I’m just doing a quick post about the Swindon Town Gardens Bowls club because until today I had no idea they existed. I swear to Heaven they’ve been doing a ‘Brigadoon’ and shrouding themselves in a mist only to appear once in a while, because I’ve been to the Town Gardens more times than I’ve had a hot curry (and that’s quite a lot) and have managed never to notice the bowling green and their clubhouse until today. Anyway not only does it exist but it’s celebrating its centenary, which is a bit impressive really.
I was making my way to the Mela today and almost passed the clubhouse by when I noticed they were doing teas/coffees and cakes – so I didn’t pass by but instead went in. I had a pleasant half an hour with a coffee and chatting with some delightful club members.
So if Bowls is your bag then you could do worse than join there. The club caters for all ages and genders and all you need are some flat soft-soled shoes. As their website says: ‘With Friendly Games home and away, a League programme, Fun Days, Competitions and Social occasions you can choose your own involvement. There is a structured induction programme and individual coaching available with the added bonus of reduced membership fees for the first year. Families are welcome.’
As it happens their website has some interesting bits of history in the ‘About’ section. Here’s the first paragraph to give you a flavour: ‘ Surveying the Victorian style splendour of the Town Gardens it is hard to imagine the place started as a limestone quarry. There is evidence of the Romans excavating on the site, the stone being transported to Durocovinium*(now known as Wanborough) which was situated on the Roman road running between Cirencester and Silchester where there was a roman walled settlement. In 18th/19th centuries the stone went to London for paving roads and building construction.’ None of which I knew. Nor did I know that the park is Grade II listed with English Heritage on their national register of parks and gardens.
*I can’t help but think that ‘Duroconvinium sounds rather like an unpleasant cough medicine …