WEOBLEY AND DISTRICT BOWLING CLUB
Weobley and District Bowling Club was officially opened on 24th May 1947 by the President Colonel R.N.H. Verdin, on land at the rear of the Red Lion Hotel in the wonderful setting between the hotel and the church. The land had been made available for the construction of a four rink Bowling Green by the owner of the hotel, Miss Greenwood, as a recreation for the local men returning from the war. From then until the late 1980’s the back bar of the Red Lion became the Bowling Club unofficial clubhouse. The Red Lion was purchased by Bulmer’s Cider Company in 1965 with whom the club enjoyed a happy relationship. The bar was still the unofficial clubhouse, where teas were provided by club members and enjoyed after matches during non-opening hours. It was only after a succession of managers and owners that the club needed to look elsewhere to provide hospitality and the village hall was used from mid 1980’s until the present clubhouse was ready for use in 2010.
In 1999 the club was served with an eviction order which generated a long and costly legal battle, resulting in the club being evicted from the site after 54 years. Following this the members of the club decided to build a new green from scratch. This was when the support of the Verdin family stepped in with the offer of land at the edge of the village on the Old Hereford Road. £110,000 was needed to build a new six rink green, car park and essential utilities. Meanwhile the club continued to play all fixtures on opponent’s greens throughout the county and mid-wales, all of whom gave wonderful support to the project. With the help of a £25,000 grant from the Foundation for Sport and the Arts, fund raising events and generous donations from members and clubs around the country the target was reached in four years. In November 2005, the contractors moved in to start preparing the green ready to start serious work the following spring. Club Members were hands on with manual and various other jobs alongside the contractors throughout the summer and the green was finally completed by September. The new green was officially opened by Major Philip Verdin but not played on until April 2007. In 2017 the club celebrated their 70th Anniversary and played a match against the Friends of English Bowling.
The initial facilities were very basic but further developments over the years resulted in the club now having excellent facilities with a wonderful clubhouse where hospitality is offered to visiting teams and spectators. Social events are very much part of the club.
The club is a mixed club affiliated to Bowls Herefordshire and Bowls England with all matches and competitions governed by the rules and laws of World Bowls. The club is open to all and provides for both competitive and social aspects of the game. At present the club has just over 50 playing members of varying abilities plus a number of social members. In addition to league and friendly matches Friday evening is for casual bowling when anyone interested is always welcome to come along and help is on hand to get started. Touring Teams are always welcome.