This week 60 years ago: The UK’s first ever American bowling centre ‘Ten Pin Lanes’ opens in Stamford Hill

The Gazette 60 years ago

The Gazette 60 years ago - Credit: Archant

Police held back crowds lining the pavement in Stamford Hill at the launch of Britain’s first ever American style bowling centre, this week 60 years ago.

People braved snow to catch a glimpse of sports celebrities and movie and TV stars like Carol Lesley, Douglas Fairbanks Junior, Eamonn Andrews and Stanley Baker.

Brig Sir John Hunt, the "rugged Everest conqueror", officially opened the Ten Pin Lanes by bowling a golden ball. Unfortunately his first try failed to hit the pins at all, but he scored a strike with the second.

Managing director George Lord was confident the game would catch on. "We believe that in time Stamford Hill will be to bowling what Wimbledon is to tennis and Lords is to cricket," he said.

Instructors had been flown over from America to teach people how to play with no charge.

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In a message welcoming ten pin bowling to Britain, Sir John Hunt, said it was difficult to keep physically fit in a highly industrialised country like England.

"Sport to a great many folk means watching the experts perform, more often than not on the television screen in a darkened room," he said, adding: "What I like about this new enterprise is that while it is a game of skill that can produce experts, it is also a social game which can be enjoyed by young and old alike."

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