An inaugral meeting was held on Wednesday 18th March 1914, with the proposal to form Liskeard Bowling Club.
It was agreed to lay a Green of 120ft x 65 / 70ft at Lux Park Recreation Ground (Liskeard).
The completed Green was inspected on 17th April 1914, and the first informal Opening of the Green was held on 21st July 1914.
THE EARLY YEARS
Liskeard Bowling Club enjoyed a successful 10 years at Lux Park.
The first official match was played against Mount Gould Bowling Club, Plymouth, in July 1916 (result unknown). During the Summer after WW1 had finished, matches were held against Looe.
In 1920, Liskeard Bowling Club was affiliated to Cornwall County Bowling Association, and County matches for the "Nicholl Cup" were played against Looe and St Austell.
Other early friendly matches were against Launceston (now Dunheved), Plymouth Press, Newquay, Falmouth, Plymouth Hoe, Plymouth Drake, Penzance, Devonport Park, and Tavistock.
In 1923, Liskeard Bowling Club joined the Plymouth & District League.
Early Club Competitions were: 'Singles Knock Out', 'Round Robin' (11 ends each match), 'Smokers v Non Smokers', and a 'Handicap Competition.
The above photo's are: (L) The New Green and Pavillion 1925. (R) Town Mayor W.J. Young Esq. Bowling the first wood of the 1925 Opening of the Green.
THE MOVE TO VARLEY LANE
In 1924, two sites were offered to Liskeard Bowling Club for the purpose of laying a New Green and a New Club House.
The first site was at Verdun Terrace, but this was turned down as it was deemed to be too expensive. The second site, a meadow, was offered at the lower end of Varley Lane (the present Club location). This was accepted for a rental of £6.00 per annum on a 50 year lease.
The County Surveyer (Mr Cathrall) was asked to draw up plans and specs for the new Green, and the County Expert (Mr Thomas) proposed that Liskeard Bowling Club should have a first class Green which could be one of the best in the County.
Well, he wan't wrong in his thinking there.......was he!!!!
Work commenced on the new site in October 1924 and the completed work came to the princely sum of £412.10s which included £20.00 in materials for building the New Wooden Pavilion.
MEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP SINGLES 'VIVIAN CUP'
This Cup was first presented to Liskeard Bowling Club
in 1927 by T. J. Vivian Esq.
This Cup is the earliest Club Cup that is still played for annually to this very day.
John Lewis Rapson.
The First President Of Liskeard Bowling Club
During the 1930's, the Club appeared to go from strength to strength.
Several 'Touring Teams' visited throughout the 1930's, including : London County Councils Bowling Association, Leicester County Touring Club, Southend-on-Sea, Bristol Royal Empire Society, and, Glasgow Ex Presidents.
Annual Day Tours were organized throughout the decade. In 1934, it was to Dartmouth via Slapton Sands. In 1937, the Club were off to Lynton & Lynmouth, and in 1938 they took off once more to Paignton & Torquay via Princetown and Dartmeet.
During 1931 and 1932, it was suggested that Ladies join the Club. The general consensus being that their addition would help with Club finances. This was finally passed in 1939 with 2 afternoon rinks to be allocated for the Ladies and the Club not to provide any outfit. For some unknown reason, the Ladies Club was formed until 1951........this will be touched on a little later on.
Again throughout the 1930's, the Mens County League 'Nicholl Cup' and 'Constantine Cup', continued to be play for.
In 1934, the Club approched the County Green Expert, Mr Thomas, to ask his advice on re-laying the Green. Bentley Ltd agreed to do this for the sum of £291.10s and a Bank Loan was taken out for the amount of £300.00. Club members were not very happy with the result and undertook work on the Green under the supervision of the Master Greensman, Mr Matthews. Around this time it was decided to purchase some new equipment, and a Pricking Machine, a Scarifier, and Mowers were purchased.
For obvious reasons during WWII, bowling was not as prevalent as in previous years. The Plymouth & District League in particular suffered during the war and very few matches were played in Plymouth. League matches gave way to 'Pool Matches' and 'Friendlies v Cornwall Matches', many of which were played on the Liskeard Bowling Club Green. League Matches were resumed in 1946.
In 1944, Liskeard Mayor, Mr W.H. Huddy was elected as President of the Plymouth & District League.
Various fund raising events were held throughout the 1940's, including, Dances, Jumble Sales, and Bridge Drives.
A second-hand car was given to the Club by Mr Jago and was sold for £5.10s.
At the Club's expence, a telephone was installed at the Sectretary's house.
In 1944, Mr Sweet agreed to lease to the Club, a strip of land behind the Wooden Pavillion, 61ft x 10ft for the sum of £4.00 per annum, and in 1945, Mr G. A. Harris bequeathed £100.00 to the Club.
During the war years, a proportion of fund rasing was given to 'The British Legion Comfort War Fund' and 'The Red Cross'.
FORMATION OF THE LADIES BOWLING CLUB
An inaugural meeting of Ladies at Mrs M. Doney's house in Bay Tree Hill, Liskeard, took place on 1st November 1951, to form the Liskeard Ladies Bowling Club. The Officers elected at that meeting were: President - Mrs Faull; Vice Presidents - Mrs Dennis, Mrs Venning, and Mrs Purdy; Hon. Secretary - Mrs Barry; Hon. Treasurer - Mrs Carter; Captain - Mrs Blazier; Vice Captain - Mrs Doney; General & Selection Committee - Mesdames, Blasier, Barry, Edmonds, Doney, and Carter.
In 1952, with 18 Lady Bowlers, the Club joined the Cornwall County Womans Bowling Association, South East Division, along with, St Austell, Par, and Fowey.
It was agreed that the Ladies would wear Blue Blazers, White Dresses and White Hats.
More Events from the 1950's:
In 1952, Liskeard Men's Bowling Club joined the newly formed East Cornwall Bowling League and ceased to play in the Plymouth & District League.
1952. A new block Pavillion was built with £450.00 in the building fund and a further £350.00 raised by members buying shares in the Club.
1953. The new block built Pavillion was opened in April by Sir Douglas Marshall, M.P. During the years following the opening, Harold Muchmore spent many hours dealing with unfinished work and decorating. The concrete posts and wire rails.....which are still in place to this day.....were fixed in front of the Pavillion.
1954. Mr Mildren was appointed President of the Cornwall County Bowling Association. The Mens 40th AGM was held in the Pavillion....the previous venue had been Purdy's Cafe.
1955(?) Provisional negotiations took place as to the possible purchase of the Club. The Secretary investigated possible land for sale to the East, which could be used as a car park.
1956. A day trip was organised to Crediton (Devon) and Bridgewater (Somerset).
1956. Stamping of woods every 10 years and coloured discs were introduced. Clubs could nominate Vice Presidents to the County at 1 per 10 club members. Also in that year, petrol rationing was still effecting to some extent some events such as Fixtures and Whist Drives.
1957. This year saw the installation of a central heating stove.