History of Church Fenton Bowling Club

Church Fenton Bowling Club was founded as the result of a public meeting in Church Fenton Parish Centre in November 1986. British Gypsum Bowling Club who already played in the Selby League wanted a permanent home for their club, and as a result of the meeting a Committee was set up with some members from British Gypsum and interested residents of Church Fenton.

The Committee canvassed the whole the of Church Fenton to gauge the interest, and as there was a good response decided to proceed in finding a suitable piece of land for the Club and to raise funds.

In January 1988 following much fundraising and loans from the Sports Council and British Gypsum a piece of land off Common Road was purchased from a local farmer and Church Fenton Bowling Club came into being.

The contract to construct the green was placed with a company from Scarborough and work began.

 The Clubhouse which we used regularly until 2000 was donated by Jim Wall from British Gypsum

For the first 2 seasons both the Church Fenton and British Gypsum teams played their home matches in Selby Park



To begin with, the green and clubhouse looked very basic, and very open, as you can see from the picture below:


But by the time of the grand opening, the clubhouse had been made to look more respectable:

First clubhouse
Clubhouse on the opening day

As the first bowl was being bowled, local cameramen took the opportunity to capture the moment:
A representative from the Sports Council hands over a plaque to acknowledge their loan to the Club
First ever bowl
From 1988 until 2000 we carried on as a small club with basic facilities, although in the mid-nineties it was decided that a new clubhouse was required. From then on our fund-raising efforts were concentrated on raising the required funds to build the clubhouse. Various grant applications were rejected so we decided that we'd do it all ourselves. This meant we'd have to take the building work slowly, and rely a lot on our own volunteer labour, but it also meant that we could proceed .

When enough funds had been raised, it was then time to demolish the old clubhouse, which by 2000 had become very damp and rotten. We went for the direct route....:


                   Once the old clubhouse was gone, the next step was to dig the foundations:

Then the walls started to spring up, and the building began taking shape:
Foundations 2
                                  Next to be fitted were the roof trusses:                                         And then the laths for fitting the roof tiles on to:
                                             Then the tiles themselves:                                                            And then the windows:

There then followed a huge effort to fit out the interior of the building, with all work except the tiling in the toilets being carried out by club members.

We now have one of the best clubhouses in the area, and are able to use it for private functions and events, including our regular "Casino Nights" and "Race Nights". The clubhouse also gets used during the winter, as every 2 weeks on a Thursday evening we hold a Social Evening. Line dancing is also held in the clubhouse every Friday afternoon throughout the year.

In 2010 the decision was taken to extend the Clubhouse so that we were able to accommodate 2 Short Mats, this will enable us to keep the membership in touch throughout the winter months and provide a valuable sporting facility for Church Fenton and the surrounding area.