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Home > Cumberland > Carlisle > Bowling Green

Bowling Green

Picture source: Brian Norman

The Bowling Green was situated on Lowther Street. Built in the 1830s, this pub closed c.1972 and was converted into a probation hostel.
Source: Mike Tuer
My Grandfather, William Blyth (Billy), managed the Bowling Green pub in Carlisle from I think about 1916 until his death in 1950. My father Donald and his sister Jean grew up there and continued living there until shortly before the Second World War. The pub has an interesting place in football history. Billy Blyth belonged to a family of professional footballers and played for Carlisle United, Preston North End and Portsmouth, before retiring to the Bowling Green. But it wasn’t just any old footballing family – Billy was from Glenbuck in Ayrshire and played with the famous Glenbuck Cherrypickers, and the great Bill Shankly of Liverpool FC was his nephew. Billy Blyth became a director of Carlisle United in his retirement, and it was he who brought the 17-year-old Shankly to the club for his first start in professional football. During the season that Shankly played for Carlisle, he lived at the Bowling Green with my grandparents, father and Aunty Jean. I haven’t a picture of Shankly at that time, but I attach a family photo from the pub when my father was about 6, a copy of a letter from Bill Shankly to me, and a couple of photos of Billy Blyth in his later years at the back of the pub. (It really did have a bowling green attached.) I still have some furniture from the pub in my house – a small table from the bar, a 17th century chair, and a Victorian desk.
Karen Lewton, nee Blyth (July 2018)

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