Rosedale Bowls Club

Rosedale Bowls Club History

1923 to date


The club was formed on 1st January 1923 as a section of the Rosedale Sports and Athletic Club. Its members came primarily from Oakley and Pembridge Nurseries local rose growers. Despite an acute shortage of equipment (most significantly bowls!) the club played its first game on 26th May 1923. Three rinks played eleven ends against Durants Park BC.

The result was Rosedale BC 30       Durants Park BC 39

The following year the Club started on the long road of competitive bowls by playing

Hertingfordbury BC in the East Hertfordshire League on a rink situated where the present

cricket square is.

The result, a win by six shots, was a fitting start of an excellent record enjoyed by the Club at all levels ever since.


By 1925 the Club was fully established and in 1939, prior to the outbreak of World War Two, 32 friendly games were arranged. However, the war soon restricted activities and members turned their attention to raising funds for various good causes such as the Red Cross and local hospitals. One such beneficiary, which seemed to get the lion's share of the money raised was named "Our Boy's Cigarette Box"!


1947 was spent in expanding the Club until by the end of the season it was decided that the green was too small and on 23rd April 1949 the new green was opened in its present location.


Two founder members of note were Charles Burgess and Ted Chastell. The former a manager of the Nursery, he was elected in 1954 as the President of Hertfordshire County BA. Ted Chastell was a County player, County selector and uniquely a life fellow of Rosedale. Ted became greenkeeper and spent his later years working every day on preparing the green. Both became an integral part of Rosedale's history.


Records of the Club's activity become a little sketchy over the years 1949-54  and do not exist at all from 1955-69. However, a combined fixture card for the season 1965-66 shows that the Secretary was one C. W. Lammas.





Since 1970 the Club continued to grow in numbers and status. In 1978 we had our first County Finalists in the late Mick Brayne and Keith Ford. During the late 70's and early 80's five members represented Hertfordshire in the Middleton Cup team, namely Mick Brayne, Andrew Adkins, Michael Knowles, John Dowler and Keith Ford — the latter two in the 1981 side that reached the semi final, a feat not emulated by the County to this date.


In 1977 and 1980 the Club won the County League title (The Manning Cup). These two memorable victories were after many rounds of competition.




In 1981, Doug Shepherd won the County Singles title followed in 1983 and 1988 by John Dowler. In 1983, John also won the East Herts BA singles, the Club singles championship, the East Herts two wood pairs, the Insurance Pairs, the Club 91 competition and was runner up in the Eastern County singles. A unique achievement.


Throughout the Eighties and Nineties, County Pairs bowling was dominated by `The Two Ronnies', alias, Ron Quinton and Ron Pearson. They  won the County pairs championship in 1984 and 1993 and were runners up in 1988, 1992, and 1994. In 1996 they claimed the East Herts Bowls League pairs title. This was a tremendous achievement achieved over a long period of which the Club is rightly proud.


Over the years the Club and several players have won honours in local and East Herts competitions and the East Herts Bowls League. Additionally, the Club was honoured in 1964 when Fred Syer was elected President of East Herts Bowls Association and followed in 1987 by Bill Denton and in 1993 by Derek Adkins.


The Ladies Section was formed in 1975 and has continued to thrive and in 1984/5 Irene Rosendale was elected President of the newly formed East Herts District Women's Bowls Association, an honour emulated in 1997 by Linda Hillman. The Association was the brainchild of Rosedale members and its success can be attributed to their original endeavours in formulating its Constitution.


Several ladies have reached the County and East Herts finals. The ladies fully contribute to the success of the Club both on and off the green.


The Cestra League has been won on nine occasions and the Parker Trophy thirteen times, the most by any of the local participating clubs.


In 1996, Bill Lammas was elected a Life Member of Herts County BA for his work and support. This is the first such award for a member of this Club in which we are justly proud.


In 1997 the Club won the locally sponsored British Gas Cup despite fierce local competition.


Away from the playing front, since 1989 several major projects have been undertaken. Firstly, a new pavilion was built and subsequently extended. New changing rooms were built. The green and surrounds have been modernised and improved to a high standard over the years. This has all been achieved by the abundance of hard work, commitment and enthusiasm of the members, several of whom have given freely of both their time and their money. As with any Club, we know who they are, they are often the unsung heroes working for the benefit of the Club and its members.


Other members who have contributed fully to Rosedale's history but not previously mentioned in this programme include the late Ernest Stevens, Major Tollworthy, Fred Goodwin and Peter Hoare. Also Ken Carter, Harry Bennett and Tony Rodgerson. Without their efforts in past years our history may have been less colourful.