From the Archives

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Tillicoultry Bowling Club

incorporating Devonvale Bowling Club

established 1852

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Did you know that Tillicoultry used to have another bowling green - The Public House Working Men's Club at the back of the old West Church on the High Street which is now converted into sheltered housing. This club was formed in the late 19th century but went out of existence durint the Great War. They won the Balfour Trophy in 1894 and 1896 and were runners up to the Tillicoutry club when they won it in 1902

4th May 1921

The greenkeeper was instructed that it was his duty to see that the Bowl House, the brasses, wash hand basin and urinals were kept in good order

25th October 1921

A special meeting was held to get the sanction of members to overdraw the sum of £30 from the Union Bank

26th April 1927

A proposal to allow ladies to become playing members only at a fee of 10 shillings was rejected by the majority of members

24th April 1928

It was agreed to obtain a 56 foot mast from A White, shipbuilder, North Queensferry for use as a flagpole. Cost of carriage - £2 & 11shillings

4th April 1960

A proposal by Mr W Bunyan to apply for a bar licence was approved by 34 votes to 12

23rd April 1962

A proposal for Sunday bowling was approved by 24 votes to 11

3rd April 2004

Jim McEwan played in his 55th consecutive opening day. He started his bowling career in 1950 as a member of Devonvale Club where he was club champion on at least 5 occasions and served as President in 1961. After the  amalgamation of Devonvale and Tillicoultry clubs Jim was club champion at Tillicoultry BC in 1986.

When the railway line was opened it was often said that many a game of bowls was altered by the rumbling of passing trains causing bowls to fall in for shot

In the 1990's there were 4 generations of one family who were members at the same time - the "clan Harrower". James, Alex & John, David & Ian, David Jnr and Graham

On opening day in the 1952 centenary year the green was rolled at 7am by a "young" Andrew Cree whose father was then greenkeeper

In 1936 long before Sean Connery dreamt of becoming a secret agent the real life James Bond became President of Tillicoultry Bowling Club. He was a member of the club from 1930 - 1942 and lived in Ann Street with his wife and 3 daughters. James was a gardener by profession and for many years was head gardener at Aberdona House between Coalsnaughton and Forestmill.   In 1937 he handed over the presidency to his great friend and well known bowler Peter Duncan

Founding Members of Tillicoultry Bowling Club

President - James Archibald    Treasurer - William Robertson    Secretary - William Clugston

Directors - R Archibald, A Drysdale, G Patterson, J Snowdowne

Honorary Members - A Main & W Drysdale

Ordinary Members - R Archibald, R Archibald Devonvale, J Alexander, J Balfour, J Beattie, J Cowie, W Cree, J Dawson, W Drysdale, Glasgow, A Drysdale, W Gibson, J Gilfillan, Rev G Hunter, L Hynde, J Houston, J Leishman, G Miller, T Monteath, James Paton, John Paton, Grocer, Jas Paton Jnr, J Paton, J Ritchie, W Robertson, R Scott, C Stead, Rev D Smith, James Thomson, R Thomson, John Thomson, J Watson, R Whyte

Spotlight on Harry Aitcheson

HB Aitcheson or Harry as he was known to everyone was born in Kilwinning, Ayrshire. He moved to Tillicoultry when he married local girl, Mary Hall.  Interested in many sports Harry took up bowls when a hand injury prevented him playing billiards and golf. He quickly made his mark in the club winning the championship on 14 occasions, once 5 times in a row (1948 - 1952).  He also won the County Singles 7 times, recording the remarkable feat of 2 hat-tricks  1944-45-46 and 1950-51-52.  He also won the County Pairs Championships twicw playing with T Gow in 1955 and CP McMillan in 1959

He qualified on 2 occasions for the Scottish Single Hand Championship at Queens Park in Glasgow.

He was club secretary from 1938 - 1964 when failing health forced him to give up. With his death on 28th December 1964 the town not only lost a respected member of the community but a friend to all. He left the Bowling Club a legacy of commitment and excellence of playing ability which has never been or is likely to be surpassed in the club annuls.

A special "Bowler's" poem was written for Harry in 1946 by the Wanderer, a reporter on the Tillicoultry Tribune

MULTUM IN PARVO (Much in Little)

Harry, what ye lack in inches ye hae o' stuff that never flinches

A terror when ye get tae clinches upon the green

Hae a' your games been luck or pinches? My tiny freen'

It's only when a man's himsel' that marksmanship and coolness tell

A wee bit shake they say farewell and banish hope

Wi' confidence you ring the bell. Be hard tae stop

What matters size if skill you've joukit? Guid gear they say is aft wee bookit

A man o' micht? Ye dinna lookit - Ye got yer mark

An' every chance that cam' ye took it - Grand booling wark

In twa's and fowers it's different boolin' Safety wi' numbers is the rulin'

I grant you that it takes some schoolin' an maybe skill

But nerves as weel as shots were poolin' Say what you will

Three times on end - it tak's some playin' Three times a win - it tak's some playin'

You have the skill, there's nae gain sayin'  That does the trick

Your club should be quite proud o' haein' a boolin' brick

Lang may ye reign and keep yer power. Lang ower giants may ye tower

Land fowk in admiration glower. May luck ootrule

An' see you never get run ower by some stray bool

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