The Berkshire County Bowling Association was formed in 1910 having developed from the Reading & District Association who had previously developed the game with distinction in Berkshire and in South Oxfordshire. Indeed the Reading and District Association were represented at International level from 1905 to 1908.
The Ladies Section was formed 23 years later in 1933 and in 2008 they celebrated 75 years of County Bowling under the banner of The Berkshire County Women’s Bowling Association, before finally adopting the current name of The Royal County of Berkshire B.A. in 2010 when our County unified.
The total number of clubs currently stands at 47 and has been fairly constant around this level since its inception. We go from Shrivenham in the west to Maidenhead in the east. With historical boundary changes we also find some of our clubs in Oxfordshire, Bucks, Wiltshire & Middlesex as well as Berkshire, but we all bowl under the Berkshire flag.
Berkshire has provided several Presidents of the English Bowling Association over the last 100 years. Harry Childs (1912), T Campbell-Dykes (1942-45), Eric Marsh (1974), Roy Thomas (1991) and Wayne Manley (2002).
T Campbell-Dykes President of The English Bowling Association during most of the second world war years was President of Berkshire from 1929 until 1961. A feat that with some certainty one could say will never be repeated.
Mrs D Campbell-Dykes also became The Ladies County President in 1950, which made for a busy year in their household!
From 1939 to 1946 Mrs Crosby was a President of the English Womens’ B.A. representing at that time the combined counties of Bucks & Berkshire, which eventually went their separate ways.
Berkshire has had some success in the Middleton Cup over the years. We were finalists in 1922 and 2011, semi-finalists in 1954 and quarter-finalists in 1977 and 2000. Our greatest moments however came in 1982 and 2013 when we won the coveted trophy, a moment all those involved will cherish.
The taste of success in National Competitions eluded the ladies until 2008, when they were runners up in the Walker Cup to Somerset.
Following our 90th anniversary in the millennium year and as a result of permission from Her Majesty the Queen we changed our title to The Royal County of Berkshire Bowling Association.
Although Berkshire has produced many fine bowlers at National & International levels, you don’t have to be at these levels to enjoy this past-time. Take time to browse through our index of clubs, to find a club near you. You will be made very welcome.