History of Harpole Bowls Club
In the beginning……
In 1986 a group of Harpole residents got together and formed a bowls club under the initiative and guidance of Comsport (an organisation promoting sport). Following a trial period and definite interest, it was recorded that Harpole Bowls Club was born. At first there were about 30 members playing short mat bowls at Harpole Village Hall. Harpole was not a very popular venue for league matches due to the hall floor not being very even, familiarity meant that Harpole won nearly all the home matches!! Gradually the club ventured outdoors using the Far Cotton recreation ground as its home base.
The club captain at the time, Leo Hardman, had ambitions to have a green at Harpole and plans were drawn up to use the land the club now calls home.
The designated ground area was dug drained and sieved all of which was done by the members. This team of people worked tirelessly to realise Leo’s dream. On the 1st May 1993 the green was officially opened. Sadly Leo had passed away in 1990 so did not get to see the realisation of his dream.
Discussions about a club badge were on going. Several designs were submitted and in the end a design submitted by Joyce Hardman was chosen. It represented the crops that had been grown on the land where the club now stands.
Following the opening of the green two mobile homes were purchased to become changing and club rooms.
In the following years through fund raising, grants & loans (all repaid) the club had improved and developed its facilities. A milestone in the development was made in October 1995 when the clubhouse was officially opened after much hard work by members of the club.
Within a year more work was carried out extending the club house to accommodate the changing rooms. The following year the car park was tarmacked at a cost of £17,000!!!
The club house was a great asset, providing short mat bowling, easily accessible changing rooms and a popular place to hold functions. But there was nowhere to socialise afterwards. So two years later a major decision was taken to extend the main hall and build a lounge bar. Again after a lot of hard work and fund raising the lounge area opened in November 2000.
As the years went on further improvements took place, including an automatic watering system, paving around the green and safety lighting in the car park to name but a few.
The next big step was the building of the new kitchen and conservatory. The work started in February 2008 and by the end of 2010 Harpole Bowls Club had a large well equipped kitchen and a conservatory to allow a 4th short mat and a place to sit and watch the players out on the green.
Over the years since 1986 a lot of blood sweat and tears has gone into making what is one of the best bowls club facilities in the county and for that we are all thankful to all those who have toiled over the years.