ONE of Swindon’s oldest sports clubs is preparing for an open weekend.

Tomorrow and Sunday Swindon Town Gardens Bowls Club will open its doors to all comers.

The club, founded in 1912 and tucked away in a corner of the park, aims to introduce people of all backgrounds to a sport open to anybody with a pair of flat-soled shoes.

Visitors, who will be welcomed between noon and 4pm on both days, will have the chance to meet other members and do some bowling.

Social secretary Sue Gravell said: “The aim is to promote the club, to try to obtain new members and to show Old Town that we’re part of the community.”

Sue stressed the community role of the club, which has about 50 members. It organises regular bowls days for local groups, from students to support organisations. It has also taken part in the Old Town Festival and Swindon Mela.

Fixtures secretary Eric Bates said the open day would be a chance for the club to demonstrate the wide appeal of the sport and dispel some clichés.

He added: “Just recently there was a move by the Government to make all of us look at our pension pot and to see whether there was a better way of using our pensions.

“The first thing they showed on the television was two old boys pushing woods up a green as a background to this.

“We can do without that. We’re not just a bunch of old fogies putting a couple of bowls up a green on nice sunny afternoons.

“We have people from the age of 16 and 17 up to 80. We have people with children, people who are retired, people who are working.

“It’s going to be a very unstuffy two days. It’s really just a case of putting a mat down, putting a jack up and saying, ‘Go on, have a go.’ “It’s a good atmosphere and the public will be made welcome and given all the help we possibly can.”

The club’s website is