Whalley Lanes, a part of Surrey’s bowling history, closed it’s doors in May of 2004 as longtime owners Ernie and Verna Woewoda have their eye on retiring. Whalley Lanes opened for business in 1952, and Ernie and Verna bought the business in 1970 and ran it until it’s doors closed.
Ernie and Verna were married in 1951 and moved from Powell River to Whalley shortly after.
Ernie Woewoda cut hair for a living in the 1950’s and 1960’s at Whalley Barber and eventually bought the barbershop and ran it from 1952 to 1968. Meantime, Whalley Lanes was doing good business as there was no competition in the area. The owner of Whalley Lanes, whom Ernie was leasing his Barber Shop from, eventually got sick and asked Ernie to take over the bowling lanes. Shortly after, the Woewoda’s purchased the lanes in 1970 and have owned it ever since.
Ernie and Verna have seen generations of changes to the Whalley area, long before North Surrey Rec. Centre, Central City Shopping Centre or the Dell Shopping Centre were even thought of.
Entering Whalley Lanes brings you back in time, as not much had changed over the years since the doors were opened. The couple have met many wonderful people over the years and consider them extended family and friends and will cherish the many great memories over the years.
Verna recalls a phone call one evening at 8:00 PM from a fellow looking to book a party for 80 bowlers. When Verna told him they could only accommodate 60, the gentleman on the phone told her that would be okay but also added they would all be naked as they were nudists. Verna covered the mouthpiece and told Ernie this. “He said, “they can’t bowl in the nude – they gotta wear bowling shoes.”
On behalf of all the bowlers that frequented Whalley Lanes over the years, we will miss your hospitality and wish you all the best.
Whalley Lanes – a Surrey Landmark and part of bowling history