A Brief History of Bothwell Bowling Club
At its inception, in 1868, the Bowling Club was definitely not a village club. It was almost exclusively reserved for the higher male classes with “working men” neither having the time, money or social status to join. One clear indication of this class preference within the club are the names of the first elected committee, which included seven Esquires. This is in stark contrast to the more recent past where the club became more popular particularly with miners and later, women.
Compared to present day, the clubhouse would be almost unrecognizable. A small bowl room (est. 15 feet square) would have made up the majority of the clubhouse, quite inadequate by modern standards. Generally, facilities were rather primitive; a tank was used to store water for the green, bowling mats were so heavy they damaged the turf and it was not until 1882 that players were requested to wear overshoes to preserve the green. It wouldn’t be until much later that the clubhouse was extended to the dimensions present today.
Photo taken of the original Bothwell Bowling clubhouse in 1868.
Despite the simplicity of the club facilities, Bothwell Bowling club helped initiate the Middle Ward Competition merely 3 years after opening. This was an esteemed privilege and is one of the oldest bowling competitions in the country.
Without doubt the most outstanding year for Bothwell was in 1964, when William Gibb won the Scottish singles and later that year won the British Isles Championship. The next year Mr Gibb also represented Scotland in the International Championships.Another shining star from Bothwell Bowling Club was David Dale who represented Scotland in the International Championships three times in 1956,1957 and 1958.
No mention of Bothwell Bowling Club would be complete without reference to the Ladies Section formed in 1931. The Ladies have since been an asset to the club. The main reason for forming a Ladies Section was originally financial, to maintain the subscription cost for the men at 30 shillings and for the women 10 shillings.Each year the ladies have been able to substantially augment the funds of the club and have also donated additional furnishings to the club. It is important to also commend the Bothwell Bowling Club women on their bowling success – which has been substantial.
In the Scottish Singles Mrs. T. Crawford (1940) and Mrs. A. McClumphen won the district final. In the Scottish Pairs Mrs. Ritchie and Mrs. Paterson (1940), Mrs. McGhie and Mrs. Hood (1959), Mrs. Carney and Mrs. McGhie (1967) have also won the district final. In 1963, Mrs. Lang, Mrs McGhie and Mrs. Pearson won the Scottish Triples Cup.
Mrs Hood has won the Lanarkshire Singles twice in 1959 and in 1960. Mrs McGhie and Mrs Pearson won the Lanarkshire Pairs in 1959 with Mrs McGhie and Mrs Hood being the runners up in 1966. Mrs Hood, Mrs Hill, Mrs H. Anderson and Mrs Pearson won the Lanarkshire rink in 1957.
Remarkably In addition to the long list of accolades Mrs McClumphen 1952, Mrs Hood 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963 and Mrs McGhie 1964 and 1966 have also represented Scotland in Internationals.
In 1960 the Bothwell Club had the honour of hosting both National and County Associations with their Presidents as Mrs J. Crawford as Scottish President and Mrs Pearson Lanarkshire President.
For a more complete history of Bothwell Bowling Club, click the button below:
Other Notable Members
Jas. Cathcart, one of our Honorary Presidents, completes fifty years as a member
The Rev. Jas. Mackie formerly of Wooddean Church was an Honorary Member of the green for forty nine years
In 1898 Wm. Crawford was appointed a Director of the Lanarkshire Building Association
In 1903 Wm. Crawford was President of the Middle Ward Club and George Fleming Vice President of the Lanarkshire Association
Since the Lanarkshire Association and Middle Ward Clubs were merged two members of Bothwell J.A.T. Renwick 1954 and R.B. McGhie 1961 have served as Presidents