The Formation of Our Association

On the 29th October, 1931, sixty-three ladies attended a meeting held at the Broomwood Wesleyan Headquarters to discuss the formation of a Bowling Association for the Women of Surrey. Mr. Tom Haydock who was then the Honorary Secretary of the Surrey County Bowling Association presided. Mrs. Fisher of the Broomwood Club was elected Honorary Secretary and together with ten other ladies from the following clubs formed the first committee:

Broomwood, Byfleet, Coulsdon, Farnham (now Farnham Gostrey), Hersham, Kingston Canbury, Peckham, St. George’s, Waddon Residents and West Wimbledon.

      The headquarters was to be Broomwood Wesleyan Bowling Club.

      Subsequently the first Committee Meeting was held at the headquarters on 11th November, 1931, and at the first General Meeting on 2nd December, seventy-eight ladies attended; elected Mrs. H. J. Youdan (Coulsdon) the first President and adopted the Rules and Constitution recommended by the Committee. The Association was to be known as the Surrey County Women’s Bowling Association and the initial joining fee was agreed at 5/-. The annual subscription, on the basis of membership was agreed to be:

               not exceeding ten members: 7/6d

               not exceeding nineteen members: 15/-

               twenty members and over: one guinea.

      Fourteen ladies became patrons and subscribed 10/6d. each.

      At the Committee Meeting held on 7th January, 1932, it was announced that the Countess of Rosebery “had graciously consented to become Patroness of the SCWBA.”

      November 23rd, 1932, was the Annual General Meeting when it was reported that the first County Match over six rinks had been played against Somerset at Reading in June resulting in a victory for our fellow bowlers from the West Country by 30 shots. Other notable fixtures that summer were against Essex (lost by 25 shots) and Sussex on 26th July at Broomwood where Surrey won by 47 shots; the first County Competitions were played, with the Finals enjoyed at West Wimbledon with Waddon Residents being successful in all three events. At the conclusion of the A.G.M. tea was served at 9d. per head.

      1933 saw a new innovation in the County Trial Match (the Selly Trophy), the first Year Book was produced and Surrey joined the EWBA.

      In 1934 eighteen Clubs, numbering 333 members affiliated and Surrey were the first Winners of the newly presented Johns Trophy, beating Kent in the final at Parsons Green Bowling Club.

      A new set of Rules were brought into being in 1935, the originals being considered inadequate.

      By 1936 twenty-nine clubs, totalling 520 members, had affiliated and the County’s first tour took place to Wales. By 1938 the County comprised 37 clubs.

      No Annual General Meetings were held during the war years although the Emergency Committee continued to function. The first A.G.M. after 1938 was held on Thursday, 22nd November, 1945, at which 249 members, represent­ing thirty-nine clubs, were present. Mrs. M. Scott of Ashburton being elected President.

      The 1946 Report showed that membership had now increased to forty-six clubs with 957 members and Surrey won the first Johns Trophy to be held after the war.

      The County has produced 49 Senior Internationals and 9 Junior Internationals, most of whom have played on more than one occasion for their Country. In the first English International Match against Wales at Blackheath in 1932, Surrey had six representatives in the English team. We have also produced nine Junior Internationals. The County has won the coveted Johns Trophy twenty times and the Walker Cup on seven occasions. In 1998 Surrey achieved the “double” by winning both trophies and again in 2014.

      Surrey have brought home many National titles and numerous trophies in various open tournaments. Our first National Winner, Mrs. Tigg, was not only the force behind the formation of the Surrey County Women’s Bowling Association but was a prime mover in the instigation of the English Women’s Bowling Association.

      Our Association has striven to promote, foster and safeguard the level green game of bowls in Surrey as was the intention of that foresighted group of ladies in 1931.