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Club History

Early Days

The club was founded in 1942 and was based at the Cherry Tree Public House in the centre of Welwyn Garden City. In the extract as below from "The Inn and The Garden City" written by Elizabeth & Gilbert McAllister (published 1948), the authors describe the relaying of the bowling green in 1948 and its letting to Welwyn Garden City Bowling Club.

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"Much of the charm of The Cherry Tree lies in its setting, its background of woodland, its delightful gardens and its beautiful bowling green. Here again the determination of the Welwyn Garden City Company, to do its best, not for themselves but for the community which it serves, can be demonstrated by the fact that during the last few months the green has been reconstructed and laid with Cumberland turf and generally brought up to such a standard that it will become a first-class green suitable for county matches. This also involved providing terracing for spectators, considerable reconstruction of the garden and the provision of new equipment at a cost of £3000. 

Having spent this money, the Welwyn Garden City Company has let the ground to the Welwyn Garden City Bowling Club for the years 1948, 1949 and 1950 at a rent equal to four-fifths of the total subscriptions, subject to a maximum of £200 per annum, and for 1951 and thereafter at a rental of £200 per annum. The Welwyn Garden City Company and not the club is to provide and pay the groundsman and maintain the green. The wages of the groundsman come to £364 a year. In addition, the kiosk in the car park is being fitted and furnished as a dressing room for club members."

First Successes

As the club developed playing success soon followed with the club winning the first of its five Club Championship titles in 1954. In 1960 two triples teams reached the County Final and this was the first occasion when a final was contested by two teams from the same club. In 1962 the club notably won the London and Southern Counties Bowling Association Challenge Shield.


Some of the clubs most successful players include, Harry Haynes, who played for England in 1966 and was the runner up in the English Bowling Association Singles


Championship in 1963 (losing to C.S. Graham of Edenside BC, Cumberland 21-20). During his career Harry won 2 Eastern Counties Bowling Association Championships as well as 10 County Championships.


Charlie Wilkinson, who was an England International trialist in 1968, 1969 & 1970, won 3 Eastern Counties Bowling Association Championships as well as 7 County Championships.


Dick (Richard) Tomberry, who was an England International trialist in 1972, won 1 Eastern Counties Bowling Association Championship as well as 4 County Championships.

Lord Lindgren

One of the clubs more colourful historical members was Baron Lindgren of Welwyn Garden City


Lord Lindgren became the President of the County in 1965 whilst he was also serving as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport in Harold Wilson's Labour Government.

1970's & 80's

Throughout the 1970's and 1980's the club continued to achieve considerable playing success at County & District levels. In 1988 George Brown was elected President of the St Albans & District Bowling Association.

The Club Relocates

In 1986 the original ground was sold for redevelopment. For two years the club had to play all its fixtures away. Then in 1988 the club moved to its present ground located in Digswell Park. A new partnership was formed with the Welwyn Garden City Cricket Club called the Digswell Park Sports Association. In that year the men’s and ladies’ sections were combined into one club. The club still retains the Cherry Tree emblem as part of the club badge.


Throughout the 1990's and into the millennium the club continued to develop and evolve in its new surroundings. Success continues on the green with the club winning the County Men's Team Ten Championship for the first time in 2010. The ladies’ section has achieved considerable success in recent years, winning the County Ladies Triples Championship in both 2010 and 2013.

The New Pavilion - 2012

In 2012 the club completed a new extension to the pavilion consisting of a new clubroom, a new men’s changing room and complete refurbishment of the kitchen area (Welwyn Times article). The new clubroom was opened by the Mayor of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council in May 2012 (Welwyn Times article). The club wishes to thank the funders who assisted with the building cost, the Big Lottery Fund, the Landfill Communities Fund, Bowls England, and club members for their donations and for their fund raising activities. The Big Lottery is now providing additional funding and support for community activities and social events in the new community clubroom throughout the year.


In 2014 Ruby Avery was elected Herts Bowls Ladies County President, the first lady from Welwyn Garden City Bowls Club to hold this office.

In 2014 & 2017, Bryn Evans won the Herts Bowls Men's Under 30 Singles.


James Avery, the winner of the 2015 Herts Bowls Men's Under 30 Singles. Pictured with Bowls England President, Marcia Dunstone and Herts Bowls Men's President, Graham Searle.


In 2017 WGCBC won the County Team Ten Championship and the County League (Ginder Cup). Also Bryn Evans, Stewart Parkhouse & Keith Avenell reached the Quarter-finals of the Bowls England National Triples Championship (see pictures below). Bryn Evans was also selected for a senior international trial.

The ‘Awesome Foursome’ of Keith Ames, Gary Walton, Gordon Avery and James Avery qualified for the Bowls England National Fours Championships at Royal Leamington Spa. After winning their Prelim match, the WGC Foursome bowed out of the competition after losing out to Middlesex. 
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2020 was a difficult year as the UK was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic; however owing to a strong effort from club members, the club was able to re-open in June 2020 working within government guidance. Despite the tricky conditions, the club managed to host some internal competitions which were a great success.

In 2021, Covid-19 continued to impact the bowls season, however WGCBC managed to play a full diary of fixtures within government guidance.
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