History of the club
Rykneld Bowling Club Limited was incorporated on 26 February 1918.
It was back in 1919, as Britain was still trying to return to some kind of normality after the horrors of the First World War, that a few disaffected members of Arboretum Bowls Club picked up their woods and decided to form a new club in what was then Farley Drive; a newly pitched cul-de-sac off Burton Road, Derby.
In 1928, Farley Drive became Farley Road. By then Rykneld Bowling Club was already a thriving organisation. All they needed was a decent clubhouse. A few years later, they built one.
Today, the Club, which plays crown green bowls, still sits like an oasis of calm just off a busy Burton Road. Walk inside and you walk into another world. It is like stepping back in time, into a charming scene that echoes pre-war England. You could be forgiven for imagining that only the occasional tram rattling by in the distance could disturb the peace.
Rykneld BC has certainly seen some well-known names in Derby's story. In days gone by, it was customary to invite the town's mayor to send down the first wood of a new season.
The Chief Constable was also an honoured guest and another familiar name from Derby's past - Colonel Horatio Rawlings - was a regular visitor. Jimmy Hagan, one of the greatest footballing talents ever to escape Derby County, played at the Club whenever he came to visit his old friend, veteran athlete Lew Patrick, who was a keen Rykneld member.
Hagan left the Rams in 1938, for Sheffield United and went on to play for England - but he always enjoyed visits back to Derby and a game of bowls at Rykneld.
Derby has lost some famous bowling venues over the years, not least the greens that stood at the rear of pubs such as the Coach and Horses on Mansfield Road and the former Mafeking Hotel in Porter Road. However, Rykneld BC has not only survived, it is flourishing and still serving the bowlers of the 21st century; an important part of the community in which it sits.