Celebrating 80 years in Spring Park

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27th March 2018
West Wickham Common – April Newsletter
1st April 2018

The new flag of Shirley Ladies and Spring Park Bowling Clubs includes the badges of both clubs and illustrates not only The Spring and The Trees in the Park adjacent to St. Johns Church but also Poppies for which Shirley is internationally famous.

This will be a year of special celebrations; 80 years since the Bowling Green in a quiet corner of Shirley Church Recreation Ground (to use its full title) was completed and since the two clubs who share the Green and Clubhouse, Shirley Ladies and Spring Park Bowling Clubs, were founded.

Due to financial constraints, the Council, who bought the land in 1928 and own the Green, have closed several local Greens and have been unable to meet the level of expenditure needed to fully maintain all of the facilities. Club members have, in recent years, stepped in to manage the gardens and, especially in this the 80th year, to carry out some clubhouse maintenance and decoration. The rather ancient flagpole has already been taken down, renovated and made ready to support the newly designed Flag.


There is always a need for new bowlers, to ensure that this little green oasis in one corner of the Park can continue to be enjoyed, and to protect it from Council closure and rampant Developers.

In addition to the many annual social events like a Quiz night and the popular Karaoke evening with Fish and Chips, the two clubs will be organising a special dinner in October to celebrate the completion of their 80th season. In October 1938 the clubs held a Dinner and Dance for over a hundred people at The Shirley Poppy, but a different venue is required in 2018 because unfortunately McDonalds is not available for such an occasion.

On the Green, the clubs will be hosting a visit from the Surrey Lawn Bowling Associations Presidents, who will bring a mixed team of 20 players from all over the County, on 26th July. Every year the clubs have a “fun day” when mixed teams compete in amusing and rather unorthodox bowling with skittles and goal posts and even a stuffed rabbit which appears but once a year. It is intended that this year on 19th August, 1938 style dress will be required for entry to the anniversary competition. Spectators, suitably dressed of course, will be most welcome.

As in previous years the Green and the Garden will be open on 24th June to help our local Shirley Neighbourhood Care during their Open Gardens Event. Tea and cakes and a selection of homegrown plants will be on sale to support the Charity, and there will be an opportunity for garden enthusiasts to TRY BOWLS.


Club members come from all over Shirley and from as far afield as Sanderstead and Farnborough, many because, they initially came with a friend and enjoyed the experience. Some members say they joined because they were very aware that they needed regular but gentle exercise and that they enjoy the social interaction which a friendly group provides. As someone says “finding a really good plumber or an

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