A HISTORY OF EARL SHILTON ‘KINGSCROFT’ BOWLS CLUB
The Club began in 1912 as the Leycroft Bowling Club with only three Rinks. Mr. E Harry Gilbert the founder of the Earl Shilton Building Society owned the Club and it was managed by a group of local businessmen. Leycroft was the name of a field at the top of ‘Carrs Row’ (Carrs Road) off the High Street, Earl Shilton owned by Mr. Gilbert. This became the bowling green.
In 1931 this group formed a company to purchase a field off Keats Lane to lay a full size Green of six rinks and build a Clubhouse. The company was called the Earl Shilton Bowling and Recreational Club Co. Ltd; which is still active today and its primary function is the promotion of flat green bowls. Over the years there have been changes but the traditions, etiquette and friendship associated with the sport of bowls continues.
The site of the new Green was called ‘Back Field’ but this was changed first to Kings Field then to ‘Kingscroft’. All the turf from the Leycroft site was transferred to the new Green. The new Club was officially opened in May 1932 by Sir William Edge M.P. In 1936 a Ladies Section was formed.
The Clubhouse burnt down in May 1953 but with the resourcefulness of the members it was rebuilt and improved by providing two changing rooms. Since that date it has always been the aim of the Club to improve the facilities. With ‘self help’ from dedicated members a new roof was installed in 2001, and an extension in 2005 created the attractive building enjoyed today.
Kingscroft Bowls Club has always been affiliated to Bowls England and to both Leicestershire Associations (soon to be Bowls Leicestershire) and is considered to be one of the strongest and most respected Clubs in Leicestershire. The members’ welcoming and relaxed attitude has encouraged the younger element of the local community to join the Club. This is something to be extremely proud of because the future of the sport lies in the younger generation. In January 2012 the Men’s and Ladies Clubs were amalgamated to form one Club with separate Ladies and Men’s Sections.
Throughout the years Kingscroft has always exhibited a competitive spirit towards National and County competitions. Club members have successfully represented the County at Worthing and at Leamington. The Club’s County and National Bowling Honours over the years are quite impressive and are proudly displayed on the Honours Board in the Clubhouse.
The prime aim since the foundation of ‘Kingscroft’ has always been bowling but the social side of the Club is not neglected. These events generate valuable income to the Club which ensures that the Green and Clubhouse are maintained to a high standard for the benefit of all members. The Club is managed by an elected Management Committee and other volunteer members.