The Tenby Bowling green is the oldest in Pembrokeshire, laid in 1923 and officially opened in 1924. The directors of the Limited Company ran the club until 1960, through many financially difficult years. The establishing of an eighteen hole putting green on the ground north and east of the bowling green in 1930 was suggested by a Mr Ashley Colley, financial advisor, and helped instantly with the running costs. Likewise Ashley's suggestion that the running of the club be offered to the then separate 'players committee' in 1960 proved the trigger which enthused successive committees over the following years to expand and improve facilities on and off the green for the benefit of all Tenby club members, male and female.
Our bowling surface is considered, throughout Wales, as second to none and our modern clubhouse the envy of many. The Tenby club, leaders on and off the bowling green has inspired the rest of Pembrokeshire clubs to follow suit to the extent that the County are regularly contributing to the national scene, administratively and supplying talented bowlers for the Welsh Team.
The Tenby Bowling Club was formed by a syndicate which included many of the town's leading businessmen. They purchased the South Cliff Gardens and had a full sized bowling green built by Mr Rae of Merthyr. The bowling surface was sea washed turf from Loughor on the Carmarthen Bay and a Tenby builder, Mr William Davies erected a neat little wooden pavilion in the south east corner of the grounds.
The completed green was inspected by WBA officials and passed as perfect. These same officials umpired the first tournament, giving freely of their vast experience and knowledge to the club's grateful organisers. The founders had the brilliant foresight to put up a very valuable trophy, 'The One Hundred Guinea Gold Challenge Cup' as the star prize in Tenby's Open Tournament to be played for annually. This put the Tenby Club firmly on the Welsh bowling map. This tournament in the popular holiday resort of Tenby swiftly became a firm favourite with the Welsh bowlers and was to attract players from many parts of the UK in the ensuing years.
I wish to acknowledge that I gleaned a lot of my information from previous articles supplied by the late Mr Arthur Ormond, MBE, and from the Tenby Observer, to whom I and the Tenby Club are greatly indebted. ~ B. Barnikel, TBC Archivist.