Are you eight or eighty, are you fun loving and enjoy a good social event or are you a serious competitor?

Which ever option, Spalding Indoor Bowls Club is the place for you.

The seeds were sown in the early 1970s when an indoor bowling green was one of three major projects agreed by the local council. After various consultations with local bowlers and clubs the £100,000 project was completed and opened on 7th April 1973.

The first Manger & Manageress was Derek & Doreen Sands, and after various consultations with other clubs and the E.I.B.A. the carpet chosen was Cambrian Felt. The original building was unique in so much that the entrance was approached up a long ramp through a large conservatory type area. This area was used as an admin point for the Holbeach Athletics Club who were very strong at the time. The main access to the bowls area was flanked by the toliets and changing area. There was even a fish pond, backed up with an arrangement of plants.

105 bowling members plus social members were enrolled within a few days of opening. This soon increased into the 500s (peaking to the dizzy heights of 850 in 1987). Membership was £5, £3 for concessions, social £1. Green fees were 15p for 2 hours and a pint of bitter 14p.

Entries for the first winter league season were Afternoons 20; Early Evening 33; Late Evening 41 and Sunday Morning 10. No Morning League existed until 1979.
In 1974 the Lincolnshire Mens County League was established and the first fixtures took place. Originally it was called the Eastern Counties League and opponents were Peterborough, Boston, Lincoln and joined by Scunthorpe in 1979. The Ladies County League (now knows as the ‘Trudy Bates’) followed in 1980.

The reputation of our facilities inspired the E.I.B.A. to stage the 1976/7 National Singles and Pairs final stages.  Qualifiers played the day before at other local clubs, returning to Spalding for the semi & final. The Liberty Trophy Final between Somerset and Bucks was staged in 1979, and between Norfolk and Yorkshire the following year.

Membership was over 700 by 1980.

In 1983 Grantham opened their green which took away about 30 dedicated bowlers, and in 1986 Sleaford opened their green. Despite this, membership still grew to the peak of mid-800s in 1987. During this period we had 242 teams competing in our leagues. We currently have 175. The highest ever was 279 in 1994/5.

It was during the 1980s that the Ladies put Spalding well and truly on the map with many individual national and international successes. In 1985 we hosted the Ladies International Trial, receiving many glowing comments about our facilities. The Castle Sports Complex addition was just around the corner which would lead to many changes in how we operated. This opened on 12th Dec 1987.

Although the original surface was a concrete flooring with Cambrian Felt, it has since been boarded by Dales with a Greenguage carpet. Unfortunately the concrete floor started to crack around the time piling was taking place for the sports hall.

The first Heart Foundation Charity Tournament was in 1986, and week-long Quintet Competition in 1991. Spalding hosted the National U25 Singles Championships in January 1988.

Spalding can boast various National successes, from all sections of the Club, including a few near misses – losing semi-finalists in the Denny Cup & Denny Plate; losing finalists in the Mens Pairs and Mixed Pairs – National U25 Double Rink Champions in 2003/4 and again in 2009/10, and Internationals at all levels (mens & ladies; junior & senior), culminating in club captain Graham Smith being double W.I.B.C. Singles Champion 2010 & 2011, and having the youngest ever Ladies National Fours Champions in 2010/11.

The future is extremely bright for everyone at Spalding. Don’t miss out. Come along and be part of it.

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