The HISTORY of the “EAST SURREY BOWLS LEAGUE
During the mid-eighties in the clubhouse at Old Coulsdon Bowling Club the members spent many an hour discussing the merits of forming a league for local bowling clubs.
The club Committee decided to invite some of the local clubs to a meeting on the 22nd April 1986 with the view to forming a league.
The clubs supported the idea and the “East Surrey Bowls League” was formed.
Two Old Coulsdon BC members Don Stanley and Roy Capey an ex-Football League referee of some note were the prime movers for starting a league and went on to be the first elected President and Chairman respectively of the newly formed “East Surrey Bowls League”
The original clubs were Caterham, Chipstead (withdrew 1993-1999), Godstone (withdrew 2014), Old Coulsdon, Redhill (withdrew 1988), Shirley Park and Wallington Bowling Clubs.
Later that year on the 20th September the clubs were joined by Bletchingley BC and Epsom BC to become the leagues nine Founder Members.
The clubs commenced playing league games in the 1987 season.
An Inter-Club knockout competition called the “ESL Top Ten” was successfully introduced into the playing programme in 1997.
With the growth of competitive competition the ESL Member Clubs have increased in number with the introduction of Cheam Fields BC and Horley BC (1989), Ashtead BC and Sutton BC (1990), Purley BC (1994), Dorking (2006), Warlingham Park BC (2008), Purley Bury BC in 2009, Cheam BC and Croydon BC (2015), Croydon M.O. BC (Nov 2016) increased the strength of the league up to 18 clubs.
The popular Don Stanley remained the President for 11 years and shortly after stepping down from the position was granted the title of Honorary Life Vice President.
Roy Capey held the Office of Chairman for 13 years until 1999. The Chairman’s responsibility of maintaining the excellent reputation of the League passed to Bill Ellis who continued to lead his hard-working Committee for the next 13 years to success, growth and enhancement of the status of the ESL within Surrey County Bowling circles.
The ESL has been blessed through the years with a number of very professional League Secretaries, Presidents, Chairman and more recently Web Masters who have all contributed to making the League possibly the best run league in the County.
Since 2013, at the request of the Member clubs the committee of President Trevor Pocock, Chairman Vic Painter, Secretary Paul King and Web guru Alan Huxtable continued on with the work of former Delegate Ron Snow to arrive at a template that saw the East Surrey League move to a two division promotion/relegation league as the next phase of its development in 2015.
After 20 years the “Top Ten” knockout competition changed to the “Top Eleven” in 2018 falling into line with the National competition.
David Popejoy combined the roles of Social Sec. (11/2015) with League Secretary in November 2018. DECEMBER 2019