Ashtead Bowls Club

Ashtead Bowls Club History


Prior to 1920 bowls was played in Ashtead on a piece of land in Oakfield Road but in that year a small group of men joined together under the guidance of Mr E Bisiker to form Ashtead Bowling Club. Mr Bisiker became the Club’s first President and remained so until his death in 1943.

A green was constructed in the northeastern corner of the Cricket Ground in Woodfield Lane on the site of the former tennis courts. Steady progress was made in the next twenty years and matches were played against local clubs but although some of the bowlers entered the Surrey County competitions the majority contented themselves with club competitions.

The Club does not appear to have been in a good financial position in these early years and the quest for new members (and thus more money) was always paramount, for the cost of maintaining the Green was continually rising. During the War years the Green deteriorated considerably and in the winter of 1946/47 it was entirely re-laid at a cost of some £700. Despite what was then considered this considerable expenditure, the number of members declined until by 1952 it stood at just 24. Drastic action was called for and it was therefore decided to admit ladies. By 1955 it was reported that there was "a successful Ladies’ section" and the Club went from strength to strength.

Many social and fundraising activities took place with such success that in 1965 a new pavilion was built with the proceeds of these functions. With increased numbers and income new changing rooms were constructed and the pavilion was extended at both ends to provide additional facilities for social and catering purposes.

Due to its friendly atmosphere and success in outside competitions the membership grew to the point where further new premises became essential. In 1996 a grant from the Lottery Board, coupled with loans from virtually the whole membership and a great deal of hard work by both sexes enabled the Club to acquire the present premises. The installation of central heating enabled the pavilion to be used during the winter months, allowing Short Mat bowls to be played  and a very active Social Committee provides entertainment throughout the closed season.

The successes in competitions have continued. The location of Ashtead permits the Club to participate in several leagues and cup competitions.  The Mid-Surrey League was won by the Ladies in both the 1999 and 2000 seasons and they reached the semi-final of the Travelsphere competition in 2001. The Men have won the East Surrey and West Surrey Area Leagues and they have won the Mole Valley Cup more times than any other team. On three occasions 1994,1995 and 1998 the Club won both the Men’s and Ladies’Cup competitions.

Individuals have also achieved success in the County competitions and both playing sections can boast of several "badged" members and The West Surrey Bowling Association Champion of Champions was won in 2000.

Mrs Sue King a former Surrey Singles Champion was President of the Surrey County Women's Bowling Association in 2001.

The Club possesses a long lease of its present site and intends to provide recreational and social facilities for Ashtead for many years to come.