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by Rony Robinson

I must admit to some surprise when Keith Baker asked me to pen a short Foreword to a book about the history of a crown green bowls club. I recall once being advised that I should consider spending more time "to looking after the tomatoes, "and wondered if Keith's request was a more subtle hint that I might also find bowling a more pleasurable occupation than broadcasting!

But I'm glad that I was wrong. Anyone who enjoys history, as I do, will find that The Green on the Hill is an evocative account of the birth and fortunes of a Sheffield bowls club over the past 50 years. Its life has not been easy. Perched on a steep hillside some 800 feet above sea level was not a wise place to build a bowling green. An uninviting ground base, the ravages of the weather, attacks from vandals, foxes and grass disease, were all hurdles that had to be overcome. The book pays tribute to the vision and heroic efforts of the members who were determined to build a successful club, especially during a period when the city was losing many of its clubs and greens as pub and works teams went into decline. And it continues to flourish. It now can boast nine men and women teams competing in leagues across the city.

Most of all, the book reminds us of just how important bowling can be, not just for those later in life, but for people of all ages, as a recreational activity which can be as social and competitive as you like, and as a rich source of fun and the making of friends.

I do hope you find this story of the Hallam Grange Bowling club engrossing and enjoyable.

Rony Robinson




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