The Famous Waterloo
By David Markham
It has been dubbed the Wembley of crown green bowls. Up to 2,000 bowlers enter the open handicap at Blackpool's famous Waterloo green, hundreds watch the final stages of the two-month long competition and the event has been shown on TV.
The man, who makes sure the green is in pristine condition for the six month season is Stuart Hatton, manager of Springbrook Landscapes at Warrington.
He said: "At the end of the season we scarify the green, hollow core to a depth of one inch, apply five or six tons of top dressing on the green and apply feed.
"We keep an eye on it during the winter and then in the spring we 'solid time' the green, punching holes in the ground to aerate the ground which helps to break down thatch and assist drainage.
"We then apply a light top dressing approximately once a month or even every three weeks.
"We also 'groom' the greens during the winter using a Lloyd machine which gets rid of the thatch and horizontal grass to provide a fast playing surface.
"We keep the grass at between an eighth of an inch and three sixteenths of inch high during the season."
The busy season at the Waterloo includes a mixed pairs competition which has its final on Bank Holiday Monday (May 6), a ladies tournament that runs from May 18 to 26 with the finals on the August Bank Holiday weekend.
The open handicap, which last year attracted 1,600 entries, starts on July 1 with the final on Wednesday, September 11.