Belmont Bowling Club

 

The history of Belmont Bowling Club

The history of Belmont Bowling Club BELMONT B.C. The Club was founded in 1911, taking its name from the house which became the Club Pavilion, the ground providing the area for the Bowling Green and Tennis Courts, the cost of laying out the green and courts was 484.
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Belmont soon made its mark in the Bowling world; in 1912 A E Warner reached the final of the first Surrey singles competition, and also played in his first International series for England. However, the highlight of the year was the visit of the New South Wales B.A. playing at Belmont and the whole assembly being entertained by the Band of H.M. Grenadier Guards.

In 1913 E H Hodgson received his International badge, R Lang-Sims became the Surrey Chairman, and Belmont were honoured in being asked to stage the Finals of the E.B.A. competitions.

1914 A E Warner again reached the final of the Surrey singles anti was selected for England, about this time the old house was demolished and a wooden pavilion erected in its place. 1915 Belmont won the Surrey Fours, and reached the final of the L. & S. C. Fours. In 1917 A E Warner won the Surrey singles.

As this was the period of the 1st World War, there was not a great deal of competitive bowls, however, in 1919 Belmont were finalists in the L. & S. C. Pairs, then the Club came back to life.

1921 A E Warner won the E.B.A. singles, received his 3rd International badge, H Fairbairn won the Surrey singles, and R Rawlings was selected to represent England.

1923 A E Warner was selected to represent England, and in 1924 when he Captained the successful England side, finishing a fine season by winning the L. & S. C. Gold Badge. 1925 saw A E Warner in the England side and in 1926 he was a finalist in the Lonsdale Competition. Belmont also reached the final of the Surrey triples this year. 1927 Belmont won the L. & S. C. Shield Competition, and reached the final of the Fours in 1928.

1929 Dr J Nichol won the Gold Badge, and A E Warner was again in the England side; this year the Club were honoured by Sir Edward Hodgson being elected President of the L. & S. C. B. A.

In 1931 A E Warner was awarded his 8th and final International Badge, terminating a fine International career spread over 19 years, this year the Club again won the L. & S. C. Shield.

1932 saw W Hurst and R Rawlings reach the final of the Surrey Pairs, whilst in 1933 Dr J Nichol and A E Warner won the Surrey Pairs; J T Robin reached the final of the Surrey Singles.

1934 J MacGregor and J Paterson won the Surrey Pairs, and in 1936 J Paterson received the first of his seven International badges, and also reached the final of the Gold Badge, coincidentally he did precisely the same in 1937.

1938 J Paterson was again selected to the England side.

1939 J Paterson received his fourth International badge, won the Lonsdale Competition and Belmont reached the final of the L. & S. C. Challenge Shield.

At the outbreak of the 2nd World War the 'Air Ministry' turned the tennis courts into a 'Balloon, site", the tennis club was closed down and never re-opened. Immediately after the war the War Damage Commission offered Belmont the alternative of replacing the tennis courts or compensation, Belmont accepted the money. Although there was very little competitive bowls during this period it is worth noting that the members of the Club were not inactive, as by 1945 Belmont raised some 2000 for the aid of the 'Red Cross'.

The Club was now entering another post-war period, competitive bowling was once again the 'order of the day'. 1946 J Harding reached the Final of the Gold Badge, J Paterson received his 5th International badge.

1947 Sir Edward Hodgson was elected to the high office of President of the English Bowling Association, a very great honour indeed. J Paterson was not only selected for the International side, but Captained the winning side.

1948 saw the last appearance of J Paterson in the International side. He was about this time a very sick man and regrettably passed away later in the year.

1n 1949 F C Speed and R Robson won the L. & S. C. Pairs. 1951 N V CIarke won the Surrey Secretary's and in 1953, with H Bos1ey reached the final of the Surrey Pairs.

1955 Sir Edward Hodgson received the highest administrative honour it is possible to hold in the 'Bowling World', President of the International Bowling Board, sadly he passed away while still holding this office. A great servant, not only to the game, but also to the Club itself.

1956 Belmont reached the final of the Surrey Triples, and in 1957 had a fair share of the prizes; R Good reached the final of the Singles, and with J Hickey won the Pairs, the Club also went on to win the Triples.

In 1960 the old wooden pavilion was demolished and the present pavilion erected.

1961 was 'Jubilee Year' and the Club was honoured by a visit by the Present of the E.B.A. C Chown and his side, a very pleasant day was had by all the members. The Club was also pleased to see the President of Surrey, H Pickard and his side, which contained some familiar faces.

1962 R Good reached the final of the Surrey Singles and the final of the Gold Badge in 1964.

1971 was again the Club's 'Jubilee Year' - 60th anniversary. We were not successful in receiving a visit from the E.B.A. President, nevertheless President H R Rule of the L. & S. C. B. A. brought his Executive side along much to the delight of all who participated in the match, as was the case when President S G Vince of Surrey brought along his Executive side.

1974 R Good was appointed a 'Senior Coach' in the County and R May was awarded his certificate as a coach soon after; both R Good and R May are members of the English Bowls Umpires Association.

1978 Belmont reached the final of the Surrey Triples.

Apart from National, County and L. & S. C. B. A. competitions the Club has had a great deal of success not only in local tournaments, but also in the more powerful seaside 'Open Tournaments'.

I would say the Club's history can be divided into two parts: Pre-1939 and Post-1945. Nevertheless a Club which has not only had a fair share of competitive success, but also provided the game with men capable of holding the highest office that it is possible to hold in the World of Bowls.

The above was written in September 1979, the author is, unfortunately, unknown.

In 1986 the Club had its 75 years anniversary and Belmont Ladies was founded. [Picture of original, founding ladies from Jean Marshall]

The Club has had two visits to Portugal; Vilamoura in central Algarve in 2001 and Alvor in the southern Algarve in 2003. [Get pictures?] The club has also had a visit to Potters Resort, Hopton-on-Sea, on the south Norfolk coast. This leisure complex hosts the World Indoor Bowls Championship.

In 2013 the club organised a "Bowlathon", 24 hours of bowls. Members played bowls for 24 hours, 2 hours playing followed by an hour off. Over 3,000 was raised for two local hospices, Trinity Hospice in Clapham and St Christopher's Hospice, Penge.

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