Newick Bowls Club celebrates its centenary

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Newick Bowls Club is celebrating its centenary. In 1911 eight local men built their own bowling green behind the village pub, The Bull. Now, just a few yards from the original site the mixed club has one of the finest greens in Sussex and a thriving membership.

The season begins with a get-together this Saturday, 23 April. Over the coming weeks there will be many special events, starting on Sunday 8 May at 2.30 with a visit from the Uckfield bowlers. Newick’s first game all those years ago was an away match at Uckfield. The village team hired a local farmer to transport them into town on one of his horse-drawn carts for the princely sum of one shilling and sixpence each – seven and a half pence in today’s money. To commemorate the occasion players will dress in the style of 100 years ago – although in those days ladies did not play such a strenuous game as bowls so today’s women may have problems.

A fortnight later on Friday 20 May at 1.30 the visiting team will be led by the president of Bowls England who hopes to bring one or two internationals with him. Then the next day, Saturday 21 May, Newick will be taking a men’s team to Windsor Castle to play the Royal Household Bowling Club. This has become a traditional fixture in any bowls club’s centenary celebrations. Later in the year there are special matches against the Mid-Sussex League, the Past Presidents of Sussex, the Sussex County Bowls Association and the Sussex County Women’s Bowling Association.

On Saturday 25 June Newick will entertain West Hoathly, another local club notching up a century this season. To mark the occasion John Wilkins, a vice-president of both clubs, is donating a shield to be presented annually to the winning team in this fixture for the next 100 years.

Throughout the year there is a full programme of fixtures against other clubs in the area with three or four friendly matches most weeks as well as the evening Mid-Sussex League games and competitions – both internal and external. There is even time for a quiet roll-up on Monday or Friday mornings. Visitors are welcome at all times.