Bowls has the reputation of being a sleepy game played by pensioners — more 'hip replacement' than hip. But the sport, which dates back to the 13th century, is beginning to take off with a younger crowd in London, as witnessed by the take-over of Finsbury Square last week. Alongside a bar and and jerk chicken shack, eight rinks were spread out across the green, with six for games and two where newbies could get lessons, with Commonwealth champion Ellen Faulkner and Bowls England on hand to help.
The event was the first of several planned across London parks and squares this summer — the aim to both utilise under-used public spaces and share the secret joy of hammering the jack, and the quiet despair of bowling past the hog line.
Keep an eye on Barefoot Bowls website for the next event — organisers plan to return to Finsbury Square in July and have their eyes on Clapham Common, Wandsworth Common and Hyde Park. If you want to get some practice in, try established clubs such as Highgate Bowling Club, West London Bowling Club and Streatham Park Bowling Club.
All photos by Raccoon Event Photography.