Lode Lane, Solihull, West Midlands, UK




The bowling club was founded at the Olton Hall public house - as it was then known - in 1950, so the Millennium heralded our golden (50th) anniversary.

In those early days the only fixtures were friendlies, starting a tradition that has continued down the years - even after we joined the Warwickshire & Worcestershire League in 1952. Older members still remember playing rink (flat green) bowls against Solihull Police at Leek Wootten. The doors were locked at 10.30pm and the beer flowed until at least 2.00am (no drink-driving laws in those days!).

Then there were the duck suppers at Aston Cantlow with a double-decker bus for transport and Norman Morris on the violin for entertainment.

In more recent years, we competed annually for the Don Curry Memorial Shield against the West Midlands Travel in a pre-season warm-up.

Many of the early members are remembered in a humorous montage of caricatures (by an anonymous artist) that hangs to this day on the pavilion wall.
Olton Hall B.C
Amongst them, was Harold Birch who held the post of Secretary for seventeen years, even converting his spare bedroom into an office for the running of the Bowling Club (his wife was also Secretary of the Ladies Section). As well as displaying prowess at bowling, Harold was a former county table tennis player. Later, he became President and saw his long-held dream of building a pavilion become reality.

Rumour has it that, in the 1970s, that newly-built pavilion provided much-needed shelter to another member, who must remain nameless. He slept, washed and shaved in there for over three weeks without anyone else knowing at the time that it had become home-sweet-home!

Harry Jones is remembered with both pride and sadness. In 1957 he won his game, 21-2, against Brookvale Bowling Club and then unfortunately collapsed and died at the side of the green. His woods ("Harry's Bombers") have pride of place in a display case at the Club.

Chris Wilde was our larger-than-life "mine host" in the 1980s. Who can forget the splendid breakfast that he laid on in the lounge bar before the annual coach trip to the All England Championships?

And talking of the All England, we must note that the Olton Tavern has had a representative at the Championships in the form of Richie Dingley in 1989. Unfortunately, Richie was knocked out in the first round, but at least he can say "I was there!", which is more than most of us.

Name Changes
As previously mentioned, the pub was originally known as Olton Hall, keeping the name by which the site had been known since the late 18th century (although the present building dates only from the 1930s).

In 1983 the brewery sold the business and it became an American theme restaurant, The Newport Diner. The emphasis changed from a traditional pub, with pub games and draught beers, to burgers and bottled lager. Although the green and the Bowling Club survived, the after-match teas moved to the nearby Viking public house, where the landlord made us very welcome.

In 1987 the name changed again to the Baltimore Diner, but by 1989 it appeared that American diners had had their day and we returned (almost!) to our roots, finally becoming the Olton Tavern as we are today.

Click here for our virtual Honours Board

Click on the cup above to go to our virtual Honours Board and see the winners of all the club competitions over the years


Warwickshire & Worcestershire C.B.A.
1952 Senior division 14Champions
1954 Senior division 13Champions
1955 Senior division 12Champions
1956 Junior division 11Champions
1957 Junior division 10Runners up
1958 Junior division 9Runners up
1960 Junior division 8Runners up
1961 Junior division 7Champions
1962 Senior division 12Champions
1963 Senior division 11Runners up
1966 Senior division 10Runners up
1967 Junior division 6Champions
1969 Senior division 9Runners up
1971 Senior division 8Champions
1971 Junior division 5Champions
1972 Junior division 4Runners up
1972 Senior division 7Champions
1973 Junior division 3Champions
1990 Alliance division 6Runners up
1995 Premier division 6Runners up
1997 Premier division 5Champions
1998 Alliance division 4Runners up
2000 Premier division 5Runners up
2000 Premier B CupRunners up
2010 Senior division 6Champions
2011 Senior division 5Champions
East B'ham Midweek Bowling League
1981 Division 3Runners up
1982 Division 3Champions
1989 Junior division 2Runners up
1989 Division 4Champions
1990 Division 3Champions
1995 Division 4Runners up
1998 Junior division 2Runners up

Ward End & Yardley B.A.
1998 Junior CupChampions
1998 Division 3 Runners up
2001 Senior CupChampions

Yardley & District League
1992 Cup Division AChampions
1992 Cup Division BRunners up

S & W Birmingham over 60s B.A.
1998 Challenge CupRunners up
1998 Division 3Champions
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