History of Bowling in the UK

Here's a striking fact   -       the first ten-pin bowling alley in Britain opened in 1960.

Back in 1960, boxing legend Sir Henry Cooper and mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary were invited to bowl the first balls to launch Tenpin Lanes, built on the site of an old ABC cinema in Stamford Hill, north London.   British Pathe News video preview ...  
TenPin Lanes, London (1960) TenPin Lanes, London (1960) Sir Edmond Hilary, London (1960) Sir Edmond Hilary, London (1960) Open Bowling (1966) Open Bowling (1966)
            TenPin Lanes, London (1960)          Sir Edmond Hilary, London (1960)                 Open Bowling (1966)

The game, which originated in the States, quickly caught on in Britain.
In 2010, there were 322 bowling centres with 5,822 lanes.

Worldwide, bowling is enjoyed by more than 100 million people, making it their second most commonly played sport after Football.

Nearly 30 million Brits have been bowling, though fewer than a million bowl once a month or more.

£286 million a year is spent on bowling in the UK.

More than 13 million games were played in the UK in 2009.

Around 4.5 million kids bowl in the UK each year, with two million of them doing it at birthday parties.

Some 30,000 bowling shoes are worn out each year in Britain.
They last for 12 months on average and the most popular size is 7.

The beautiful bowling alley pictured below is hidden away beneath the eastern wing of the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich.
The twin lanes are roughly 150 years old, and were used to keep the ancient seamen active (no jokes, please).
The balls are wooden, with no finger holes, and take a sturdy back to lift.
If the place looks a little creepy, this is a former morgue.   It is said that Nelson's body rested in this room before his funeral.
Greenwich (1850)Greenwich (1850)
              Greenwich (1850)

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