UPDATED: Bowling fans mourn death of Jardines stalwart

Former Jardines owners Stan and Eileen Adams
Former Jardines owners Stan and Eileen Adams

Eileen Adams, 79, died on Monday night after a short battle with cancer.

For more than 40 years she ran Jardines Tenpin Bowling Centre in Friars Square, Aylesbury, with her husband, Stan, until it closed in controversial circumstances last year to be used as part of the new H&M store.

Mr Adams, 79, said: “It upset her so much that it brought a big worry on.

“She didn’t want to stop working. She often said to me she wanted to carry on until she was 90. Our lives were built upon Jardines.

“She was loved by all and I don’t think she will ever be forgotten.”

Bowling was the couple’s life. They first met back at a centre in Ipswich which Eileen was working at and Stan had been transferred to.

“I wouldn’t say it was love at first sight. It was the way she would be working – taking everyone’s problems on board and solving everyone’s problems. That was what attracted me to her.”

In 1969 the couple took over Jardines and quickly turned it round. Upon its eventual closure last February the club had more than 2,500 members and hosted a wide variety of local groups, including people with learning disabilities right through to the elderly.

The club also hosted league competitions every night of the week, including junior leagues where dozens of youngsters would compete on a Saturday morning and the town’s first disabled bowling league.

Mr Adams said: “We rarely left each other’s sides. We worked together, lived together. I don’t think there was a day throughout the years we were ever apart.”

Hugely popular to her staff, Mrs Adams became known by some employees as ‘mum’.

She also brought up her own two children and four grandchildren during her time at the club.

Mr Adams added: “She was a mum to everybody. Without a doubt she would do anything for anybody. No one would have a bad word to say about her.”

Despite a campaign to prevent the closure of the bowling alley and a petition with more than 1,000 signatures started by The Bucks Herald eventually the club closed.

On the day the bowling alley closed Mrs Adams told The Bucks Herald: “We’ve devoted our lives to Jardines and now it’s gone – somehow we’re just going to have to find a way of dealing with that.”

A funeral date has not been set but a memorial will be held in Aylesbury with a reception at Rivets Sports and Social Club.