Copnor Bowling Club
Copnor Bowling Club
The club was formed in 1914, although it is reported that the green was actually constructed earlier, in 1908.
It was mandatory to wear a hat, then (although one chap seems to have got away with not sporting one in the picture below)!
Copnor celebrated its 80th Anniversary in 1994 with a special guest from England Bowls Association (as it then was), and then its Centenary in 2014 with a celebration Centenary event, and two Centenary matches, against a Portsmouth & District Bowling Association representative team, and against Bridport BC.
The club had its fair share of honours over the years, notably winning the County Club Championship in 1956. The club was Portsmouth & District Division One title holders in 1942, and Division Two winners in 1965, 1978, 1983, and 1992. It won the Rowland Cup in 1936, 1946, 1967, and 1975. The club also won the Mayor’s Charity Shield in 1937 and 1952, and the George Pook Trophy in 1953.
The family name ‘Sawyer’ is strongly represented in the history of Copnor Bowling Club. George Frederick Sawyer lived opposite the green in Tangier Road, and during the First World War became Club Secretary, a position he held until 1954, at which time his son Harold took over the role, which he in turn held until 1997. That represented some 80 years with the office of Club Secretary held by these two stalwarts of the Sawyer family. Harold is now Honorary Life President of the club.
Harold Sawyer took up serious bowling at the age of sixteen. His rise in bowling culminated in International Honours coming his way in 1974, when he represented England against Scotland, Ireland and Wales in Edinburgh. Harold also represented his County on 106 occasions in the Middleton Cup competition.
Individual titles also came to Copnor in recent years, notably in 1975 when John Beverage, Reg Gaiger and Stan Wild won the Hampshire County 2-Wood Triples title, and in 1998 when the three Daves - Grant, Kingswell and Powe - won the District Triples title, and followed that up by also being finalists in the 2000 competition. Harold Sawyer won no less than eight Portsmouth & District Secretaries Singles titles between 1956 and 1975. In 2015, David Powe won the new singles tournament, named the Ivan Robb Memorial Trophy, for Portsmouth & District Club Secretaries and Treasurers.
In 2009 David Powe was presented with the Bowls England Certificate of Merit, in recognition of his services to the sport of bowls. At the time, he was the sole Hampshire bowler to hold such a certificate.
Copnor Bowling Club remained a small, friendly yet competitive, club at its home since 2005 at the Swordsands Bowling Association green at the Eastern Road end of Tangier Road, in Copnor.
An insufficient number of playing members for 2016 led to the club being disbanded prior to the commencement of the 2016 season.