When the gentlemen of Colinton met on the 18th April 1938 at the Library Hall, Colinton to constitute Colinton Bowling Club the minutes show that on the 18th January that year a selected committee had inspected a piece of ground being offered by Miss Margaret Kennedy and it was agreed a ground survey should be conducted.(Not surprisingly no mention was made of health benefits).

CBC-President-John-P-Miller-1939-45John P Miller President 1939-45At that time the Kennedy family house was situated on the site now occupied by the Old Farm Court flats and their grounds were bounded by the M.O.D. property on one side and Redford Road on the other.

At the meeting on the 18th April Mr A. Lorne Campbell was elected President. While the green was being planned it was agreed that the entrance fee would 10/-(50p) and annual fees for playing members would be 25/-(£1.25) and 15/-(75p) for non-playing members. To assist in meeting the cost of constructing the green debentures in sums of £5 and multiples of £100 were issued at an interest rate of 4% per annum with the aim of raising a total amount not exceeding £800.

A lease for the ground was agreed for 15 years at a nominal rent of £5 per annum and a contract for £595 was awarded to Meco Fertilizers Ltd to construct the green and surrounding paths. Mr John Miller gave the Club £150/200 for the erection of a club Meco Fertilisers donated a silver jack which is used every year to open the season. In 1938 other clubs such as Balemo, Currie, Juniper Green, Slateford and Gorgje Mills were thriving and when a bowling association was formed in 1905 naturally enough it was called The Water of Leith to which Colinton became a member in 1940.


CBC-Committee-1939---2Colinton Bowling Club Committee -1939

On the 10th June 1939 Bailie Falconer W.S. opened the green and Miss Kennedy bowled the silver jack in front of a crowd of approximately two hundred.

On the 10th September 1939 war was declared but throughout WWII. There is no mention of it in the minutes.

In 1949 Colonel Kennedy O.B.E. M.C. was approached with a view to obtaining further land for a second green but it was not until 1953 that agreements were reached, following extensive negotiations, the Club came into full possession of the ground which is today known as the "bottom green". As an aside, the minutes of this era state that a Major Johnson had encroached on the Club's grounds by the erection of hen houses and he was asked to remove them but a request to allow two ponies to graze on the spare ground was agreed.

On the 16th April 1970 the committee was empowered to purchase the superiority of the land at that time held under feu charter for the late Colonel Kennedy and to borrow a sum not exceeding £10000 for redevelopment, and in October 1970 Maxwell Hart (Glasgow) were instructed to build a new green, and a new club house was also built and opened on the 27th November 1971 by Mrs Neil MacMichael.

Colonel Kennedy was a keen supporter of the Club and often walked up Redford Road to the green beside which he had a gazebo from which he watched play and chatted to the members and the visiting teams.

In the 1970 and 80 decades the Club went from strength to strength including on the 9th April 1970 the formation of a ladies section which comprised 50 members. In 1977 a memorable charity event was supported by the members who raised sufficient funds to buy two dialysis machines for the Royal Infirmary. Fund raising for good causes still continues today.
On the 11th November 1977 approval was given by the Committee to extend the club house with the addition of a new mixed lounge (the red room) and improvements to the bar, kitchen, cellar ad toilets with the work being completed in early 79.

Today thanks to the efforts of these earlier members the Club has some of the best facilities in the country and has hosted some prestigious events, an example of which was the British Isles Ladies under 25 championship. With the use of two top quality greens, a large function suite with a stage, disabled facilities, a member's bar and a lounge bar, members and their guests are catered for in every respect

Article by Alistair Watt 2012

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