Ten Pin Bowling, Victorian Style

M@
By M@ Last edited 100 months ago
Ten Pin Bowling, Victorian Style
16035_bowlinglane2.jpg
16035_bowlinglane2.jpg

Sir Henry Cooper is over in Acton today to toast the 50th anniversary of ten-pin bowling in the UK. The boxing legend was one of the first people to 'introduce' the pastime to a now rapt British public back in 1960, when Tenpin Lanes opened in Stamford Hill.

There were antecedents, however. As with most things in life, the Victorians got there first. The beautiful bowling alley pictured above 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, it's worth noting that this is a former morgue. It's said that Nelson's body rested in this room before his funeral.

Last Updated 25 January 2010