Club History

BRIEF HISTORY OF MERTHYR WEST END BOWLING CLUB

A company under the style of Merthyr West End Bowling Club Limited has recently been formed by a number of local gentlemen interested in bowls, with Mr Thomas Nibloe J.P. as Chairman.

The College Field at the rear of The Avenue, which at one time was the rendezvous of Northern Union football enthusiasts, will now be laid as a first class bowling green and croquet lawn. The amenities will comprise ladies‘ and gentleman’s retiring rooms and a common room capable of seating 200 persons which can also be used for billiards and refreshments, etc. A covered promenade will run the whole length of the building and the scheme has been laid out to provide a 6ft footpath running around the bowling green and croquet lawn, with a margin left around the whole site for the planting of a shrubbery and flower beds.

The scheme has been designed and will be carried out under the supervision of Mr T. Edmund Rees Architect and Surveyor of Express Chambers. The solicitors of the company are Messrs. John Vaughan & Son; the secretary is Mr W. Herbert, 43 Union Terrace Merthyr and the bankers are National Provincial and Union Bank of England Limited. The capital is £3000.00 divided into 600 shares of £5.00 each.

The contract for the laying of the green has been let to the famous bowling green contractor, Mr Robert Provan, of Glasgow, who has constructed some of the finest greens in the British Isles. The contract will be for erection of the pavilion etc. and will be let out for tenders to local contractors. The green which is to be laid with sea-washed Cumberland turf will be completed and ready for playing by April next year.

The directorate which includes many well known bowling enthusiasts is as follows:

Mr T. Nibloe J.P (Chairman), Dr A. Duncan M.0.H., Mr John Evans J.P., Mr w. Burr, Mr Isaac Edwards, Mr Milton Thomas (Chief Sanitary Inspector), Mr R.A. Pring, Mr DJ. Humphreys, Mr T.L. Phillips, Mr W.H. Williams. The subscription list for shares is now open to the public and any person desirous of acquiring shares should do so at once as the list closes next Monday, the 3rd inst.

Extract from Merthyr Express 19th June 1920:

The new West End bowling green situated behind The Avenue, above the tennis grounds, was opened in June 1920 under the most depressing of conditions. The name West End was given to it because the popular and energetic President, Mr Tom Nibloe J.P. had been identified with a club of similar name In his native town, Stranraer, Scotland for so many years. A large number of Merthyr’s leading residents assembled for the occasion, despite the continual downpour of rain, and the proceedings were of an extremely interesting and enthusiastic character.

Among those present were:

  • His Worship the Mayor and Mayoress
  • Mr Seymour Berry J.P. and Mrs Berry
  • Mr Tom Nibloe J.P. President
  • Mr William Griffiths Pencaemawr
  • Dr Duncan M.O.H.
  • Mr & Mrs Rees, Langdale;
  • Mrs Griffith Llewellyn
  • Major & Mrs D. Cope-Harris;
  • Mr & Mrs Arthur Harris
  • Mr & Mrs Isaac Edwards,
  • Mr W.R. Southey
  • Mr Alfred Evans (Editor of the Merthyr Express)
  • Chief Constable and Mrs Wilson
  • Revd E.T. Davies (Cyfarthfa)
  • Officers of the Club, their wives and daughters

For a long time past it had been felt by the more keen bowlers in Merthyr that some effort should be made to establish a ground which would be worthy of the ancient game, as it was impossible on other links in the vicinity to play with scientific accuracy.

A company was formed with a capital of £3000.00 and thanks to the energy of Mr Milton Thomas, Chairman; Mr T.L. Phillips Vice-President; Mr R.A. Pring, Club Captain; and Mr W Herbert, Secretary. The subscriptions soon came rolling in so that the Company was able, in a comparatively short time, to lay down one of the best greens in South Wales.

Proceedings were opened by a speech from Mr Tom Nibloe, President. He indulged in interesting reminiscences with regard to the famous green in his native town of Stranraer. He, as a small boy had noticed that the game had a wonderful effect in stimulating friendship amongst members and the frequency that club members went into the clubhouse to refresh themselves with aqua purae. He noticed that when they came out they would swear eternal friendship to each other and had become particularly affable. He had not observed the same effect on people when they came out of their respective Kirks.

Mr Nibloe described the lamentable condition of the municipal bowling green and said that a few enthusiasts from the Cyfarthfa Club took courage in both hands and formed a limited company with a capital of £3000.00. He never anticipated the enormous success which attended their efforts and paid tribute to Mr Provan of Glasgow, the contractor, for the admirable work done.

Mr Nibloe presented a beautiful silver Jack, suitably inscribed to Mrs Seymour Berry, who stepped onto the green and threw the jack with an accuracy which is not always displayed by ladies and immediately afterwards two pairs of bowls were trundled up by Mr Seymour Berry and Mr Tom Nibloe.

Mrs Berry in a neat little speech declared the green open.

Henry Seymour Berry was presented with a set of silver mounted woods and, in his speech of thanks, concluded that he considered the enthusiasm of the West End was

“A HAPPY AUGURY FOR BOWLS IN MERTHYR”