Club History

Two Local men were the original main instigators for the formation of the club and went to the council who said, “If they look after it” they could build a club on the site.

John McCarthy -master builder and carpenter
Alf Bolton - Landlord of the “Cricketers” public house

The initial membership was around 20 bowlers

The green was built on Memorial grounds in recognition of those who lost there lives in the two World Wars.

The original green keeper was a gardener at Hampton Court

The original headquarters for the club was the “Cricketers” public house, and when the club house was not big enough the Annual General Meetings were held in the school in Tongham.

1952 - 1954 There were many friendly fixtures, mainly with the Masons - and roll-ups

The first McKenzie Cup was played in 1952 against Seale and Sands Bowling club at Worthing, Tongham and Seale were a combined council in those days and Colonel Mckenzie set up the Cup.

The oldest running fixture was Copnor Bowling Club at Portsmouth first played in 1953;
Unfortunately this fixture had to be dropped from our itinerary due to the rising travel costs.
Broadmoor Hospital was also a long standing fixture but had to be dropped from our itinerary as well.

There was no hut until 1954 and the first one was an Army one built with four walls - no bar or kitchen. When “friendlies” were played every one chipped in with sandwiches and cakes.

John McCarthy supplied the hut and Alf Bolton supplied the tables and chairs.

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Two of the original members became Chelsea Pensioners.

“Pop” and “Bill” made the green ready for play, with the help from all the club members

The Club badge changed in the 1960’s from a acorn design to the present depicting Farnham Castle.

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The mens ties are also different - the original ones were striped, then change to blue tie with a Tongham badge embroided in.

In 1960 - The men joined the Aldershot and District league when the green was up to standard, but in 1968 - the green went “sour” and experts from the English Bowling Association and Surrey County Bowling Association inspected the green and advised on action to be taken.

A fourth rink was added to the bowls green in 1970, then a further two more were added giving a total of 6 rinks in 1979. Unfortunately in 1981 we had to dig up and relay rink six, and the in 1985 we had to do the same with rink 5.

1976 - Tongham provided a president for the Aldershot and District by the name of Harry Jones

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It was the bad storm of 1987 which blew off the clubhouse roof, and all of the members set to and repaired it themselves.

Between 1993 - 94 the present extension was added, which gave us a Ladies and Gentlemen’s changing facilities

In 2002 one of our passed bowling members was able to get a lady called Ms S. Brook to come and do a drawing of our bowls club. After many hours she presented this beautiful picture to our club. Many of our members brought prints and the proceeds was split between a charity and our bowls club.

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A New roof was completed in March 2012, following a series of malicious damage attacks over the last few years. Once again our members set too and made a grand job.

In 2012 The club celebrated its Diamond Jubilee Anniversary, of which we received a letter from the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

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We also were presented with a clock by the first Ladies Club Champion - Mrs Pat Connett (nee McCarthy - founders daughter) in 1953.

Tongham Bowls club continues to be a welcoming place for all types and abilities of bowlers. We also happily have many social members too, some who have bowled in the past and some who just like to take part in the social events at the club which include Bingo, Darts, and Capet bowls.

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