The word "bowls" occurs for the first time in the statute of 1511 in which Henry VIII confirmed previous enactments against unlawful games. By a further act of 1541 - which was not repealed until 1845 - artificers, labourers, apprentices, servants and the like were forbidden to play bowls at any time except Christmas,

The repealing of this act, together with the invention of the lawn mower, gave rise to a number of clubs springing up and Barnsley joined this boom around the turn of the century. The first club in Barnsley appears to be the Barnsley Bowling Club later Huddersfield Rd Club which was formed in 1901.

Barnsley C & AC bowling section (as it was then) was formed in 1904 with a "Match for Suppers" played on October the 1st, between Mr Carrs side and Mr Rolfes side. We know that Mr Carr was William Carr who was the club secretary at the time. Mr Rolfe was the chairman of the newly formed Barnsley & District Amateur Bowling League. The Clubs first competitive season commenced in 1905 where the overall feeling was that both greens were of excellent quality. Two greens were laid, one (at 30yd x 40yd) was considerably smaller than the other which was 38yd x 42. Subscriptions were 10/- which equates to £54 in 2014. The first match was played on Thursday May 11th when Barnsley Shaw Lane took on Goldthorpe and won 181-172.

In his post war address in 1945 the secretary Clifford Hesketh announced plans for a third green, however this never materialised. Notable members included Ken Adams who was a high ranking offiical in the Yorkshire Crown Green Bowls Association and a number of members who have represented their county.

The section continued developing through the years and has competed in many leagues cups and competitions, nover having won the Yorkshire Cup, successful in the Masons Cup in 1970 beating off the cream of South Yorkshires bowls elite. Floodlights were introduced to Shaw Lane in the 70s and the club embarked upon a series of floodlit events, drawing bowlers from all over Yorkshire.


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