Wolverton Park, the oldest bowls club in Milton Keynes, marks a special celebration today, Thursday, as it turns 125 years old.
A lot has changed in that time too.
From humble beginnings, formed by local North-Western Railway Company workers in 1885, to the brand new club house they currently occupy, the club is still going strong.
“And women are allowed to play now!” said Sheila Botterill, the club’s secretary. “Women used to be consigned to the kitchen while the men played.”
In the 1920s, the club won the Bucks Cup three times and was presented with the original Bucks County Cup, which is now used as the Challenge Cup for the men’s singles championship.
The club originally used a railway carriage as a clubhouse, and doubled in size by 1922 before finally building a brick pavilion in the 1950s.
In November 2006, the club was catapulted into the 21st century as they moved to the new site next to Mill Mead Hall. Flats were built on the old green, with the Royal Train Shed and the Triangular Building being converted into dwellings. But while the location, attire and facilities have changed, the game remains the same.
Mrs Botterill said: “It’s a game everyone can play.
“We have players in their 80s, and our youngest member is 16.
“There aren’t many sports that can say that.
“It’s relaxing, it keeps you active, it’s a skill, and it keeps you fit to an extent too!
“It might not be as popular as it used to be, but our membership is up this year.
“We are always keen to meet people who want to take up the sport and meet new people.”
>> If you’re interested in joining the club, call 01908 320919.