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​Our Club History

The Club was founded circa 1700 at the time of the reformation, when restrictions on membership of private clubs and many other aspects of life was relaxed and meetings of groups of men became possible. Mansfield Bowling Club was founded and a bowling green developed on leeming street in Mansfield. No one has been able to establish whether the Bowling Green Inn was built round the existing green or whether the Inn came first.

For 300 years the green was in constant use as it's surrounds evolved and changed. The orchards round this part of town were replaced by houses and the town's court house. In turn some, like the Court House and Jail, were either pulled down whilst others were converted into shops. The Palais replaced the court house and when in the 1990s a multistory car park was built over looking the green all the peaceful, secluded delights of bowling were lost forever. The Committee of the club made the decision to find a new home for the the historic club. Several sites were explored and eventually found to be unsuitable. An agreement was finally reached to sell the existing green to the Queen Elizabeth's Trust and to develop a site which they owned on the land adjoining the school. Graham Headworth secretary of the Development Sub Committee took on the challenge of major fundraising which was necessary to unlock the funding from the Queen Elizabeth (QE) Trustees and acting as Client/Project Leader supported by his fellow trustees to the two contractors who would build the new bowling green and the Pavillion overseen by the Project Manager we appointed to exercise professional oversight on our behalf. Major grants in excess of 200,000 were secured as well as other small grants. A number of local companies were very helpful but nothing could start until the sloping site was leveled. Mansfield Standard Sand Company donated thousands of tons of sand and the work could commence after the Queen Elizabeth Trustees began to release the rest of the monies 475,000 that got this up and running. John Carter, the chair of the Qe Trustees gave major encouragement throughout. We had a splendid opening ! A short while after, Graham secured a grant which paid for our “electric roof” which to this day boosts our funds with over £2000 a year ! We can say that our electric roof together with our rainwater harvesting makes us a “Truly Green” bowling club. We rounded off our move by getting Charitable Company Status. The successful completion of the new green and pavilion would not have happened without the unflagging support of the Chair of The Queen Elizabeth's Trust, John Carter, the major grants acquired by Graham Headworth and the continuous contribution of his fellow trustees, George Burke, Melvin Savidge and Mike Lake and the generous donation in cash and kind from individuals and many local companies who supported us.


In 2009 the development sub committee, Graham Headworth, Mike Lake, George Burke and Melvin Savidge accepted the keys to the new Pavilion and green. MBC was reborn on a purpose built site, free from the night clubs, pubs and fast food outlets that had surrounded the historic green.

Since moving membership has flourished and a dynamic social side is developing.

The new Board are now confident that MBC will continue to thrive for another 300 years.


In 2015 Mike Lake became aware that the increase in membership created by the successful coaching schemes was beginning to cause problems. Only one ladies toilet may have been fine for the sixteen lady club members in 2009 but the 50+ current ladies were not so well served. The bar and catering operating from the same hatch was becoming a health and safety issue. The Pavilion was also struggling with a lack of storage space. In spring 2015 he approached Nigel Tate who had project managed the original build and together they drew up plans to extend the Pavilion. These proved to be hugely expensive would be costing nearly as much as the Pavilion had in 2009. Mike didn't think that in an age of austerity raising such huge amounts would be possible.


As a result  Mike drew up concept plans for a cheaper option and approached a local builder who was willing to produce architectural drawings and undertake the construction. Mike then approached the major companies who had provided the grants for the original project. The response was mainly positive.


Once the project became feasible Mike approached John Carter Chairman of the QE's Trust to see if their Board would be happy for the Bowling club to  raise the funds for an extension. To his astonishment the Board were happy to support the project and offered to provide the funding but wanted the Trust's architect, Mike Hulme to refine the design and for the Trust to select the builder. Having been saved the thousands of hours of work that Graham had put in to raise the funds in 2009 Mike took the proposition to the Board who approved the construction of the extension.


Despite the wettest winter on record gale force winds and the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic the work which began in October 2019 was completed and handed over in the summer of 2020.


The Club now has facilities which will enable it to cater for the needs of its members and prosper.


All the above mentioned played an instrumental part of the club we have the pleasure of bowling at today. Without their tireless efforts of making thing's happen and the many jobs they have done voluntarily over so many years I doubt it would be the club it is today. Hopefully we can all continue to carry on the legacy that they helped create and continue to thrive as a bowling club & community hub. 

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