THEY BOWLED AT AIRPORT BOWL BEFORE IT ACTUALLY OPENED AND 56 YEARS LATER ARE STILL BOWLING THERE

Margaret and Roy with Wayne Lester, Secretary of Middlesex Tenpin Bowling Association and Simon Davis, General Manager of the Airport Bowl.

When someone walked into Roy Moxham’s company in 1962, little did he know it was the start of along term relationship with the Airport Bowl.

‘’COME AND TRY TENPIN BOWLING BEFORE WE ACTUALLY OPEN’’ was the invitation from the American Brunswick Corporation. ‘’YOU MIGHT LIKE IT’’ So Roy and his girlfriend, Margaret (who, not to be left out pretended she worked for the same company) went along to the Airport Bowl to try it prior to the official opening.

AND LIKE IT THEY DID…..AND THUS STARTED A RELATIONSHIP THAT HAS SPANNED 56 YEARS OF BOWLING AT THE AIRPORT BOWL.

This relationship saw Roy bowling in The Marshall League on a Tuesday, both of them bowling on a Friday evening in the Headpin League and also in the Industrial League which followed immediately after. Both the Marshall League (now called the Horlicks Marshall League) and the Headpin League still exist.

In 1964 the Headpin League were given the opportunity to bowl in a tournament in Breda, Holland. Margaret and Roy decided that they wanted to go……. But they weren’t married yet***….so, much to Margaret’s mother’s displeasure, instead of the full blown wedding she was hoping for her daughter, the couple were married by Special Licence so that they could spend their honeymoon with the 50 other bowlers. Much to their delight the hotel in Breda, realising they were newlyweds, upgraded their booking and gave them the Bridal Suite.

1987 saw Margaret taking part in the County Trial for Middlesex Tenpin Bowling Association. Unfortunately she wasn’t selected, but still has the medal commemorating her participation.

Now, some 56 years later, Margaret and Roy are no longer quite the people they used to be:-
Margaret is sporting two Knee replacements and one shoulder replacement and suffers badly with arthritis….. But that doesn’t stop her. Recently, as she couldn’t get her painfully swollen fingers into a ball…….she purchased a new ball and for the first time she bowled FINGER TIP.

Roy virtually lost the sight in his right eye courtesy of some metal fragments that blew into his face, ,has had his right knee replaced, and has undergone two operations on his shoulder ligament. Then, when he had a bone removed in his right hand (about one year ago) ….he just got a new ball drilled and started bowling with his left. One year later and now that his hand is healed he is back bowling with his right hand

Not a lot gets in the way of this couple and their bowling…………however………. they, along with all other bowlers, did have to vacate the bowl the night of the major fire behind the pinsetters in 1975.

Now slightly older they find that they have had to reduce their bowling to two sessions a week. But still bowl in the Senior Rollers on a Tuesday, and the Coffee League on a Wednesday.

Some of the major enhancements/ modifications and changes they have bowled their way through are:-

*Increase in the numbers of lanes from 24 to 36 in 1988.

*Replacement of Wooden with Synthetic Lanes.

*Installation of automatic scoring

*The many changes of ownership

*And now the installation of new TMS AMF pinsetters (Pins on Strings) and BESX scoring system.

It seems that this wonderful couple will embrace all, and any change in order to continue their relationship with bowling and, in particular, the Airport Bowl. LONG MAY IT CONTINUE.

So……….we were absolutely delighted when they accepted our invitation to take part in the first String Pin tournament hosted by the Middlesex County Local Association and the Airport bowl.

By Sue Richards

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