HEWELL Bowling Club, which is based at Holyoakes Lane, Tardebigge, is celebrating its centenary this year.

The club was founded in 1914 by the Earl of Plymouth - the club president from 1914-1943 - who lived at Hewell Grange. This was later sold to the government and in 1946 the main house was opened as a borstal. Over the years two more prisons were built on the site.

The earl owned a great deal of the surrounding land and had the green laid by his workmen for the benefit of local residents for who he had already provided the village hall which was later a military hospital and is now the Tardebigge pub.

A club spokesman said: "We as a club are very proud to have reached our 100th birthday. We had several centenary games planned, the highlight being the visit of Bowls England on July 1, which involved top players from all over the country travelling long distances to play us.

"The president of Bowls England, Adie Lloyd, planted a centenary tree at the side of the green.

"On June 22 we had a visit from St Fagans bowling club, from the earls other estate near Cardiff. When they played us at the opening of our green in 1914 the score was St Fagans 72 - Hewell 16.

"We had a great day, managed to get our revenge by beating them 132 – 117, and their captain of the day Clare Collett kindly unveiled our centenary clock.

"Also planned are visits from the Barbarians, the P&Es, Midland Counties and finally the Imps on September 7 when we intend to ask their president to bury our time capsule."

Today the club plays very competitively in several local leagues and also at county level. It has men's and ladies teams and is always on the lookout for new members, bother experienced and beginners.

The club offers a free month's membership and coaching every Wednesday and Thursday. It also has a very active social scene.

For more details about joining, call Sheila Williams on 01527 524093 or Paul Heathcote on 01527 404495.