A Brief History of the London Scottish Bowling Association
All too often, as years and people pass by, the history of Associations such as ours become neglected, memories are dimmed and records are lost - such is
the situation of the London Scottish Bowling Association due mainly to the fact that the LSBA Council minutes from 1919 to the early 1980's have either been lost,
mislaid or destroyed. What follows is an attempt to put on record a little of the history, however modest, of the London Scottish Bowling Association.Thanks to David Carson,
Alan Alvey and Jimmy Bayne for the research and to Jim Lumsden for collation and editing
May reading it give you and future members a great deal of pleasure.
The London Scottish Bowling Association was formed on 2nd December 1919, just three months after the first seed had been planted at Bellingham Bowling Club in the previous September, when sitting on the veranda after a Rosebery Cup match, Mr William Taylor, a famous Dulwich skip, turned to fellow Scot, Jimmie Duff and congratulated him on the success of his Club's arrangements for the match.
He asked if he had ever thought of forming a Scottish Association - Mr Duff replied that he had mentioned such an Association to his old friend Mr James Manson of the Belmont Bowling Club. Mr Manson was not only a keen bowler but was the author of " The Complete Bowler" and a recognised authority on bowls, as the literary correspondent for the London and Southern Counties Bowling Association as well as bowls reporter to one of the Scottish papers in London.
Mr Duff invited Mr Manson to his home to discuss the formation of a Scottish Association of bowlers. Being in agreement, they then contacted Mr J O Grant (Mid Surrey) and found him also warmley responsive to their suggestion, wherby they agreed to call a meeting of a few Scots bowlers at Mr Grant's office. This and subsequent meetings were held among the pioneers, in addition to Messrs James Duff, James Manson, J O Grant and W Taylor were D B McBride (Westcliff BC), Tom Robertson (South London BC) and A Adamson (Crouch HillBC).
James Manson presided at these meetings where plans and comprehensive precepts were formulated and decisions reached as to what the constitutio should be and embrace.
The first General Meeting of the London Scottish Bowling Association was held at the Royal Scottish Corporation Hall on December 2nd 1919. This meeting was attended by 42 eager and notable Scottish Bowlers, who witnessed and acclaimed with applause the birth of the Association and consecrated as a chosen medium to cultivate and maintain ties of friendship with "brither" bowlers from the Homeland.
Prior to this time, Scots bowlers in London met annually on the green to compete for the Rosebery Cup. This competition had been started in 1912 when an eminent Scottish bowler, Mr D B McBride of the Westcliff Bowling Club, Essex, induced his great friend Lord Rosebery, to present to the EBA a handsome silver cup for an anual bowls match between English and Scottish members of the Clubs under the jurisdiction of the EBA and functioning within a radius of fifteen miles of Charing Cross. The match was to be of 48 players each side, on a green selected by the EBA - who also, at first selected the players. The game lapsed from 1916 until 1919 when on a warm September evening it was revived once again at Bellingham.
Thus it can be said that Mr D B McBride in his 1912 meeting with Lord Rosebery was unwittingly instrumental in the formation of the London Scottish Bowling Association years later.
James H. Duff was the first President of the Association and continued as President for four years before relinquishing the office so that he might continue as Tour Organiser which till then he combined with the presidency.
Mr Duff's charm and versatility in handling both the domestic functions and the tours were potent factors in laying the foundations of the London Scottish Bowling
Association in London and Scotland.
It is interesting to note that, before the turn of the century, Mr Duff was requested by the Scottish Bowling Association to draw up a set of rules to cover the game of bowls. These rules were later adopted by the London and Southern Counties Bowling Association upon their founding in 1895 and accepted and adpoted by the English Bowling Association upon their founding in 1903. It follows, therefore, that the basic rules upon which our game has evolved were drawn up by our own Founder President.
in 1950, having in mind the services of its Founder President, the Association adopted the MacDuff tartan as the colors of the tie to be worn by members when playing Association matches.
The example and high standard set by founder President Jimmy Duff have been the targets of his successors and all within the compass of their attainments have maintained and upheld the dignity and prestige of the Association. Since 1947 Presidents when installed have been invested with a handsome badge of the Association attached to a Royal Stuart tartan collar - a gift from Mrs A Hamilton-Ellis as a memento of a very happy year during her husband's presidency.
The respect of the London Scottish was richly deserved in the bowling world and the traditions it has built up and maintained are, to a very large measure, the
result of the unstinted efforts, enthusiasm and dedication of all its officers, past and present.
John Calderwood of the Bellingham Bowling Club filled the office of Honorary Secretary with distinction from 1926 to 1946, a truly remarkable record. He was suceeded by Logan Smith of Gunnersbury Park Bowling Club who had been Honorary Treasurer for 9 years (1938 - 1946) and who continued tp serve in the office of Honorary Secretary for 15 years (1947 - 1961). Davd Carson OBE who had been Assistant Secretary for 6 years became Honorary Secretary from 1964 - 1969. He wrote the "Precis of the Story of the London Scottish Bowling Association" and it proved to be an academic exercise.
A Profile of James Bayne
which appeared in the " A Brief History to Commemorate the 75th Aniversary of the Association" booklet
A native of Kirkcaldy, Jimmy Bayne started his career in Sales where he worked long hours in the day and then taught piano at night times. During the war years Jimmy served with the Seaforth Highlanders and the RASC.
Jimmy was always destined for a position of responsibilty and rose to the rank of Warrant Officer at the Staff College in Camberley. On leaving the forces, he joined the Civil Service in the Home Office and later transferred to the Ministry of Health where he worked until his tetirement in 1982.
Jimmy has always been a keen sportsman. Before his bowling days he was a keen footballer and took up refereeing when his playing days were over. His other great passion is music. An accomplished pianist, Jimmy ran the Rhythm Kings Dance Band and played all over the country. He was always ready to help in entertaining all types of people and frquently the elderly.
However, it was probably in bowls that he has won most acclaim. He joined Wokingham Bowling Club in 1957 where he held offices of Secretary and Treasurer. He has been Wokingham Singles Champion on no fewer than seven occsions.
His pedigree as a bowler is self evident: he was Berkshire County Singles Champion in 1962; won the London and Souther Counties Gold Bage (Champion of Champions)in 1965; won the Civil Service National (England) Championships; British Isles Triple Champion (Civil Srvice). A berkshire Middleton Cup Player, he qualified for the EBA Championships 8 times (Berks & Hants); Qualified for the EIBA Championships twice; and was a Civil Service English Internationalist; the list is endless!
in 1962 Jimmy was widely tipped to gain full international honours and indeed was nominated for the English International team in 1966. However, it is reported that the politics of the day led to Jimmy being overlooked. He is highly respected both as a man and a formidable opponent. He plays to win and often does: His greatest asset is boldness which allied with his indisputable skill makes him a somewhat overpowering opponent.
He never lets up, appears to have little or no nerves and picks up pots and prizes without much effort. Jimmy's knowledge of the game and his enthusiasm for it are infectious, to say the least. He is a born committee man and has made an outstanding contribution to the London Scottish Bowling Association. He joined the Association in 1959, has been a member for 35 years and during this period has held office as: President in 1975, 1986 and 1994; Secretary 1988; Treasurewr 1982 to date; Tours Organiser 1980 - 1987; Publicity Officer 1973 - 1975.
To have given as much time and to have been as successful as Jimmy you need to have a very understanding and supportive wife. It would be very remiss, in payong tribute to Jimmy not to mention his dear wife Dulcie who has shown great patience and understanding over the last 35 years. Dulcie is a staunch supporter of the London Scottish Bowling Association and has given up many peaceful weekends to support us by being in attendance and representing us in friendly and tour matches. The membership owes her a great debt of gratitude. We are proud to have Jimmy Bayne as our President in this our 75th Aniversary year, it is fitting that someone with his record should be honoured in this way.
We wish Jimmy a happy and successful year and klook forward to an outstanding season under his guiding hand.
Friendly fellowship has been promoted by the annual President versus Vice-President game played in the first half of the season. The game followed by a meal has afforded oppurtunity for old and new members to become better acquainted. In recent years this has been the first match of the outdoor season. Over the last couple of years we have not had a President and this match has not been played so it is good to see it revived in 2009
Further oppurtunity for friendship is given by an anual Thanksgiving church service held in October in the historic Church of Scotland, Crown Court, Covent Garden, London. The short enjoyable service is followed by an informal get-together when tea, sandwiches, shortbread, pancakes, etc is served. These services have been well attended over the years and form an important part of the Association's calendar. These services have since been discontinued.
In 1949 one of our members, A H Rutledgr presented the Association with a Piper statuette to be used as a mascot. The statuette is exhibited at all our outdoor games and is affectionately known as "Andrew"
The Association has never had a green of its own but clubs have always taken great pleasure in granting it the use of their greens and amenities. Throughout the years the Association has been favoured with games with the EBA and touring teams from Australia, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and the USA in addition as already mentioned , teams from Scotland. These notable teams have been the guests of the Association. The annual fixture list usually has comprised about 30 six-rink games - six or seven County BAs in and around London, some ten kindred BAs and some twelve with famed clubs - a number of the latter being clubs celebrating their aniversary years. The Association's first recorded fixture took place in 1921 against a New Zealand Touring Team played at Forest Hill BC -the Tourists being successful by 131 shots to 105. The first games against clubs were played in 1922 at Aldersbrook BC (re-opening of their green), Nunhead BC (to open new green) and Southgate BC (to open new green)- all three games won by the Association. In the same year the first Association fixture was against the Civil Service Bowling Association at Dulwich BC (a victory for the Scots) and this fixture has continued anually to the present day (1994) excepy for a break during the second world war between 1940 and 1944.
The first County BA fixtures were aginst Essex,Kent and Surrey BAs in 1928, followed by Middlesex in 1929, Herts in 1931, Bucks 1939, Berkshire in 1954, Bedfordshire, Hants and Sussex in 1955. Other County Associations played include Lincoln and Suffolk. Whilst on tour in Scotland the Association has had fixtures with a great number of the Scottish CBAs.
During the war years 1940 - 1944 a number of games were played in aid of various charities - the main benefactor being the Royal Caledonian Schools.
Since 1961 fixture lists have included the Edward Guinness Bowls Competition, a straight knock-out competition between the Association, London Welsh, London Irish and London and District BA (English). Since the end of the second world war the Association has played its part in the development of Indoor Bowls and the fixture list for the winter game has steadily bult up.
A Profile of Logan Smith
The story of the London Scottish Bowling Association would be incomplete without a reference to Logan Smith, who was a member from 1935 until his death on 7th February 1983.
Born the youngest of 12 children at Kilmaurs, a small village near Kilmarnock im Ayrshire, he was, as his county of birth indicates and claims, "An honest man".
He first came to England in 1914 as a sergeant in the Royal Flying Corps, stationed at Kidbrook in South London. Returning home in 1918 he qualified in Glasgow as an accountant and in 1930 came to London to join Reuters, with whom he stayed until his retirement, as Chief Cashier.
He was introduced to the bowling world in 1935 when he was proposed for membership of the London Scottish BA by his brother, Jimmie, who was one of several Scots playing for England at that time. Things do not change, do they?
In all of his service he had the greatest respect for the elders of the Association - Walter Cross, John Calderwood, Jimmie Duff, William Ramsey, et al - and a genuine concern that no effort should be spared to ensure that things were done properly and that standards were maintained.
He had no illusions about his own abilities as a player, and viewed with some astonishment those who considered that holding office somehow transformed them overnight from two to skip. Inevitably his family were involved in all his work and, in the words of his daughter, Louise, who provided the all the historical notes for this inclusion, she "stuffed more envelopes and licked more stamps than I cared to remember", wondering what happened to the child slavery reforms.
Mrs Logan Smith was very supportive throughout Logan's career and fully deserved the reconition she was given by making her a Patron of the Association. She was quietly proud of this honour. She died three years after Logan, in 1986.
Logan Smith had a good singing voice, a genuine love and appreciation of words, a good sense oh humour and a keen eye for the absurdities of life. Aa a speaker he was comparable with the best of his contemporaries in the bowling wprld. The Bellingham Club, looked upon as the home of the London Scottish, stage the annual fixture at the begining of each season between the President and Vice-President. Logan's speech on these occasions was keenly anticipated by the members of the club and the Association. To see him standing there, held at the focus of scrutiny, and to listen to that wonderful Scottish voice make music of the English language, both in content and delivery, was an experience to be savoured, enjoyed and never forgotten.
The tapestry of the London Scottish Bowling Association was enriched by the golden thread woven into it by the life of Logan Smith. He will be remembered with fondness and respect down to his last contemporary.