Kirton & Falkenham Bowls Club

I know that some of you will be familiar with the “goings on” behind the Village Hall, but I’m also aware that some might still be blissfully unaware! So here, by way of introduction, is a brief history of Kirton & Falkenham Bowls Club.

The Club was formed in 1921 (which makes it one of the oldest in the Felixstowe area) and It stands on land owned by the Village Hall. The earliest written record comes from the Village hall A.G.M. minutes of 1923: –

the report from the Bowls Club was read and considered very satisfactory. As from a membership of nineteen we had paid to keep green in a pretty decent state, bought two pairs of bowls and had a balance in hand of nineteen shillings and two pence. We have also done extremely well as regards matches played. The club having engaged the neighbouring clubs in thirteen matches and had been fortunate to win ten and losing three, which was a good record for a club in its second year”

As far as is known the green was constructed by it’s Founder members and there is a story that the original grass turf was dug out of the neighbouring marshland.

The Club has had two club houses since inauguration – the first was just inside the gate which was later replaced by the current one at the rear of green.

Subscription was 2/6 (12 1/2p in new money!) for members of the village hall and 3/6 (15 1/2p) for non-members.

Founder members included Jack Amos, Les Kemp and Fred Runnicles whereby they, and their families, were involved with the club for many years. For example, in 1968 the club welcomed 87-year-old Mrs. Runnicles, wife of Fred, to present prizes and a silver singles trophy in memory of her husband, which is still played for today. Also their daughter, Mrs J Cone, presented a seat in memory of her father.

In 1995 the Amos family; Jack and sons Peter and Mick were still playing, Jack after 77 years, Peter after 50 years and Mick 40 years, a combined total of 167 years. During the 1980’s they all played in the same Suffolk team in Trophy competitions, Peter captained the Suffolk team which twice won the Adams Trophy and he won national titles as well, with and without his brother. All family members won several County competitions and all of them served as officers of the club for many years.

Jack’s wife Liz, was a founder member of the ladies section in 1962 and she also played in many County Competitions. The Ladies section was amalgamated in the same year.

As reported in the Evening Star at the time “this family have become a Suffolk legend in bowls circles.”

In addition, during the 1970’s nine club members played at County Level, and the club has at some time in its history won all the County trophies, except the Senior Cup.

Currently the Club plays in Ipswich and District Federation Bowls League with teams in Samford Monday evening and Wednesday afternoon leagues; Ipswich Triples Wednesday evening and Two Wood Tuesday evening leagues; with varying levels of success. The club also runs a number of knock out competitions for members.

The Season runs from late April to mid September and during that time the club is open each day for members to come and “roll up“ (basically to practice or have a social game), and on a Friday evening it is more of a Social event, with the bar open during and after the roll up. We also play a variety of in-house competitions each year i.e. 2 wood singles, 4 wood singles; pairs and triples.

The club also holds two open days each year in memory of Jack Amos and Geoff Eade; to which members from other clubs are invited.

At present there are around 45 members and subscription is £45 per year

New members are always welcome, and for those who have never played before we can provide woods. We also have members who are willing to give instruction on how to play.

Should you be interested in joining, or simply want to come and have a go, please contact either:

John Burch on 01394 284424, or Graham Walker on 01394 448227

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