A Brief History of Tenpin Bowling in Kent


1961 Chatham (Top Rank) Bowl (24 lanes) opens.

1962 Whitstable Bowl (10 lanes) opens.

1963 Cliftonville Bowl (24 lanes) opens.                                                                                                                        

             Bexleyheath  Bowl (26 lanes) opens.

1965 Kent Tenpin Bowling Association (KTBA) has 48 registered leagues and 1200 members.

       Start of “Bowling News”.

1966 Formation of South Eastern Bowling Association (SEBA) with selected BTBA nominated                                            

             bowls participating, i.e. Basildon, Bexleyheath, Chatham, Cliftonville, Dagenham, Grays,                

             Harlow, Southend and Whitstable.

1967 Hoddesdon joins SEBA.                                                                                                    

             Grays Bowl closes after 6 years operation.

1968 First “600” Club tournament.                                                                                          

             Lewisham Bowl joins SEBA.                                                                                              

             BTBA County Associations formed on County boundaries – SEBA to be Essex & Kent.

1969 Kent enter teams in the newly formed BTBA Inter-County competition.                  

             Top Rank close all their Bowling centres, including Chatham Bowl.

1970 Cliftonville Bowl closes.

1971 Cliftonville Bowl re-opens but with only 12 lanes.

1978 Start of SEBA Junior Championships.

1980 Margate Bowl (24 lanes) opens.

1981 Kent ladies team wins Bronze medal in BTBA Inter-Counties.

1985 Kent ladies team wins Bronze medal in BTBA Inter-Counties.

1987 Bexleyheath Bowl closed and demolished.

1988 New Bexleyheath Bowl opens with 28 lanes.

1990 Disbandment of SEBA. Re-establishment of KTBA.

         Kent mens team are BTBA Inter-Counties Champions.

1991 Kent ladies team wins Silver medal in BTBA Inter-Counties.

1992 Chatham (Pentagon Centre) Bowl and Gravesend Bowl open.

1995 Maidstone Bowl opens.

1997 Orpington Bowl opens.

              Kent Boys finish third in Junior Inter-Counties.

              Kent Ladies win silver medal at Senior Inter-Counties.

1998 AMF acquire five centres in Kent – Ashford, Chatham, Gravesend, Maidstone & Margate.

              New bowl opens at Tunbridge Wells (24 lanes).

2000 Kent men win Bronze medal at Regular Inter-Counties

              Kent ladies win Bronze at Senior Inter-Counties.

2001 Kent girls win bronze in Under-14 Inter Counties.

              Kent ladies win silver medal at Senior Inter-Counties.

2003    Kent mens team are YAC (Under 24) BTBA Inter-County champions