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Adastra Bowling Club

Club History

Adastra Bowling Club was formed in 1922.

The early history of the club and how we gained our name is interesting. Members are often asked why the club is called Adastra and not Hassocks. After the first world war, Mr E.D. Stafford, a Brighton businessman living locally, offered part of his property to the Parish Council for use as a recreational area by the public in memory of his son who was killed in action over Belgium when a member of the Royal Flying Corps. The motto of the Royal Flying Corps, now the RAF, is "per ardua ad astra" - "through adversity to the stars". The Parish Council called the new recreational area 'Adastra'.

In late 1921 a group of seven Parish Councillors, encouraged by Mr Stafford, met with other local Hassocks gentlemen to discuss forming a bowling club and in 1922 the club was formed - it was originally known as Hassocks Bowling Club with the bowling green located just to the south of the present green in Adastra Park. Mr. Stafford was elected President of the club and, after a promising start, by 1929 the club was playing 20 games a year against other clubs from the local area. In that year Mr Stafford moved to Brighton and in his honour the club was renamed Adastra, the name we are still known by today.   

Reading the early history of the club one realises that nothing changes. For example, in 1932 at the AGM  a ruling was adopted, namely, "GRIEVANCES. On no account should members voice complaints on the green to the discomfort of others present". Modern bowlers should take note!

Notable dates and events:

- 1937 - Ladies Section first formed (disbanded in 1948, re-formed in 1984)

- 1938 - New Bowling Green and Pavilion

- 1940-1945 - away matches limited to local clubs due to petrol rationing

- 1942 - handicap system introduced for the first time

- 1943 - Membership reaches 100 players for the first time

- 1948 - Games allowed to be played on Sundays for the first time

- 1951 - Club badge designed and approved

- 1956/7 - Pavilion extended

- 1962 - Modern watering system installed on the Green

- 1974 - First mention of winter bowling indoors (organised at the King Alfred Centre, Hove)

- 1986 - New Pavilion opened

- 1996 - Bar opened

- 2000 - Millennium Competition launched versus Hurstpierpoint Bowling Club

Over the years members of the club have won numerous county competitions: singles, pairs, triples and rinks, and many members have gone on to represent the county. See our Honours Board for more information. However, most of our bowling is friendly with mixed sex matches organised against teams from other local villages and towns in the county – a great way to meet others and to see a bit of the wider world at the same time!