Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Treading The Green that Fowler Trod

The new outdoor crown green bowling season starts next week. Following a winter of rigorous practice on Huddersfield's magnificent indoor bowling facility, I can reveal that Denis and I are just as cack-handed as we ever were and our one hope of matching Isobel and Sue during the up-coming season is in the development of a bowling App for our iPhones. (Note to App developers : surely the creation of something which takes into account the gradient of the crown, the weight of the bias, the lie of the jack and calculates a suggested road cannot be beyond an appliance that can pinpoint a gnat sneezing in the Sahara Desert).

To mark our return to the outdoor green at Cowcliffe - ah the resonant clack of bowl and jack, the happy click of glass against glass - I thought I would post one of the postcards from the collection of my great Uncle, Fowler Beanland. This photograph must have been taken 100 years ago but you can still see the same stances, the same calculating looks that measure the respective distance between jack and bowls, the same purposeful stride down the green after delivering your winning bowl, on countless crown greens across the north of England.

Devonshire Park in Keighley still exists but as far as I can tell there isn't a bowling green there any more. I must take a trip there soon and investigate matters. It would be rather fine to tread the green that Fowler trod.


  1. The bloke walking up from the house looks as if he's about to say; "Oi - get off my front lawn, you lot!"

  2. This is worth it just to keep reading that name Fowler Beanland (there i said it again!) Good luck in the new season Alan. Not much chance of us taking that up here though - no 'green' of any sort to be seen still. The nearest we could get would be petnaque; remember that pitch in Tenezar, next to the social club on the beach where the ladies were playing cards? I could get my beach boules out i suppose...............

    1. ...and I can't spell petanque. I reely muss lurn to prevue bfor i prezz riplie.

  3. Good luck in the new season, Alan!

  4. I believe it's a serious business, Alan. The click of glass against glass...obviously.

  5. Hooray and much luck for your up coming season!

  6. WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..

  7. There's my uncle Walter in the background! He lived in Keighley bless his soul!

  8. Apart from the attire, it's a timeless game. There are two greens alongside the canal in Saltaire - I keep meaning to go and take a few photos but somehow it seems a bit intrusive when they're all concentrating so hard!

  9. It's a serious business, the measuring of distances! Will you be donning your jacket and flat cap for the new season?

    I'm amused by the extremely short houses behind the bowlers. They look as though someone has sliced them off at the eaves :)


Black Friar

For a time, during the late 1970s, I had a job leading parties of foreign visitors on tours of historic London pubs. One of my favourite sto...