Hundreds of Croydon residents – and quite a few from further afield – turned out to celebrate the reopening of the bowling green in Coulsdon Memorial Ground last Saturday.
The event was organised by the Friends of Marlpit Lane Bowling Green, the local volunteers who have restored the green after the council ceased support in 2011.
A day of free play and free putting equipment-hire proved a massive draw on the Easter Saturday, with the first visitors arriving almost an hour before the event was due to start. After the unexpectedly early opening, the Friends were ably assisted by the scouts in the morning, and leader Neil Burtenshaw took a hand in coaching the younger players. Proving that lawn bowls is open to players of any age or background, the Junior Ace bowls were scarcely out of use all day.
Local bowling figures in attendance included Andrew Newell of LawnBowls Jamaica and Ron Collingridge, local author of Bowls, not Balls, who took a turn coaching during the afternoon. Candidates in the upcoming local elections, Gill Hickson, Margaret Bird and Charles King all lent their support.
The event closed almost an hour later than expected, with the final bowlers leaving the green just after 5pm.
The putting green, re-opened as an additional attraction this year, was similarly busy throughout the day, as many golfers turned up to try-out the re-cut course. Equipment was available from the bowling hut, and proved to be in high demand. Two holes-in-one were scored during the day, even if the full 18 holes were a bit too much for some, who cut their round short to visit the 19th hole at the Poppy Cafe.
The bowling green will now be open from 2pm to 6pm (circumstances permitting) throughout the remainder of the bowling season. Season tickets and household season tickets are also available.
Before it closed, the green was one of the few public greens in the area and open to anyone to turn up and play. With the bowling green now restored to playing condition, the Friends aim to offer the same opportunity.
- For more information, visit the Friends’ website, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Coming to Croydon
- Private Peaceful, Charles Cryer Theatre, Apr 23-26
- Alison, A Rock Opera, Spread Eagle Theatre, Apr 23-26
- David Lean Cinema: Short Term 12, Apr 24
- Groundwork River Wandle project workshop, Apr 24
- Shabden Park Farm Lambing Open Day, Apr 26
- Stop The Incinerator Beer and Bingo fund-raiser, Apr 28
- Future of Crystal Palace debate, Apr 30
- Groundwork River Wandle project workshop, Apr 30
- David Lean Cinema: The Railway Man, May 1
- Groundwork River Wandle project workshop, May 1
- Hauntology – the architecture of Croydon, Apr 5-May 2
- David Lean Cinema: Wadja, May 8
- Coulsdon Euro election hustings, May 8
- David Lean Cinema: Blue Velvet, May 10
- Norwood Society Talk: West Norwood – a place of change, May 15
- David Lean Cinema: The Invisible Woman, May 15
- Coulsdon West local election hustings, May 16
- Croydon RFC charity memorial day, May 17
- Coulsdon East local election hustings, May 20 (tbc)
- David Lean Cinema: The Rocket, May 22
- David Lean Cinema: Dallas Buyers Club, May 29
- Norwood Society Talk: The Concrete Church, June 19
- Classic Car Show at Purley Rotary Fields, June 22
- Crystal Palace Overground Festival, June 26-29
- South Norwood Allotments open day, June 28
- Norwood Society Talk: War Memorials, Sep 18
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
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