The first one hundred and 25 years
In August 1892 a far seeing group of local residents who regularly played unbiased bowls in Lochee Park agreed to form a Bowling Club. The Town Council were approached for a suitable part of Lochee Park but were unwilling to assist. On the 6th February 1893 the players agreed to lease a site in Ancrum Road for the princely sum of One Pound Sterling per annum and the Ancrum Road Bowling Club was formed. Membership fee for the inaugural season was Five Shillings.
Three years later Ex-Lord Provost Hunter presented a new Cup for play between clubs and Ancrum Road Bowling Club was one of the original contestants. In 1898 a new Bowl House measuring 10 feet by 8 feet was erected at a cost of £12.
By 1901 the search was on for a new and larger green and in 1902 the lease was signed for the present site in Muirton Road. To finance the new green a grand prize drawing was organised, and among the many prizes donated was a pony which was exhibited in the High Street, Lochee, and at the Cattle Market. One Hundred and forty pounds was raised and together with donations and subscriptions the Green and Bowl House costing £500 was opened by Mr. D.M. Brown on the 14th May 1903 totally free from debt. The new green was renamed Lochee Bowling Club. The following year Lochee B.C. affiliated to the Scottish Bowling Association. However run, even the most progressive of clubs sometimes stumbles. A proposal to install Gas Lighting was rejected giving a new meaning to the phrase Lochee Nae Lichts.
1911 saw some major success with the winning of the Hunter Cup for the first time and the introduction of the Wapinshaw on Tuesday evenings. Wapinshaws in these early days were played to an entirely different format with teams of 6 players entered for a competition lasting 6 to 8 weeks. Each week a draw for Rink and position was made and the results tabulated in league form. Entry fees were charged each week and prizes presented to the league winners. It was at this time that Lochee made the wearing of rubber soles compulsory for all bowlers
The following year brought the club continued success winning the Three Counties tournament by the record margin of 69 shots up. The same year it was agreed that Club competitions be charged as follows:
1st Round free 2nd Round 6d 3rd Round 9d
4th Round 1/- 5th Round 1/3d
During the Great War 1914-1918 no inter-club matches were played but matches were held to raise funds for the War effort. Following resumption of inter-club competitions Lochee won the Guthrie Cup in 1919
During the 1920s the club again tasted success by winning the Hunter Cup in 1921, the Hunter & Guthrie Cups in 1925 and Lochee President Bailie Neave played in an International match at Croydon. In 1927 Lochee B.C. was one of the first to join a new association of Bowling clubs in Dundee to arrange the competition for the Findlay/Leslie Charity Cup, and in the following year the Rotary Charity game was inaugurated.
The next decade produced successes in the Guthrie cup in 1931, the Findlay/Leslie in 1935 and the Patterson Shield in 1938. The Bowling House was extended twice and finanacially the club was securing the future when toward the end of the decade World War 2 broke out.
Once again Lochee set out to raise money for the war effort and were so enthusiastic that a letter was received protesting against Lochee serving teas after matches. Lochee apologised and restricted hospitality during the rationing period
1943 markerd the 50th Anniversary of the Club but it was agreed to postpone any celebration until after the end of hostilities. September 1945 not only saw the end of the war but also saw the purchase of the Lochee Green from the owners for a consideration of £ 200. A year later negotiations began with the Railway company to purchase ground to build a new clubhouse. Unfortunately the first application was turned down and it was not until 1953 and Diamond Jubilee Year that the new clubhouse was built.
Among other successes in post war years were the Guthrie Cup in 1947 and 1953, the Patterson shield in 1953 and for four successive years Lochee reached the final of the Hunter Cup being successful in 1950,1952 and 1953. All in all the 60th Jubilee was something to celebrate.
If the 6th Jun, 1944 was D Day, then the 3rd June 1957 was definitely L day for on that day the Lochee Bowling Club ladies Section came into being, Ladies for the first time were accepted as members and entitled to play on the green. The following year Harry Smith was selected for an International trial game and the first annual match against Abergeldie was played. In 1959 Lochee won both the Guthrie Cup and the Kellachy pairs.
Success in the 60’s included the Hunter cup in 1963 and the Barclay cup in1965. Big changes were afoot however. In 1965 a proposal to allow play on Sundays was defeated. Sunday was preserved as a day of rest for the green as well as the players. However, the decision was reversed in1967. Apparently the green no longer needed a day of rest. In 1966 our very own Dave Petrie was nominated for an International trial following his success in winning the Patterson shield.
The end of the sixties and the start of the seventies saw two triple successes. Hector Wallace won the Angus Singles in 3 consecutive years 1969,1970 and 1971, and in the same years Lochee pairs completed a hat-rick in the Henderson Trophy. 1974 saw a Lochee rink win through to Queens Park and in 1975 the Findlay/Leslie trophy was brought home. Amid all these successes however there was one tragedy. Some of our oldest trophies were stolen when sent for engraving in 1974. Although the engraver replaced them, valuable history was lost.
Success continued with the Angus singles, the Angus fours and the Guthrie cup in 1976, and in1978 a vintage year occurred when the club collected no fewer than 6 trophies. The Angus triples, the Angus fours, the Ferguson singles, the Barclay Cup, the Grouse trophy, and the Broughty pairs. The first Burma Star game was played in 1980 and in the same year Lochee provided both finalists for the Hunter Cup.
Throughout the early 80s success continued to come our way with the Kellachy Cup, the Guthrie Cup and the Grouse Trophy in 1981, the Thomson trophy and Ferguson singles in 1983 and the City of Dundee triples, together with the Guthrie Cup in 1984.
Lochee Ladies celebrated their Silver Jubilee in 1982 and on the 19th May 1984 Lochee presented a plaque to Abergeldie to commemorate 25 years of friendly rivalry.
The Findlay/Leslie came to Lochee in 1985 as did the Barclay Cup in1986. In 1988 two of our stalwarts Jim Alexander and Willie Clark fought their way to Queens park.
Then on to the 1990’s and we were looking forward to celebrating our Centenary year in 1993, but to round of a remarkable century we had our youngest ever champion in 28-year-old Jim O’Connor.
1993 marked our Centenary year and preparation for this had started several years previously. A sub committee was elected to oversee the organising of additional fixtures on ‘Special Mondays’ against all the local clubs, purchase of momentos for all participating bowlers and also carry out any necessary refurbishment and maintenance to enable our visitors to have a memorable experience.
Our President for the Centenary year was Jim Kidd. He was very honoured to be elected and several Ex Presidents were also honoured with being Captains for the day in each of the additional games being played. The additional matches proved a great success, were greatly appreciated by all participants and it helped to maintain and improve our bond and friendships with bowling colleagues.
Our own members celebrated the occasion with a Centenary Dance at the Enverdale Hotel which was enjoyed by all.
Although we had no significant success in any outside competitions during our Centenary year we did however inaugurate our 2 Bowl Pairs Open Competition , which was won by our own members Willie Milne and Willie Martin.
However, we continued our winning ways the following year 1994 with the Thomson trophy and then in 1995 the Millar Triples .
Also in1995 we inaugurated a couple of trophies, donated by two of our members, for friendly fixtures against two of our out of town clubs, namely, the Alex Nicoll trophy for Abergeldie Indoor fixture match and the Jock Flight Tropy for the Dunfermline fixture.
1995 also saw our 2 Bowl Open Pairs receive sponsorship .
1996 was a memorable year. We won the City of Dundee Seniors Rinks , the Finlay Leslie and the Millar Triples..
The club was also honoured with the election of our own George Black as the President of the Angus B.A..
This year also saw us finally decide, after years of deliberation, to expand our premises again with the provision of new locker rooms. We approached the council with the purpose of obtaining the small strip of land to the north of the club but this proved too expensive so it was decided to purchase the land adjacent to the club house extend the building and utilise our existing cellar to provide the necessary locker spaces. Architects and Contractors were sought along with the necessary funding and work on the new lockers commenced in 1997 and were completed by 1998.
During 1997 , while all the work was being done to improve our premises and provide much needed space for our members we tasted more success in the Angus Fours and to top it all we won the Angus League.
The club was also honoured with the election of our own Alex Smith as the President of the City of Dundee B.A. and also his selection of Honorary President of the Dundee Indoor Bowling Assc.
Also that year the rink of Ian G. Smith, Bruce Longmuir, Willie McIntosh and Willie Meachan represented LBC in the Scottish Fours at Ayr.
In 1998 our committee were made aware that two of our bowlers ,Ron Forrester and Dave Petrie had attained the momentous achievementAi?? of reaching fifty years and more as members of Lochee Bowling Club. They proposed this should be commemorated and so in recognition of their continuous loyalty, contributions and ‘service’ to our club it was decided to have a Special 50 years Service medal commissioned and presented to them at our A.G.M. Will we experience this accomplishment again. Time will tell.
We finished off the decade with success again in the Millar Triples and were looking forward to the new Millenium with plans to further improve our facilities and hopefully continue on our winning ways. However, the first decade of the 21st Century turned out to be pretty lean on the external competition front with only 2001 being notable with wins in the Angus Fours and the City of Dundee Senior Singles until 2007 when we again had one of our best years. Our bowlers dominated the City of Dundee finals that year with victories in the Triples, Rinks and Singles Champion of Champions.
Nearing the end of the first decade of the Millenium we were delighted to celebrate, in 2009, 50 years of fixtures with our Aberdeen friends Abergeldie B.C.
The fixture coincided with their visit to Lochee and so a great day was had by all.
The start of a new decade saw us, in 2010, have more city competition success with winning the City of Dundee Senior Triples.
2012, saw another significant achievement for us when, after a number of years lanquishing in the bottom division of the Angus League, due to the re-organisation of the league in 2004, we finally gained promotion to the Angus League Div 3 .
That same year our own Bobby Clark was elected President of the City of Dundee B.A.
Also, we could finally say we were entering the 21st Century with the setting up of a web site which enables our own members and our friends to keep up to date with our clubs progress . We also decided to upgrade our club facilities once more with improvements all managed by our own club members.
Over the next few years success continued to come our way with the Kellachy Cup and City of Dundee Pairs in 2013, the City of Dundee Triples in 2014 and 2015.
2016 became another memorable year when were again victorious in the Hunter Cup. This year also saw our own Bob Taylor become elected President of the Ex Presidents Association
As we approach our 125th year(2018) we again had a momentous year in
2017. Our Ladies Section celebrated their 60th anniversary year and, after many years of deliberation they finally agreed to accept full membership of L.B.C.
We have now joined the ranks of many of the local clubs and look forward to many years of continued success with our ladies being involved in all aspects of our club.
To finish off this short history a mention to an achievement gained by our own Willie Milne who again won our 2017club championship for a record 10th time. ,Willie was our champion in our Centenary year 1993. Can he repeat it for our 125th? Watch this space. Looking forward to our next milestone year we are again engaging in some major refurbishment to improve our facilities for all our members ,friends and visitors.
As we approach a new page in our history we can look back over the past hundred
and twenty five years with admiration and pride and we owe our predecessors a debt of gratitude and we have much to live up to, and while there is insufficient space to detail every trophy won or honour bestowed, it is possible to savour slices of our history and record some of the more momentous events but with commitment, dedication and a will to win we can ensure that our successors in future years can also look back on our achievements with an equal degree of respect.