A Brief History of the London Welsh Bowling Association
Little is known of the early formation of the London Welsh Bowling Association and after the end of the Second World War any reference to whether the Association had even existed had more than likely been lost and decimated by the horrors of the war. The UK was soon returning to some semblance of order and normality and people from Wales were beginning the move to various parts of the UK seeking employment and a better standard of living and a large number migrating to London and the Home Counties. Amongst the exodus were many professionals (teachers, doctors, solicitors) as well as those seeking to find alternative employment to working down the pit. Those who had played sport in Wales quickly integrated into the many sports clubs/teams in and around their new environment ranging from Rugby, Cricket and Bowls. Many joined their works sports clubs which offered a variety of sports including Bowls. Large companies such, as Mars, Kodak and Hoover were instrumental in providing opportunity to participate in sport and in particular Bowls. However over the following years after the war other exiles not just from Wales but Ireland and Scotland were getting together and forming their own exile sports associations. It was after speaking with other Welsh bowlers during the season that B. Lewis, W. Rees, J. W. Richards, and Alwyn Davies and others decided to set up a meeting at the London Welsh Club in Drury Lane in 1951 to discuss the probability of forming a London Welsh Bowling Association.
This meeting proved to be very productive and B. Lewis a barrister was tasked with drawing up a draft constitution to be discussed at an early meeting in 1952 Everyone from the initial meeting in late 1951 attended and approved the draft constitution and the London Welsh Bowling Association was formally refounded late in 1952 with a committee being elected from those in attendance.
B. Lewis was unanimously elected to become its first President for the inaugural 1953 outdoor season, he also took on the responsibility for arranging two or three fixtures in the first year.
Alwyn Davies was elected at the inaugural meeting as Secretary, a post he held for a number of years, and was with Edward Guinness CVO instrumental in founding the “mini international’s” or the Edward Guinness Trophy which was held for the first time in 1961 and played at the Kodak green in Harrow.
The association has been in existence now for 67 years and from small inspirational ideas back in the early 1950’s has developed and grown into the Association we know today. An association that is not afraid to keep pace with the modern game and develop further with its mind firmly set on the future. London Welsh Bowling Association has continued its growth and modernisation by becoming the first exile Association to go open and welcome members both male and female.