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Mens History

1889 - First entry in the minutes book reads Monday evening, 12th August, some gentlemen of Ashby met on the bowling green in the Bath Grounds to form a bowling club. At that time, the Royal Hotel and Baths, together with the Bath Grounds were owned and administered as a Spa by the Ashby de-la-Zouch Baths & Hotel Co. Ltd. The Baths & Hotel Co. readily agreed to the formation of the Club and the conditions of tenancy were mutually agreed. It appears from the Minutes of meetings at the time that the Secretary of the Company was also a founder member of the Club. The first President was Mr E. Simpkin and Mr R. Allocock was Secretary, there were a total of 21 members. The first Club match took place on Wednesday, 21st August 1889.against Burton United Bowling Club (a mere nine days after the Ashby Clubs formation).

1890 - Further matches were arranged with the Derby Turn B.C of Burton-on-Trent, Abbey Park, Leicester and Loughborough (Duke of York) B.C. A Balance Sheet for this year showed there were 43 members and a total expenditure of £22 l2s 9d (£22.63p). Members subscription was 10s 6d (57p).

1891 - Additional fixtures were sought with clubs at Tamworth, Litchfield, Shardlow, Alvaston and Derby. A boy was engaged to see to the safety of the bowls and the Pavilion for the sum of £1 per year. Handicap committee of 5 people was proposed and approved. Handicaps were done by ballot. Handicap prizes for comps was 1st 21/- (£1.90p) 2nd 12/6 (72p) 3rd 7/6 (37p).

1892/3 - The Committee decided to "paint bowls and enamel jacks". Additional fixtures were sought with Victoria Park B.C. Leicester, Spinney Hill Park B.C. and Long Eaton B.C.

1894 - Invitation to join the Midland Counties Bowling Association. Three representatives deputed to go to Leicester to meet officials of the Association.

1895 - The Ashby Club joined the Midland Counties Bowling Association and agreed to conform to it's rules. Rinks were marked out and mats were referred to as 'footers'.

1897 - Annual dinner held at the Royal Hotel 28th January. Club was in credit at year end 13s 6d (68p). Total number of members was 56. Mr T Wiliscroft (President) and Mr R Davenport selected to represent the Midlands in the National Pairs Competition. The erection of a toilet on the end of the pavilion was approved.

1899 - Ashby Men's Bowls Club won the Championship Cup of the Midland Counties Bowling Association. 9th September Committee announced the death of Mr Simpkin 1st President.

1901 - The Club was invited to select two players to play for the Midland Counties Bowling Association against the touring Australian team. Members also participated in matches between the Midland Counties Association and the Southern Counties Association.

1902 - The Club provided players for the Midland Counties team, at the invitation of the Imperial Bowling Association, for a competition for the Australia Challenge Cup.

1903 - During the early years of its existence the Club had two Greens one of which was circular and over the year was squared up.

1904 - During the early years of its existence the Club had two Greens one of which was circular and over the year was squared up.

1905 - The Ashby Club became affiliated to the English Bowling Association.

1906 - The President and the Secretary were appointed to rearrange the match with Ashby Hastings on the 5th September owing to the fact it was the date of the Agricultural Show. An Annual Inter Club Tournament was arranged with Ashby Hastings Club. It was to be a singles, 21 ends, 2 woods, bias to be not less than 3 and on a knockout principle. Flag is lost, see appendix A for AGM Notice.

1907 - Letter of thanks was read out from the Horticultural Society thanking the bowling club for providing a bowling match on the Flower Show Day

1908 -.New flag is purchased for 9 shillings (42p).

1909 - Number 1 green (nearest the pavilion) was fenced off. Post 3ft 6in high painted Brunswick Green with wire fence in between and Laurel bushes planted on the inside, cost £3-15/6d (£3.81). The Bath Hotel Co had no objection the the request to cut down the Oak tree overlooking the ground subject to consent by the Donnington Trustees. Flag is found at the Royal Hotel. Runners up in the Midlands County Cup.

1912 - Mr Farmer and Mr Slater were included in Midland Counties teams which played an Australian touring team at Leicester and against a London and Southern Counties team at Wellingborough.

1914 - Many fixtures were discontinued during the "Great War" but the club continued.

1917 - Some members from the Ashby Hastings Bowls Club were allowed to join. Decision to wear rubber soled shoes on the green was made.

1921 - The Ashby Club decided to support the formation of a County Association for Leicester and Leicestershire, affiliated to the English bowling Association. The club was duly admitted as a member of the Association paying 5 shillings (25p) for the first year. Two members were nominated to play for the Leicestershire Association against the New Zealand tourists. The Royal Hotel and Bath Grounds were sold to a private owner, Mr. Crowley.

1922 - Fixtures which had been suspended during the Great War were resumed.

1923 - The Royal Hotel and Bath Grounds again changed ownership, being bought by Messrs Cook & Sons. Two of Mr. Cook's sons became members Club. The tenancy of the Green was £35 per annum.

1924 - New owners of the Royal Hotel increased the rent, the lease was due to expire on March 25th The club objected to the increase but the owners refused to lower   the rate. The club raised the subs to pay for the increased rent and continued playing on the Bath Grounds. Messrs Wheatley and Taylor won the County Pairs Competition.

1927 - A meeting of the club members was called to discuss with the Urban District Council regarding a move to Hood Park. At the AGM there was unanimous agreement to move to Hood Park and notice was given to Messrs Cooke and Sons from 25th March.

1928 - The green was finally cleared and the pavilion and outbuildings were sold for the princely sum of £5.00. Nine Trustees were appointed to sign an agreement of terms set up by the Urban District Council for the Hood Park Green. A new pavilion had been installed and the green was opened by Mr G. Eyre and photographs taken by Mr. Parks. The new green was adjacent to the Ashby Ladies Bowls Club.

1929 - Ashby Swimming Baths opened on Hood Park.

1930 - Mr. Seabourne appointed as a Vice President of the Midland Counties Association.

1934 - A letter was received from the Hastings Bowls Club proposing an amalgamation of the two clubs. This was discussed at length and a vote was taken, the proposal was defeated by a majority. During this time one of the rules of the Council was that members of the public were allowed to use the green, this caused many problems when playing matches against visiting teams. The Council refused to change the ruling. In November it was agreed by the members to terminate their tenancy on Lady Day (6th April end of the tax year). Agreement having been reached with the Royal Hotel the bowling club moved to the Bath Ground and a new pavilion was purchased.

1935 - Extract from speech given at annual dinner by Mr. W. Harvey, Leicestershire Bowling Association President 'business worries vanished as they stepped on the delightful turf to commence the game in the evenings or odd hours during the day, and no matter how bad their play, they never heard a critical remark from their opponents, as in some other games. Mr Avery donated the Jubilee Cup.

1936 - Financial Statement included LOSS On Dinner is 3d (7p) and Credit Balance of 12s lOd (62p).

1939 - Mr. R.J. Carruthers was President of the Club in its 50th year of existence - he was a founder member and had previously held the office in 1902, 1903, 1937 and 1938. Mr. Carruthers was, as reported in the local press, the Club`s Grand Old Man.

1939-1945 - Matches were played with the purpose of raising funds for the Red Cross.

1954 - Mr. T.A. Woodcock, MBE., MA. J.P. was elected President of Leicestershire Bowling Association.

1959 - Four members represented the Club at the opening of the New Green at Measham. Club contributed £25.00 towards the installation of a water supply and agreed to pay for all water used.

1960 - All full list of fixtures to be played was arranged.

1961 - A Whitsuntide Tournament was arranged with Ashby Ladies Club which turned out to be very successful so it was added to the future fixture list. A Woodcock Trophy competition was arranged to be run with the Ashby Ladies.

1962 - Club rent increased to £150 per annum.

1963 -  Due to the low membership the club struggled to get enough players for matches so had to borrow players from local clubs to compete in fixtures.

1964 -  Still problems with membership also maintenance of the green was unsatisfactory.

1965 -  Club started a Tote to try to raise funds. Still no increase in the membership or improvement to the green. No Saturday matches were to be arranged for 1966.

1967 -  The owners of the Royal Hotel decided to cease the maintenance of the green, notifying the club that if they could not get the Council to maintain the green it would be left to return to pasture. After discussion with the council it was agreed that they would take over the maintenance of the green provided they were given a lease of reasonable period. A lease of 7 years was offered by the Royal Hotel, this was accepted. Monday evenings were made club night.

1971 -  Woodcock Trophy and Garner Cup were started.

1972 -  Subs raised to £3.50.

1975 -  Bowls had to be stamped in order to enter County Competitions. A successful bowls drive was run in May in conjunction with the Ladies Club. John Harris Trophy was started.

1977 - Coalville and District League was started.

1978 -  G. Jones reached Final County Singles Competition. New Pavillion purchased from Radcliffe College for £500. To be collected and erected in Feb 1979.

1979 - Building at Radcliffe College removed and sections stored at Royal Hotel by a team of Club members lead by H.Thomson, in very inclement weather conditions. Paid for by loans from some members. All work completed to facilitate erection of new pavilion. Electricity supply installed by E.M.E.B. at a cost of £467.95, Ladies Club to pay one third of the cost. New Cess Pool to be installed Ladies Club to pay half. Agreement to have a verandah fitted to front of the new pavilion. New tables and chairs purchased at a cost of £657.85. False roof fitted to pavillion and new Flag Pole delivered. Ashby won the GREENWOOD CUP.

1980 -  New Club rules adopted to encompass new bar and liquor licence. Bar Licence issued. Gift of new Flag from Nellie England. First year of bar accounts showed profit of £475.17. Ashby were runners-up in the Greenwood Cup and received the PICKARD CUP. New Pavilion officially opened.

1981 - County badge awarded to Steve Westwood. Reconditioned cash register purchased for bar cost of £60.00 Reached semi finals of unbadged fours.

1982 - Kitchen fitted. Bar licence granted for 10 years. Won Thursday C & D Thursday Triples league.

1984 - B. Whyatt won C & D Singles Champions Cup

1985 - The Club were runners-up in the UNBADGED FOURS. New watering system purchased.

1986 - Over 60`s B team won C & D Gala and were runners up in the league.

1987 - Presidents Badge of Office purchased.

1988 - Interest free loans from members to pay for new portakabin supplied and erected at a cost of £842.50p.for new changing room and toilets. Bowling Green squared off.

1989 - Centenary Year. Matches arranged with L.B.A on 19th June and with E.B.A on 15th August. Team entered in News of the World Cup. New Changing Rooms officially opened.

1990 - Ashby won the Coalville and District B league.

1991 - Ashby won the over 60’s Coalville and District League. Ashby B team won the over 60’s Coalville and District League. M.Woolley, C Brearly, C Bates won the Leicestershire Bowls Association Triples. C. Bates was a finalist in the Leicestershire Bowls Association Singles. C Bates, C Brearly, M Bates runners up Midlands County Championship.

1992 - Ashby won the over 60’s Coalville and District Gala. Midland Counties President recognised C. Bates as being an outstanding County player.

1994 - Ashby won the GREENWOOD CUP. County badge awarded to Barry Whyatt. Open Pairs competition replaced by Novice Competition

1995 - Major roof repairs.

1997 - New dishwasher, kitchen and bar renovation. Changing room pavilion extension Ashby won the Coalville and District League C League.

1999 - Offer of Bullen`s Field for new clubhouse and green, which would cost £145,000, decided not to proceed.

2000 - Ashby A team won the over 60’s Coalville and District Gala. Club to take over maintenance of the green, Town council to supply and maintain machinery to start in 2002.

2001 - Ashby A team won the Coalville and District League A League. Ashby B team won the Coalville and District League C League. Ashby B team won the over 60’s Coalville and District Gala. Ashby won the Gracedieu Cup.

2002 - As the Town Council were not prepared to subsidise both the men's and the ladies greens agreement was reached for the clubs to amalgamate to form Ashby de la Zouch Bowling Club and adopted the men's bowling green. The ladies changing room, equipment shed and paving slabs were transferred by the men to their club. The Town Council agreed to install a new access road from Prior Park. With the dismantling of the pavilion and removal of the surrounding hedge by the Town Council sadly there is no longer any trace of the former Ashby Ladies Bowling Club. Ashby A team won the Coalville and District League A League. Ashby A team won the over 60’s Coalville and District Gala.

2003 - Ashby won the Gracedieu Cup. Barry Whyatt was a finalist in the County Champion of Champions. Ashby won the Coalville and District League B League. New furniture was purchased for the pavilion.

2004 - Ashby won the Gracedieu Cup. Discussions with council with a view that the club should take over the maintenance of the green because the County had banned the green for county competitions. Decking for the pavilion implemented and new fencing was erected around the green.

2005 - New automatic watering system for the green was installed at a cost of £6462.50. Second hand spiking machine purchased from Lount Bowls Club.

2006 - Ashby A team won the over 60’s Coalville and District League.

2007 - Ashby won the GREENWOOD CUP. Club shirts were introduced.

2010 - Ashby won the GREENWOOD CUP. Ashby A team won the Coalville and District League A League. Colin Bale was awarded his County Colts Badge. Refurbishment of the electrical wiring to meet Health and Safety requirements.

2011 - Ashby B team won the over 60’s Coalville and District League. Ray Ball and Richard Pinder awarded County Colts Badge. Mower and attachments purchased as recommended by Bowls England.

2012 - Ashby A team won the over 60’s Coalville and District League. Peter Goacher awarded his County Colts badge. Coloured shirts registered and available for members.

2013 - Kitchen extension was completed at a cost of £3954.00. Coloured jackets available to members. The edging to the green was replaced with a recyclable plastic. Ashby Bowls agreed at the January AGM to hold the AGM’s in October. Ashby A team won the Coalville and District A league, and over 60’s Coalville and District league. The over 60’s was won by the most points ever scored and the most number (12) maximum 8 points recorded. Barry Whyatt, Brian Fisher and Pete Gardener won the over 60’s gala. At the October AGM the club adopted Wishes4Kids as there charity. Roger Bird was elected as an Honourary Member after 48 years membership and as was referred to as ‘Mr Ashby Bowls’.

2014 - Club interior painted. New dishwasher acquired for the kitchen. The Mayor and the Town Clerk attended the opening of the green for the new season. For the 125th anniversary year matches were arranged against Bowls England, Leicestershire Bowls Association, Midland Counties Bowls Association and an Invitation match against 6 local clubs.