of Henleaze Bowling Club
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Henleaze Bowling Club was founded in 1928,
when Clarence Davey
purchased land opposite his house in Grange Court
and, with some friends, set about forming a
bowling club. The club was incorporated on 14th
June 1928 as a limited company. The cost of
laying the green was approximately £600. A
wooden pavilion was built on the site of the
present car park, along with a shed (presumably
for greenkeeping tools) for a total of £520.
Between 1929 and 1938 lockers were leased to club
members at 5/- pa (25p).
1931 - cash was raised from the membership to
purchase a shelter; this was sold for £15 in
1936 - Henleaze Bowling Club, originally a
member of the Somerset BA, transferred
affiliation to Gloucestershire BA and at the same
time became a founder member at the formation of the
City and County of Bristol Bowling Association.
1939 - The new Pavilion was completed and
presented to the club as a gift from two of the
founders, Clarence himself and Charles Setter. It
was opened by the President of the EBA, Harry
Thompson. The original pavilion was removed, sold
for £20, and the car park made at a cost of
1940 - silver spoons costing 3/3d (16.25p)
each were presented as prizes on "rinks
evenings" - what were latterly known as
"spoons nights". Both before and after
the war, a charwoman (charperson?) was employed
to keep the clubhouse clean, and decoration and
repair of the club house was by paid contractor.
1946 - JW "Robbie" Robison awarded
his International "cap", a wonderful
honour for himself and the
club. He had already been a member of
Gloucestershire's Middleton Cup winning team of
1936, the Bath Open Pairs in 1937, the
Gloucestershire County Pairs in 1939, Weston Open
Pairs, CCBBA Pairs and Rinks in 1940. In 1945 he
was runner-up in the EBA singles, Captain of
Gloucestershire, runner up in the GBA singles,
and skipped the rink that won the GBA Fours. He
went on to win the CCBBA pairs again in 1950.
1949 - the green was relaid at a cost of
£322, with a Special Appeal Fund set up to meet
the cost. Why this should have been necessary is
1954 - the teak benches were purchased at a
cost of 14 guineas each (£14.70) with various
members paying for a seat with a plate displaying
the donor's name
1956 - the club reached the semi-final of
CCBBA Inter-Club Tournamemt - the Clarence Davey
Cup - only to be beaten by a team from Greenbank
1978 - the club celebrated the completion of
50 years in existence, and a new flag, complete
with date of foundation was expertly hand-sown by
Alwyn Harper, who became the club's first Lady
Captain in 1982.
1981 -the green was severely damaged by moss
treatment, and by the end of August the green had
to be closed for repair. Remaining home matches
and competitions had to be played on other greens
thanks to the kind co-operation of other clubs.
1982 - following much correspondence with the
Bingley Turf Research Institute, it was
established that the serious damage to the green
the previous year had been caused by the moss
killer used. The club decided to seek
compensation from the manufacturer and also to
assist the greenkeeper (Terry Phillips) in his
claim for compensation, not only for costs
incurred but also for reputational damage. The
matter of these claims was undertaken by the
serving president (Eddie Pritchard) who, after
many months of correspondence, was able to reach
agreement with the manufacturer over compensation
to the greenkeeper and over a sum of £1,425 to
1982 - 21st April - the lady players held an
inaugural meeting to appoint their own officers
and committee to organise Ladies matches. Fifteen
ladies attended, and they elected Mrs Alwyn
Harper as their Captain, and Mrs Edith Hawker as
Vice-Captain. Of five matches arranged that
season, one was won, three lost and one cancelled
due to heavy rain.
1983 - Kelvin Little was selected to play in
the Gloucestershire Middleton Cup team - the
first Henleaze representative for over 40 years.
Unfortunately he was then forced to withdraw with
appendicitis. Kelvin did go on to gain Middleton
Cup honours the following season.
1986 - the club entered a team into the
Bristol and District Bowls League into Division
2. Also, as part of their Golden Jubilee
celebrations, a match was played between the
CCBBA and rinks from 6 of the founding clubs, of
which Henleaze was one.
1988 - by now the green's banks and surrounds
of grass and stone slabs were becoming a
maintenance issue, and an appeal raised £4,000
to have them replaced.
1990 - with the gradual increase in Lady
members, and the pressure on the accommodation
caused by the increasing number of matches in the
fixture list, it was evident that the Ladies
changing facilities needed significant
improvement. The existing facility was
effectively a corridor containing electrical
switches leading to a single toilet. Plans were
drawn up to extend the changing rooms within the
existing structure by decreasing the very
generous size of the kitchen, and an appeal for
funds allowed this to be achieved. Also this
year, one of the members, Gilbert Maquire, won
the singles championship at the prestigious
Weston Open tournament.
1991 - Derek Severs, a member at the club
since 1976, was appointed President of
Gloucestershire Bowling Association for the year.
Also this year, the Ladies became affiliated to
the Gloucestershire Women's County Bowling
Association, and the EBA. This allowed our Ladies
to enter county and national competitions. A rink
from the club, consisting of Terry Russell, his
son Jim, Gilbert Maguire and Chris Butler,
reached the final of the CCBA Rink competition,
only to be beaten in the final by a four from
1994 - Audrey Mitchell performed well at the
Weston Open championships, reaching the singles
final. Also this year, the club undertook it's
first week-long tour for many years, visiting
several clubs in Devon. Further work was required
on the green and surrounds, and major work was
carried out by the building maintenance team. The
ditches and drains were dug-out and cleared, and
further work on the paving slabs that had been
relaid 6 years earlier. The opportunity was also
taken to lay pipes for a new pumped watering
system. All told, this voluntary work saved the
club in the region of £10,000.
1995 - Audrey again reached the final of
Weston Open Singles, only to be miss out at the
final hurdle. The subject of changing facilities
was again on the agenda, this time for the
visitors, who were required to change behind a
curtained-off area of the clubhouse. An appeal
for funds was initiated, with the intention of
including central heating as a replacement for
high-level electric fires and for new curtains.
This year, the momentous decision was also taken
to install a bar - something which had originally
been denied to the club by the original covenants
of the club. These requirements had been legally
overturned in 1982, along with the restrictions
on Sunday play.
1996 - the new changing rooms were completed,
bringing the club facilities up to modern
standards, and the bar began operating.
1997 - CCBBA hosted a match against
Oxfordshire on the green, the first
representative match for many years at this
level, no doubt facilitated by the availability
of the new bar!
2000 - once again changing facilities were on
the agenda, and again it was pressure on the
ladies changing rooms that were the issue. And
again the club was able to raise the money
through a successful appeal, and the Ladies
facilities have been increased to something more
adequate for their needs.
2003 - further honour for the club, as Cedric
Gunson was appointed President of the CCBBA. Ted
Young brought major success, being triumphant in
the CCBBA Singles. Not quite such joy for a rink
of Cedric Gunson, Chris Fox and Bob Claypoole,
who finished second in the Triples Final. Cedric
did, however, have the honour of presenting
himself with the Runners-up Trophy!
2004 - the club achieved another milestone,
electing a lady as President for the first time.
2006 - the club reached the semi-final of the
CCBBA Inter-Club Trophy - the Clarence Davey Cup,
a donation to the Association by the Henleaze
club's founder, and one the club has never won.
The sequence remained unbroken, as the club lost
narrowly to Portishead RBL in the semi final.
2008 - a rink from the club consisting of
Calvin Schlaepfer, Chris Russell, Jim Gregory and
John Nicoll, succeeded in winning the CCBBA Fours
competition against a four from Greenbank, having
reached the final the year before only to lose to
a rink from the Bristol Bowling Club. Andy Locke
assisted as substitute in an earlier round, as
had Den Gazzard the year earlier. For Chris it
was a sweet success, after his grandfather
(Terry) and uncle (Jim) had failed at this stage
17 years earlier!
2009 - once again the club reached the
Clarence Davey Cup semi-finals, losing another
hard-fought match, this time against Knowle.
2010 - a poor season in the League saw the
first team relegated to Division 2 after 6
seasons in the top flight. The second team were
also relegated, joining the third team in
2012 - President's Day was held on 4th June -
the Bank Holiday weekend of the celebrations of
the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Red, White and Blue
was the dress-code of the day, and the clubhouse
was similarly decked out in recognition. There
was success on the green, with the Men's first
and second teams both finishing runners-up in
their respective divisions.
2013 - Men's League performance was again
strong, with the first team consolidating their
position in the First Division, and the Second
Team achieving a second successive promotion. In
the final game they beat promotion rivals Fry's
8-2 to pip them to second spot by a single point.
The Ladies' first team also performed
magnificently to gain promotion back to Division
Andy Locke and Brian Lloyd fought their way to
the Final of the CCBBA Pairs competition at
Bristol BC, only to lose at the final hurdle to a
pair from Canford BC.
2013 - The club followed the practice of many
other clubs in the area and adopted shirts in the
club colours. As part of the implementation the
club provided a shirt to each current member.
2014 - For many years the state of the fence
along Grange Court Road had been under
discussion, but repairs continued as necessary
until gales early in the year forced a decision,
and the entire length was at last replaced. Can
it be made to last 85 years, as the first one
2017 - Unfortunately due to a drop in
membership levels, the club reluctantly withdrew
its Men's 'C' team from the Bristol and District
2018 - An excellent year for the Ladies, who
progressed through several rounds of the Top Club
and Interclub competitions. In the Ladies' League
the B team won Division 3, so are promoted to
Division 2. The Club purchased a 'bowling arm' to
help members who are finding difficulty bowling,
and a new dishwasher for the kitchen. In October
and November the club house was let out to 2
local bridge clubs, whose usual venue was being
2019 - The Ladies won the Glos. County
Inter-club Cup. However, due to mistakes by the
Bristol Ladies Bowls League committee the A team
was relegated to Division 2. After a vote, it was
decided that the Ladies' third team would be
withdrawn in 2020.
2020 - The year that didn't happen.