The game of bowls goes back many centuries and was once known as ‘The Game of Kings’. It got that title as a result of a Royal Decree in 1319 by King Charles IV, prohibiting the game from being played by commoners, as archery, essential to the defence of the country, was being neglected. From that point on the game was restricted to Kings and Noblemen only.
Cotswold Bowls Club in Stroud cannot boast a history going back centuries but we can boast our half century. The Club started life in 1960 with twenty or so enthusiastic bowlers who played at the
Vernon Turner Club in Worcester, After eight years of travelling to and from Worcester, they affiliated to the English Indoor Bowling Association as the Stroud and District Bowling Club. This was a preliminary move to form an indoor bowling club in Stroud.
In 1971 a few dedicated members negotiated a lease for the old Brewery Buildings in Stroud, for conversion into four indoor rinks at an estimated cost of £20,000. So committed to the cause were they, that five club members re-morgaged their homes to raise the final £12.000 of conversion costs. Once settled into their new building Stroud Indoor Bowls Club became the first indoor bowls club in Gloucestershire and only the 45th. in the country.
Over the next 32 years the club prospered and expanded to a membership of 550 players. The clubs success as a sporting venue was replicated on the green by providing several International players and National Champions. The most well known being Tony Allcock MBE, who won the National Singles Championship in 1985, and the World and UK Singles Championship in 1987. Tony was also selected as an International Player from 1976 – 1988. Mrs. Peggy Edwards was another star player for the club earning International status over seven years from 1981 – 1988.
With success came increasing ambition to provide facilities worthy of its talents, something that could not be achieved within the limitations of its existing building and facilities.
The need to relocate and provide the facilities they needed became overwhelming, and so the search began for land to develop purpose built facilities for the first time in our history. The club eventually purchased a large tract of land known as Cope Chat Playing Fields in Dudbridge, Stroud.
The Club appointed Architects, drew up their plans and were ready to start building in 2005. The development was completed and ready for use the following year.
As a result of this massive investment, The Cotswold Bowls Club has the best facilities of any club in Gloucestershire, with six indoor rinks and six outdoor rinks. This allows us to play recreational and competitive bowls twelve months of the year. Additional facilities such as our own Bar, café and function room provides the club with a welcome income and provides members and visitors with recreational space. For the benefit of club members and visitors they also run their own shop on the premises for the purchase of bowling equipment and clothing.
New members are always welcome, and if you are new to the sport we have qualified coaches available to help you get started.