A quiet year with the uncertainty of war hanging in the air, but it was pleasing
to note that after all the complaints, ‘A’ green, the one nearest the town, was
re-laid. A proposal to build an indoor green at The Dell in Warwick Place was not
An unusual result in the local derby saw a win against Avenue by 10 shots, despite
losing 5 of the 6 rinks, but a 44-5 win on the 6th swung the balance. There was
a tour to Scotland, and a mini-tour to South Wales.
The Open Tournament attracted over 300 entries and it is noted that for the first
time everybody appeared to be wearing whites. The Council gave permission for the
Tournament to be staged in 1940 and both the club and the County announced that
they would continue to operate.
Things were obviously becoming very difficult. Despite permission being given the
previous year, there was still a query about holding the Open Tournament, but in
March it was decided to go ahead. However by June it became apparent that there
would be insufficient entrants and it was abandoned.
For the first time the club was granted free use of the greens for home matches.
Towards the end of the season, a wreath was sent to the funeral of one of the members
“from the members of Royal Leamington Spa Bowling Club”, the first
time that the ‘Royal’ prefix had been used. Whether it was a mistake or just prophetic
is not known because it was to be several years before it became the official name
of the club.
The Leamington Courier was considerably reduced in size and quite rightly much of
it was devoted to the war and news of local servicemen. In consequence sport had
very little coverage.
In order to give more relaxation to those working hard for the war effort the greens
were open from 2pm to 10pm, but not on Sundays.
The council were again approached on the question of season tickets but once more
the request fell on deaf ears.
Under the leadership of the Duke of Gloucester, supported by the Sports Association,
bowlers from clubs across the country were urged to play competitions in aid of
the Red Cross, to provide comforts for our troops. The slogan used was ‘Play a game
and provide a parcel for a Prisoner of War’.
The railings around the bowling greens were removed to be melted down for providing
munitions, and other means of protecting the greens were discussed.
Despite the very difficult conditions the club had a reasonably good season, although
it was increasingly hard to find fixtures due to the difficulty of travelling. Fortunately
both the Avenue and Lillington clubs were still operating and featured more than
usual on the fixture list.
Only nine matches were played during the season, but competitions were all completed.
In answer to the appeal launched in the previous season, a competition was held
in aid of the Red Cross and produced one of the best contributions to this fund
in the county.
A good season for the club, including several convincing wins. In August, Warwickshire
played Oxfordshire at Victoria Park.
It was decided to stage a ’Holiday Bowls Tournament’ over the August Bank Holiday
to maintain the interest created by the Leamington Open, and mention was made of
a possible fourth green. However arguments were being put forward in the council
chamber for this to be built in the Eagle Recreation Ground, while a letter in the
Courier suggested that if there was to be one it should be located in the Jephson
Councillor Salt, the leading voice for bowlers on the council, presented a petition
which urged that before considering the Eagle site, more thought should be given
to a further green at Victoria Park to enable the Open Tournament to grow once the
war was over.
However the council decided, later in the year, to take no action on a new green
but to construct 5 new grass tennis courts.
18 of the 19 games played were won, and for the first time the County finals were
staged at the club. Membership now stood at 90 – all men.
The Leamington Open Tournament started again and as a result Councillor Salt was
able to present another petition to the council pleading for a fourth green, this
time with over 300 signatories. It was stated that, with the backing of the council,
it was the aim of the Tournament Committee to make it the biggest and best Open
in the country.
Unfortunately it was again unsuccessful with some councillors still attempting to
get one built on the Eagle recreation ground, although this did not receive much