|Exactly 70 years span the above images. The following text is a feature on our centenary (1874 to 1974) which appeared in the Falkirk Herald on the 20th of April 1974. Many thanks to the Falkirk Herald and Falkirk District Libraries for making this page possible.|
Above from left to right: Ian Hislop (Vice President), R. Jamieson (President/Secretary) and R. Scott (Treasurer)
BOWLS, ONE OF THE OLDEST OF OUTDOOR PASTIMES, has been played in Polmont for 100 years. And on Saturday Polmont Bowling Club celebrated the occasion in fine style at the opening of this, their centenary season.
On what was a glorious day for such an event, the green was officially opened by Mrs. Agnes Jamieson, wife of this year's Club President, Bob Jamieson and a large number of members and guests were present. And some members of the Wallacestone pipe Band entertained the company during the afternoon.
Although the original bowling green was situated at Old Polmont, adjacent to the former school, the bowling activity has, in the main, been concentrated at the present site near Polmont Station.
From the records of "The Falkirk Herald" dated August 8, 1874, it is interesting to read this extract, which is written as published: "A friendly match betwixt eight members of the Polmont Bowling Club took place on the bowling green of Millfield, kindly granted for the purpose by T. H. Campbell, Esq., on the evening of Monday last.
The Polmont Club is a new club but apparently a healthy one, and the pluck exhibited by them on the occasion was extremely gratifying, even to their opponents, who are a maturer lot, and really had a few heavy prize takers among them. It was evident, too, that the skill of Polmont Club, in some respects, was not in six weeks' standing, and the drivers or skips, shewed some rare mettle, both in direction and drawing, Polmont was, indeed, in very good fettle, and rather surprised skip Morton of Linlithgow at the close in drawing and wicking, notwithstanding the daring of Johnnie, and the laying out of guards to prevent him drawing, running, smashing and fluking it.
There was a good turnout of the Polmont Club and onlookers and the evening was of the most suitable and enjoyable kind for a game. We observed on the ground, Messrs Thomas and John Campbell of Millfield and Dr MacFarlane of Polmont, who seemed to enjoy the evening's sport. The following is the result of the games which was one of 21 ends and extremely creditable for Polmont. Results: Linlithgow - Mr. J. Watson, 25, Linlithgow , Mr. T. Morton, 20, Polmont, Mr. Duncan, 23, Total Linlithgow 45, Polmont 36 - majority for Linlithgow nine.
"The Linlithgow bowlers were afterwards hospitably entertained by their Polmont brethren in the Black Bull Inn and a very pleasant evening was spent, all separating at the close with the kindly feeling of 'happy to meet, sorry to part and happy to meet again'."
As the old saying goes, a lot of water has run under the bridge since those days, and today the Polmont Club can look back on an excellent record of success in the field of competitive bowls. And of the many bowlers who have brought
distinction to the club the names of Archie Cruikshanks (five times club champion between 1944 and 1964) and Willie Bennie, also five times club champion between 1946 and 1960 are readily remembered. Two bowlers took the title on four occasions. They were Gilbert Gray (between 1927 and 1935) and Robert Jack (1961 - 1969) The present champion is Manus O' Donnell who has won the title twice before. The oldest member is Mr. John Binnie (84), Pretoria Place Polmont.
The first champion according to the club records, was D. smith (1918) and the first president was J. McKinlay who held the post from 1874 until1885, and on Saturday, President Bob Jamieson, who is also club secretary, welcomed Mr. William Neil from the Scottish Bowling Association; Mr. O. Young, Eastern District Bowling Association; Mr. John Stewart, County Bowling Association; Mr. Jimmy Scott, ex-club champion; two representatives each from Kirkliston, BP, Grangemouth and Camelon Bowling clubs; four members from the Ladies' section, Mr. James Anderson, the county convener; Councilor Mrs. Alix Fullerton, Polmont and District councilor David Graham, Polmont.
Following two games, each of nine ends, vice-president Ian Hislop thanked green keeper Dick Scott, assistant Dan O'Donnell, the barmaid and cleaner for the hard work they had done.