ONE of Trafford's oldest bowling clubs is celebrating 145 years on the green this year.

The club was founded on April, 28 1873 by six businessmen who formed the Bowdon Bowling and Croquet Club.

The anniversary will be celebrated at a special dinner in November.

The Croquet members left in 1907 to form their own Bowdon Croquet Club, but the Bowling Club remained and there is now an independent tennis section as well.

It was only in 2014 that women were admitted as full members. From the start, if they were relatives of, or members of, the household of a shareholder, they were given free admission – but only to play croquet, and later tennis.

Bowling was strictly men only.

It wasn’t until 1952 that ladies were allowed bowling membership under limited conditions. They paid two guineas - the equivalent of £2.10 for the privilege.

But times have changed.

Chairman and captain, John Watson, said: "I am pleased that ladies now contribute fully with all aspects of the club."

Another contentious issue was that of 'Sunday play', which was agreed without protest in May 1929 and has continued ever since.

The club still compete for the Silver Challenge Cup, presented to them in 1912 by a Mr Albrectsen, to celebrate his 21 years of residing in the Manchester area.

Bowdon Bowling Club boasts a large clubhouse, extended in 1923, which has put on the kettle for many visiting bowlers over the years.

They are members of the Trafford Thursday Evening Bowling League and this year have been promoted to the second division, after having languished in the 4th Division only two years ago

Mr. Watson added: “The cost of membership is £65 per year which is very cheap – well, I think so!

"Members get free bowling throughout the year and, unlike many other clubs, we don’t shut during the winter."

For more information, telephone 0161 928 1517.