CLUB members were bowled over by the turnout of Winchester mayors past and present for their 200th anniversary.

Hyde Abbey Bowls Club was founded in 1812 and held its first meeting of the new season last Sunday (April 15).

It has become a tradition that the first wood of the new season is bowled by the Mayor of Winchester.

And Cllr Barry Lipscomb, who currently holds the historic office, was on hand to do the honours.

Yet he was not alone, as several other past mayors came along to mark the club’s bicentenary.

They included Neil Baxter, who started the tradition of Winchester’s first citizen opening the new bowls season.

The other past mayors attending included Richard Izard, Dominic Hiscock, Chris Pines and Michael Read.

Before the first wood was bowled, Cllr Lipscomb invited club members to the mayor’s official residence, Abbey House, for a reception.

After that, the group headed from The Broadway to the club’s green, which is beside River Park Leisure Centre.