Bowls club veterans finish on high

A club that in the summer announced it was struggling to survive has finished its season on a high.

Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 9:21 am

Pateley Bridge Bowls Club saw its veterans team win the Harrogate Amateur Bowling Association Division Two Knock-Out Cup, just weeks after fearing the sport was in danger of stopping in the area due to dwindling numbers.

“It has been a very testing season but the club finished on a high,” said secretary Chris Ellwood.

“The final was contested at Wetherby, on Friday September 17, versus Knaresborough B.

“The nail-biting match ended with Pateley Bridge victorious by a single point: 147-146.”

The Pateley Bridge team consisted of Mabel Parker, Herbert Shillito, Elizabeth Lambert, Ken Blakey, Steve Brown, Chris Ellwood, Colin Miller, John Corfield. Deborah Course was non-playing captain.

In June Pateley Bridge and Upper Nidderdale Bowls Club officials warned that dwindling membership was a threat to its existence.

Secretary Chris Ellwood said: “The club is currently in dire straits due to reducing membership.

“It is a long-established club but without an influx of members could soon be facing extinction.”

Mr Ellwood said that records show that bowling took place on a green at what is now the Sportsman’s Arms at Wath in the 1920s.

Post World War Two, records show that bowls was played on the current green in Pateley Bridge.

“At that time the club had an informal structure, playing the occasional friendly match, but in 1957, now formally constituted, the club entered the Harrogate League system, playing in Division 5 of the mid-week Evening League,“ added Mr Ellwood.

In a drive to recruit new members, people were invited to join a free taster session.

Although bowls is often regarded as a sport for older generations, Mr Ellwood said it is great for anyone and has many benefits.

“It is an absorbing and sociable game and is a gentle outdoor exercise that is fun to play.

Anyone interested is urged to contact Chris Ellwood on 712721, or [email protected]