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Tenpin bowling

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
I recently revisited an old pastime by going ten pin bowling. And what fun it was. After the passage of 40 years, I’d forgotten how absorbing it can be to bowl with a group keen bowlers. I quickly discovered that old competitive streak is still there !

But one thing we ended up discussing was the poor range of bowling balls to suit all our different needs. They were either too heavy or the finger holes weren’t right. So how did bowlers in the 1960s deal with this ? Well they could try Maurice Deploy’s shop on Gravelly Lane, a specialist (and rare) shop for the bowlers every need. This snippet is from 1966. Viv.

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Morturn

Super Moderator
Well well Viv, I also (miss)spent my youth and my savings at the Pavilion Bowl. I too recall the problem with bowling balls, size etc. I used to hide my favourite ball.


I too recall the bowling ball shop, just by Brewers scrap yard. The Brewers also played ten pin too, I did think the shop was actually theirs.


It certainly is a great game
 

jmadone

master brummie
I recently revisited an old pastime by going ten pin bowling. And what fun it was. After the passage of 40 years, I’d forgotten how absorbing it can be to bowl with a group keen bowlers. I quickly discovered that old competitive streak is still there !

But one thing we ended up discussing was the poor range of bowling balls to suit all our different needs. They were either too heavy or the finger holes weren’t right. So how did bowlers in the 1960s deal with this ? Well they could try Maurice Deploy’s shop on Gravelly Lane, a specialist (and rare) shop for the bowlers every need. This snippet is from 1966. Viv.

View attachment 130163
At about the age of 12 or 13 a group of us from school used to go bowling every Saturday morning at the Fairlanes (?) Bowl next to the Villa ground . We entered the league there and played for about two seasons until we each got Saturday jobs.
The last time I played was alongside my own children who were amazed at my technique! As I told them, "You never lose it!" LOL
 

cookie273uk

master brummie
I went with my daughter once a week to an Alley next door to Villa park she would have been in her early teens, sometime in the 60's until she developed other interests, she seemed to be able to find a ball to suit her smaller hand
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
The Pavilion opening event in March 1961. It had 26 lanes. I remember it being very popular. I liked the two-tone shoes you’d hire. Seem to remember one colour option was maroon and cream. Viv.

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adap2it

master brummie
Not living in Birmingham at the time...I got obsessed with 10 pin bowling around 1962. Was a member of the BTBA and played in several leagues. Our team would travel around the country challenging teams, nothing serious though. We did go to Brum, I recall the Stirchley Bowl, maybe because I was in top form there. I still have achievement badges from Stirchley Bowl. I also recall a bowling alley at the bottom of Hurst st, it was upstairs...
Dave A
 

devonjim

master brummie
"Mid night" league at Villa Park on a Saturday night C1964. Also Stirchley, Acock's Green & Hurst St. throughout the 1960's & 70's. Content myself with short mat bowling these days. Much more gentile, but still competitive!
 
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devonjim

master brummie
10 pin bowling clubs were popping up everywhere in 1960's There was one planned for Hobs Moat Solihull that never happened, the bubble had burst. It opened instead as a theatre club,The Cresta Club.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Yes Jim. In March 1963 everything was looking optimistic with confidence that the game’s popularity would continue for many years. But by September 1969 doubts had started to creep in as the market slowed and with Rank in particular pulling out of the sport.

Doubtless the return on investment in bowling alleys wasn’t as lucrative as they’d hoped. They must have required significant initial investment in buildings, fitting out, machinery and maintenance. Viv.

March 1963
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September 1969
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Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Norman Wisdom giving it a whirl in Coventry in January 1963 while he was appearing in panto in Birmingham. It doesn't take much to imagine the antics he would have got up to. Viv.

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Elmdon Boy

master brummie
I still go 10 pin bowling once a month with a large group of friends at Acocks Green. Great fun.
Until I started going again a few months ago I hadn't been for about 20 years. I used to be quite good, but on my return I was disappointed in my form only finishing about halfway in a group of 20 of us. Gradually my form is improving and I managed to share the monthly cup we give the best player last month. I must say I don't feel as supple as I used to and I certainly know about it the next day.
Go on give it a go again, I bet you will enjoy it.
 

Kenneth Forrest

New Member
At about the age of 12 or 13 a group of us from school used to go bowling every Saturday morning at the Fairlanes (?) Bowl next to the Villa ground . We entered the league there and played for about two seasons until we each got Saturday jobs.
The last time I played was alongside my own children who were amazed at my technique! As I told them, "You never lose it!" LOL
Does anyone have photos of the Fairlane Tenpin Bowling centre next to the Villa ground. Trying to find any. Played my first game of bowling there and was hooked. Have now been playing for over 50 years and still love the game. Much appreciated Ken
 

Alberta

Super Moderator
Staff member
My sister used to work for Fred Brewer in Gravelly Lane , and his son Brian was a ten pin bowler, his team was called Autospares.
 

Big Gee

master brummie
I used to really enjoy tenpin, played every Friday after work at the Stirchley Bowl. Later at the one down the Hagley Road, forget what it was called, but it seemed to be where the real whiz-kids played. I did get quite good at one time, but haven't played for 40 years, since we lived in the USA. I remember I used a 14lb ball. Are there any tenpin alleys still in Brum?

G
 
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