Story: Christina White
Winnie Bentley has been the custodian for many years of two books detailing the members and minutes of the Abbeyfield Bowling Club dating from 1913. They have now found a new home in the Local Studies Library where they will be available for future generations to read.
History of bowling
Bowls were first played in this country as far back as the 12th Century and Sheffield's 13th Century Castle had a bowling green at its centre. Probably the first bowling green in this area was Pitsmoor Bowling Club, founded in 1857 and situated at the top of Roe Lane.
As bowling became more popular, the "General Purposes and Parks Committee" recommended in 1905 that Bowling Greens be provided in the Hillsborough, High Hazels, Meersbrook and Firth Parks, at a cost of £800.
Abbeyfield Park Bowling Club
Abbeyfield Park Bowling Club was founded on 3rd July 1913 at a meeting held in Abbeyfield House. The Club was for men only and had fifty-nine members. They held knock-out competitions with the club funds offering prizes of up to 15 shillings. Eventually the members started playing friendly matches with other clubs, which led to them joining the Parks League. The ladies team was founded in the thirties.
Extracts from the book
"With regards to providing tea for members from Stocksbridge, I went to the Town Hall to see Mr Partington if we could have a room in Abbeyfield House but he told me there was not the slightest possible chance as there had been so much agitation from various sources as to the use of the house... It was afterwards proposed that Mr Rotherham, the proprietor of the Bay Horse, be approached to see if he can supply our Stocksbridge friends with a good and reasonable tea."
"That wounded soldiers at Firshill be invited to play on the green, any afternoon from 2 - 7 pm... that the soldiers be allowed to play free."
"Congratulations Mrs Clarke on her achievements in 1961, having won the Telegraph Cup and the Bank Holiday Merits and bringing the honours to Abbeyfield Club."
Andrew Wright, who now lives in Hungary, visited this summer, and was delighted to find his relative was a founder member. He knew his grandfather lived at 1, Shirecliffe Lane, which was the Post Office in 1911. Sure enough, he found E Farnsworth, Pitsmoor Post Office in the book. Why not go to the Local Studies Library in the Central Library and see if one of your ancestors was a founder member.
Local History class
The Messenger runs a local history class once a month at a local venue.
We look at old maps, newspapers, directories and often use the internet and the library to help our research The group is friendly and enthusiastic, and would welcome new members.
Call the Messenger to find out more on 242 0564.