Tollerton, North Yorkshire

Tollerton in North Yorkshire

In the autumn of 1983 a few members of the public in Tollerton heard about a new game being played indoors called carpet bowls. At about the same time a very generous lady offered to buy a carpet in order to start a club at Tollerton. This lady, by the name of Mrs Harrison, also bought a carpet for her own village of Newton on Ouse. Additionally she offered to help the villages of Alne and Huby, although Huby did not take up the offer of a carpet.

Tollerton formed a Committee and a Club and by 1984 were raring to go. The next thing was to form a League. This was set up and consisted of clubs from Alne, Coxwold, Easingwold (although they did not stay in the league once "short mat" bowling came in to being), Huby, Newton, Shipton and Tollerton. The league was called The Vale of Mowbray Carpet Bowls League. Tollerton was in the south division. For most of the bowlers this was a very enjoyable and fun game.

After about ten years a new game of indoor bowls arrived which was called "Short Mat bowls". Heaven knows how it got that name when the short mat is actually longer than the mats used for carpet bowls! Well, we all know how Short Mat bowls took off, what a game! With more people joining and more clubs a new league had to be formed with a new name. The name that emerged was the Kyle Valley League. Why Kyle Valley you may ask? I will try to explain - two members from Tollerton Bowls Club were at a meeting held in Easingwold. At this meeting it was left to Mr Frank Raper to propose the name which was then accepted. This name was proposed because both of the Tollerton members present had worked for many years on either side of this beautiful little valley which runs from Tollerton, through Alne Park and then levels out near Tholthorpe. I myself have worked in this region and can vouch for their sentiments.

Like all clubs we have had good times and bad. During the first few years of the Short Mat bowling the Tollerton club had a very good team, and indeed they won the Kyle valley Challenge Trophy four times. Also during this period certain members of the club kept a carpet bowls team
in the Carpet Bowls League. For many years the Club was quite successful in the various leagues and tournaments, then disaster struck. One of the best bowlers died suddenly at the wheel of his vehicle. Two years later the Club lost another top bowler suddenly. These tragic circumstances rocked the club enormously. However, with a few more players joining and the dedication of the existing members the club has managed to survive. On a more positive note one of the Club's members, Richard Clark, was a regular member of the County Bowls team for 12 years during which he played in a record 81 games.