49a Redford Road Edinburgh
Opinions differ regarding the origins of bowling, some saying it is as old as the Egyptian Pharaohs. Others believe that the modern version of the game, which involves scoring shots by getting the bowl nearest to the smaller “jack”, has its roots in thirteenth century England. In Edinburgh, there was an early bowling green at Holyrood Palace where King James lV played with his courtiers.
Bowls became a controversial game, banned frequently for commoners in England as it distracted the yeomen from their archery practice. The ban was not applied in Scotland and the game became very popular over time with fans such as Robert Burns and Walter Scott playing the game. In 1893, the first national bowling association was formed in Scotland.
Colinton Bowling Club was founded in 1938 when a group of local men managed to lease a picturesque site on Redford Road. The annual rental for the property was £5 and each member paid 10 shillings as a joining fee and 25 shillings annually (the equivalent of £209 at today’s prices). The clubhouse cost approximately £500 to build and the construction of the green cost £595. The club was finally opened on 10th June 1939. A silver “jack” was presented by the construction company and it is still used in the opening ceremony in April each year when one of the club ladies throws the first bowls of the season. (See photo below.)
The first women members joined in 1971 and nowadays the club includes a junior section. There are currently 211 playing members with opportunities to play in the many leagues the club takes part in. Or members can play just for fun on one of the “hat” days when everyone is welcome to join in. Colinton is one of the few clubs in Edinburgh to have two bowling greens and consequently is often asked to host prestigious bowling events. It has been the venue for Women’s international games, junior women’s internationals and the finals of the inter-county “Top 10” among others. The club has had many bowling successes over the years including Scottish champions on both the men’s and women’s side and several winners of the Edinburgh and the East of Scotland championships.
Bowling apart, the club runs many social events and there is a bar, a games room, a lounge, a hall with a large dance floor where members can sponsor functions.
We are currently seeking more members so if you would like to experience the very ancient yet immensely enjoyable sport of bowls, contact Sandra Slater on 0131 441 5595. We have two Scottish Bowling Association accredited coaches, so help is available for learners. Season opens on April 19th and runs until mid October.