The Alfred Jewel is used as the logo for the club on both the tie and blazer badge.
The Alfred Jewel is an Anglo-Saxon ornament dating from the late 9th century, discovered in 1693. The Alfred Jewel was made in the reign of King Alfred the Great and is inscribed “AELFRED MEC HEHT GEWYRCAN”, meaning “Alfred ordered me made”. It is about 2½ inches (6.1 cm) long, made of filigreed gold, enclosing a highly polished piece of clear quartz “rock crystal” beneath which is set a cloisonné enamel plaque, with an image of a man, perhaps Christ, with ecclesiastical symbols. The figure “closely resembles the figure of Sight in the Fuller Brooch, but it is most commonly thought to represent Christ as Wisdom or Christ in Majesty”. It was at one time attached to a thin rod or stick based on the hollow socket at its base. The back is a flat gold plate engraved with “an acanthus-like plant motif”.
The jewel’s purpose is unknown and remains a source of speculation. It has been suggested (not based on any factual evidence) that it could have been a pointer stick (for following words when reading a book), part of a crown, or part of a brooch. It may have been one of the precious “æstels” Alfred had sent to each bishopric with a copy of his translation of Pope Gregory the Great’s book Pastoral Care – no context is given in the document mentioning these, or elsewhere, but it is thought they might have been pointers. David M. Wilson sounds a note of caution as to the connection with the King, noting that “in a period when royal titles meant something, there is no royal title in the inscription”.
It was discovered in 1693 at North Petherton near Bridgwater in Somerset on land owned by Sir Thomas Wroth (c. 1675–1721), where King Alfred founded a monastery. North Petherton is about 8 miles away from Athelney. The Alfred Jewel was first published in 1698 in the “Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society” and bequeathed to Oxford University by Colonel Nathaniel Palmer (c. 1661-1718) and today is in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England. A replica of the jewel can be found in the church of North Petherton.
North Petherton Bowling Club originated as Hinkley Point Bowling Club but when Hinkley Point Sports and Social Club at Huntworth was sold the new owners served notice on the club to vacate the site and a new site was found on Bridgwater Road North Petherton and the name changed.
Hinkley Point Bowling Club was formed by staff at Hinkley Point Power Station in 1978 and they played their first match at Eastover Park Bowling club. After several years of playing on other greens in the area the members constructed and opened their own green at the Hinkley Point Sports and Social Club in 1981, Hinkley Point sold the Sports and Social Club, which had closed, to DKM and the new landlords served notice on the Bowling Club in 2000.
The future looked very bleak as they had limited funds but members lead by the late Colin Ball refused to give in and fought for survival. A limited company was formed to protect the members and directors as they attempted to find an alternative site and the necessary funds to create a new bowling green. The club spent nearly twelve months on a lottery application which sadly failed so a meeting was set up with North Petherton Town Council, Sedgemoor District Council, Somerset County Council and other interested bodies. After some negotiation North Petherton Town Council offered the redundant allotment site which they owned on a 99 year lease. With a 99 year lease grants were available as was a development loan from the EBA. This provided enough money for the green and associated fencing and the foundation for the pavilion.
The club bought an old porta cabin as a temporary pavilion as funds were not available to complete the new pavilion. This was when Derek Mead met informally with members after a site visit by him about the cattle market and the possibility of Wiseman’s also coming to what has become the Rural Regional Business Centre. He was amazed to see members working hard on the project and offered the bricks needed to build the pavilion. This kick started the pavilion project and with loans and gifts from members the club members were able to build the pavilion and open it in 2006. The green was not fit for purpose and had to be re laid at the end of the 2006 season which was an expense the club could have done without.
Derek Mead and Wiseman’s used the pavilion for meetings during the construction stage of the market and Wisemans which was appreciated by both organisations. With grants from Wisemans, again loans and gifts from members and more importantly Derek Mead’s offer of a building for an indoor facility and Brian Foxwell funding the foundations and concrete floor the club were able to construct the indoor complex with the large function facility. Members were able to obtain furniture for the indoor facility from businesses and firms which were closing down. On Thursday 6th November 2008 the three lane indoor facility called the Foxmead Centre was officially opened and has been a success from day one. North Petherton Bowling Club are a Community Sports Club and all prospective members are welcome with a strong coaching group giving new members an excellent start to their new sport. Members of the coaching staff have started to go out into schools to encourage youngsters to consider the sport and the club has purchased small sized bowls and some new age bowls which can be used on any indoor surface.
North Petherton Bowling Club is available for bookings from all aspects of the community and welcomes new members both indoors and outdoors.