A short history of the Ixworth Bowls Club courtesy of their website – www.ixworthbowlsclub.org.uk. The bowls club is located opposite the village hall.
As with many organisations the exact date that bowling started in Ixworth is not known. There is conflicting evidence, and so in the light of this, we take as our founding date that of the very first recorded minutes – 14 October 1907, and as those minutes speak of the season just ended, we can with some justification date the first year of our club as 1907, which means that 2007 was our centenary year. The first two minute books now reside in the Suffolk Records Office in Bury St. Edmunds
The club has used the same green since it started, although of course the facilities have changed a great deal. In the early years it was hired on an annual basis from a Mr. Bullman. After he died in 1921, it seemed likely that the new owner might be persuaded to sell the land to the club. In the event it became the property of the village hall, and it is from them that the club now rents the green on a long term lease.
Although there is no mention of them playing, ladies were first admitted to the club in 1917. Nowadays they form a very strong bowling line up. In 1914 the club affiliated to the Ipswich & District Bowls Association, and in 1921 to the newly formed SCBA, an affiliation that continues today. Major milestones have been a new pavilion in 1959, and an even newer one in 2001, with the aid of a grant from Sport England
Local knowledge indicates that bowling took place in Ixworth at a number of different locations. One of these was behind Dr. Dobbin’s house. Indeed the club did play on this green, but only for the final of the Dobbin Cup. Another green that was used for part of one season was located on the meadows – it was used when our own green suffered a lack of grass in the early years of the club.
From 1959 to 1989 the Club President was Harold Randall. At the age of fifteen Harold emigrated to Canada, paying regular visits to Ixworth, staying with his sister. He was a keen bowler and benefactor of Ixworth Bowls Club, as was seen in his presentation of the Maple Leaf Trophy in 1950, which is still played for in an open pairs competition. He also gave us a Canadian Flag, which is flown from the flagpole at special events. He also invested money for the club in Canada. In his honour the official logo of Ixworth Bowls Club is the Maple Leaf, which is included on our ties, shirts etc. While in Canada he joined the Port Credit Lawn Bowls Club – where he also held many offices.
An illustrated history of the club is now available priced at £1.75. To order a copy please call John on 01284 762028.