Club History

Broughty Ferry

During the 1850’s – 1860’s  Parliament had granted powers to areas of a certain size to form themselves into police burghs if they wished. In this context the term ‘police’ meant more than merely providing a police force to maintain order. It had far wider implications applying to all matters concerned with the preservation of good order and government. The early police commissioners were responsible for paving, lighting,cleansing the burgh, and for providing the necessary improvements. Broughty Ferry with a population 3,500 took advantage of these powers and became a police burgh in 1864.

Broughty Castle Bowling Club was founded in 1864 and is the first City of Dundee bowling club to attain its 150th year. The green was then rented from  the Caledonian Railway which was previously the Dundee & Arbroath Joint Railway @ £3 per annum.

The green was initially of three rinks and was available for the use of the military stationed in the castle. From 1864 this would have been the 3rd and 4th. Forfarshire Volunteers. And from 1878 by the Submarine Miners Royal Engineers.

Alongside the bowling green was an ice house belonging to the Caledonian Railway. It was believe it or not an ice storage facility,which was knocked down in 1929 for the extension of the green to 6 rinks

1891 extract from courier. Matches  against Broughty Victoria. This was no friendly.

1910 photograph and annual supper Jolly’s hotel.

1914 green extended to 4 rinks . Story in courier.

1920 A new clubhouse was built, and this was extended 1948.

1928  The Town Council acquired our ground and negotiations began about increasing the green to 6 rinks and new rents set. (see council minutes )

1929  All parties were in agreement . Rent was set @£30 per annum and membership restricted to 100.

1931 An application to the council for a toolshed brought about a war of words between the two parties. (see extract from courier )

1937 Complaint against council about workman watering green while it was raining.(see extract guide & gazette).

1941 Club submitted letter to council in April offering to provide a green keeper to work under the auspices of the Parks Department suggesting their curator would be suitable. Club also requested consideration be given to reduction in present rent of  £30. (see council minutes)

1941 In May council agreed to reduction in rent of £10 on the understanding that club submit balance sheet at the end of the year.

1954 A letter was submitted to council regarding tenure of club . Substantial improvements were needed . Club requested opportunity to buy the club or be given a lease of 20 or 30 years duration. After  a vote of 8-2 council offered a long term lease. (see council minutes)

1956  A new clubhouse was built in 1956. This new building was mostly constructed by voluntary work by members and friends, who built the brick walls and did the joiner work , plumbing, painting, lighting etc.

1957 The new clubhouse made it possible to introduce a Ladies section. Ladies could play each afternoon (except Saturdays) at the end of the year the ladies had 22 members.

1958 Application for grant for wall was refused, council decided responsibility was with tenants.

1962  Application for bar license refused.

1966  After  yearly applications we were granted a bar license.

1967 Official opening of  bar 22nd April.

1969 The committee decided through Bailie Alan Inglis to approach the council for the buying of the green . This was mainly due to our lease running out in May 1974.

1970  An application to buy our green was submitted.

1971  Thanks to Alan Inglis when the decision was made to knock down the old bowl house and extend the club to King Street and extend the club to the East, the council agreed. (see  photograph)

1973 Our application was dogged by letters going missing and communications between Town Clerk  and Chief valuer and District Valuer. In the event our green was offered to us for the sum of £5,000. In the event of the club willing to lease again, the City Assessor would recommend a lease of 40 years .

1973 Our new extension was opened.

1974  In the month of May we purchased our green for £5,000. For some unknown reason the cheque was not handed over till 1975.

1976  The south side of the club was extended to include new toilets and locker room.

1983 The S.B.A. arranged to host the World Bowls Championship in Aberdeen . Clubs were asked to volunteer to donate the cost of a medal . Broughty Castle were the only Club in Dundee to respond to this call. The medal we donated was for the third place awards in the fours competition. (see photo in telegraph).

1989  We celebrated our 125th Anniversary.

1991 The function room was re-furnished with the club having 6 bays to accommodate  6 rinks during the Saturday fixtures bowling season

1993 A special general meeting was held on the 1st. October about green preservation. (namely lifting green and laying new one). After presentations the contract was awarded to Arthur Crighton using Cumberland sea washed turf  to be laid end of November  at a cost of £15,500 possibly able to play by May 1994.

1994  Due to bad weather conditions the new turf was unable to be laid. The turf deteriorated and we had to send for another supply. This was laid March / April and the first game was played in August. Meanwhile friendly games were played at the Indoor bowling club.

1998 To bring our club up to modern day standards, it was proposed we renovate our bar . The hatch was removed  and a new bar with extensions was built. The result was as it is to-day.

1998 The Past Presidents Association was formed. This was mainly to raise funds for the club through an annual bowling tournament for Past Presidents from other clubs, and an annual Christmas raffle.

First President : J.M.Whyte.
Vice-President : R.Langlands.
Sec./Treasurer : W.Robertson.
Committee : R.T.Smith, J.R.Bell.

15 Past Presidents attended the first meeting. It was agreed to pick the president of the association by seniority and this has continued up to the present day. Up to date the association has donated £16,000 to the club.

2009  The Ladies became full  members, entitled to the same privileges as the men.

2009 To raise funds for our 150th. Anniversary we started a weekly lottery  and the target was £20,000 by APRIL  2014 This target was reached in NOVEMBER 2013. and many thanks are due to our members.

2011 In March we obtained a grant of  £10,000 from the National Lottery Fund for a disabled toilet to be installed.

Ladies History

A meeting was held in the clubhouse in April 1957, attended by Mrs Niven, Mrs Gourlay, Mrs Gordon and Mrs Kay and with assistance from the gents committee, Broughty Castle Bowling Club ladies section was formed.

First president : Nan Gordon
Vice-president : Agnes Laing

Fees were set at £1. By the end of the year membership had risen to 22 members.

On opening day 1964, the centenary of  Broughty Castle Bowling Club, Lady President Betha Niven unfurled the new centenary flag which the ladies had presented to the club.

In 1982 the ladies celebrated their Silver Jubilee. President was Cath Young. By this time the membership had increased to 40, with a waiting list of 20. Fees had risen to £5 per year.

2004 At the ladies A.G.M. a motion was put forward to seek full membership which was passed by 19 votes to12. An E.G.M. was then held in October 2004 when it was passed by 26 votes to 20 the request for full membership be deferred until after 2007 to enable them to celebrate their Golden Jubilee.

Honours list

1963  Angus & Perthshire Fours
A. Greig, J. Thomson, J. Millar, and A. Brymer

1969  Angus & Perthshire Pairs
J. Millar, and J. Thomson

1988  East of Scotland Fours District Winners
Inter District Winners & National Finalists
H.Allen, E.Young, J. Norrie, M.Fairweather

2006  District East of Scotland Singles
F. McLean.

2007  Angus & Perthshire Two Bowl Pairs
R. Baxter and M. Benns

2010  District East of Scotland Pairs
H. Guild and J.Stewart

2010  District East of Scotland Fours
L. Robertson, D. Crooks
E. Younger, J. Robertson