This week I am looking at the history of Camberley’s sports facilities. I am not sure that the bowl’s club is actually the first to be created, but possibly it is the oldest surviving.
Originally bowls were played in the garden of a house called Blairmore, in the London Road. The front garden had been used as the site for the new Council Offices that were opened in 1906 and the house itself stood empty behind. A bowling club was formed at the Victoria Hotel next door and they used the unwanted back lawn of the old house, playing their first match on 8 July 1906, according to Mary Bennett. One of the original members was George Doman, who has appeared before in these posts and is due to have his own special place soon!
In 1925 another bowling green was opened in the newly purchased area between the recreation ground and Southwell Park Road. The two new greens cost £89 to create and at the first game were Frank Stallwood and David Sparvell two prominent local business men. According to Mary Bennett (Camberley: A History) a new club was form in November 1929 by joining the two bowling organisations together. It was known simply as the Camberley Bowls Club and had its HQ at the Victoria Hotel despite giving up the greens at the rear of the building.
My third photo is of the premises of Watchetts Bowling Club which was founded in 1934 and uses land leased from the Borough Council at Watchetts Recreation Ground. Unfortunately I don’t have any further details and I would be grateful if anyone can add some more detail.