Last week at Wednesday night meals Darryl Bishop spoke of the development, along with the trials and tribulations of the greens, especially in the early years. I want to write on a different angle ….on the Members  in the years of Manningham’s (Doncaster’s) population boom.

The swinging sixties were the time of change but obviously not in bowling Ladies dress code.  Long white frocks were measured and checked by the Lady President to be 16 inches from the ground, a petticoat underneath, white stockings, and hats worn even inside, to be  only removed after the President removed hers, and the only jewellery allowed was your wedding, engagement ring and watch.

Who is the rebel with the top button undone?

Other rules, and or respect and niceties included the top Pennant team lunching from English floral crockery whilst the other ladies used the Queens Green set. The Pennant players always ate first, whilst the Roamers waited outside till the Pennant players had finished.

The men wore all whites ; a hat, a long sleeved shirt, rolled to the elbow if it was hot, often a tie, and the navy blazer for formal occasions.

Saturday Pennant afternoon tea was substantial for the men, as many had probably worked on the Saturday morning. Five points of different sandwiches and a slice of fruit cake each, all prepared by the duty ladies.

1975 on back of photo

The Social Committee organised many activities including supper dances, cards, bingo and steak nights.

There is a wonderful “Memories” booklet , it is a compilation of the earlier days written by nine ladies. The sections written by Viv Andrew who joined in 1971 and Marie Petherbridge who joined  in 1983 are just a hoot to read.

One Foundation Lady, Merlyn McIntyre, took maternity leave, then returned to play and to be on Committees until into her 80’s. I can remember her son Graeme (no, not the ‘ bowling baby’, an older child) telling me how he rode on the back of someone’s tractor as  it levelled the original green.

Doncaster’s honour board shows the club’s strength in team and singles awards. This is the Men’s section.

And here are the Ladies honours for those years.

In 1975 it was Doncaster’s silver jubilee of 25 years. This again was celebrated with a dinner dance at the Athenaeum Hall.

The membership  grew from 140 (approximately) in 1958  to 338 in 1981. Doncaster Bowling Club was keeping pace with the surrounding area.