The Early Years
The story commences in the 1930′s when the tenanted house building was being completed on the Broomhall Avenue side of the Carrick Knowe development by McTaggart and Mickel . During the construction they used several plots in Broomhall Avenue as their builders’ yard. When they moved on to their Broomhall site, this yard was left vacant and local bowlers particularly Bill Ness spotted the potential this ground had.
In the post war period to 1952,St.Margarets park public green was well used by enthusiastic local bowlers and teams. The Carrick Knowe and Broomfield Association public parks bowling team thrived, there were several other informal bowling tournaments organised by social committees of local churches, including the Carrick Knowe Parish, Corstorphine Old Parish, St. Ninians and St John the Baptist.
In November 1952 a circular was distributed to every house within the Carrick Knowe and Broomhall housing area informing them of a public meeting to be held on 9th December 1952 to consider forming a private bowling club in Broomhall Avenue. There was an exceptional attendance at this meeting, which was chaired by Mr Greenslade who was President at the time of the Carrick Knowe and Broomfield Ratepayers Association. Requests had been made by various ” St Margaret’s regulars” to use the vacant ground to build a bowling green. This was approved at the meeting and a new committee appointed.
The newly formed committee made approaches to the Corporation assisted by local councillor Marcus Ward and fellow council member , David Kyles. Both were full of enthusiasm and promised whatever help they could. The Corporation had approved a loan of £1400 repayable over 20 years and there was an opportunity to purchase 16 ft x 30 ft huts at an approximate price of £60. The membership was proposed to be initially eighty male members who would take out a debenture share of £5 to be paid up over the period of a year collectors were appointed for the purpose of collecting 5 shillings per month from members).
A committee was formed and regular monthly meetings were held. Both Wardie and Sighthill Bowling Clubs were approached to obtain copies of their Constitution for reference in the preparation of the Carrick Knowe Bowling Club Constitution. After careful consideration of the options, in February1953 it was decided that the membership would consist of fifty Ladies and ninety Gentlemen.
During 1953, plans of the layout of the ground were prepared under instructions by Bill Ness and permission to use it had been received from McTaggart and Mickel. Negotiations then proceeded with various suppliers regarding possibilities of temporary huts etc. Green laying quotations were requested from various contractors.
On 22nd April 1953, Messrs J.H.Harwell Limited was chosen to construct the green at a cost of £1,232.
After some discussion, it was recommended to the members that materials for a permanent brick pavilion of 50ft x 22ft, would cost £700 approximately. Depending on labour being provided from the members, it was agreed to proceed. Further debate followed regarding the SBA ruling that all new greens should be 44 yards square and Hartwell’s quote was resubmitted for sea washed turf and agreed at the purchase price of £1,355
Between 1953 and the opening day in 1955, there was a tremendous amount of work required by the initial founder members to build the Club. No outside contractor was used and the variety of skills amongst the Founder Members was on a part time basis.
It was agreed that the members should carry out a minimum of sixteen hours per month on the pavilion and surrounds of the green. The Edinburgh Evening News documented the progress of the building of the Club by the members.
Those who were not tradesmen were used for manual labour. Considering the professions of some of the members and the lack of skill in the construction trade there were fortunately only minor accidents. The main complaint being blisters on hands and aching backs. Contacts of tradesmen were used to obtain discounted supply of materials.
As empowered by the members of an EGM on 22nd July 1954, the committee policed the workers by issuing warnings and there were quite a few expulsions for non attendance. There was no lack of waiting list members keen to take part and so there was no hold up in the construction.
Brick by brick the Club was built and over the same period the green was laid. It was gratifying to all concerned to see what had been a builder’s yard being transformed into something that was going to enhance the amenity of the district.
The passion and dedication of all involved ensured the completion of the clubhouse and green by the opening day of 14th May 1955.
For any leisure based organisation to survive, it must have premises, a central point for the membership to meet and socialise and this was immediately apparent back in the early years. Our clubhouse has been witness to many things over the decades, friendliness, generosity, new generations, jubilation at our successes, commiseration over our losses, healthy debates and discussions and people who were prepared to give their all for CKBC. The founder members always maintained that the friendly atmosphere which prevails within the Club was born during the construction work, when people who had been strangers to one another soon came to know better the people who lived around them in the two housing schemes.
On 14th May 1955 at 3.30pm Marcus Ward and the Club Committee cut the ribbon to mark the official opening of the Clubhouse and Green. On the day of that celebration, the hopes and dreams of those involved in the creation of Carrick Knowe Bowling Club were fulfilled.
The Club would not have been able to operate successfully and efficiently without the members, who have been willing to give generously of their time. There have always been members who put their name forward for Committees or for actual posts like treasurer or Secretary. These last two jobs particularly have been filled by men and women of quite outstanding dedication and ability since the clubs inception.
Over the years, Honorary President status has been awarded for outstanding service on behalf of the Club to Marcus Ward, David Kyles and Jim Hay. Recently Honorary Membership has been awarded for outstanding bowling achievements to Colin Mitchell and Pat Hay, To Jimmy Gilfillan for many years of fundraising and to Alec Ruthven for services to the club and especially for the junior section.
President: Ian Thomson
Vice President: George Bain
Secretary: A Harvey
Treasurer: W Scott, W Crosbie, J Dinwoodie, O Howieson, R Rintoul, D Robertson, JD Taylor, W Ness
Honorary President: Baillie Marcus Ward
Following their hard endeavours in building the green and clubhouse, the Founder Members prepared for their first game of bowls on May 14th 1955. This was followed by a function in the clubhouse.
By 14th May 1955, the founder members had achieved a tremendous amount. The club pavilion and green were complete, a Constitution was in place and the loan from the District Council had increased to £1946/6s.
Fifty plus years of enjoyable bowling and social activities have resulted from the inspiration and hard work of the Founder Members and the first Committee. Following committees and members have aimed to maintain similar levels of commitment throughout its history, the Club and its facilities have been continually upgraded and developed.
The first extension being opened in 1971
Floodlights were installed in 1961 and upgraded in 1995, our own members undertook the works involved in both these projects. Other projects to extend the clubhouse followed in 1971,1981 and 1990.
The Jubilee Lounge, completed in 2003 was the last project undertaken by the club. This refurbishment has provided a significant benefit to the members. A large bright area to view sports, provide alternative cabarets after our friendly matches, and a place to retreat to when there are private functions in the main hall.