In 2007 Leith Bowling Club celebrated it’s 150th anniversary. The following is an extract taken from the handbook created as part of the celebrations.
We look back at the history of Leith and reflect on some of the milestones we have passed on the way to our 150th year. These out takes are filled with both nostalgia and humour and offer an insight into the evolution of Leith Bowling Club as we know it today.
History 1857 – 2007
|1857||Original 9 Members meet to form Leith Bowling Club.
Green purchased at James Place on the site of Links Primary School at a cost of £55.
|1858||1st complaint about the condition of the green (some things never change) A Mr Paterson was called in to effect repairs.|
|1860||Membership stood at 47.|
|1865||First friendly against Lutton Place. Harmony held at Old Ship Hotel.
Costs were 8 bottles Whisky, £2.00 and Biscuits 3/- (three shillings)
|1874||Club left James Place and moved to the east end of Restalrig Terrace. A new green was constructed for £800.|
|1886||William Gladstone declined membership.|
|1889||Leith joins ELBA.|
|1901||Club moves again to present location at a cost of £384.|
|1902||1st complaint about the condition of the green (nothing changes)|
|1902||Leith joins SBA.|
|1904||1st Drinks Licence obtained.|
|1907||Jubilee Celebrations held at Queens Hotel Leith. 90 members and Lord Provost of Leith attended.|
|1908||Leith played Canada touring team, a meal was organized at the Peacock Inn, Newhaven.|
|1911||First Hat Night competition.|
|1916||Club insured against Air-Raid Damage.|
|1917||Joe Wills joins club, would become 6 times champion.|
|1921||First Ladies Day competition.|
|1922||Proposal to allow ladies to play – Failed.|
|1932||First extension to clubhouse, cost – £250.|
|1940||Electricity installed in club for first time.|
|1942||Proposal at AGM to admit juniors and ladies. 12 Juniors admitted. Ladies not destined to be suitable members of a “Gentleman’s Club”|
|1944||Proposal to admit lady members – again defeated.|
|1947||Flag pole erected at Leith.|
|1950||John Noble elected as President of E.L.B.A. 500 Spectators attend Tait Final at Leith green.
Proposal to install club bar – defeated.
Design of first club badge by L Jack – approved.
|1952||Proposal to admit ladies is defeated. This decision was very contentious and the board of directors resigned 3 times in a month.|
|1954||Proposal to install club bar – Successful. Within 1 month the bar was fully stocked at a cost of £48|
|1955||All Club Members became Share Holders.
First hon. member elected, Sam Campbell.
Centenary Committee formed.
Proposal to admit ladies – again defeated.
|1956||Saturday Hat Night Competition started.
Club purchased grounds which had been leased for the last 55 Years. Therefore securing the future of Leith.
|1958||Club broken into, thief was caught and sentenced to 6 months.|
|1959||Ladies section started|
|1959||First of the Davidson dynasty joined club Adam Senior|
|1959||Friendly against Touring Australian National Bowling Team|
|1959||Tait trophy final at Leith, 500 spectators present|
|1961||Proposal to sell draught beer defeated|
|1965||First honorary member, Sam Campbell dies|
|1965||Duncan Davidson takes first office|
|1966||Chairs purchased for 2/6 each.
Club house demolished in preparation for new one
|1967||65th AGM held at Seafield BC|
|1967||Official opening of new clubhouse|
|1969||First friendly versus Lanark|
|1972||Pilrig BC allowed full access to club facilities for 3 months whilst their club is renovated|
|1974||First TV purchased|
|1979||C. McNab made honorary member|
|1982||Robert Storrier elected as Treasurer|
|1984||Bill McMurdo elected as Secretary|
|1985||Club joins dart and domino league|
|1987||Proposal to extend club accepted with help of loans from Alloa and Tennants|
|1988||Tommy Dick made honorary member|
|1991||Senior section formed|
|1995||Duncan Davidson top ten president|
|1996||Adam Davidson reaches Tait Trophy final only to be defeated by Robert Gardner of Dudley|
|1999||Ladies offered full membership|
|2000||Club wins Edinburgh Cup beating Wardie in the final|
|2003||Jackie Briggs elected as president of Scottish Bowling Fellowship
Bill McMurdo and Robert Storrier made honorary members
|2007||Duncan Davidson receives honorary membership.|
Extract from the writings of Robert H Edgar, President 1957 Centenary year:
“Retrospection shows the club commenced during the reign of a Queen, and today celebrates it’s Centenary during the reign of another Queen. Recurrently, throughout the interval between, this history records certain repetitive pleas.
Currently, all of these have been resolved, except the plea for equality to women, which, constantly, has been rejected.
Are we the last stronghold of male exclusiveness? Or is it merely symptomatic of the future that within a short compass this relic of Victorian attitude will disappear in an age which already granted equality in rewards for labour”