Dawley Dun Cow Bowling Club
The Dun Cow Bowling Club has a long and illustrious history dating back to the late 1800s, with the Club Cup first dated in 1916. Its first winner was Mr Hubert Jaundrell in 1916 The Dun Cow Bowling Club was one of the founder members of the Mid Shropshire League and they were League champions in 1947.
I first watched them play in the late 1950's before becoming a playing member of the team in 1960. In those days many Dawley businessmen were either committee members or players.
Mr Harold Norgrove, a family butcher with a shop in Dawley High Street, was a long time president of the club. Mr Colin Evans, a well-known shopkeeper, who had the Draper’s shop in the High Street, was a real gentleman and a fine crown green bowler. Charlie Jaundrell, who had a butcher’s shop in Burton Street was also a fine player. Frankie batch was another businessman who had a shop at the bottom of the High Street where you could buy almost everything, also played for the team was a regular visitor to the Dun Cow.
Other businessmen who enjoyed a game were Cliff Ball of Ball’s Provisions; Mr Preedy of Preedy’s Provisions; Tommy Rowe, who had a bakers in Old Park and delivered bread all over the local area, loved a game of bowls. Arthur Jervis, who had a haulage business and petrol station in Finger Road played with his doubles partner Joe Brown, a farmer at Hinkshay Road. Mr Jack Simmonds, who made leather footballs for most professional clubs and leather bowls bags at his workshop in George Street, was also a regular most nights bowling.
Other names I remember well in the 1960s were Norman Houlston, a lifetime member and Chairman – he was a ‘real character’; Mr Jim Powell, who taught me a lot about the game in those early days; my father, Harold Clarke, who was Secretary for 30 years and Tony Jones who was Club Treasurer for over 30 years. Other names come to mind were Ken and Lawrence Aldred, Arthur Latham, Don Holding, Tommy Hoofe, Charlie Hayward and Trevor Hoofe. Later men such as Gordon ‘Cag’ Edwards, Derek Carr, Harry Beech, Ken Beech, Kelvin Hickman, who was Secretary and groundsman for 15 years. At about this time in the late 1970s, a Ladies Team was formed under the guidance of Mrs Beryl Lewis. A few ladies I remember included Gloria Mason, Kath Pascall, Joan Tarr, Jill Heighway, Joan Doone, Jean Clark, Hazel Roden, Shirley Lewis and Pam Beech.
In the late 1980s, I remember participating along with other Dun Cow Bowlers in a twenty seven hour charity for ITV’s Telephon and raising about £1,200, quite a sum in those days. The Landlord of the Dun Cow at this time was Mick Beech who also took part as well as serving us all with refreshments. The ladies looked after all the raffles and money making enterprises such as the car boot sales.
In the year 2000 we once again managed to win the Mid Shropshire League for the first time since 1947. Players I remember at this time included David Rhodes who was the team captain, Nigel Evans, Gordon Edwards, Gordon Lovett, David Mellor, Brian Clarke, Alec Jones, Barry Roden, Kevin Jones, Mark Selley, Trevor Williams, John Lovett, John Cooke, Michael Fudge, Landlord of the Lord Hill Public House, and David Grainger.
These are my memories of the Dun Cow Bowling Club. I am sorry if I have missed out anyone but fifty years is a long time. The good times came to an end on the 27 September 2008 when we played our last game in a Division 5 game in the Worthington Mid Shropshire League against Shifnal. We won 9-3.
Geoff Clarke played regularly for the Dun Cow Bowling Team from 1962 until its final game in 2008. He was the ‘star’ player during his time with the club. He played County bowls for Shropshire 42 times and won the County Merit in 1982 and League Merit for the Mid Shropshire League 4 times.
Geoff played the great Dick Meyrick as a 16 year old and he also played him in the quarter finals of the Shropshire Merit in 1982 before going on to win the championship. He was Captain of the Dun Cow team for many years and led them to victory in 2001, before going on to lose to ford in the Shropshire Premier League Playoffs.
He had six years playing for Donnington Wood, achieving a number of trophies with them and with the closure of the Dun Cow, he moved to the White Horse Bowling Team at Heath Hill, where he currently still bowls on a regular basis Shirley Bruneau 2010
By Geoff Clarke
The Photos came from a collection of Cecil Chetwood (who used to live in Portley Road and latterly in Hinkshay Rd) and donated to The Dawley History Group archive by Dr. John W. Wilkinson.