The Formation of the City and County of Bristol Bowling Association.
At the start of the Twentieth Century the various County Bowling Associations were in their infancy. The Gloucestershire Bowling Association was formed in 1905, and Somerset Bowling Association not until 1914, from 15 clubs. It appears at this time that Bristol-based clubs north of the River Avon - the boundary between Somerset and Gloucestershire - had not allied themselves to their natural county, and were by exception welcomed into the burgeoning Somerset County Association. Bristol Arrow BC was one of the first to become affiliated in this respect. Henleaze BC joined in 1929, and Bristol St George BC followed in 1930. The influence of all the Bristol Clubs within the Somerset BA was therefore becoming significant.
Eventually a well publicized champagne, led by Mr. E.M. Trevor resulted in this matter being thoroughly aired.
By the end of 1935 the position of the Gloucestershire-based clubs was seen by some of the Somerset officers as being anachronistic, prompting a move to exclude those clubs from the Association. At the AGM held at the Victoria Club, Weston-Super-Mare on November 23rd, Dr R Scott-Reid of Bloomfield BC put forward the resolution that Rule 3 "…be altered to read as follows:- Membership of the Association shall be open to all bona-fide Amateur Bowling Clubs, and shall be confined to clubs whose greens are geographically situated in the County of Somerset."
The debate which followed this had some singular features. An objection by J.J. Armer (Bristol St Andrews BC) that this should have been first considered, and therefore possibly suppressed, by the Executive Committee, was rejected, but the next concern raised a few eyebrows.
The report states
"Mr Porter (Bristol Civil Service) strongly criticised the fact that a circular letter, signed by the President himself, had been issued suggesting that clubs should send strong representation to the meeting and stating that he the President) was in favour of the motion. Was it the right procedure, he asked, for the gentleman who was to preside over the meeting to inform the delegates that he favoured the motion?
The president replied that as a Somerset man he had felt it right that he should issue and sign the letter, which had been forwarded to all clubs.
A Bristol delegate asked why his club had not received a copy of the letter. He was followed by other Bristol club representatives who similarly protested that no letter of the kind had reached them.
The President could only state that he had given orders for the letter to be sent to all clubs."
Dr Scott-Reid then proposed the motion, and referred to "trouble and grousing which prevailed in the county was due to a complete absence of unity and the proper county spirit". He then went on to say that "To 75 per cent of the members Somerset was a mere nothing, only a means to an end, and when once the "county coat" had been won all interest ceased." Mr Reakes (Wells BC) seconded the motion and went on to say that "The Somerset clubs were being effaced by the strong infusion of players from Bristol."
The vote was taken, and defeated by 118-133. Mr Trevor was then proposed for re-election as President, but declined because of the defeated motion, and further nominations of George Sutton and W.A. Price were also declined. The issue was clearly an emotive one and would not go away. The AGM was adjourned until January when the outstanding items on the agenda could be completed.
At the Henleaze BC Annual Dinner, the club's President, Clarence Davey, then referred to remarks by Mr Trevor that "the county did not want the 22 clubs on the Gloucestershire side of the Avon" and on another occasion that "had our Bristol friends been real sportsmen they would never had opposed the motion". The report goes on to quote Clarence Davey as saying "Bristol clubs have for many years cherished a hope, perhaps secretly, that at some time or other it may be possible to have a Bristol County Association".
The Adjourned AGM reconvened in Weston-Super-Mare. Mr Trevor had relented and agreed to stand for re-election and was duly accepted. The business continued with election of other officers and delegates, arrangements for competitions and county matches, and the problems of selection for County matches with too few nominations being put forward.
It was under Any Other Business that the geographical split then came to the fore again. Mr Reakes (Wells BC) asserted that "a few weeks ago, the secretary of the Wells club had forwarded a letter to Mr Morris asking that Rule 3 (dealing with the inclusion of Bristol Clubs in the Association) be deleted, with a view to its being laid before the whole of the delegates, but Mr Morris had decided it would not be in order. He then continued that Mr Morris had entirely exceeded his duties in refusing to put the item on the agenda. He added that twenty years ago it had been felt there could be no harm in including Bristol clubs outside the geographical county but that the time had come when such a state of things could not continue.
The report continues "Addressing the Bristol section the speaker (Mr Reakes) added "You have usurped positions in the teams that really belong to Somerset men. This feeling of exasperation cannot be allowed to continue. …If you don't take up a reasonable attitude and form an association of your own in Bristol it will mean that Somerset County will use a certain method which they do not like to adopt". Mr Morris defended himself stating that the resolution had only reached him a fortnight before the meeting, which was refuted.
The President then aroused a further outburst which by suggesting that the vote at the original meeting in November had been incorrectly taken. A suggestion was put forward that a special committee of six delegates review the matter, but the representation on such a committee would have been problematic.
The proposal that the formation of Bristol County, affiliated to the EBA would be a way forward but the President stated that it was impossible that Bristol "was not a geographical county and it cannot be regarded as such by the EBA." However this protracted and acrimonious AGM was concluded by agreeing that the whole matter should be put before the EBA.
The outcome of the EBA meeting is not recorded in the Archives.
The E.B.A. then ruled that all the Bristol Clubs situated in the geographical County of Gloucestershire could not be affiliated to the E.B.A. through the Somerset County Bowling Association. They also out the possibility of forming a City and County Bowling Association with full County status and stated that all Bristol clubs North of the River Avon had to be affiliated to the Gloucestershire Bowling Association.
The next entry refers to a meeting at the Grand Hotel in Bristol on March 31st 1936. The headline reads "New Bristol Bowling Association Formed" and "35 clubs representing 1,500 players"
That evening 200 bowlers unanimously passed the resolution to form the City and County of Bristol Bowling Association. 34 clubs had been invited, 31 attended. The resolution that was agreed stated "That a bowling association to be known as 'The City and County of Bristol Bowling Association' be formed and that the names of all clubs present at this meeting, whose greens are situated within the boundary of the City and County of Bristol, and whose duly appointed delegates support this resolution, shall be founder members of the association". That list of clubs was recorded as:-
Ardagh B. C.
Ashtonians B. C.
Avonmouth B. C.
Beaufort B. C.
Brandon B. C.
Bristol B. C.
Bristol Arrow B. C.
Bristol Civil Service B. C.
Bristol Gas Company B. C.
Bristol South B. C.
Bristol St Andrews B. C.
Bristol Tramways B. C.
Britton and Son B. C.
Cabot B. C.
Canford B. C.
Eastville Methodists B. C.
Eastvillians B. C.
Elders and Fyffes B. C.
Evening World B. C.
Greenbank B. C.
Greville Smythe B. C.
Henleaze B. C.
Imperial Tobacco Company B. C.
Imperial Chemicals B. C.
Kleeneze Brush Company B. C.
Knowle B. C.
Redfield B. C.
E.S. & A. Robinson B. C.
Royal Empire Society B. C.
St Ambrose B. C.
St Andrew's Park B. C.
St Anne's B. C.
St George B. C.
Victoria Park B. C.
Master Bakers B. C.
Two other clubs, Fry's B. C. were represented but outside the nominated geographical region, and Master Bakers B. C. did not attend but sent a letter of support. It was stated that hopefully clubs in the immediate area, such as Fry's could be admitted in the future.
The members of the formation Committee who had materially assisted the Chairman in submitting the draft Constitution and Rules for consideration at this meeting were: - Alderman J.H. Maggs, Messrs W.M. Lomax, J.J. Armer, J. Porch, W.J. Featherstone, F. Baxter, H.T. Morgan, R. Door, W. Hamilton, W.A. Price, H Smith, A.G. Davis, A.E. Morris and A.E.C. Bryant (Hon Sec)
So the Association was formed, with Alderman H.J. Maggs J.P. (Redfield B. C.) being elected as the first President. The first match was played at Bristol St Andrew's B. C., Derby Road, on 26th. May 1936, between the Vice President's team playing the President's team, with a President's team being narrowly defeated by Mr. Clarence Davey's Vice-President's team 114-116.
The afflation fee at that time was 10s6p [ten shillings and six pence] per club, and badges were sold for one shilling and six pence.
The association then became affiliated as an associate member to the E. B. A., and the member clubs fully affiliated through their geographical counties, those north of the River Avon joining Gloucestershire and those clubs to the south joining Somerset Bowling Associations.
1936. Association founded with 34 member clubs.
B. & D. Boots & Shoe Trade Association joined the association.
Hovis Ltd. B.C. joined the association.
Our first President, Alderman Herbert John Maggs J.P., from Redfield B.C. was elected to the office. Herbert had been Lord Mayor of Bristol in 1934. Pictured>
Clarence Davey of Henleaze Bowling Club donated a trophy for the Interclub Championship called the Clarence Davey interclub championship trophy, or Clarence Davey cup.
Ernie Morris donated a trophy for the club being runners up in the Interclub Championship.
Herbert C. Hayes of Henleaze B.C., who was to become President in 1938, presented a magnificent trophy for the championship singles winner.
J. R. Hawkins presented a trophy for the runner-up of the championship singles.
Alfred Appleby presented a trophy for the pairs championship winners.
Ernest Brookhouse Richards donated a trophy for the runners-up of the pairs championship and called it "The Brookhouse Richards Cup". Ernest was Prseident of the St. Augustine freemasons hall lodge in 1929, and Lord Mayor of Bristol in 1924.
George Crispen donated a trophy for the winners of the fours championship which he named "The George Crispen Cup".
The runners-up trophy for the fours championship was donated by George Sutton, who named it as "The George Sutton Cup"
1937. Competition fees were introduced, the fee being one shilling and sixpence per player in singles, pairs and fours, and four shilling per club in the Interclub championship.
The 1937 Dinner was held at the Berkeley Café at a cost of four shillings and sixpence and the guests included the Presidents of the E.B.A., Gloucestershire and Somerset Bowling Associations.
Herbert John Maggs JP., of Redfield B.C. was again our President. Redfield B.C. played in St. Georges Park.
1938. Herbert C. Hayes of Henleaze B.C was appointed as President.
1939. Harry Punchard was our President, and was President of Bristol Arrow B.C. from 1937 to 1961.
1940. Harry Punchard was again our President, from Bristol Arrow B.C.
1941 H. T. Morgan was appointed as President.
1942 E. G. Kingston was President.
1943. Thomas Henry Johnson Underdown became President, he was Lord Mayor of Bristol in 1940.
1944 Thomas Henry Johnson Underdown was once again our President.
1945. St. George Fireguards Officers B.C.
S. P. Morgan was for this year our President.
1946 Sam G. Tydeman of Bristol Arrow B.C. was President, who went on to be President of Bristol Arrow B.C. from 1962-1967, and club Captain 1941, 1942 & 1964.
1947. W. Newton was President.
1948. G. Pugsley of Ardagh B.C. which was founded in 1926, was President.
Page Park B. C. was formed , the green having been laid in 1946/47, and joined the Association after their very first game on 19th April 1948.
1949. E. Iles was our elected President for this year.
1950. I.C.I. Netham B.C. disbanded and left the association.
A. J. Owens-Brown was for this year our President.
1951. A. H. Hussey was President.
1952. H. Baker was this years President from Eastville Park Methodist B.C. which was situated in Eastville Park.
1953. Avonvale B.C. formed in Netham Park in Avonvale Road, and joined the association.
F. A. Harman was President.
1954. A. E. Morrish for this year was our elected President.
1955. A trophy, named the "Harry Punchard Cup" was Presented by Harry Punchard, who went on to become President in 1961, for annual games between the City & County and the Gloucestershire Bowling Association.
A. S. Williamson was appointed President.
1956. R. F. Sweet our President.
1957. H. E. Batten our elected President for this year.
1958. Bedminster Brotherhood and Rangers B.C. amalgamated with Bristol Omnibus B.C.
C.W.S. Bowls section disbanded and they resigned from the association.
Cost of handbook one shilling and sixpence.
Keynsham B.C. joined the association.
Harry W. H. Baber was our President from Bristol Tramways B.C.
1959. Henry Richard Priddy O.B.E. JP of Ardagh B.C., was President, who had been High Sheriff of Bristol in 1955.
Dr. R. Scott Reid of Bloomfield B.C., presented a trophy for annual matches between City & County and Bath Bowling Association, won by C & C in this first year. Dr. Scott Reid was President of the Somerset Bowling Association 1952 and 1953.
1960. 45 member clubs. Entry for Clarence Davey cup five shillings, individual entry two shillings.
Norman Aspden, secretary, passed away during the season.
President for this year was Bill E. Smith of Bristol Arrow B.C.
1961. H. C. Punchard who was President 1939 and 1940 from Bristol Arrow B.C., passed away.
Clarence Davey of Henleaze B.C. passed away. Clarence was Lord High Sheriff of Bristol in 1940.
Scull B.C. joined the association.
President for this season was Harry Mapstone from Redland Green B.C.
1962. Bill Watkinson of National Smelting Company B.C. was President but sadly passed away during the season, immediate past president Harry Mapstone carried on for him.
Past president Harry Priddy of Ardagh B.C.  passed away.
1963. Kingswood & Hanham B.C. joined the association.
President was for this year was Gilbert C. Adams of Civil Service B.C.
1964. Bristol Electricity B.C. joined the association.
Ron Reed of Imperial B.C. was President.
1965. St. George Civil Defence B.C. disbanded, and left the association.
Kildare B.C. whose green, founded in 1948, and was in Gloucester County Cricket ground forced to close due to ground expansion, merged with St. Andrews Park B.C.
Scull B.C. changed name to Drake & Scull B.C.
H.C.H. Punchard of Bristol Arrow B.C., was our President, he had been secretary of Bristol Arrow B.C. from 1954 TO 1961.
1966. 46 member Clubs.
Royal Commonwealth Society B.C. left association.
Portishead B.C. joined the association.
President was Lawrie C. Hurst of Henleaze B.C.
1967. W. Wallace of Bristol B.C. was President.
1968. Courage [Western] B.C. joined the association, sharing the green with Victoria Park B.C.
44 member clubs.
Derek F. C. Wookey of Knowle B.C. was President.
1969. Brentry Hospital B.C. joined the association.
Bristol St. Anne's B.C. disbanded after 60 years of bowling.
Fry's [J.S. Fry and Son Ltd.] B.C. changed it's name to Fry, J.S. B.C.
G.B. Britton and Son B.C. changed name to G.B. Britton B.C.
Robinsons B.C. who's green was in St. Johns lane in Bedminster, changed name to Robinsons, E.S.& A. B.C.
Herbert C. Hayes President 1938, passed away.
C. C. J. Wookey was President.
1970. Hedley S. Lewis from National Smelting Company B.C. was our President.
1971. C. H. Tucker [Harry] was our President from Newbridge B.C.
1972. Frank H. Wells President for this year. Frank played for Shoe Leather and Allied Trades B.C. [SLAT] which used to be called The Bristol & District Manager's B.C. and was founded by the managers of the Boot Factories in the Kingswood area of Bristol.
1973. J. Smith our President from Bristol St. Andrews B.C., which was founded in 1924 in Darby Road, St. Andrews, Bristol.
1974. P. C. Sledge this years President who played for Eastville Park Methodists B.C.
1975. Eric Randall of Portishead B.C. was our President.
Bristol Blind B.C. founded and playing at Brandon Hill.
1976. Gilbert A. Brock elected President for this year, he played for Keynsham B.C.
1977. Harold S. Maynard of Bristol Arrow B.C. was President.
1978. Charles F. S. Sherman President who played at the Ardagh B.C.
1979. Arthur Rowett of National Smelting Company B.C. was President.
1980. Cecil S. Rogers was President who played for Eastvillians B.C. and Bristol St. Andrews B.C.
1981. St. George B.C. changed it's name to Bristol St. George B.C. Their club was founded in 1909.
Greenbank B.C. which was founded and green laid in 1916, changed it's name to Bristol Greenbank B.C.
President for this year was George E. Thomas of Avonvale B.C.
1982. Yate & District B.C. joined the association.
Bryan D. May of St. Andrews Park B.C. was President.
1983. Portishead R.B.L. B.C. joined the association.
Bert Palmer of B.C. donated the "Bert Palmer Trophy" for the winning team in the Interclub championship semi finals. [3rd place].
Hughie M. Crosbie of Bristol Aerospace B.C. denoted a trophy for loosing semi final club in Interclub Championship. [4th place].
Ken Pearce of Ardagh B.C. was president.
1984. Albert Atyeo of G.B. Britton B.C. was our President.
1985. Our President for this season was Cliff W. Elson of Bristol Arrow B.C. were he was President from 1979 to 1999.
1986. Wally Gunningham of Avonvale B.C. was President, for our Golden Jubilee 1936-1986.
Yate & District B.C., which was originally formed in 1981 and played at St. George's Park, and then played at G. B. Britton's from 1982-1986 until their own green on Yate common, was Officially ready and opened by Tony Allcock in 1986, they joined our association in 1982
45 clubs associated.
1987. Long Ashton B.C. joined the association, having been formed in 1986 at Keedwell Hill, L.A.
Mike Duke of Fry's B.C. was President.
1988. Bill. C. Coleman of Ardagh B.C. was President.
1989. Ray Hughes of G. B. Britton B. C. was President.
1990. Whitehall B.C. joined the association.
A. T. Cross, "Toby", was President from Portishead B.C., but sadly passed away during the season.
1991 Arrowsmith B.C. joined the association.
Northavon B.C. joined the association.
Ken Iles of Kingswood & Hanham B.C. was appointed President.
1992. Arrowsmith B.C. disbanded and left the association.
National Smelting B.C.'s green in Shirehampton Road, Druid Stoke, in Bristol was sold for housing so they were forced to disband and left the association.
Maurice Hill of Ardagh B.C. was our appointed President.
1993. President for this year was Doug. K. Ware of Knowle B.C.
1994. B. Milsom of Newbridge was our President.
1995. Oakfield B.C. disbanded and left the association.
Ken A. Pearce, President in 1983, passed away in December.
John Joslin of Portishead R.B.L. B.C. was President. John unhappily passed away at G.B. Britton B.C., late in the season whilst giving a speech.
1996. Associations Diamond Jubilee. [1936-1996].
Begbrook Green B.C. joined the association.
Avon & Somerset Police B.C. joined the association.
46 Member clubs.
President for this year was Don Thorne of B.A.C. [B.A.W.A.] B.C.
1997. Don Dowling of Bristol St. Andrews was our President.
1998 Robinsons E. S. & A. B.C. left the association green sold for redevelopment.
Graham Parsons was President for this season.
Page Park B.C.'S 50th. anniversary. Their green in Page Park, Staple Hill, opened on 19th April 1948.
1999 Avon & Somerset Constabulary B.C. left the association green closed.
Vic B. Wilcox was our President from Long Ashton B.C.
2000. Cabot B.C. green which was laid in 1924, was closed by the council, of the two clubs playing there:-
Cabot B.C. shared Bristol St. George B.C.'s green,
Bristol Blind B.C. shared Ashton Park's green.
Frank Maude was our President from Yate & District B.C.
In memory of Frank Lacey, a cup was presented for matches between our association and the Somerset Patrons.
2001. Albert Atyeo, a life member of G.B. Britton B.C. and the President of the City & County in 1984, passed away, and a trophy was presented by his wife, Peggy Atyeo, for annual games between C & C and G.B.'s due to the enormous work Albert did for both G.B.'s and C & C.
Peter J. H. Ware of Redland Green B.C. had the honour of Presidency. Redland Green B.C. was founded in 1952 in Redland Green Road, in Redland.
2002. Rex N. Simmonds of Fry's B.C. was President for this year.
2003 Cedric Gunston was our President from Henleaze B.C.
2004. Ken Harrison was President, from Bristol St. Andrews B.C.
2005 Courage [Western] B.C. Disbanded, leaving Victoria Park green and leaving the association, most members joined Avonvale B.C.
John Chilvers of Bristol St. Andrews B.C. was President.
2006. John Anstey of Knowle Park B.C. was President.
2007 From Northavon B.C., Dennis Overton was appointed as our President.
2008 Bristol Blind B.C. left the association.
Mike Coggins of B.A.C. [B.A.W.A.] B.C. was President for this year.
Greville Smyth B.C. Founded in 1908 disbanded in 2008, green in Ashton Park.
Olveston & District B.C.'s 75 anniversary. Their green in Old Down Park opened 22nd July 1933 with membership fees of 10 shillings per annum.
2009 Bristol South B.C. disbanded and left the association.
Henbury Social Club B.C. disbanded and left the association and green redeveloped.
John Dixon of Severn Vale B.C. was our elected President.
Northavon B.C. left the Association and disbanded.
In the final of the Championship Singles John Lampard of Imperial failed to turn up so Championship Trophy was awarded to Barry Barry of Willmott Park B.C., this has never happened before.
2010 Ashton B.C. joined the association.
President for this year was John Scott of Newbridge B.C.
Bradley Stoke B.C. joined the association.
Bristol Civil Service B.C. left the association, green closed.
Newbridge B.C. Founded in 1948 disbanded and left the association.
St. Anne's Park & Brislington B.C. left the association.
2011 Ashton B.C. left the association.
St. Anne's Park B.C. joined the association, a merger of Newbridge B.C. and St. Anne's Park & Brislington B.C.
Don Lyndsay of Bristol B.C. was President.
Henbury Social Club B.C. left the Association green redeveloped.
2012 Eastville Park B.C. left the association, club disbanded.
John Hutson from B.A.C. [B.A.W.A.] B.C. was our President. The Bristol Aeroplane Company B.C. green was laid in 1935 with 55 members at Bristol Engine Works, Gloucester Road, Patchway, Bristol and also a green in the Sports Ground, Southmead Road, Filton, Bristol. The Patchway green was laid down out of the profits from the Works canteen. The Patchway green was eventually closed as some idiot built a flyover on it!
2013. 35 Member clubs.
Derick Robertson of Portishead B.C. was elected as President.
2014 Ken Pearce Trophy [President 1983] Presented in his memory by his son John Pearce, for two wood winner.
Keith Boyland of Olveston & District B.C. presented a cup for two wood runner up for a laugh.
Frank Maude of Yate & District B.C. was President.
2015. Wally Gunningham of Avonvale B.C., President 1986 passed away.
Don Lindsay of Bristol B.C. was once again president, for this season. Bristol B.C. was founded and green laid in 1904.
2016 The Vic Wilcox Trophy [President 1999] was presented in his memory by his wife , for the Junior singles under 25's winner.
Michael Collier of Portishead B.C. was President. Michael used to be a ships Captain, hence his nickname "Captain Birds Eye".
2017 Whitehall B.C. left the association.
G. B. Brittan B.C.'s Doug Johnson was President.
2018 Long Ashton left the association.
Ray Hughes of G. B. Britton B.C. and our President in 1989. Passed away 15th May.
Roger Trueman was appointed President, from St. Anne's Park B.C.
2019 Portishead R.B.L. B.C. left the association.
Portishead B.C. left the association.
President from Begbrook Green B.C. was Dave Quick.
2020 No matches or competitions were played due to the Covid 19 Pandemic.
Chris Harris of St. Anne's Park B.C. was President but played no games due to Covid 19.
2021. Chris Harris of St. Anne's Park B.C. was again President and once again played no games, due to the Covid pandemic.
2022 Congresbury B.C. joined the association. Their green, which was laid in 1946 but club formed in 1945, is in King George's field, Mill Lane, Congresbury.
Kingswood & Hanham B.C. left the association.
Derek Severs of Olveston & District B.C. was appointed as President, Derek has already achieved the honour of being President of Gloucestershire Bowling Association in 1991, and President of the Gloucestershire Indoor Bowling Association.
Bristol St. George B.C. disbanded and left our Association at end of season.
Associations very first mixed game verses Southampton & District B.A. was played at Neon Valley B.C., Priory Park, Southampton on the 1st July 2022, for ladies selected by selectors.
Linda Woodruff of Bradley Stoke B.C. became the first Lady to be awarded a full county badge [3 games], at Avon B.C. on 17th August 2022 against Wiltshire Bowling Association.
29 member clubs.
2023. Chris Harris, once again, is our President from St. Anne's Park B.C., and intends to play some games even if it kills him. Third time lucky Chris.
Woman's four wood singles Championship and woman's pairs were added to our list of competitions.