Club steps back in time to bowl for Buninyong

FOR 140 years bowls have been rolled down the greens at Buninyong Bowling Club.

On Saturday, the club celebrated that history by taking a step back in time. More than 40 Buninyong bowlers past and present donned vests, bow ties and (in the case of some of the women, anyway) skirts, to play some old fashioned bowls, as a further 20 or so watched on from the bank.

While there was much merriment generated by the costumes and the old school bowls themselves, club president Steve Albin said there was little chance his division-one side would front up next weekend against Victoria in the same kit.

“I don’t think there is a danger of that. I think we might play in our modern day outfits,” he said. “I think the old outfits might be a bit hot. 

“It was a really good effort to get 40 bowlers all dressed up in ties, and vests and the three quarter length coats. It was quite hot and there wasn’t a lot of freedom of movement. The ladies had to hold their skirts in order to bowl. Still, there were a lot of laughs on the green.” 

The bowls themselves all pre-dated 1990, with some from the fifties and sixties. One set was even older, from an era when the bowls weren’t marked with a date.

“There have been a few big changes. The old ones would all have been size six minimum, were a lot heavier and require a lot more grass than those of today,” Akbin explained.

Saturday’s on-green action started with a “spider” where all bowlers, from every angle of the green, bowled at the same time at a kitty in the middle. The closest to the target was Bill Jolly. 

The next was a ditch-to-ditch, won by Steve Dargaville, followed by four games of eight ends.

The main event was a normal four-a-side tournament. Peter Aldred’s team, which included Rob Hepburn, Steve Crouch and Brenda Wynd won, with runners-up Brian Wilcox, Vic Bradley, Sandra Chapman and Darren Casey. 

While it didn’t help their performance on the green, Luci Smolski was judeged “best dressed lady” while Keith Chapman was the best dressed gent.