BOWLING CLUB

Photo c.1960 (1)

Photo c.1960 (2)

Photo c.1980s

The Strand Indoor Bowling Club, formed on Tuesday 30th September 1952, was the first club of its kind to be formed in the North West.

The official opening of the club took place on Thursday, 16th October 1952, presided over by the minister and Club President, Rev.W.A.Montgomery,M.A.

The club was restricted to male members only, but after two years, the members of the Women's Missionary Association decided to form a Ladies' Club. This was organised as an afternoon club which would play from 2.30pm to 6.00pm on Thursdays. The Men's club followed on Thursday evenings from 7.30pm to 10.30pm.

Eventually the male and female clubs merged into an evening mixed club. With the building of the new church hall in 1963, additional equipment was purchased and the club went from strength to strength.

Club members played a large part in the establishment of other Indoor Bowling clubs in the city and the North West. They travelled to church halls to demonstrate the skills of the game, and soon there were exchange bowling matches throughout a wide area which added to the enjoyment of the club and forged new friendships.

A close link existed with Cregagh Presbyterian Church, Belfast. The Rev. Arthur Barbour was a former Strand member and Minister of Cregagh church when Indoor Bowling was becoming popular in Belfast city churches. He had encouraged the introduction of the game to Strand, and brought his club members to demonstrate the game

Through the Seventies and early Eighties the Strand Bowling Club was a force to be reckoned with in local tournaments. 

Records in Minutes of these years show successes for members who competed in The Pairs Competition at Glendermott, Glendermott Parish Tournament, Glendermott Presbyterian Tournament, Magheramason Presbyterian Tournament and in many friendly matches with the increasing number of local Indoor Bowling clubs in the city and rural area.

The Strand club had accumulated many cups, shields and trophies which were awarded at the end of season to the winners of the club competitions. These are at present on display in a cabinet at the front of the church. Many were donated to the club as memorial trophies.

Attendances began to decline during the late Eighties, due to failing health of some members and re-location of others. In spite of appeals for new members the situation did not improve.

In the 1989 Congregational Report of Strand and Buncrana Presbyterian Church the minister Rev. M. Bolton wrote "This year will be marked in the Congregational life of our church as one in which our Indoor Bowling Club ceased to gain sufficient support to allow its continuance as a viable unit. As the founder club of Indoor Bowling in the  North-West, it is sad to see its demise from this field of church activity. We are thankful for the fellowship and fun it provided during its thirty-seven years of existence within our congregation."