Let us tell you more about the history of Holy Trinity Bowls Club
Our starting point for documenting the history of Holy Trinity Bowling Club is the article written by Jim McCahy as part of the centenary celebration of Holy Trinity Church Club 1906- 2006.
“In 1906 Edward VII was King. We had a Liberal Prime Minister! The most popular girl’s name was Florence. Britain’s first aeroplane flight was still two years in the future. On May 19 th , the Village Club, for that was the name until 1908, celebrated the opening of a bowling green and two lawn tennis courts.
In Winifred Greenwood’s excellent history of Holy Trinity parish she tells us that, “The afternoon was awful. It rained as it had never rained before.” Despite this, a good time was had by all listening to the Formby Subscription Band and enjoying afternoon tea.
Although we are celebrating the centenary of the club this year, its roots go much further back, in fact to 1891, a year after the new church opened for worship. The vicar, Reverend John Brooke Richardson, a remarkable man who served the parish until 1925, began a bible class for men on Friday evenings. The class lasted an hour and was followed by games of billiards, on a ¾ size table, and other games. This proved to be so popular that soon there was a regular attendance of 60 to 80.
In 1896 the billiard table’s owner took it back and it looked as though the club would end, however, an anonymous donor bought them a full sized table and a clubroom purchased from the army at Altcar. The donor turned out to be the Vicar himself and the clubroom eventually became the bowl’s pavilion.
Right from the beginning Canon Richardson insisted that the Village Club should be open to all in Formby irrespective of religion or class. By 1905 the population of Formby was about 6,000. The members of the club approached the vicar with a view to obtaining land for a bowling green and tennis courts. He agreed and work began on raising the money to pay for the developments. The contract for the work was given to Messrs James Barton and Sons, of Victoria Nurseries, Freshfield.
The bill was as follows: Cost of laying Bowling Green £97 – 0 – 0 Cost of laying two Courts £36 – 0 – 0 Bowls shed and shelter £23 – 2 – 6 20 sets of bowls £11 – 2 – 6 Tennis posts and nets £5 – 0 – 0 Lawn mower and roller £8 – 10 – 0 TOTAL £180 – 14 – 6
In 1908 the Village Club became the The Holy Trinity Church Club. This coincided with the building of the new parish hall. The old meeting room was demolished except for the one newer section which became the tennis pavilion and fulfilled this purpose until 1964.
During the First World War the club and its amenities were made available to the troops who were stationed in the area. After the war the club went from strength to strength. A football section was started in 1920 and the team played in the Zingari League until 1933. A Ladies’ hockey section was formed in 1922 and lasted until 1931.
1925 was an auspicious year for the tennis section. Three new grass courts were laid down, including a singles court. 1927 saw the beginning of the Ladies’ bowling section. A year later the Beaufort Hall was built. This became the home of the snooker players and later the table tennis section.
Mr John Salmon Beaufort J.P., who had been a staunch supporter of the club since the beginning, left a legacy of £100. The rest of the money, £1,400 was provided by the Church Wardens and from the contributions from all sections of the community. For this reason a promise was made that membership should never be denied by reason of creed or politics.
During the Second World War the land on which the singles court was laid was used for the building of a public air raid shelter. The land was later to become part of the school field. Once again the facilities of the club were offered for use of the military. Beaufort Hall and the two pavilions were used as dormitories by those escaping the bombing in Bootle and Liverpool. They also provided canteen facilities for the forces.
As the population of Formby grew in the years following the end of the war so did the membership and facilities of the club. In 1951 two of the grass courts were converted to shale. In 1964 the wooden tennis pavilion was built.
During the years that followed both bowls and tennis sections had floodlights erected. The bowling green continued to be lovingly tended, a bowls shelter was built and the tennis courts were re-surfaced on two occasions. All went well until a dark November night in 1996 when the tennis pavilion was totally destroyed by fire.
By 1998, thanks to the dedication, hard work and negotiating skills of the captain and committee at the time, a marvellous new pavilion was built which has become the envy of most of the clubs in the area. In 2002 the tennis courts were once again re-laid, this time with the Astroturf you see today.
While we celebrate our centenary we must remember with gratitude the many hundreds of people who throughout the years, have contributed to the success of the club. It has remained for all that time a place of welcome and friendliness and an organisation of which the founders would be proud".