UK's 1st Ten Pin Bowling Alley
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UK's 1st Ten Pin Bowling Alley

The site of the first bowling alley in the UK.


Boxing legend Sir Henry Cooper, the former heavyweight boxing champion, opened the country's only bowling alley, 'Tenpin Lanes', open for business on 20th January 1960.

He was joined here on that occasion by Mount Everest explorer Sir Edmund Hillary and other celebrities and film stars of the day. The splendid building was in an old ABC cinema and had 14 lanes.

The two principal American manufacturers of tenpin bowling machinery - AMF and Brunswick had saturated their home market in the USA at the end of the 1950s.

They looked to expand here, and this was the first of up to 200 tenpin bowling alleys in the UK.

The now demolished building was originally designed by architect George Coles and opened as the independent Stamford Hill Cinema on 26th December 1925 with Edmund Lowe starring in The Fool.

Only 3 years later did United Picture Theatres take over the cinema and in 1947 was renamed The Super Cinema and later became an ABC cinema.

Checkout the supermarket on the unmarked site today. Or not.

Location: 158 Clapton Common, Stamford Hill, E5 9AG