There was once three bowling greens in Rishton, these were:
- Conservative Club on Cliff Street
- Parker Street
- and the Rishton Arms on Station Road.
Would there have been one in Cutt Wood Park?
The surveyor was instructed to prepare draft plans on the 2nd September 1937, for a bowling green, tennis courts, bowl house, shelter, public conveniences, and other such offices that may be required, but the location of these is unknown.
On the 21st January 1943, The rateable value of the Rishton Arms (Bowling Green) was set, from £18 to £1 Rateable Value.
The Council Surveyor, in consultation with the Town Planning Officer, was to consider and report on a suitable site for the establishment of a park, bowling greens and tennis courts, on the 2nd March 1944.
A tender of £20 was accepted with regard to the building of the bowling green wall on the 19th June 1944, on Parker Street.
On the 6th August 1946, an offer of £160 was accepted from unnamed parties for damage caused to the Parker Street bowling green. Underfelts Ltd were given permission to carry out work they required subject to the clubs conditions.
The Council Surveyor asked for any suggestions to be submitted to him for inclusion in the Estimates for 1947/8, on the 13th February 1947. Two items submitted were Cutt Wood and the provision of a Bowling Green at the lower end of Rishton and in this latter connection, the Clerk was instructed to communicate with the Secretary of a Club with a view to opening negotiations for the acquisition of a Bowling Green adjacent to their premises.
At a special General Meeting held by the Gardeners on the 27th February 1947, and in the presence of C. Hepworth, R. Houghton, W. Riding, T. Talbot, and J. Whalley, who had been voted onto the committee that year, it was moved by Conway and Eagles that the handing over of the bowling green was going to be left in the hands of the Free Gardeners Committee.
The Council Clerk submitted correspondence from the Secretary of the Club at a Council Meeting, stating that his Committee were prepared to meet representatives of the Council regarding the acquisition of the Bowling Green on the 13th March 1947. The council resolved - That Councillors Sutcliffe, Sturzaker, Hoyle and Stairs be authorised to meet the representatives of the Club and to report back on their discussion.
The club moved on the 1st April 1947, for F. Cowburn, J. Stephenson, R. Houghton, and J. Sharples to be the clubs deputation for a meeting with the council with regards to the bowling green. Another letter was received by the council from the Secretary of the Free Gardeners' Club stating that this Committee were prepared to meet representative of the Council. Resolved - That a meeting was arranged for Wednesday, 2nd April 1947, at 8-30 p.m. and that in the meantime the Surveyor inspect the land with the gardener and submit his report thereon. The club accepted the councils offer for the repair to the bowling green wall on the 13th May 1947, at a cost of £125. The club decided to stand by the draft plan made by Rishton Council on the 2nd March 1948.
The Clerk submitted a letter on the 17th April 1947, from a local Club Secretary regarding the terms for the acquisition of the wall surrounding the Bowling Green. After discussion, it was Resolved—That further consideration be given at a subsequent meeting of the Council.
The Council Clerk submitted correspondence on the 8th May 1947, from the Free Gardeners' Club, regarding the price required for the wall. Resolved—That an offer of £125 0s. 0d. be made to the Club.
Consideration was given to a suggestion that instead of the land being leased from the Estate, a tenancy agreement should be requested from the Club Committee under which the Council should take the land for a period of ten years, paying therefor the annual ground rent with an option, at the expiration of the period, to renew on the same terms or to take a lease of the land from the Estate, on the 19th June 1947. It was Resolved That the Club Committee be asked to consider this alternative proposal.
The Rishton Free Gardeners club used land to build a bowling green, which was acquired by the Rishton Urban District Council in 1950. It was returfed and opened in the annual holidays of 1950 as a municipal bowling green.
Consideration was given to the question of allowing pensioners to play at reduced charges on the 31st May 1951, and it was Resolved—That on the production of a pension book a permit be issued entitling the holder to play at the rate of 1d. per hour up to 5 p.m. on Mondays. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, except when a national or local holiday falls on any of these days, or when the Council by resolution suspend the concession.
The 21st June 1951 saw a petition submitted from members of the public who used the Bowling Green asking for this to be opened for play on Sundays. It was Resolved by the Council that the bowling green be opened on Sundays from 12-30 p.m. to 5-30 p.m. until further notice, and that the attendant be paid an extra £1 for these additional duties. Councillor Bridge voted against the principle of Sunday play.
The Bingley Research Institute were requested for advice on the treatment necessary for the turf on the 11th October 1951.
A letter was submitted from the Great Harwood Bowling League on the 8th November 1951, regarding membership of a team from Rishton. The Clerk was requested to obtain further information on the matter.
An application was submitted from the British Legion for permission to play approximately five matches during the season with neighbouring branches of the Legion on the 17th April 1952. It was resolved that permission was granted, subject to the matches being played on any day except Saturdays or Sundays.
An application was received for permission to play a match on the 26th May 1952. Permission was granted. It was further Resolved, that pensioners would be allowed to play at the reduced rate on Wednesday afternoons. The Surveyor was also instructed to erect a temporary screen near the Free Gardeners' Club conveniences.
Applications were submitted from The British Legion and the Free Gardeners' Club on the 10th July 1952, for permission to hold matches on two different dates.
The Council Clerk also reported that the Rishton Co-operative Society, Ltd. had decided to present a Silver Cup to the Council, in turn to be presented annually to the winner of a Bowling Competition open to residents of the district. The Clerk was asked to arrange for the Cup to be formally handed over to the Council at the next meeting to be held on the 17th July and that arrangements for the Competition be decided at a subsequent meeting.
The Council duly received the President, Secretary and members of the Committee of the Rishton Industrial Co-operative Society, Ltd., who presented to the Council a Silver Cup for competition at the bowling green. The Chairman received the Cup and, with several members, expressed his appreciation of the generosity of the Co-operative Society.
The Parks Subcommittee reported that the resignation of the Attendant had been received on the 12th March 1953, and that they had authorised the Clerk to advertise for a successor. It was Resolved, That the recommendations be confirmed and that the wage to be offered be £4 per week plus £1 for attendance on Sundays. It was further Resolved, That a letter of appreciation for his services be forwarded to Mr. Lawson, the late attendant.
On the 18th June 1953, Two applications were considered for permission to take away sets of bowls for use in tournaments outside the town. It was Resolved by the Council that permission be not granted, and that a notice be posted in the pavilion to the effect that bowls will not be allowed to be taken away.
Rishton Free Gardeners Club