1978 into the Modern Era

Changes are coming

edward G davisIn 1978 the president of the association was Mr Edward G. Davis from Lochwinnoch who proposed a change to the way that presidents of the association were chosen. Instead of the cup winning club nominating a president it should be done on a rotational basis, this meant taking the date a club entered the association and working it from there. This would happen in the 1980 season if all clubs were in agreement to work this way. It was and Neilston were asked to nominate a president for the 1980 season. President Davis also proposed that an under 30’s competition be started to run in conjunction with the other competitions. This proposal would lie on the table until the 1979 AGM. The first inter-association friendly was played in 1979 against Barrhead and District League, held on Arthurlie green in August. Mr R. Brown stated that he was having a trophy made by Messrs Rolls Royce Ltd of Hillington for this annual friendly match. Unfortunately for the association they had to part with the new trophy, but not going home empty handed, they were presented with a very large decorated wooden spoon presented by President Joe McFarlane of Crookston and Barrhead and District. Over the years the association had friendly matches against Renfrewshire Bowling Association, Govan and District League, Barrhead and District Past Presidents, and Dixon Bowling Club, Dumbarton. Messrs George Ballantine & Son Ltd, whisky distillers donated a piece of amethyst rock to be played for between the association and Govan and District League. Blazer BadgeWhile the 1978 presentation party were at Gourock BC to present the Challenge Cup and single handed winner along with the runner-up it was suggested that instead of money, maybe a winner’s badge could be struck for the competitions. This suggestion was brought before the committee who agreed, so a letter was sent to Sir Maurice Bine Renshaw asking if he would allow the association to use the Renshaw coat of arms within a badge. His reply was that ‘he would be delighted to allow his grandfather’s coat of arms to be used. This  would have been a fitting tribute to Sir Charles Renshaw sponsor of the Renshaw Challenge Cup, but on writing to the Lord Lyon King at Arms for permission, they stated that under insignia law the association could not use any part of the Baronet Renshaw’s Coat of Arms within the proposed badge, but because Sir Charles had been an MP they would allow the association to use the portcullis if they wished.
It was very disappointing not having the use of his coat of arms, so a designer had to be found to produce a badge. A meeting of directors was held in August in 1978 due to the sudden death of the long serving secretary, Mr John Buchanan from J. G. Fleming, who was very well known the length and breadth of Scotland. Mr Robert Brown from Midton was prepared to take on the position until the next AGM. The year 1980 saw the introduction of the Under 30s single handed competition which had been proposed by E. G. Davis, Lochwinnoch. This was to be run under SBA rules like the other tournaments. Lochwinnoch were glad to donate a cup for this event. Also in this year Mr J. Roberts of Roberts Aerials, Paisley agreed to cover the expenses of trophies of association championships to the sum of £100.

Does this sound familiar?
This piece is taken from the secretary’s report, does it sound familiar? ‘The presentation of prizes for 1979 took place at Inverkip B.C. which was to have been a wapenschaw with tea and prize presentation thereafter. well, Inverkip with its small clubhouse had prepared everything proudly and a great night was going to be had by the prize winners and invited guests, but one thing we didn’t count on were the elements. On that evening a coach was laid on to transport players from Neilston, Paisley, Elderslie, Johnstone, Kilbarchan, Houston and Bishopton. It was raining in Neilston and as the coach got nearer and nearer to Inverkip I don’t think I have ever been out in such rain, all the roads were flooded and often could not be seen. What were we going to do? well, a wonderful meal was laid on by the ladies of Inverkip, the presentation of prizes followed and a go as you please and say what you want followed with refreshment on request. The evening turned out as fine an evening as I have spent and as all good bowlers know the best bowls are never played on the green.’

Over the past season, the weather has not been any better for bowling; even in 1981 snow was lying on most greens when they should have been open. A trophy was introduced in 1981 for the Secretaries or Match Secretaries of all association clubs. These matches were to be played every second Saturday, but as it turned out many of the secretaries did not bother to appear. Something had to be done, so it was decided to play on the Tuesday evenings the same as other competitions. This proved to be much more popular, so by 1984 the association were running singles, pairs, triples, and fours along with an under 30’s and secretaries trophy, and a membership of 27 clubs, rising to 33 in the next few years. Shanks Bowling Club donated £40 towards the Secretary’s singles.
One of the association’s longest serving committee members, Robert Brown decided to retire after completing a continuous 32 years of service, becoming secretary in 1978.
Elderslie Wallace asked the association if they could introduce a trophy in memory of J. Gatherer, who was well-known in bowling circles in his day. This trophy would be a Senior Triples competition, to be run on the Tuesday afternoon of the Renshaw ties date. This was given approval, by the committee and this competition turned out to be a great success.
And now for the biggest change so far – in 1988 the clubs in the association would be asked to supply four rinks instead of two for the Renshaw Challenge Cup, with the rule changing from shot gains per rink, to 2 points per winning rink, 1 for a draw, and should there be a tie in points then it would go to shots difference to determine the winner. This would be implemented in 1989. A trophy would be given to the association in memory of Frank Kane from Bridge of Weir green. This Rose Bowl was presented by his wife and would go to the club with the highest up rink in the Challenge Cup. This was won in the first year by Nitshill & Hurlet B.C.
Also in the years 1989, 1990, 1991 Richard Anderson (left) from Elderslie Wallace Bowling Club won the singles championship, the first time this had been achieved. The association marked this by making a winner’s badge as seen here (right).

Centenary Year
The committee had been working away for several years with plans for the centenary of the association in 1995. This culminated in a Civic Reception and Dinner being hosted by Renfrew District Council, Strathclyde Regional Council, Inverclyde District Council, and City of Glasgow District Council and held on Friday, 23rd September, 1995 in Paisley Town Hall, to which 150 guests were invited.renshaw4The centenary committee was: Immediate Past President P. Brown, Linwood; President T. Bradford, Bishopton; Vice-President W. Whyte, Nitshill & Hurlet; Secretary/Treasurer A. Pairman, Inverkip; A. McCracken, Crookston; R. Scott, Lilybank; S. Keith, Renfrew; J. McIntosh, Brookfield; N. McLean, Erskine; and D. McBride, Johnstone and the Scottish President Mr Robert Colthart (Springwells BC) Airdrie.

Over the years bowling club memberships have been declining, and on several occasions a notice of motion was presented to the AGM to have the Renshaw Cup reduced to either four teams of triples or reduced to three teams of four. The motions were narrowly defeated on these occasions, but at the 2015 AGM the motion was passed to have four teams of three. During season 2016/17 Tam Bradford (Bishopton Bowling Club) (left) long-time secretary of the association decided to retire fromTam Bradford from Bishopton, President 1995 the position. Tam was President of the Association in the centenary yearPairman, and then became the assistant secretary and treasurer in 1997 taking over the full time post in 1999 from another long-serving secretary in Alec S. Pairman from Inverkip Bowling Club, 1987-99 (right), between them clocking up approximately three decades service with the Renshaw Bowling Association. Alec joined the Renshaw committee in 1977, becoming President in 1982, and taking over the position of Secretary/Treasurer from Bobby Brown. A big thank you must go out to all secretary’s since the inception of the Association, because without a dedicated secretary clubs and associations do not function.
At the 2017 Annual General Meeting a change to the committee setup was instigated with the roles of Secretary/Treasurer becoming Secretary and Match Secretary and the position of Treasurer becoming separate. Both having a remuneration of approximately £300.
The 2018 season started with clubs not being able to supply anyone to take their place in rotation for the committee, and with resignations the committee was depleted so the committee co-opted honorary presidents.
The bowling started on 1st May which was very wet and windy, but to their credit the players turned up at the venues chosen to host the preliminary games, and there were some very exciting games.
At a committee meeting held on Tuesday 1st October, 2019 it was decided to hopefully renew all the cups as the ones we have are getting old, especially the Renshaw Cup itself (valued at approximately £13,000) as it has been handed around clubs since 1939 and no place to engrave any further winners. If any clubs wish to donate a cup for any of the competitions, please let us know through Callum MacKinnon.
The Renshaw committee decided that the cups that were in use had to be renewed for the 125th Anniversary of the Association as there was not enough room for engraving on some of them. In 2019 that was what should have happened, then DISASTER – a pandemic called Covid 19 hit the world and almost shut it down. Bowling, along with other sports were stopped. The same happened in 2020 and 2021 with nothing happening on the bowling front. But in season 2022 the Renshaw Bowling Association along with other sports were allowed to start again.
John Gethins had waited a long time to assume the position of president of the association. The finals were held at Robertson Park who did the Renshaw proud with their organisation of the finals. The Renshaw Cup was won by Crookston Bowling Club, with the Frank Kane prize going to Elderslie Wallace for the highest up rink in the cup games.
Like most bowling clubs and associations it was becoming harder and harder to get people to join the committee. Elderslie had been asked on several occasions if they wanted to nominate someone to take their turn on the committee. If clubs could not nominate anyone, then the Association would have to be wound up.
The year 2023 was getting back to normal after the outbreak of Covid 19 which had gone on since 2019 and still infected people, although the nation should have been vaccinated against the disease.
Again, clubs were asked to nominate members from their clubs to sit on the Renshaw Committee until it was their turn to become President of the Association, but alas, nothing doing.

In this year, the numbers of people participating in the sport really declined more so that the friendlies that had been going on for years failed to take place which was very disappointing. Clubs were relying on their senior bowlers for league games whether in the Johnstone and District or the Paisley and District. The history of the association was failing due to the lack of anything major taking place that the minutes tell in future years.