Harpenden & District Indoor Bowls Club have hit a major milestone in their existence - but they have no plans to rest on their laurels.

The club, based in Waldegrave Park, is celebrating its 50th season after growing quickly from small beginnings.

It was in the early years of the 1970’s that a group of enthusiastic members of Harpenden’s outdoor bowls club, based at Spenser Road, sought the permission of the then Harpenden Borough Council to construct an indoor bowls facility in the town.

Sites at Rothamsted Park and what is now the tennis club were discussed, however, after many meetings between council and club committee, the present site was agreed at a cost of around £70,000.

The decision was made just prior to Harpenden Borough Council being consumed into St Albans and District Council with the club officially opening on December 15, 1973.

The first official wood was bowled by town council chairman Fred Groom although the actual first wood was delivered by Mick Chatfield, at the time a young electrician’s apprentice who was installing the electrics.

He is now one of the club’s longest serving members and a previous men’s champion.

Upon opening they had around 400 members and over the intervening years, they have maintained a membership of approximately 300.

They have also had a say in the very top echelons of the sport.

Previous chairwoman, Margaret Allen, was once president of the governing body, the English Indoor Bowls Association, and is now a life member of that association.

But they are not just looking back during the celebrations, with eyes on the next 50 years and more.

A spokeswoman for the club said: "It is an often-misplaced notion that bowls is only played by older people.

"That is not so. Watch the World Bowls series on TV in January each year and you will find young players showing their skills.

"As in most sports, the younger you start, the better you will become.

"The standard of bowls has remained high over the years with teams and individuals competing at club, county and national levels, with successes in all disciplines.

"We also have national qualified coaches providing free coaching for new and experienced players whilst maintaining and improving members standards.

"Membership is represented across the full social spectrum and is a place where lifelong friendships are forged and the club is open to everyone with an active social program."

To help, they are holding an open weekend on September 8 and 9.

Go to www.harpendenibc.co.uk for more details and how to contact them.