History of Tenpin Bowling in the UK Part 116 –Universal Bowl Queens Road Sheffield

By John Ashbridge, Tenpin Bowling Proprietors Association President

The 30-lane Universal Bowl in Queens Road, Sheffield, the third bowling centre to open in the City and the fourth in the Universal chain. The AMF equipped centre opened on 11th November 1965 when a bowler’s ‘Gala Evening’ was held. During the previous five days invited parties had enjoyed the use of the full facilities of the bowl together with free instructional classes. The centre was developed as part of Sheffield’s newest entertainment centre and included a snack bar, licensed club lounge and a children’s playroom.

The centre operated under the Universal banner for between 18 months and two years before, it is believed, becoming part of the Mecca Organisation by January 1968. No further information of the centre is available but it is thought that the centre closed sometime during 1971..

Total number of Centres and lanes in the UK at end of 1965

ABC Bowling1329424
AMF International1200
Ambassador Bowling8 2180
Brunswick Bowling40112
Excel Bowling215410
Fairlanes Bowling1122570
Granada Bowling1320
Lee-West Lanes2040
Magnet Bowling41240
Top Rank Bowling24204447
Trans-World Bowling3500
Universal Bowling51200

Note: No figures for the number of lanes installed at Dunstable or East Kilbride are included in the above table. It is known that Olympia Bowl East Kilbride existed, but it is unclear if Dunstable ever opened.