History of Pineholt Bowls Club
The club started life in the autumn of 1937 as one of the many sports sections of Gloster Aircraft Company (GAC), which was founded in 1917. It was then called the Gloster Aircraft Bowls Club.Playing the full first season in 1938 the club hired Barnwood bowls green for home games and club competitions, but most fixtures were away games.(incidentally Barnwood was then owned by ten people and was offered to Gloster Aircraft Co. in about 1942 for £1000 – but they declined the offer!)
When the war came in 1939 very few clubs kept fixtures going and of course members were busy building aircraft – notably the Hurricane and Typhoon.Several games were played to aid Red Cross funds.
The club continued with mostly away fixtures and as building restrictions were tight it was not until 1949 before a start was made on the sports ground complex, which the company agreed to fund. Work on the green began in 1950 and was laid by En-Tous-Cas Ltd. The total cost was just over £3000 of which £1000 was for the Cumberland Turf.
The site of Gloster Aircraft Company passed into the control of Hawker Siddeley Group and many other aircraft associated companies until this was followed by Clydesdale PLC, Town & City Properties Ltd, Gloucester Trading Estate and finally Bovis Homes Ltd.
The green opened in 1951 with a game against the full county side and 1952 saw the start of annual competitions within the Hawker Group. Matches were played home & away with Hawkers of Kingston and Armstrong Siddeley of Coventry. Mr H Burrough, the then President donated a cup, which was played for until 1961 when he handed over the presidency to E W Shambrook.
In 1962 Gloster Aircraft Company closed and Pineholt sports club became a private club. The fortunes of the sports club were rather mixed and in 1976 the sports club told the bowlers that they would not finance the upkeep of the green and as a result volunteers took over the work.
In 1987, the 50th anniversary of the club, it entertained the English Bowling Association followed after the game by a celebratory meal in the sports club ballroom.
Around this time there was talk that the ‘clubs’ might impede the future development of the site for housing. In consequence of planning consent being granted in the early 1990’s it led to the demise of the main club with its many activities – including table tennis, snooker, darts leagues, by knocking it down including the ballroom, skittle alleys, and ‘pub’ There was no longer any Cricket, Tennis, Hockey or Rugby pitches.
The bowls was left in isolation until after much negotiation it was agreed to move the bowls green and pavilion and that Bovis Homes Ltd would attach it to the new Hucclecote Parish Council building with no cost to the bowls club!
Work commenced and the club was moved to its present site. A match was arranged between the early members and current members to celebrate the event on 26th September 1998. The Chairman of Bovis Homes Ltd attended and cut the ribbon to open the new club.
The club celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2012 and 80th in 2017.
There is no comparison with this building with all its mod cons and the wooden shed occupied before. The ‘older’ bowlers still say though that the old green was the best in the county!!
The club tie and badge carry a unique motif by depicting a Gloster Gladiator aircraft built on the site and made famous in 1942 at Malta when ‘Faith, Hope and Charity’ defended the island. Other famous aircraft were built on this site such as the Hurricane – produced every four hours during the war effort, the Javelin and the first jet engine, made famous by Frank Whittle’s E28/39 aircraft, and then used in Meteor fighters during the Second World War.
Content supplied by Derek Richardson.