Bletchingley Bowling Club was founded in 1929 and is based at Grange Meadow, Bletchingley on the A25 opposite “The Plough” Pub/Restaurant. Grange Meadow was gifted by a local resident Mr E W Blessig to the people of Bletchingley for the playing of cricket, tennis and bowls.
The Club was officially opened by Mr Blessig on 6th July 1929, with an opening game between Mr Blessig’s team and Dr Robertson’s team. Dr Robertson was the local GP and was the Club’s President for a number of years ably supported by several well-known businessmen. The Club was affiliated at this time to the English Bowling Association (now Bowls England) and the Surrey County Bowling Association.
With the advent of the Second World War, the bowls pavilion and four rinks were requisitioned for use as a first-aid post and A.R.P. centre, but the Club carried on as best it could be limited to the use of two rinks. From 1940 to the early 1950s the Club was “kept in being” thanks to a very small band of members, including ladies.
There are no recorded minutes from the AGM held on 9th June 1951 up to a General Meeting held on 20th April 1955 at which the Chairman congratulated the few “who had kept the Club alive during the past few difficult years”. From 1955 the Club began to come to life with an influx of new members and much hard work was put in by everyone to bring back to condition the six rinks which had suffered badly during the previous 15 years.
In 1965 the first small extension to the Clubhouse was completed – this was mainly financed by the local council and meant that the members could sit down to tea with the visiting teams. 1967 proved to be outstanding in the Club’s history – the Bar was opened on 16th December amidst great enthusiasm – and a second-hand bar, fittings and the necessary stock purchased by means of members loans amounting to a grand total of £115.
1969 saw the founding of the Ladies section and their affiliation to the County – in 1970 the Club joined the London and Southern Counties Bowling Association and in 1974 the second extension to the Clubhouse was officially opened by the Surrey County President
Bob Blow on 26th April. In 1998 a Lottery Sports Fund grant enabled the Club to build a new men’s changing room with facilities for disabled bowlers, as an extension to the main Clubhouse.
Over the years the Club has been successful in both Men and Ladies County competitions with a number of members winning their County Badges. Brian Rogers reached the final of the London and Southern Counties Gold Badge Singles Competition in 2009 and Mike Stone the semi-finals of the Surrey County Bowling Association’s Champion of Champion’s Singles Competition in 2011. The Club was also honoured to have Norman Bagley, one of its long-standing members, serving as President of the Surrey County Bowling Association for the 2001 season.
In 2014 two members qualified for their Surrey County Badges – Gavin Pocock for reaching the quarter-finals of the County Pairs competition and Brian Rogers for reaching the quarter-finals of the County Unbadged Singles competition. In 2016 Peter Lines reached the Semi-final of the Un-badged singles adding to the number of Club members who already have their County Badges.