clubhouse.

1999

Football section disbanded.

2002

Club name changed to West Heaton Bowling, Tennis and Squash club, 29 years after Squash was introduced.

2003

Thanks to a Sport England grant, and Lawn Tennis Association interest-free loan, more major landscaping. Bottom courts also replaced with artificial grass. Floodlights added to the remaining courts and second squash court built.

2003

First female President, Barbara Dunne.

Bottom courts also replaced with artificial grass. Floodlights added to the remaining courts.

Second squash court built.

2019

Bottom courts relaid with 'tiger turf'.

New bowlers shed for sheltering from the rain.

1873

15th July The first meeting of the Club. The land had been obtained for 21 years on lease from Mr J. Brown, the freeholder.

Today
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140th Anniversary Booklet

Roll of honour

our recorded Presidents. The Presidents from 1873 to 1921 are not recorded on our Honours Board but became known thanks to diligent work for the Centenary brochure in 1973 by our 1949 President, Fred Towns.

1873-1875 W.R. Callender, MP 

1876-1877 None elected 

1878-1880 J. Chadwick 

1881-1889 B. Marsden 

1890 Mr. Newby 

1891 Mr Withy 

1892 J.W. Berra 

1893 Mr Laidlaw 

1894 J. Roberts 

1895 F.Pearn 

1896 J. Roberts 

1897 J. Bowker 

1898 E. Walton 

1899 W. Lewis 

1900 J. Watson 

1901 S. Knowles 

1902 J.R. Frame 

1903 W. Curbstone 

1904 Mr Tomlinson 

1905 S.A. Jackson 

1906 N. Bradley 

1907 G. Jarvis

1908 Mr Binns 

1909 A.V. Sharratt 

1910 C.E. Thomas

1911 H. Mushlian 

1912 J.H. Abbott 

1913 R. Grenville

1914 F.G. Smith

1915 G.W. Wild

1916 J.R. Ball

1917 J.T. Wainwright

1918 J. Ware

1919 G.Nicholl

1920 G. Mason

1921 J.N. Hopwood

1922 - 1928 Not recorded 

1929 Gerald Linfoot

1930 Gerald Linfoot

1931 Stan H. Heighway 

1932 George Mason

1933 Len Worsencroft

1934 Geo. H. Byrom 

1935 A. E. Travis 

1936 Wm Dootson 

1937 Wm Dootson 

1938 Harold S. Todd 

1939 Wm Sidebotham 

1940 Wm Sidebotham 

1941-1944 2nd world war - none elected 

1945 Arnold Welch 

1946 Arnold Welch 

1947 George Ball 

1948 R. A. Brittain 

1949 F. W. Towns 

1950 C. H. Sheldon 

1951 H. K. Harrison 

1952 J. Arthur Stewart 

1953 Eric A. Todd 

1954 S. Locke 

1955 G. B. Mattinson

1956 Frank R Grieve 

1957 T. Bowden 

1958 J. O. Lupton 

1959 Ernest M. Kershaw

1960 R. H. Sheldon 

1961 H. Q. Mann 

1962 R. Brelsford 

1963 J. Marsh

1964 D. N. Rothwell 

1965 R. S. Brown 

1966 G. M. Davies M.B.E. 

1967 J. W. G. Mason

1968 R. Holt

1969 F. G. C. Atkinson

1970 I. R. Duncan 

1971 K. J. Gordon 

1972 R. D. Lodge

1973 G. M. Haslamz

1974 J. F. Wright

1975 D. E. R. Swallow

1976 I. Lunn

1977 G. B. Chadwick

1978 S. H. Mattinson

1979 R.L.E. Rimmington

1980 G. N. Stephens

1981 R. W. Woosey

1982 D. W. Porter

1983 P. H. Locke

1985 Dan Blunt

1984 Owen Corrigan

1986 Peter F. Mundy

1987 Bernard McGrath

1988 Peter E. Dunne

1989 Alan Woosey

1990 Roger Knowles

1991 E. Greenhalgh

1992 Peter Jackson

1993 G. T. Kay

1994 W. Barry Oswald

1995 John H. Whitby

1996 Peter Podmore

1997 Keith Anderson

1998 Michael Coward

1999 W. P. Henderson

2000 Mike Gibson

2001 John P. Howarth

2002 Barrow Gaskarth

2003 Barbara Dunne

2004 Andrew M. Rayner

2005 David G. Hopwood

2006 Janet E. Cowan

2007 Elizabeth A. Jordan

2008 R. D. B. Stringer

2009 John R. Helliwell

2010 Edward Tasker

2011 Norma Eccles

2012 Alan C. Mansfield

2013 Martin Sharman

2014 Chrissie Gibson

2015 Richard Meadowcroft

2016 Andrew Taylor

2017 Matt Jackson

2018 Una Goulding

2019 Joyce Barkclay

2020 John Mandy

The rediscovered Great War Memorial

Not much is known about the story of this memorial.
Found in Manchester, in a mill about to be demolished, it was returned to the Club in the 1970s.

The Oundle Woods

Many members, especially bowlers, know that the president officially opens each Bowling season by bowling an “end” with the famous Oundle Woods, pictured. But what are the  Oundle Woods? 

 

They are two woods with engraved silver mounts which were presented at West Heaton in 1886 as a competition prize from William Adam to Alexander Adam (its not known if they were related).

 

After then there was no trace of them till 1985 when a lady in the Northamptonshire town of Oundle found them in an old box in her attic when helping to clear a house following the death of her God-daughter who was married into the family of Alexander Adam.

She passed them to her local bowling club asking if they could find the orignal owner. The President of the Oundle Club then set about this task and placed enquiries and adverts and finally received a response from a Jack Smith in Cheadle who knew of West Heaton.

 

No internet and social media to help then. Interestingly, the adverts had been placed in flat green bowling magazines and it was quite by chance that a bowler from a crown green area should see the advert and link it to West Heaton. 

Raymond Prior acted on behalf of the Club and passed on our sincere thanks. The woods are very heavy at over 3 pounds each so it was decided to use them for the very appropriate traditional ceremony.

Recent news

West Heaton is proud to be an LTA Registered Venue, meeting all safeguarding, coaching and venue standards.

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