By Tenpin Bowling Proprietors Association President John Ashbridge
Top Rank Bowl Kirkstall Road Leeds, Yorkshire
The 24 lane Brunswick equipped Top Rank Bowl in Kirkstall Road opened on 18th April 1962 in the same building as the Silver Blades Ice Rink which opened a few days later on 27th April. This was a first for tenpin bowling in the UK, insofar as becoming part of a purpose-built leisure and entertainment complex. The bowling centre was located on the ground floor with Ice Rink on the first floor and the building included bars, restaurants as well as other amenities. The bowling centre was opened by the Lord Mayor of Leeds ‘assisted’ by comedian/magician Tommy Cooper.
It appears that Tommy Cooper fell flat on his face with his first ball but recovered to complete an 8 spare with his next effort. Later in the 1960’s, the Ice Rink was converted to a roller skating rink and renamed ‘Rollerena’. It is believed the bowling centre operated for about eight years and closed in May 1970. The building still exists and, at least part of it, is still occupied.