Celebrating 75 years of Thorpe’s small and friendly bowls club

Thorpe Recreation Bowls Club celebrates its 75th anniversary.Photo by Simon Finlay.

Thorpe Recreation Bowls Club celebrates its 75th anniversary.Photo by Simon Finlay. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Members of a Thorpe bowls club have come together to celebrate 75 years since it was first founded.

Thorpe Recreation Bowls Club was first started in 1939 by Walter Reeve, who was its first captain.

The Laundry Lane club was believed to be the first club in the county to run a sponsored tournament with prizes, and a tournament is still held each year.

Chairman Derek Bales said: 'In this day and age it's a great thing to reach 75 years. You always hear about clubs folding but we are trying our best to keep going and it's a bit of an achievement.'

The club has arranged some special fixtures to celebrate the anniversary.

Its ladies section was formed in 1972 and is still thriving with 25 members to complement the men's section, which has 60 members.

Susan Parke, ladies president at the club, said: 'This particular club is very friendly and it has a very good social side.'

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The club holds social activities on Friday evenings in winter and a prize presentation and party at Christmas.

Members play on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with the men playing in the mornings and the ladies in the afternoons.

The club shares its facilities in Laundry Lane with the Thorpe Leisure Bowls Club, which was known as Thorpe Happy Circle Bowls Club prior to October 2000.

Thorpe Leisure Bowls Club has a membership of 20 and plays on Monday and Wednesday afternoons.

The venue recently underwent a refurbishment, with a new shed, equipment and toilets. However, they still have a mixed changing room and hope to one day be able to extend to create separate changing rooms.

New players, from novices to more experienced players, are always welcome at both Thorpe Recreation Bowls Club and Thorpe Leisure Bowls Club.

More information about Thorpe Recreation Bowls Club is available by contacting the secretary Glyn Bailey on 01603 501341.