1914- Start of the Great War.    80 members by now.

1915- Tonbridge Cricket Club fixtures cancelled. However the groundsman still working on the Cricket ground and available to tend the green. Bowls continues but matches restricted to local clubs.  2 sets of bowls & 2 jacks presented  to Voluntary Aid Detachment  Hospitals in Kent.  107 members this year.

1916- TheTonbridge Cricket Club announced due to the war the club would not be opened  this season.  Crisis at the TBC.   We therefore requested terms to continue bowls. They agreed to let us continue for a rental of £15p.a., finding our own labour and paying the  water rate.  They were prepared to lend us the mowing machines and heavy roller. In view of sharp reduction in membership, terms rejected and green closed until the end of the war.

1919- Tonbridge Bowling Club reconstituted and leased the green from the Cricket Club. Groundsman employed at £2 guineas per week, as up to then the green had been  looked after by the cricket club. The Committee agreed that any  Officer, NCO or Private from the Army Motor Transport section based in Tonbridge could use TBC facilities for 10/6d per season. 128 members this year.  At the AGM after heated discussion Sunday play allowed from the 1920 season.

1920- EGM reversed Sunday Play rule. Some members were very vociferous in this debate. At the next  AGM after much discussion this was reversed yet again and Sunday play allowed.  Only after accepting that Sunday play would not cause anyone to work and it would not be a source of profit, was Sunday opening finally agreed. Up to the 2nd World War, most people worked a 5 1/2 or 6 day week, so a ban on Sunday play was always a contentious issue for working members. First approach from Sevenoaks BC to join a Local Bowling Federation and 3 rink club competition. TBC thought that "this idea encouraged a professional spirit and not our amateur or friendly spirit of sport!"       

1921- Sevenoaks again  requested that we join the Sevenoaks and District  League. After much consideration TBC felt that " SUCH LEAGUES HELPED to DESTROY  the social side of the game and that we were fully occupied with friendly matches  of OLD ACQUAINTANCES."  

The Sevenoaks & District Bowls League eventually started in  1968 and we joined in 1970!   

                                                                                 

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1906-2011  TONBRIDGE BOWLING CLUB  

Anecdotes from the Club records.          

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