The White Hart Bowls club is situated behind the White Hart pub, Church Street, Stradbroke where there has been a bowling green since 1826.
There has been a bowling green on this site since 1826 and the pub has seen many owners and landlords in that time. About 30 years ago the pub was closed for a few months in the summer when Hamish and Vicky suddenly disappeared overnight. The pub was closed for most of the season hut we still managed to complete all our fixtures. Drinks and refreshments after a game are an important part of bowling but the Ivy House obliged.
In 1999 we had a considerable fight on our hands to try to stop Pub Master, the then owners, from selling off the pub as a private dwelling and the beer garden and bowling green as building plots. The Club, with great help from Mike Readman, organised an active campaign to save both. He quickly organised lots of publicity on TV and in local newspapers. As a club we also wrote to all the local teams in Suffolk for help. The response was excellent from everyone and the pub and the bowling green were pronounced saved before 1999 was out.
In September 2007 the doors of the pub closed again and this time for nearly two years. The owners gave us permission to continue to use the green and we had two seasons of fixtures without a hitch and without a landlord. We managed to hold the club together and for the first year we did refreshments ourselves in our pavilion. Jim May, the proprietor of the Queen’s Head was a member of our club and for the second year we adjourned to the Queens Head after matches instead.
We are a small friendly club with very deep roots in Stradbroke and we are also one of the few remaining pub teams left. Many of our present members have historical links to the club including the Ward, Chambers and Smith families to name but a few. Our club President Ursula Ward has been the Suffolk IWO woods champion twice and Suffolk four woods champion twice and the ‘All England’ two woods single trophy winner in 1967. These were very proud moments in the club’s history.
We currently play in two leagues: The ‘Upper Waveney Three-Wood League’ and the ‘Mid Suffolk League’. The Mid Suffolk League has only 6 clubs, all very local. We have been part of this league since it was formed in 1914 and are proud that it has now celebrated its centenary. We have a very local support network who work tirelessly to maintain the green. and have to continually raise funds to keep the club solvent. Our special group of lady supporters are known affectionately as ‘The Spice Girls’ who travel to most home and away games and always help to keep our spirits up.
For more information contact our secretary Margaret Hutchison. Her phone number is 01379 388702
Mid Suffolk Bowls League Centenary Celebration
On Sunday, 18th May 2014 the White Hart Bowls club celebrated 100 years of the Mid Suffolk Bowls league. The club was involved in the inauguration of the league in 1914To commemorate the occasion the club opened up the archives for a wonderful display of memorabilia over the years. A good day was had by all helped by the wonderful weather. A competition was arranged involving Laxfield, Fressingfield, Beddingfield, Dennington and Hoxne. The overall winners were Laxfield with 59 points & runners up were ourselves close behing with 57 points.