Did You Know? (from A History, One Hundred Years 1891-1991) compiled by Mike Corder


nlbc 5455 - 1

1891 When the split in the Camden Club occurred, some members formed the North London B.C. in the idyllic surroundings adjoining the historic Kenwood. Other members took over a plot of ground in what is now known as Parliament Hill Fields but what was then a section of Old Chalk Farm and part of the estate of the Earl of Mansfield. Some few years later they moved again; this time to their present site in Croftdown Road and was formally opened by the husband of the late Baroness Burdett-Coutts, the then ground landlord, in June 1912.

•Mansfield B.C. have a mounted photograph of the Earl indicating that he was, at one time, the President of N.L.B.C. but this is not borne out by the club's records.

•The winners of the Middlesex County and the London & Southern County Bowling Association competitions were presented with a highly polished “wood” mounted with a silver shield suitably inscribed. Some of these trophies are displayed on the fireplace overmantel in the clubhouse.

1930 The Australian Tourists played a six-rink game with North London with the home side winning 136 to 98.

• F. Hotchkiss was elected President of the English Bowling Association and became the only N.L.B.C. member to hold this office. A special practice pairs game was played in N.L. in July. T. Hills (Eltham) and G. Wright (Eastleigh, Hants) had been selected to represent England in August at the British Empire Games held in Hamilton, Canada and it was arranged that they played our Aleck Inglis and Jimmy Carruthers of Muswell Hill. The latter was probably the best known bowler of his day having represented England over a span of 34 years in no less than 38 games. The game was won by Hills and Wright and is described in the records as follows: "Excellent and skilful bowling was performed on both sides giving the spectators a real treat of how the game should be played"!

1931 The Hon. Solicitor C.R. Woolley presented a cup for "the highest aggregate scores in the Championship and Handicap other than the ultimate winners". The cup to become the property of the member winning it three times.

1934 Cecil Turner donates a cup which is to be competed for at the President Vice-President matches. Opening supper charge was 2/- per head to include a first-rate concert.

Annual subscription £3. 13s. 6d. and entrance fees for club competitions 1/- each event. Club blazer badges 2/-. L.& S.C. annual dinner at the Connaught Rooms 10/6 a head.

•The club suffers two burglaries within four days in December

1935 Greenkeeper A.Henderson tenders his resignation after thirty-one years service. He receives £24. 18s. 6d. from the subscription fund raised by the members.

•The new extended green is laid at the cost of £530. The money is raised in a very short time by the issue of bonds carrying interest at 3.5%.

1936 George Ward, once of Fitzroy Farm died. Although never a member he did a great deal for the club.


Fitzroy Farm - circa 1890s.

• Crouch Hill B.C. complain to the L. & S.C. of the state of North London's green and object to playing a Shield game on it. The complaint is upheld and the game is played at Paddington.

• A "piercing machine" is bought which enables the green to be spiked in half a day as opposed to a weeks forking by the Greenkeeper. It costs £13.

1939 The "Tom Pitt's Memorial Room" (one-time Committee room and now part of the kitchen) costs £189 to build of which sum Mrs. Pitts subscribes £50.The club decides to spend £10 on the purchase of the inscribed silver flower bowl.

1942 President C.B. Kerry presents the fine oak overmantel to the club.

1942 Jack Brown presents his Cup to be played for as two Triples played home and away between the executives of North London and Mansfield. Jack, a potato merchant, was well connected at Covent Garden and his vocabulary was such that you were left in no doubt that his acquaintance lay with the Market not the Opera. The Cup is now played for as a four-rink game and there is keen competition to hold the Cup on an annual basis.

1943 F.G. Bullock, the donor of the "Head and Horns" that adorn the Clubhouses dies in Cape Town. How he came by the horns is not recorded

1945 The large original Honours Board has become illegible and is re-polished and rewritten.

1946 The Board of Management considers the closing of the green on the second Sunday in September as a warning to members not to bump their woods on the green.

1947 Neville deL Connor (ex-Navy and President 1959) joins the club. "Nevvy" was a great raconteur and his story of the Admiral and the Bishop is retold in the clubhouse to this day. As a sprightly octogenarian, Nevvy reaches the finals of our open mixed pairs competition partnered by Molly Maplesden to lose to ex-England champion, Norman King and his wife, Peggy.

1951 Two Special games are played to celebrate the club's Diamond Jubilee. The first game was against the executives of Bounds Green, Brondesbury City, Crouch End, Finchley, Glencairn Herts. Watford, Mansfield North Middlesex, Selbourne, Temple Fortune, West London and Winchmore Hill. The visitors include eleven presidents and vice-presidents, four captains and five secretaries. The second game was against the English Bowling Association. We lost both matches.

1953 President R.Foster donates the bronze-enamel Club Crest over the fireplace and Sydney Bean gives the name panels of visiting clubs for our scoreboard

• The weeds and undergrowth in the carpark are described at the A.G.M. as a disgrace to the club.

1954 This is the last year that the A.G.M. is preceded by lunch and the presentation of prizes. At the meeting the President expresses concern that the membership stands at 79 Full and 25 Honorary members - the lowest for some years.

• The Board authorises the sale of Alf Higgin's handmade chocolates to members at the bar. It also stipulates "that in view of the amount of gratuities given to the staff, no further free drinks at the club's expense would be given to them". Estimate of saving not less than £35 per annum. Further, that gratuities to tradesmen be limited in future to  one shilling.

• C.R. Woolley, the club's Hon. Solicitor since 1923 and who had done so much in forming the Limited Company and guiding the many committees, dies.

Bowlers on the Green - circa 1910.

1955 Member Winston Rees is elected President of the London Welsh B.A.

• The price of whisky at the bar is reduced by 3 pence to one shilling and ninepence per nip on the official opening day of the season.

1960 For the first time a fruit machine is installed in the Dressing Room on a 6 month's trial. The profit is to be shared on a 50/50 basis with the suppliers.

• The condition of the car park is considered to be in need of urgent attention; Sidney Bean offers to supply the bituminous liquid at cost. It is left to the Committee to investigate the cost of re-surfacing.

• Alexandra Palace Outdoor B.C. folds and N.L. buys their scoreboards for £10.

Some of their members join us including Alf Maplesden, Jeffrey and Leslie Hunt and George Fenning. The latter proves to be the finest bowler the club has had for twenty years.

1962 Fitzroy Farm comes on the market and the Club enquires as to the possibility of acquiring its cottage for our greenkeeper.

1963 Thanks are recorded to a young schoolgirl, Jo White and her friend, Maureen for services in providing the teas during the season.

1965 The Club sends a rink to a special L. & S.C.B A. game to commemorate the Association's seventieth anniversary. North London B.C. is one of the three original clubs who met in 1895 namely, Brownswood (1871), Bounds Green (1887) and North London (1891). A further eight clubs joined by invitation and the first A.G.M. was held in 1896. Only eight of these clubs remain in Instance and it was these that took part in the match against a selected L. & S.C.B.A. side.

• The Committee considers surveyor, Harold Watkinson's proposal that a separate span-roof prefabricated building is the most suitable means of providing a Ladies' dressing room. However, when it is learnt that, because of the credit squeeze, our suppliers are not prepared to contribute to the cost, the matter is left in abeyance.

1966 A true-level roller is bought out of the profit of £57 made from the Tombola at the annual dinner and dance.

1967 A proposal to have Social members is defeated at the A.G.M.

1969 The Presidents' picture gallery is raised onto the ceiling to permit two extra rows at the base.

1970 Hardworking President Stan White undertakes to raise the South side of the green and to install sectional-concrete channel to the ditches.

1971 The Board of Management decides that the meetings held on Sunday mornings be suspended "as the ill-effects on members is causing grave concern"!

• The Lloyds "Paladin" mower is purchased at the cost of £260.

1972 Mrs. Gladys Huggins donates the teak coffee tables to the club in memory of Alfred.

1973 The L. & S.C.B.A. Secretaries' game is played at North London. They are short of a player and President John Pinkerton is opted in at short notice to find himself in the record books as the skip of the winning rink and the holder for the year of a 5 foot high cup.