History of Crosstown Bowling & Social Club
(A member’s personal recollection)
It is not certain when the Club House and Green opened; however it is known that the Club won the inaugural Knutsford Amateur Bowling League in 1922: we have the shield to prove it. The land that the Green was built on was part of HigherTown Farm this was found via an old OS map.
I can only relate from my personal memories, going back to 1961, of the Club; before that it is word of mouth.
I have been to Chafes Hague Lambert, the Club’s solicitors and spent some time reading the Club’s deeds. The file is about three inches thick and I think 95% is about matters after 1962. Before 1962 the Club was referred to as ‘the land by the Millers’ who owned same – see later in the text.
The premises on Chelford Road was the summer club of Crosstown whilst the winter club or ‘little club’ was situated on Mobberley Road to be found at the end of a ginnel between 47-49 Mobberley Road. This building had an outside, covered in, staircase made of flags. Situated upstairs was a bar and a tap room whilst downstairs there was a snooker table. A dumb waiter served drinks downstairs, if needed! I think the toilet was situated outside (ie if they had one) as both clubs were ‘men only’. Cock Dawson (don’t ask) was the steward of the little club.
The owners of Old Court House, Chelford Road ‘gave the land to the club’ but nothing was written down. I think these owners lost a lot in the 1926 crash.
The Miller Family came to live there and leased the land to the Club for a peppercorn rent. This arrangement was fine until the Millers decided to put the lease on a more business footing a 10-year lease with no guarantees after that!
It is at this time; early 1960’s that the Club’s saviour came along in the form of Mr Frank Bunnell, the Secretary at the time. He got the Club and Committee motivated enough to put in an offer to buy the land. Eventually Millers agreed to sell for £2,225. Reference later on in the text copies of purchase agreement letters of 1962. also £2,225 was a fortune to a working man then. One way the Club realised some money was by selling life memberships. I believe there are only two of these left, myself and Mr Harold Fletcher (I could be wrong). The Club secured a loan from the Brewery Ind Coupe; mentioned in the deed document. The Club Officials met to sign a purchasing agreement on 27th October 1962.
My close involvement with the Club lasted from 1961-1973 as a bowler, team captain and committee member and volunteer; although my partner and I helped support the green early 2000’s.
I remember Ilford using Crosstown’s green in the early 1960s.
The old clubhouse was still being used in the mid 1960s but by 1975 a new toilet block had been built by J Shaw and Sons Builders of Knutsford.
D A Pike
14th February 2020