The club was officially opened on a lovely summer’s day in May 1881, although it appears to have been in existence since October 1871 and original located on what was the Accrington to Burnley Turnpike Road, which eventually became the Burnley Road we all know today. On its inauguration day the club already had 150 private members who competed for a pair of bowls donated by the Committee, who then referred to bowling as “a healthful exercise”.
The original land was not fit for purpose, consequently the first 30 to 40 members of the club, all working men, had to raise the funds and provide the time to lay the original green, which was by no means perfect. Then at some time in the clubs future it was re-laid and continued to improve until Accrington Corporation decided to widen the old road and compulsory purchased a section of the Bowling Green, to create what is now Burnley Road.
Consequently the club had to close temporarily until the Burnley Road widening project was completed. The Corporation had taken, roughly 5 yards in width off the original green. The bowlers were troubled – a slice of the green taken away, a reduction in size would ruin their bowling enjoyment. However, once the Corporation had re-laid the entire bowling green and the club was again reopened it was difficult for the bowlers to envisage how the green had looked prior to the changes being made. The green has remained the same to this day.
Since its inception, the initial wood hut became a brick building, which was added to over the years. In an effort to change the focus of the club from being a male only preserve, the club had a major refurbishment in the 1980’s during which time it had to close for business. Another refurbishment took place again in 2004 with the aim to change and modernise the interior, only during this refurbishment the club managed to remain open for business.
More recent access to various grants has allowed the club expand its bowling facilities and re-modernise again some of the internal parts of the club, thus allowing it to become what it is today, a modern, warm and welcoming private members club, which still encourages any member of the club to participate in crown green bowling, snooker, darts, dominoes or just socialise with friends.
The extended opening hours, opportunities to book the function room for parties has allowed members more access to the club’s facilities. The club now offers a wider selection of beers, including cask beers, wines and spirits, plus the recent introduction of a “gin bar”.
A more modern interior has encouraged people to call in, experience what the club has to offer and make themselves “members”, allowing the club to flourish and evolve, to further enhance what it has on offer, for its current membership today.