Flashback Friday | Hurstville Bowl was 'a first' for Australia when it opened in 1960

Hurstville Bowl, the first mechanical tenpin bowling centre in Australia, closed in 1987 after operating for 27 years.

Tennis great Neale Fraser bowled the first ball to open the centre amid great fanfare in 1960. Fraser won the singles at Wimbledon and the US Open in 1960.

Premier Bob Heffernan and the director of AMF Bowling in the US, Mr G Hills, were among VIPs at the opening.

The 20-lane bowling centre, on the corner of Forest Road and Hudson Street, was the first of many AMF facilities throughout Sydney. Other locations included Rockdale and Sylvania.

The Leader’s report of its closure said the site was earmarked for a two-storey office block.

Hurstville Council said there would be “plenty of opportunities” for another bowling centre to be built in the area.

AMF Bowling managing director Peter Finlayson said the centre had “outlived its life” and required extensive upgrading.

Nine hundred bowlers a week were taking part in competitions at the time.

AMF said they would be looking for a suitable property to relocate.

“It could be 12 months before we build another centre,” a senior official said.

Bowling league secretary Colleen “Curly” Hansell said the closure was a bitter blow.

Mrs Hansell said the closure of Leichhardt Bowl earlier that year had meant hundreds of bowlers had transferrted to Rockdale and Enfield, and there were only limited vacancies at Sylvania and Bankstown.


Every Friday we delve into the Leader archives to embark on some time travel.

We will bring you photographs of a news event from 57 years of Leader news coverage that you may or may not recall.

Flashback Friday submissions are also welcomed.

Feel free to share your recollections with us on our Facebook page @SutherlandShireStGeorgeNews or email leaderletters@fairfaxmedia.com.au