The Cadbury family, being Quakers, had the health and welfare of their employees very much in mind and to this end they provided sports facilities in the form of a cricket pitch, hard tennis courts and a bowls club. Sadly, the only one remaining is the bowls club, Lakefield School is built on the cricket pitch and the tennis courts have slowly decayed and are now covered in brambles and weeds and are within the boundary of the Industrial Estate, though new tennis courts were recently built by the adjacent Community Centre.
Rumour has it that bowls was officially played for the first time in Frampton on the current site in 1922 on a miniature green (30 yds square) but it was pretty rough, not very level and hardly used.
A number of the Cadbury employees asked the management if the green could be brought up to standard size ( 4 rinks ) and Bert Davis was given the task with Cadbury's supplying the labour and materials. The green was inspected and passed fit to play and a Mr Wilkins from Cam Bowls Club helped get the club affiliated to the Gloucestershire Bowling Association and so started the Cadbury's Bowls Club.
By April 1957 the green had been extended to 6 rinks and was officially opened by the President of the Gloucestershire Bowling Association, Mr W G Guy. The facilities were poor, only a hut for the mower and bowls kit — in those days Cadbury’s supplied all that was required, shoes, bowls etc.
By now the club were playing friendly fixtures with neighbouring teams and Cadbury's was always a popular fixture not because of the green or facilities but because at the end of the game, free hot chocolate or coffee was supplied — the milk being brought across from the factory in a bucket and warmed up in the kitchen of Cadbury's Hall. As already mentioned the Cadbury family were Quakers and no alcohol was allowed on site.
It was in 1982 that Cadbury's sold the green to the members for a nominal fee providing it would always be a bowls club. It was at this time that the name of the club was changed to Frampton on Severn Bowls Club. A portable terrapin building ( see picture below ) was bought from a site in South Wales and club members helped convert it into a clubhouse which was to remain in use until 1986.
At the end of the 1986 season the old clubhouse was demolished and the current one built with contractors erecting the block work with the rest of the construction being carried out by the club members. As there is only pedestrian access to the site, all the building materials had to be brought up the pathway from the car park in front of Cadbury’s Hall (now the Frampton Community Centre). It was a formidable task but the work was completed by April 1987 in time for the new season.
Although Club maintenance has taken place every year the Balcony has been neglected mainly due to the fact that it appeared so solid. However during the last couple of years it had become obvious that it needed attention. Bringing in professionals proved to be a financial "No Go" so we turned to our Maintenance "Guru" Arthur Elliott
and his son Lee.
Along with Arthur & Lee a "Balcony Crew" of Wilf (Welder), Allan ( Tech Assistant) Rob ( Grinder) Tom ( Painter) got to work. Stripping the balcony down to eliminate the rust, welding the rusting joints and replacing with new metal and then grinding down to bare metal ready for painting.
We then got onto the rebuilding bit. Protective paint to contain the rust, primer to protect the bare metal and the new joints and about three coats of top coat. As well as the balcony the facia boards and guttering were removed and repaired and the windows and doors were stripped back and repainted.All this had to be completed by the start of the season. It was "touch and go" especially as the smaller jobs seemed to take up so much time. The week before the opening of the green the windows and doors had thier final coat of paint, chairs and benches refreshed the windows cleaned and all was completed with 2 days to spare. A great effort and hopefully the balcony will survive another 30 years. Very well done to all those involved.