Empingham Bowls Club
Exton Road, Empingham, Rutland, LE15 8QA
Empingham Bowls Club was founded 76 years ago in 1938 with only 10 members and played teams including Langham, Whissendine and Market Bosworth on three rinks ; one on local resident Matt Thraves' front lawn and two on a newly laid green at the bottom of The Rectory Garden. When World War Two started in 1939 the club was disbanded and the green was returned to grazing.
In 1946 the club restarted, this time with 14 members who had to be men and over the age of 18. The yearly subscription was 2 shillings and sixpence (12.5p). In 1952 a match fee of 1 shilling(5p) per game was introduced. In 1958 the yearly subscription was raised to 10 shillings (50p).
Ladies were allowed to join for the first time in 1959 and two years later the club entered and won the Stamford League. Were the newly joined ladies an influence? It seems that they might have been because the club won the league again the next year!
All three rinks were now on the rectory green. It was decided to open the membership to anyone over 15 years of age, and in 1965 this saw the membership rise to 21.
In 1967, the new Rector barred the Club from using the garden path to the green. A year later bullocks got onto the green causing slight damage. Did the Rector know that they were using the garden path to get to the green, or were they protesting on behalf of the bowlers? In 1974 the Rectory was sold and thankfully the new owner allowed the club to continue to use the green, but in 1978 they were given notice to quit the green by 1980. They became affiliated to the Cricket Club and a General Meeting was called to discuss the future of the club which now had only 15 members and just £18 in the bank. Matt Thraves came to the rescue again by offering the top of his paddock for a new green. A Green Construction Committee was formed and fund raising began in earnest.
In 1980 worked started on the new green.The ground was levelled at a cost of £560 and fencing was erected, (probably to keep those aforementioned bullocks out!). The grass seed was sown twice in late September, a strong wind having blown the seed off the green area and into the ditch and onto the road. The seed was recovered and put back to its proper place. All matches were played away whilst the work was still going on. The water supply was connected, a new mower was bought for £280, which was raised at a cheese and wine party, a hedge was planted, the pavilion erected and the club applied to re-join the Stamford league for the 1982 season. The new green was opened on June the 5th of that year.
The club currently has nearly fifty playing members, attracting people from Oakham, Stamford and nearby villages, as well as Empingham residents , to play on its small but well maintained green. It offers all standards of bowling to its members with two teams, Empingham Falcons and Empingham Ospreys (newly promoted) in Division 2 of the Stamford & District Bowls league, as well as teams that play in friendly matches on Wednesday afternoons and Thursday evenings, and some popular Saturday afternoon games. Tuesday evenings are roll-ups when all are welcome to turn up and join in. Some of our more competitive members enter County competitions and have had success at national level, including the club's inimitable Mike Ramsden.
The club is strongly associated with the village Cricket Club, where social events are held both in summer and winter. A friendly atmosphere prevails within the club with many members doing what they can to contribute to its ongoing success. For any further information with regard to membership etc please contact the club's secretary where you can be assured of a friendly welcome.
Secretary: Steve Wheatley, [email protected] , 07594 440753
Updated: November 2022 . Teams checked by SF March 2023