Holtwhites Bowls Club - history

Holtwhites B.C. is a section of Holtwhites Sports & Social Club, which is currently based in Kirkland Drive, Holtwhites Hill, Enfield. The bowls section was formed in 1915 when it was a railway club owned by LNER, later becoming Great Northern Athletic Association and then British Rail Sports Association.

1940 -1945 - The main pavilion was used as war offices and was not vacated until 1948, but casual play continued during this time. It was interesting to note that huge, twenty foot square wheeled chicken coops were kept on the adjacent cricket field and moved around as the chickens devoured the grass! Thankfully, they were not allowed on the bowling green!

Until 1952 only clerical railway staff and their families were allowed to join, but from then drivers and porters were admitted. The Club  was heavily subsidised by the railway companies, but  numbers dwindled so ‘outsiders’ were allowed to join the club from 1965.

 British Rail withdrew its financial support in 1994 so the club was  renamed Holtwhites Sports and Social Club as the entrance was on Holtwhites Hill. In 1997 the land was bought by Fairview and the future  of the club was uncertain.

However, by entering into an agreement with Fairview, to support their planning application, they  promised to re-site the sports facilities onto part of the land whilst building on the rest. This was not ideal but it did, at least, assure the club's survival.

The new green, laid with turfs, opened in 2001 and was very soon banned by the County Associations, as it was not up to the standard required to play bowls!. The turfs were ripped up and the ground re-levelled and seeded so that the club now has  one of the best greens in Middlesex. The club is very fortunate to be able to host  matches and competitions for both the women's and men's County Associations.

The club has  some badged players and over the past few years  has had quite a few members playing at various County and National finals. The Club has often had successes in local competitions as well The Club is totally mixed  with one committee overseeing its affairs. The majority of our matches are for mixed teams, which includescompeting in two local mixed leagues.

The Club is affiliated to both men's and women's Middlesex County Associations, Bowls England, North London Women's Bowling Association, North London (Thursday) Men's B.A. and London & Southern Counties B.A.

The Club has  had Middlesex County Presidents of both the men's and women's Associations, Tommy Lawford in 2001 and Maureen Lawford in 2003. In 2009, the President of North London Women's B.A.was infact  Brenda Edwards.What an honour!

This is  a very happy club with a good mixture of roll-up  and competitive bowlers who enter National, County and local competitions. Whenever games are played,  there is always plenty of support from our members.

In March/April 2008, a conservatory was built to extend the  shelter to form a pavilion.This gave players  much needed protection from inclement weather. The building refurbishment was made possible by a £10,000 interest free loan from Bowls England and donations by bowls members of over £12,000. The total cost was around £26,000.

In the autumn of 2012 work began on a further extension at the back of the  pavilion,  giving the club  more kitchen space and a serving bar. This was again made possible by further donations of more than £10.000 by club members. In 2013 the club purchased  60 blue chairs for £100 from Southgate when it closed and the old black tables from the main club for £70. The club now has  a pavilion  to be proud of.