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Balerno Bowling Club - The History

 

The name Balerno is derived from the original Gaelic name “Baile Airnsach” which could be freely translated as “village surrounded by Sloes.” Both the Gaelic name and detail from a Sloe berry bush appear on the Club Badge. In addition there are specimen Sloe bushes, Prunus Spinosa, planted either side of the flagpole at the Green.

The Club was founded in 1886 when local businessmen and workers petitioned the Earl of Rosebery for a strip of land to make a bowling green. He granted one acre in the grounds of Malleney House on a ten year lease at a rent of one shilling sterling {5p}. Lord Roseberry became the first Club president with a Mr David Fairburn as Vice-president.

In 1908 at a meeting chaired by Mr William Lawson it was agreed that the costs of repair would be uneconomic and it was proposed that a new green be laid, again leased from Lord Rosebery, at an estimated construction cost of £350. The Club had a balance of £50 and when various fund raising efforts fell short of the required total Mr Lawson generously advanced the balance. It was entirely appropriate that Mrs Lawson was invited to open the new Green on its present site in 1910. The Green now forms part of the Estate of Lord Rosebery’s grandson, Lord Dalmeny but the rent is considerably higher than 5p per year!

One of the early Presidents was Councilor Horsburgh who owned two Smiddys, one in Johnsburn Road and one in the village. Horsburgh invented metal shafts for golf clubs. Unfortunately his patent was only for two years and since he encountered strong opposition from the Royal and Ancient at St. Andrews he let it lapse. Thus it was left to America to get the credit for introducing this revolutionary club! A set of commemorative bowls presented to Mr Horsburgh is displayed in the trophy cabinet in the Club. He was quite a sportsman and also became a Curling International.

Through the years a number of Club Members have earned International Honours. On the Outdoor Green, J.Forrest, W.Dyett and John Summers. John played in the 1980 World Cup in Australia and until recently was the Manager of the Scottish Indoor Team. Both Willie Dyett and John Summers were also capped Indoors as was Laurie McMorran, David Beveridge and G. Melrose. Finally, one must not forget our latest International, Ron Smith who, in 2003, was capped by Scotland in the British Championships for the Visually impaired.

The Club was enlarged to its present size in 1967 and in 1968 a Ladies Section was formed. Despite the number of married couples we have as playing members only one husband and wife, Kenny and Helen Girdler, have held their respective Championships simultaneously.

This can only be a short selective history of the Club. Those who wish to know more can find it from the Honours Boards displayed in the Club House or better still from Club Members in the Bar over a few Drams.

Come and visit us.



 

Bavelaw Garage

We carry out all types of general repairs large or small and servicing to all makes and models of cars and light vans at very competitive prices, so why not try us first? we are sure you will be very surprised at the keen prices that we quote you, and the quality of the work which we carry out every time and on time.

 

To book any repairs direct with us on line

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Phone 0131 449 7450

Cockburn Farm
Balerno,

Edinburgh

EH14 7JB

 

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