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Aston Clinton Bowls Club

History

The earliest record of competitive bowling in the village is from December 1905 when the newly formed Tring Bowling Club held its first annual dinner at the Rose and Crown Hotel and listed amongst its guests the secretaries of both Aylesbury and Aston Clinton bowling clubs. In 1908 the renamed Tring Games Bowling Club recorded a fixture at Aston Clinton to which they travelled by horse-drawn wagonette. The location of the green at that time is not known for certain but it is known that during the early part of the century there was a green situated on land between what is now known as Twitchell Lane and Talbot Road. This green survived until the 1930s when the land was sold for housing development.

The Club in its present guise was formed in 1948 by twelve villagers who at that time were bowling on the lawns of Rookery House. Fred Briggs, the landlord of The Bull PH, offered to lay a three-rink green on land to the rear of the pub, but this was opposed by the Reverend Boulton a Club member.

After a couple of years a three-rink green was laid on land owned by Mr. Rolfe on the corner of College Road, for which he received a bottle of whisky each Christmas. After his death the land passed to Mrs. Gorringe (a relative) and fortunately she and her husband allowed the arrangement to continue. It was said that Club members remarked that the vegetable and flower beds that surrounded the green were in better condition than the playing surface. To this day, the daffodils that surrounded the green still make an annual appearance. Many of the local clubs playing in those days are no longer in existence, Chilton Village, Stone, ‘Half Moon’ Hawkridge, ’Chequers’ Prestwood and ‘Bridgewater Arms´ Little Gaddesden, are all gone.

In 1978 the Parish Council allocated land in the park to the club and work began on the long process of constructing a full six-rink green. The move to Aston Clinton Park was completed in 1986. The Club facilities were housed in two Portakabins whilst funds were raised towards the cost of a permanent building. In 2000 a new, spacious pavilion, built with financial assistance from Sport England, was opened by John Bercow MP. Three years later, a bar was installed to improve facilities for members and visiting clubs. After further fund-raising, the pavilion was improved in 2007 by the addition of a conservatory, which provides an excellent viewing area for watching matches in comfort during the British summer! The high standard of the facilities now enjoyed has enabled the Club to host a number of prestigious County matches in recent seasons.