Our Origins:Constituted in 1966 as Houldsworth Bowling Club, it was formerly Wishaw Co-operative Bowling Club which had been founded in 1924. The site, then known as Recreation Park, was purchased for £254 in January 1922 when Wishaw Co-operative Recreation Committee was constituted. That Committee was ‘to provide recreation facilities for the members of the Society’. Originally, a bowling green had been intended, but, that gave way to a more ambitious scheme and, strangely enough, the bowling greens were last of the facilities to be completed.

On 7 July 1922 the first tennis court was opened for play and by the middle of October another had been completed. In January 1923, plans for a pavilion were approved. To raise funds for its construction a prize-draw scheme was initiated. Tickets were sold not only throughout the length and breadth of Britain, but 'in many lands beyond the seas’. The ultimate result from the effort and organisation of such an enterprise stands as a permanent memorial to the endeavour put into this massive project. The total cash received amounted to £1,598 2/11d.(£1,598.15) and represented over 67,000 ticket sales. The prizes (don't know what they were) and expenses amounted to £374 1/11d.(£374.10), thus £1,224 1/- (£1,224.05) was credited to the cost of the pavilion. With its fittings, the cost amounted to £1,445- 8/9d.(£1,445.44).

The prize draw took place on 6 August 1923 and was the biggest of its kind ever undertaken in Wishaw or surrounding district (still don't know what the prizes were). The opening ceremony of the pavilion took place on 28 July 1923, 'in the presence of a good attendance’. A meeting of those interested in the formation of a Bowling Club in connection with the Bowling Greens was held on Saturday 26 April 1924 and Wishaw Co-op Bowling Club was born. The first committee of the Club was formed as follows:

President: James N. Hamilton, Ballantyne Place, Station Road.
Vice President: Allan Lindsay, Ivanhoe Crescent.
Secretary: James R. Russell, 36 West Thornlie Street.
Treasurer: William Smith, Home Farm, Wishaw Estate.
Committee Members: Charles Hall, Andrew Roberts, Andrew Girdwood, John McCarron, Thomas Watson, James Weir, John Smith, William Steven, Thomas Carter, David Jeffrey.

The Club had thirty-three members in its first year. The entrance fee was 25/- (£1.25). Opening Day was Saturday 3 May 1924. The President's wife, Mrs. Hamilton, delivered the first jack and bowl to open the greens and to commemorate the occasion she was presented with a silver jack. Ten rinks were used for play on the opening day. Prizes of four biscuit barrels and four cake stands were presented. It cost one shilling (five pence) to play in this event, normal for a game of bowls in this era.

Shettleston Co-op Bowling Club were the first visiting Club to compete against Wishaw Co-op B.C. This was on Saturday 28 June 1924. Each Club fielded four rinks, with the home teams being as follows:

  1.  Lead: Thomas Carter. Second: William Buchanan. Third: John McCarron. Skip: Allan Lindsay.
  2.  William Steele, J. Smith, G. Coutts, William Smith.
  3.  J. Scholefield, D. Jeffrey, J. Hall, James Hamilton.
  4.  A. Melville, James Weir, William Steven, Thomas Watson.

On 26 August 1924, James N. Hamilton, the Club President became first Club Champion and was presented with the Championship Trophy by ex-Provost John Nimmo of the Burgh of Wishaw Town Council at a social event attended by many dignitaries, including The Lord Belhaven & Stenton. This cup is still competed for, on an annual basis, at Houldsworth.

The original club emblem is shown below. To the left is the lapel badge, in the centre the blazer badge and to the right the lapel badge motif adopted to celebrate the Silver Jubilee (1966-1991).

If you have any stories or artifacts in connection with the club, please e-mail us.