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BUFFERY PARK LONG ESTABLISHED

By Black Country Bugle User  |  Posted: April 06, 2006

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Over the years Buffery Park has been a well known venue on the Black Country Bowls scene.

Graeme Underhill, the current bowls club Secretary, says the earliest records still available go back to 1970, but the club had been in existence many years before that. There were then eams in the Dudley and Oldbury Leagues. It was at this time that the club was using both the park green and a green behind the Struggling Man pub and indeed the club was known as the Struggling Man Bowls Club.

During the early seventies club members included the likes of Albert Taylor, Stan Jewkes, and Bill Davies who all have long associations with the Buffery Park Bowls Club.

Also involved at this time was one of the Black Country's best known administrators, the late Jack Rushton, who was club Chairman. By the end of the seventies club membership had expanded and teams were entered in four different leagues.

A new crop of players joined the club in the early eighties, including Brian Dudley, Pat Forrest, and Margaret Jursons, who are all current members. Other players joining during the eighties included Fred Walker, Colin Grove, Tony Price and Joan Taylor, all well known on both the playing and administrative side of the game.

By the end of the eighties the club was putting out nine teams in six different leagues and had over thirty members, including one of the best local bowlers they that ever played for the Park, Peter Harvey. At this time a team was put together which saw a lot of success in the Wolverhampton Works League.

Eighty three year old Jack Freeman, a member for twenty five years, recalls those days with pride, when the Park took the Dudley Senior Citizens League title for six consecutive years.

In the mid nineties Graeme Underhill joined the club and along with current Chairman, Keith Watson, he has seen massive changes taking place at the club, with at the end of the nineties a section of players choosing to move to a green at the local Selbourne pub, just a stone's throw from the Park. A great deal of work was done on that green, but sadly the pub was eventually lost, with the owners wishing to sell the site for redevelopment, but that is still waiting to happen.

The up to date picture is that the Buffery Park club still retains twenty members and although having to cope with vandalism to their green, still has three teams playing in two local leagues.

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