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Vice-President: Gordon Wilson
Secretary: Alex Young
Treasurer: Jim Bathgate
Match Secretary: Allan Mitchell
R. Lee, J. McKenna, W. Robb, D. Smith, T. Whitecross
Bobby Lee, Hugh Hilson, Ian Miller
On the 10th October 1879 the 'Edinburgh Courant' reported the opening of a Bowling Green and Curling Pond at Henderson Row by Perth Street, which had been leased by the Northern Bowling Club (Limited) from Heriot's Hospital. A portion of ground had been laid out as a Bowling Green with sea turf from Irvine and the Curling Pond was laid at the cost of £694 2s 2d, so commenced the life of the Northern Bowling Club. With Bailie Hay as the first President and Bailie Smith Vice-President the affairs of the club seem to have proceeded normally until 1889 when the Heriot Trust fenced off the site of the green and pond for building purposes. In spite of influential deputations who approached the town council with view to obviating the necessity of removal, the transaction with the fencers had been completed and could not be departed from. The members were therefore compelled to look for a new ground and were fortunate enough to secure from Sheriff Henderson Begg a portion of Warriston Park at an annual rental of £15 where a new green was laid on its present site and opened on the 10th May 1890 by Baillie Hay who officiated in the absence of the Lord Provost who was in London on parliamentary business as was Colonel Dunlop the President that year.
In the Journalistic style of the day various newspapers recorded the opening and noted the main feature as being that the ground is surrounded by a hedge, and between the hedge and the green there are neat little spaces which will be planted with flowers. To the east of the green is created a handsome little pavilion and near it is a finely constructed rockery surmounted by an Eagle with outstretched wings. The ornamental eagle made of bronze with a wing span of five feet which forms part of our official badge was wrenched one night from its perch and only the talons were left, this was greatly regretted as it came from the North Berwick residence of the late Sir Patrick J.Ford, M.P.for North Edinburgh. We also have the original visitors, book with many interesting signatures of people who made their mark in municipal politics, business and commerce. Even the theatre is in evidence as on 6th August 1934 the late Will Fyffe signed and added the caption 'Champion Bowler' later on in years, fifty-two in fact. Tom & Jack "The Alexander Brothers" Appearing at the club and also signed the book. This is one of many cherished Memory's that the Club has in it's Vault.
50 Years with The Northern Bowling Club
Jackie Christie joined the Northern Bowling in 1956, 50 years later he was still here, still playing and still the gentleman he was when he first joined. Sadly, Jackie passed away on Jan 2nd 2007 and will be greatly missed, not only by the members of the Northern Bowling Club, but by everyone who ever met Jackie, either through the bowling or in other walks of life.
Jackie took up the game when he was a mere slip of a lad of 18 years, so much for it being ‘an old man’s game’ playing for Pilrig and Dalmeny Street in the Edinburgh Churches League. During his time there he won five championships and three champion of Churches league championships. Six years later and Jackie had left the Churches league to join Eastfield Public Park and in his five years there, he won four championships and one champion of champions titles. At the ripe old age of 29, Jackie decided to join his Father’s club, Pilrig, where his dominance on the green continued. Jackie won many trophies at Pilrig, however the main Champions trophy there eluded him.
Then in 1956, Jackie started his long association with the Northern, bringing with him his reputation as a top class bowler. This was a reputation he defended well as he won the first of his NINE championship titles that year. In 1960 he reached Queen’s Park in Glasgow with his partner A. Marshall as they had won the SBA District Pairs title.
Jackie was one of the best bowlers in the country and this was recognised as he won no fewer than 70 caps for Scotland between 1965 and 1978.
The highlight of his career came in 1974, when he represented Scotland in the Commonwealth games in Christchurch, New Zealand. Along with his partner Alex McIntosh of Newbattle B.C. he won the GOLD medal for Scotland and he was presented with his medal by Queen Elizabeth 11.
Jackie won the last of his nine Championships at the Northern in 1983, but ill health followed and his bowling became restricted for some time.
Like the battler he is, he thankfully overcame his bout of illnesses, so much so that he passed on his knowledge to the future generation of Northern bowlers, and to his sons Stanley and Edwin, both accomplished players in their own right.
Site last updated: Monday, March 10, 2014 6:41 AM