Popes Mead Bowls Club - history

The club began its existence in 1918 as the "Crown Bowls Club" with a 3 rink green situated behind the Crown Public House in Ifield Road. As the owner wanted to sell the ground for housing, the club were told to quit in September 1945. John Penfold offered to loan a piece of land he owned known as "Popes Mead Meadow" to the club for a nominal rent of 1/- (5 pence). On his death the club would have the first option to purchase the meadow for £200.

John died in May 1946 and the club purchased the Meadow in 1947 as thankfully the forward looking Committee which included Sir Norman Longley, Jack Peskett, Mary Martin and Ernest Greenfield, had decided to save the £200. The club then became known as the "Popes Mead Bowling Club".

Construction of the pavilion started in 1951 and was opened by Sir Norman Longley in June 1953. In 1960 the green was completely rebuilt on clinker and sand to improve the drainage. The pavilion was extended and the Bar built in 1979. Despite being located in a pleasant setting with very good facilities, the green remained the poor relation to many of its contemporary greens.

In 1990 the club took some professional advice and raised £20,000, mainly from members and properly constructed ditches and banking. At the same time an automatic watering system was installed and new greens machinery purchased. This and much hard work from the members brought the green up to a high standard and made the club the envy of many visiting clubs and a popular venue for most.

On 20th February 1997 the Club's Trustees signed an agreement valued at £1M with the Council and a Developer to move to our present premises at Willoughby Fields where the club has continued to maintain its high reputation.

Copyright  Popes Mead Bowls Club. Club contact -John Page - 01293-613275
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