By Tenpin Bowling Proprietors Association President John Ashbridge
The 24 lane Top Rank Bowl opened on 21st March 1964 as part of the new Bargates Shopping Centre. The centre was equipped with lanes and machines supplied by AMF and history suggests that the bowling centre opened ahead of the official opening of the development. It was July 1964 when the popular DJ of the time, David Jacobs visited the shopping centre accompanied by the Mayor of Burton Mrs A E Banton. The group visited several shops, stopping to speak with shop mangers etc. The group then visited the bowling centre where David Jacobs and the Mayor both tried their hand at tenpin bowling. The first ball for each was a dead ball but subsequently fortunes improved with the second for the mayor scoring nine, but she missed with the next ball. David Jacobs scored seven with his second ball and two with his third. Some leagues were soon formed, and the centre was successful for the next few years. Very little more is known of the centre and it is believed that it was closed by the Rank Organisation early in 1970.