Compiled by R. T. Mitchell in our centenary year 1981.

First of all, I must start with the Hawkhill Bowling Club, which started in 1843, as I know that a few of our members think that that is where we first started. Well I can tell you we didn’t!

Hawkhill Bowling Club was disbanded on 21st August 1880 because Mr Bell who owned the ground, wanted it to build houses – in the Balfour Street area and the seven members left at that time received £1 4/6d each from the proceeds.

13th December 1880

A meeting of residents from the West End of Dundee took place in Lamb’s Hotel, Reform Street at 12 o’clock noon. The reason for this meeting was to consider an offer made by Harry W. Scott of Balgay, leasing the residents 108 poles of ground for 20 years at a rent of 1/- per annum for 20 years. At this meeting attended by 21 residents, it was unanimously resolved to form themselves into a Club and to be known as “Balgay Bowling Club”. It may be of interest to note that 8 of the 21 residents attending this meeting were previously members of the Hawkhill Bowling Club.
At this meeting Mr A.H. Moncur was elected President, the first President of our Club and Mr J. Low was elected Secretary/Treasurer (Mr Low was the secretary of the Hawkhill Bowling Club when it was disbanded ). A committee of Management consisting of 9 people was elected with the purpose of obtaining plans and approximate costs for building a bowling green etc.

17th February 1881

A draft of the constitution was drawn up, read out and adopted. Plans were shown of the proposed bowling green. During the meeting it was decided to alter the plans, with a view to altering the width of the green.

18th February 1881

It was agreed to alter the width of the green by 10 feet by building walls instead of having sloping banks, as was originally intended, at an extra cost of £60. Adam Will tendered for leveling and walls £190. R Saunders for turfing £28 and J. Shaw for the Bowls House and Paling £144.

22nd March 1881

Island Turf was purchased in boxes of 12″ x 14″ x 2″ at a cost of £6 10/- per 100 boxes. 2/- per ton cartage. The Club room was tendered for at £144, but it was suggested that a veranda be added to the front.

6th April 1881

This veranda was tendered at £31 7/31/2d. It was approved subject to the veranda being price d at £30. The lease of the ground signed by solicitor – fee £2 16/5d.

6th June 1881

The first gardener was appointed and his salary was £26 per annum, to be paid in the following manner: – The summer six months £3 per month and the winter six months £1 6/8 per month. His duties :-

  1. Keep the green, borders, walks etc in first rate order.
  2. To be in attendance during the playing season.
  3. Act as General steward and do everything required by the general committee.
  4. Carry bowls and mats to greens and take back. arrange carriage to take bowls to and from away games.

26th July 1881

The green was nearing completion and the Green Committee was asked to report when ready.

2nd August 1881

Committee decided Green was ready for members to play and it was passed that the Green would be opened on Friday 5th August 1881.

6th August 1881

The first game on Balgay Bowling Green was played, and on that date the green keeper resigns. A temporary Green keeper was employed at 16/- per week.

18th November 1881

President and Treasurer authorised to overdraw a further £50 in addition to the £200 already agreed, to meet the accounts of the Club. The Secretary intimated that the Vice President had not paid his subscription nor the £50 promised as a loan. The meeting decided that by the Club rules he was not a member and the office of Vice President was vacated.

26th April 1882

Bank balance shows £240 2/- due to the bank. Green to be opened on Friday 12th may 1882 at 5 o’clock. A new Green keeper was appointed at 15/- per week on a week to week basis.

7th July 1882

There were 63 paid members at this date. Entry Fee was 2 guineas, Subscription 1 Guinea.

23rd August 1882

Mr A.H Moncur purchased a Silver Cup to be competed for annually in the usual way the winner to be Champion for the coming year. This cup would be presented to the winner at a General Mee ting on a date to be decided by the committee.

30th September 1882

The first winner David Dewar was presented with the Champion’s Silver Cup.

24th May 1883

Formally opened and first game played against other clubs. First Clubs to Visit.

Broughty Ferry13Balgay26
Newport24Balgay21Lost 3 out of 4 matches

Drinks were available at the Club House.

9th May 1884

A member of any other club bowling club could join Balgay for 10 / 6d provided he had paid his subscription to his own club.

30th April 1887

Mr R. McKelvie enrolled as Honorary Member.

27th April 1889

Mr John M. Keiller, Honorary Life Member.

26th April 1890

Balgay Bowling Club listed 86 Members.

7th May 1892

Debt outstanding at £151 0/6d.

29th April 1893

Debt outstanding £115  11/9d. Green Committee authorised to returf and level the Green .

8th August 1893

Agreed to returf with turf from North Binn, estimated at £100 cost – £150 actual.


Mr Scott died and the Club managed to extend the lease by 10 years.

February 1898

Suggestion to enlarge the Clubroom and improve the toilets.

March 1898

Agreed to proceed with the above alteration at a cost of £126.

June 1899

First major success for Balgay Bowling Club, they won the Hunter Cup.