Although there are records of the game of bowls being played in Cornwall well before the 20th Century, it was in 1912 at a meeting held at Tabb’s Hotel in Redruth that the Cornwall County Bowling Association (CCBA) was formed. The Clubs taking part in that meeting were Truro, Falmouth, Helston and Penzance.
The first County match of the Association was played in 1920 at Falmouth against our neighbouring County, Devon.
The Men’s County records for 1922 show that the number of affiliated clubs had reached 10. There was a steady increase in the number year by year and the present number is now 47 affiliated clubs – two of which have only male members but this may change in the future.
In October 1948 members of seven Cornish Clubs met with Mrs. Browne, English Women’s Bowling Association (EWBA) Junior Vice President, and Mrs. Griffiths, Captain of Plymouth Hoe, and the Cornwall County Women’s Bowling Association (CCWBA) was formed.
The CCBA celebrated their Jubilee Year in 1962 with the English Bowling Association (EBA) spending a week in Cornwall playing against the four divisions, a President’s team and a County Team.
The CCWBA celebrated its 50th Anniversary in April 1998 and the 60th Anniversary in 2008 with Church Services of Celebration and Thanksgiving with the EWBA Presidents of those years in attendance.
The unified County Association of Bowls Cornwall was formed in December 2008 with both a Men’s and a Ladies President in 2009, but from 2010 we have had one Presidential team.
In 2012 the Men’s Section celebrated 100 years of mens’ bowling in Cornwall with various matches against the founder Clubs. A Celebration Match took place at Kensey Vale against a Bowls England team.
Cornwall ladies have provided two EWBA Presidents – Flo Harris (1968) and Eva Date (1980), whilst Mrs. D. Tamblyn was the EWBA Treasurer for many years. The Ladies have also provided nine Senior Internationals and three National Four Wood Singles Winners as well as other National Titles.
The Men have provided nine Senior Internationals and five Junior Internationals. They have also provided a number of National Trophy Winners and also won the Middleton Cup in 2010 and again in 2011.
Michael Jennings of St. Austell was the first man to become a Bowls England President from Cornwall in 2016.
2018 was a very successful year for Cornwall at the National Championships/Competitions for both men and women.
Bowls Cornwall is administered by an elected Board and is split into four Groups for assisting with the administration and competition purposes. The County has a website www.bowlscornwall.co.uk.