The English Crown Green Bowling season is long gone and whatever mediocre skills I had managed to develop during the summer months were in danger of evaporating like the wort in a Scotch Whisky still. But Sue, my crown green bowling mentor and guide, has discovered a way of holding back the cold winds of wintertime, so this morning the GLW and I joined her and Denis at the strange igloo contraption that has been erected at the Leeds Road Playing Fields in Huddersfield.
The Huddersfield Crown Green Dome is seemingly unique in the entire country : a 10.5 metre UPVC air-dome covering a 37 metre square artificial crown green bowling surface. There are traditional wooden benches around the edges, a coffee machine in the adjoining building and the surface has the kind of satisfying curvature that all good crown green bowlers enjoy. You still need to wear your winter woollies - it can be a little on the cool side - but it is dry and it is smooth and it is a lot cheaper than decamping to the Algarve for the off-season. "And is the green true?", I can hear you ask. Well my bowls finished up in the gutter with remarkable frequency, so I would say that it mimics a "proper" green rather well.