Bowling History 101: The first British bowling alley
We know what you're thinking?
You're scratching your head and wondering when the automated
wonder of bowling first arrived on our shores? It's a good question
that's worthy of investigation.
Well, we've been digging around in the archives and, as luck
would have it, we've come up with the answer.
Time to jump in the old De Lorean and transport ourselves back
to 1960. That's right, 54 years have passed since tenpin bowling
made its debut in the United Kingdom.
Let's give that some context: that's before the Beatles were
famous, before James Bond appeared at the movies, before Yuri
Gagarin became the first man in space.
It all started in Stamford Hill in London on a wintery January
night. The first British alley arrived with much pomp and fanfare.
Indeed the state trumpeters of the Life Guards were hired to give
the event a blaze of brass.
Said to have been created for £50,000 (that was a lot of money
back then), the alley was hailed as a high-profile entertainment
arena set to transform post-war Britain.
With such grand aspirations, its opening night was destined to
be a star-studded occasion. The actor Douglas Fairbanks jr and
boxer Henry Cooper were there to give the launch the necessary
showbiz razzle-dazzle, but who would roll that all-important first
This honour was accorded to Sir John Hunt, the explorer and
adventurer who had led the team that first conquered Mount Everest
(Hillary, Tenzing and all that).