President Mr. John Sharpe Chairman Mrs. Sally Smith Secretary Mr. Matthew Smith Captain  Mrs. A. Lilley Ixworth Bowls Club  Founded 1907  Affiliated to the English Bowling Federation,  Suffolk County Bowls Association,  Bury & District League, Stowmarket League, and the Area ‘D’ Triples League.

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On the ‘Our Community’ page, and in early photographs it is apparent that Ixworth Bowls Club was men only! Of course this was true of all sporting clubs and many other bodies as well.  However in what on the face of it seemed a radical move; in 1919 a proposal that the club should admit ladies as members was carried. But do not reach for a sedative just yet, for It might not be as enlightening as at first it may seem.  There is no more mention of ladies until 10 years later, when it is suggested that a Ladies Committee be formed - to arrange refreshments! It is doubtful if they ever actually played, although I would like to think that on the odd occasion they were allowed on the green for the occasional roll-up.

Brenda Clark with her trophies in 1962

The second time that there ladies are mentioned was in 1929 when it was suggested that a Ladies Committee should be formed to look after refreshments. Whether this was for a Whist Drive that was being arranged, which should have been a dance – but they could not get an orchestra; this sounds remarkable familiar, remember the Smoking Concert;  or general hospitality we do not know, but it was good to see they were being thought of when their services were required!.

Nearly 45 years after the formation of the club the committee agreed that the club should admit ladies as playing members. It was in 1950 that a Ladies Section was created. The response was not over-whelming. In the first season only 2 ladies paid the subscription of 4/-, possibly due to the lateness in the season that the decision was made.

The commitment to the idea was strong, for at the 1951 AGM the statement ‘We welcome lady members’ was recorded in the minutes. Today as the images prove, they bring bowling qualities and success to the club.

A more detailed history of the first 100 years of the club is available in PDF format by clicking HERE

Left: A strong ladies team face the camera.

Below: Ann Lilley receiving a singles trophy