THE POTTED HISTORY OF IVER HEATH BOWLS CLUB 1948- 2022
In 1948 bowlers interested in forming a Bowls Club at Iver Heath contacted the Council for permission to use the local green which was laid out before the war, although there is no record of any play having taken place up to 1948. The playing fields at the time were owned by the Playing Fields Association, but administered by the Council.
Permission to form the club was granted by the Council and it was agreed that one rink should be made available to the public upon request, being subject to prior arrangement as there was no resident green keeper. The Iver Heath recreation ground had no facilities except a broken down pavilion used mostly by the two active football teams. The landlord of the local Stag and Hounds provided help by allowing us to use his premises for meetings etc!
A committee was formed and the club was affiliated to B.C.B.A. and the E.B.A in 1950. A percentage of the members’ subscriptions was allocated to the Council who maintained the green. After seeking further permission from the Council, the club obtained a small Nissan type building from Pinewood Studios. Together with other building materials supplied by many friends and members the building was erected to form the first clubhouse. Harman’s Brewery donated a small bar and Iver Heath Bowls Club began to function.
Work on the green was carried out by the local council groundsman, who also looked after Iver village and the Colnbrook recreation grounds. We soon realised that bowling greens need a great deal of special attention, so with the increased subscriptions and donations from members and bar takings, the Council agreed we take over the maintenance of the green; they still paid at that time for the fertilisers etc.
Over those early years local Councillors, such as Mrs E Beakhouse and Mr T Hazelgrove and Mr J Dutton, showed a great interest in the club. With the continuing expansion of the club, which included lady bowlers, further extensions and improvements were carried out by our members.
Our first County Honours being the County Pairs, won by Albert and Tommy Davies in 1957. Albert and Tommy won this competition 5 times in all. A feat that is never likely to be repeated in Bucks. In 1962 we achieved our first win in the Bucks Cup competition.
In 1992 the club house was burnt to the ground by vandals, which caused us a great sense of loss. However, with great fortitude and much hard work, together with the Council, a new club house was built. The club contributed £45,000 towards the rebuilding of the club and spent many thousands of pounds in furnishing the inside. We now have a club which is the envy of most and respected throughout the south of England. This is reflected by Keith Hawes and Peter Picknell becoming British Pairs Champions in 2002.
We now pay for all costs associated with the green and maintenance of the club, at great saving to the Council and local community , who we understand are duly proud of our success. In 2008 the club was unified to advance the game of bowls.
One of our greatest and proudest achievements was in 2009. Thirty one members attended a Bowls England Dinner and Dance when we were presented with Bowls of England Drakes Pride Club of the year.
It is with regret that in 2011 we lost our only surviving founder member Mr Albert Davies, a gentleman and excellent bowler. We also lost our Centurion Past President of Bucks county Mr Arthur Binks who was also a life member.
On a brighter note, in 2012 Mrs Mavis Davis was elected as our first Lady Life Member. In 2015 we were honoured to have one of our ladies, Mrs Chris Hill to be Lady President of Bucks County. Success continues at the club and most recently Rachel Efde was the 2019 County Ladies Champion. Keith Hawes was Bucks County President for 2019 and 2020 which reflects our standing in the bowling community.
In 2020 we proved our resilience and passion for bowling by continuing to bowl as much as we could whilst following social distancing and COVID legislation. We were one of the few clubs to run club competitions and the many in house matches we played provided a focus and company for the members that were able to participate.
2022 to 2048 Watch this space!