Bowling back the years in Markinch!

Jack Harley (President) with Sheena Watson (Lady President) throwing the first jack - at Markinch Bowling Club on its 150th anniversary
Jack Harley (President) with Sheena Watson (Lady President) throwing the first jack - at Markinch Bowling Club on its 150th anniversary
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As ladies president Sheena Watson sent the first jack of the new season on its way, the annual gesture marked the start of a full summer of extra special celebrations for one of the oldest sports clubs in the Kingdom.

For Markinch Bowling Club, one of the cornerstones in the heart of the village community celebrate their 150th anniversary this year.

Onlookers joined club members old and new as they gathered around the green to hear a piper play in the first match of what will surly be a momentous and historic season for the Markinch club.

Club president Jack Harley told the Gazette that he’s honoured and privileged to hold the position in the club’s anniversary year.

“There have obviously been many changes since the club was constituted in 1863, fortunately, since the inception of the club, the office bearers have had the foresight to ensure the club has progressed as the times have changed.

“Our club facilities are a testament to many years of hard work and effort from the
members.”

Founded in 1863 the club first opened for bowls in 1866 and was one of the eight founder members of the Fife Bowling Association which came together in 1879 after a meeting at the Bethune Arms, Markinch

The smell of freshly mowed grass and clink of wooden bowls has been stirring the senses for generations and many of those memories have also been documented in a hundred page souvenir book to co-inside with the anniversary.

The club’s match secretary Bill Bell has spent months researching the history of the famous club, collating archive papers, old photographs and memorabilia to produce a fitting and lasting document spanning the 150 year history.

“You could say it’s been a labour of love”, laughs Bill.

“It quickly grew arms and legs, but there are some fascinating and often humorous little anecdotes and stories about not only the bowling but life in general too.

“Making sure the facts are correct and sourcing old photographs has been a challenge but I’m sure the book will do justice to the long history of this club.

“I just hope I haven’t missed anyone out”, he added.

And it’s set to be a busy year for the club with the recent announcement that they are to host the prestigious Scottish Area Finals this summer.

The club will also be holding a number of open days, special competitions and events which will culminate in a month-long celebration in August with a number of high-profile exhibition and friendly matches, all of which the public are welcome to attend.