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Ladies History

1927 - A meeting held on October 19th led to the formation of the Hood Park Ladies' Bowling Club.

1928 - The first playing season with subscriptions of £1.1 s.Od. (£1.05) per member. A charge of £15 per year for the rent and green on a 7 year lease was payable to the Urban District Council. Membership consisted of President Mrs. J German with 25 playing members and 2 associate members.

193 -  The club moved to the Bath Grounds at a rental of £10 plus a charge of £5 for the maintenance, and a name change to The Ashby-de-la-Zouch Women's Bowling Club.

1936 - Formation of the Leicestershire Ladies' County Bowling Association - Ashby being one of 5 founder members.

1939 - Mrs. Avery from Ashby was elected President of the Leicestershire Ladies' County Bowling Association.

1947 - Mrs. G. Stone from Ashby was elected President of the Leicestershire Ladies' County Bowling Association.

1948 - Ashby green extended to give minimum length required for County Competitions. Play continued during the war years and fund raising activities took place to enable donations to be made to organisations which included the Lord Mayor's Red Cross Fund, Garments for soldiers, Leicester Air Raid distress and the Leicester Hospital Cot Fund. A photograph of this hangs in the Ladies' Cloakroom.) During the winter months both Bridge and Whist Drives were held either at the Kilwardby Institute or in members homes with the profits going towards the cost of purchasing a pavilon.

1955 - Agreement with brewers Mitchells & Butlers Rental £10 plus a maintenance charge of~35 and a condition that The Royal Hotel is used to provide the tea for the Ladies after all home games. Obviously this was again income for the hotel.

1959 - Water piped to the green from the Hotel with an outside tap at a charge of £15.

1961 - Extension made to the pavilon and a Calor gas boiler was purchased. Teas were then provided in the pavilon.

1965 - Commencement of fund raising Christmas Coffee Mornings at members homes. Profits were then divided between the Ashby Hospital Amenities Fund and the club.

1967 - Uniform introduced consisting of Blue Blazer, Cream Skirt and Blouse. White Hat and Gloves, Brown Shoes and a Navy Handbag. White trousers and shoes where later allowed. Improvements continued over the years with fund raising activlties This included the change from a Chemical toilet to a flush one, kitchen improvements, the installation of electricity and a separate changing room.

1988 - Ashby Town Council became responsible for the Bath Grounds. Rent £300 with one rink to be available for use by the general public. Over the years Ashby Ladies always entered the County Competitions and on occasions have represented Leicestershire at the National Championships held at Leamington. Club competition. Winners have also been selected to play for the County in their games The pavilion has also been a target for vandalism necessitating metal grills being placed over the windows and doors.

1998 - Arson destroyed the equipment shed together with the contents. Parts of the kitchen and changing room were also damaged. With Insurance and help from the Ashby Men Bowls Club everything was replaced ready for the start of the following season.

2002 - As the Town Council were not prepared to subsidise both the men's and the ladies greens agreement was reached for the clubs to amalgamate to form Ashby de la Zouch Bowling Club and adopted the men's bowling green. The ladies changing room, equipment shed and paving slab were transferred by the men to their club. The Town Council agreed to install a new access road from Prior Park. With the dismantling of the ladies pavilon and removal of the surrounding hedge by the Town Council sadly there is no longer any trace of the former Ashby Ladies Bowling Club.

Details taken from the last minutes.

Copy of letter sent to Hon Secretary Mrs. Z. Eisler Leicestershire Ladies' County Bowling Association from Mrs. E. Insle Hon Secretary Ashby Women's Bowling Club dated 1st August 2002.

Dear Zoe,

Ashby-de-la-Zouch Town Council have decided that maintaining two bowling greens is not cost effective. As we ladies cannot do the work ourselves, nor have the finances to employ outside contractors, we were asked to consider amalgamation with the Men's Bowling Club using one green and premises. With ever increasing cost of Insurance, Rens and Rates, together with a falling membership and the repeated vandalism, economically this made sense.

Agreement has been reached with the men's club to amalgamate and form the club to be known as Ashby-de-la-Zouch Bowling Club, with men's and ladies section, each with their own officers overseen by a Management Committee.

The ladies section will continue as before with fixtures, however to be compatible some dates will need changing ie. match dates and President's Day.

As this will be a change of green for the ladies, I expect your officers will need to visit the green before the start of the season to officially declare it a suitable for competition play. Hopefully this will put an end to the repeated complaints made over the years by certain visitors.

After 6 years on our present site we shall feel sad to leave our little pavilion and the green of which we are very fond of, a view not always shared by our opponents.

Finally we hope this decision will ensure the future of a Ladies Bowling Club in Ashby-de-la-Zouch after being a founder member of the Leicestershire Ladies County Bowling Association.

With kind regards, yours sincerely,