The history of Plessey Bowls Club

 

The club formed in 1973 was initially an inter-departmental bowls league for the Plessey Radar Company. They played at the Cowes Bowls club ground.

Eddie Scott came to the island to work for Plessey and was a key figure in persuading people to bowl. During this time Norman Rose presented the Rose Bowl, which was first won by Reg and Fran White in 1978. The bowl is still competed for today.

 

In 1980 things got a bit more serious and a team was entered into the island Saturday league division 2. In this first year we finished 9th winning 9 out of 22 games.

In 1981 Plessey won Division 2 after a close struggle with Cowes B. Dave Harding had a great year with the most successful rink in division 2 winning 18 out of 22 games. There was also the first B team completing in the year.

During this period Plessey played at Newport bowls green.

 

There was a desire to get our own green; Plessey offered some ground on three gates road that was marked out before they withdrew the offer.

 

The JS White Sports Ground has a lot of history, hosting Hampshire County Cricket Club for a first class game in 1954. They had two established bowls greens, the first being laid professionally with drainage layers and Cumberland washed turf. The second being sewn by hand by the grounds man Sandy Morrel. In 1965 Elliot Corporation (US) bought JS Whites and asset stripped the old company. They tried to sell the sports ground for a number of years, in which time the ground was locked and was over grown. Then the Isle of Wight council took over the ground our current home was found.

 

Tales of Mike Eggleton climbing over the locked gates to have a look, seeing the old bowls club with all the old strings and scoreboards. Apparently Cowes golf club got hold of the bowls pavilion following one of their clubhouse fires.

 

1986 was a great year, the new green was opened, and the Ladies section was formed. This first year saw the green being attacked by cricket balls, one bouncing and hitting Mike Eggleton’s children. Another afternoon three balls came over, one hitting Peter Clayton on the full.  Hence the need for netting between the cricket and bowls.

 

In 1987 Plessey second team won division 2, winning 22 out of 28 games. Two other competed that year, the first team finishing 7th in division one, and the 3rd sting 12th in division 2.

The ladies success started in 1996 when they won division 3, and winning division 2 the following year. To 2017 they have won the league 11 times in a row, and the top club 6 times in a row.

In 2010 the men won the division one title.

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