History of Borough Bowling Club

Borough Bowling Club was founded in 1905. It is the oldest surviving crown green club on Yorkshire’s east coast and its green on Manor Road, opened in 1902, is the oldest of its kind in the area.

Measuring 46 by 36 yards, with an original crown of eight inches, Manor Road green was laid down by Scarborough Council on Council land. Ever since 1905 the Club has been sole tenant of the Council, so that the bowling green and its surrounding gardens and seats are open to the general public, not just to the members.

The Borough is one of nine clubs in Yorkshire’s East Coast Association. There are two others in Scarborough, one each in Whitby, Robin Hood’s Bay and Hunmanby, and three in Bridlington. The Association determines league fixtures, open merits and inter club competitions. Every year the Borough enters a team for the Yorkshire Cup. A century ago the Borough fielded one team, today it has a dozen playing afternoons and evenings during the summer.

Sunday’s have become the busiest for merits and competitions in winter as well as during the summer season. Weather permitting; the green is open throughout the whole year.

It took many years for the Borough to be able to offer trophies of every kind for every occasion, but thanks to the generosity of generations of members and their widows who gave their name to them, the Club now has as many as it has opportunities to contest them.

After the Boyce Club Doubles (1906), came Potter’s (1920), John Malton’s (1938), Foxton’s (1965), Hutchinson’s (1966), Russell’s (1982), Tyne’s (1984), Webb’s (1987), Miller’s (1995), Maltby’s (1995), Nalton’s (1995), Ted Kings (2004), and finally Wally Day’s (2004). The long list is a credit to them and to the Club they served.


Twenty years ago the Club raised enough money to build a new, spacious, modern pavilion. Our well-appointed kitchen and lady volunteers who work there have become an essential source of Club revenue.
The Club has kept pace with the times: as long ago as 1974, ladies were admitted to full, equal membership; in 1993, the management committee welcomed its first female member; and since then five ladies have served as one-year presidents.


Below Dave Pryce’s acceptance as a member letter from May 1975

Mick Gates (Club Member 1981-2021)

The family of champion bowler Mick Gates has paid tribute to a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather who has died aged 74.
Mick, who was a member of Borough Bowling Club in Manor Road, Scarborough, from 1981 until he died after a short illness last month.
His widow Pat said: “He was an easy going man who enjoyed a joke. He was a family man who was always keen to know what was happening.”
Mick, who lived next door to the Manor Road green,  was born in Rotherham and moved to Scarborough when he was a few months old.
He went to Newby and Scalby schools. Aged 15, he was apprenticed as a joiner to Charles Day. He also worked for FD Anderson and was self employed. He retired in 2012.
He met Pat when she was assistant manageress at the Show Bar at the Odeon, now the Stephen Joseph Theatre.
They married at Scarborough Register Office in 1968. The couple have four children Kev, Phil and twins Lynn and Jo; 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Mick played football for the Tennyson and Scalby Football Club. He also played cricket
He enjoyed watching Scarborough Football Club, now Athletic.
His then neighbour Bob Walker, who is also a member of Borough Bowling Club, took him on the Manor Road green and introduced him to crown green bowls in 1981.
Wearing his club shirt, Mick was a familiar face at clubs along the coast including North Cliff, Whitby, Robin Hoods Bay, Hunmanby, Eastfield and the three Bridlington clubs Westgate, Bridlington Bay and Dukes Park.
He won the Boyes Cup three times and the Rosebowl – a doubles trophy – twice. Both competitions are fiercely fought between members of the coastal clubs.
Mick won the Scarborough and District Crown Green Bowling Association cup. He also served as Borough’s representative to the association.
He also played in many  leagues and Sunday merits along the coast.
Mick won most of the club competitions at Borough including the Hutchinson, Webb and Wally Day trophies.
He served on its committee and was club secretary from 1998 to 2010 and from 2014 to 2017. He also played in the Yorkshire Cup and served as captain for the inter-district team.
His son Kev, who plays for Dukes Park, and Lynn and Jo, who play for Borough, followed in their dad’s bowling footsteps. Mick also bowled in doubles tournaments with his granddaughter Katie, 14.
With Pat, Mick was involved in the practical running of the club including keeping the kitchen well-stocked and running.
“Mick always wanted people to enjoy playing and could often be heard tutoring new players,” said Pat.
Chairman of Borough Bowling Club Peter Charter said: “Mick was respected by all our  members. His company and expertise was enjoyed by us all.”
His funeral was due to be held at Scarborough Crematorium tod

Terry Summersgill (Club Member 2006-2018)

Terry joined Borough Bowling Club from North Cliff in 2006 because he was sick of cycling past the Manor Road green, which was much nearer to his house, than North Cliff and he immediately became a consistent first team member, which he was very proud of. He also enjoyed his time as Captain of the over 60’s first team
He quickly became a very active member of the Borough Committee and for a number of years until he died he was the competition secretary. He loved the responsibility of organising and running the main merits held at Borough and due to his hard work and preparations the Borough Merits are renowned in the area for their smooth running. Terry also recognised the need to move with the times and he was a keen instigator in helping Malcolm Stephenson set up the Borough Bowling Club website.

Terry loved his bowling and was passionate that the game should be played in a sporting manner always starting with a firm handshake and a resounding “Let’s have a good game” and also finishing with another firm handshake, a smile, and a cup of tea. He also loved to see younger generations take up the sport and always encouraged, coached and supported anyone wanting to have a go.

On numerous occasions many other Bowling Clubs in the area have had problems and Terry has always been straight on the phone to them offering his support and advice . He would always be generous with his time and money if he felt he could make a difference to any club that needed help.

From taking up the sport until 2016 he had always used the same Lignum woods and swore by them. After regularly being encouraged to try some more modern woods he decided to switch woods in 2016, with spectacular results.
He started the season beating Mick Gates in the final of Boroughs Potter Cup, followed this up by winning the Ted King shield partnering Penny Gosling, and went on a long unbeaten run in the leagues that saw him topping the league averages for most of the season. Unfortunately illness stopped him continuing this run for most of 2017
Terry was Vice President of Borough Bowling Club in 2015 and President in 2016 he loved his roles. He attended every function and carried out all the duties expected with his usual attention to detail and dry sense of humour. He also played an active part in the running of the local association in his role as Borough’s Representative on the management committee, still passing on his opinions and advice from his bed in the hospice right up until the end.
Terry was a great character and big personality at Borough Bowling Club, and on the East Coast Bowling scene, and he leaves a big hole that is going to be very difficult to fill.

Terry left a very generous legacy to all three Crown green bowling clubs in Scarborough & District,  ourselves, Eastfield bowling club and Northcliff bowling club. This legacy left by Terry will keep all three clubs viable for many years.

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