Historic Banbury Chestnuts Bowls Club seeks new members

Banbury Chestnuts Bowls Club, are looking for new members. From the left, Colin Taylor, treasurer, Dai Evans, captain, Pat Ray, ladies captain, Brian Ray, past captain and Martyn Cooper, secretary. NNL-170530-145800009

Banbury Chestnuts Bowls Club, are looking for new members. From the left, Colin Taylor, treasurer, Dai Evans, captain, Pat Ray, ladies captain, Brian Ray, past captain and Martyn Cooper, secretary. NNL-170530-145800009

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A bowls club whose history stretches way back to 1554 is appealing for new members.

The Banbury Chestnuts Bowls Club is located in a Banbury town centre spot off West Bar.

Banbury Chestnuts Bowls Club, are looking for new members. From the left, Colin Taylor, treasurer, Dai Evans, captain, Pat Ray, ladies captain, Brian Ray, past captain and Martyn Cooper, secretary. NNL-170530-145800009

Banbury Chestnuts Bowls Club, are looking for new members. From the left, Colin Taylor, treasurer, Dai Evans, captain, Pat Ray, ladies captain, Brian Ray, past captain and Martyn Cooper, secretary. NNL-170530-145800009

It offers a well-tended green - reputed to be one of the best in the country - and in addition, the support and friendship of its membership.

However dwindling numbers have forced the club to withdraw from the Oxfordshire League in which it had enjoyed competition for ten years.

“Our green is one of the best around and it’s often used for county matches,” said Brian Ray, a past men’s captain.

“We’re trying to keep the club running and we want to get over the stigma that bowls is an old people’s game.”

Although no longer in the county league the Chestnuts plays friendlies and is in the Oxfordshire Triples League.

According to a history of the Chestnuts by Wally Foreman, the original club site was in the Flying Horse (not Auctioneer) in Parsons Street. The Inn had a bowling green behind where the Gala Bingo hall stands. It was given to Banbury by a Charter granted by Queen Mary.

The Banbury Bowling Green Club was renamed the Banbury Chestnuts Bowling Club and moved to its present site after 1790 when the Inn was sold.

For more information contact Mr Ray on 07925 342197.