President - Mr. John Sharpe Chairperson - Mrs. Sally Smith Secretary - Mr. Matthew Smith Captain  - Mr. John Chambers 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.

Bowls Club

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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! 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!.

Brenda Clark with her trophies in 1962

It is doubtful if they ever actually stepped onto the hallowed turf, but I would like to think that on the odd occasion when the committee were not in attendance that they were allowed to roll the occasional bowl to see what attracted their men folk to the game of bowls.

Nearly 45 years after the formation of the club the committee came to a momentous decision, in agreeing that the club should admit ladies as playing members; and so in 1950 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 are at the centre of our club and have achieved some outstanding wins at County and National levels.  A look at the Honours page shows how integral our ladies are to our overall success as a club.

Right: A strong ladies team face the camera.

Below: Ann Lilley receiving a singles trophy

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‘Continuing Success’

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