100 years on the green

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NEVER mind a royal jubilee — Eaglesham bowling club is this week celebrating its centenary year.

The village club will mark a century on the green with an open day on Saturday, and hopes to attract new members to take it forward for another 100 years.

Club president Jean Hume said: “We have many people to thank; all members and committees past and present who have given their time and personal skills to make our club as successful and happy as it is today.

“I have great confidence in the future of our club, and hope it will go from strength to strength in the next 100 years”.

Eaglesham bowling club was first established in 1912, as a means of boosting recreation in the village, then suffering post-industrial decline.

Leading the way was reverend James Buchanan, parish church minister at Eaglesham and the club’s first president.

Reverend Buchanan, along with John Miller Brown and William Browning (also school headmaster, parish registrar and session clerk for the kirk) agreed on a lease from landowner James Watson – for a grand yearly rent of six pounds, 17 shillings and eight pence.

Fundraising efforts were documented by visiting poet Tom Johnstone, who mentions it in his poem The Eaglesham Bus — although the Glasgow man didn’t live to see the green, as he died in 1911.

The clubhouse was enlarged after the Second World War, and by 1954, ladies were permitted to take to the bowling green.

By its jubilee year, there were 59 active members, and in 1969 — coinciding with the village being named Scotland’s first conservation village, and the re-itroduction of the Eaglesham fair — a trophy was established for competing with neighbouring clubs.

At the beginning of the 21st century, ladies were finally recognised as equal members — the club has since had five male and five female presidents, and now boasts over 130 members.

John Anderson, chairman of Bowls Scotland, congratulated EBC on reaching its centenary year, and added: “It’s refreshing in this current climate to celebrate with a club on reaching this great achievement.

“Despite the falling membership in other clubs, I am sure that Eaglesham will go on for another century”.

The Eaglesham bowling club centenary open day is on from 2pm on Saturday (April 14), and all are welcome to attend. To find out more, call 01355 302040.

See this week’s Extra (out on Thursday) for more pictures marking 100 years of Eaglesham bowling club.