Expanded history of our early biginnings


Every other town and hamlet around possessed their public bowling green, whilst Teignmouth did not.  Other District Councils similar to Teignmouth, provided it, and yet, when they applied they were told it could not be done.  Thus, other towns were progressing whilst Teignmouth stayed.  The Council should be urged to provide a bowling green.  At the present time there was the opportunity of a lifetime in regard to the earth which would come from the Brimley widening, and advantage should be taken of effecting what would prove an appreciable improvement by raising a bank on the western end of the Den as had been done at the eastern end.  If any member wanted to see the attraction the eastern end was they could easily do so, for its sheltered position from the east wind made it most enjoyable, and it was largely taken advantage of. He moved that a deputation be appointed from this Association to wait upon the Council to urge the furthering of the objects he had mentioned.

Mr Croydon seconded.  Only a few days since the necessity for the provision of a bowling green in Teignmouth was brought under his notice.  Two gentlemen who were staying in the town regularly journeyed to a neighbouring town every time they wanted a game of bowls, and, although they much preferred Teignmouth, they had hinted that on another occasion they should elect to stay at the resort where a bowling green was provided, so as to avoid the necessity of travelling up and down.  Other towns possessed a bowling green, and the Teignmouth Council should make a similar provision.

The Chairman said he understood Mr Young’s proposition to mean the general scheme of improving the Den as suggested some time ago.  Mr Young replied that that was so, and he should like to see tennis courts included if possible.

Mr Hambly agreed that it was most essential the earth from the Brimley widening should be utilised in the manner suggested.  The deputation, he considered, had a very good case to present to the Council.  In regard to the bowling green, Dawlish Council had fallen into line and were doing their very utmost for the advancement of their town.  Could Teignmouth afford to stand on one side and allow other towns to take away their bread?  That was what it amounted to.  As had been stated that evening, numbers of visitors came to Teignmouth and then went to another town because Teignmouth did not possess a bowling green.  It was no use spending money in advertising the town unless they made provision for giving visitors something to do when they got here. (Hear, hear).  He understood that the Clerk had written to the effect that the Council could lay out a bowling green.

Mr Gunning was quite in favour of the Den improvement scheme, but he was averse to monopolising any part of the Den for any particular sport.  He certainly thought that Teignmouth should have a bowling green, but it should not occupy any portion of the Den.  There was a place for it at the bottom of Bitton Park.  If they advocated the Council laying it out on the Den, he felt confident they would regret it, for it would be a great mistake to monopolise any portion of their Front.

 Mr Hambly asked how many would go as far as Bitton for the bowling green.

Mr Gunning contended that those who were fond of the game would not mind walking as far as Bitton.  It was said that as soon as ever the Council sanctioned the provision of a bowling green on the Den, application would be made to have football and cricket there too.

Dr Rudkin said his experience was that football and cricket was in progress every day on the Den.  He had seen as many as five or six games – such as it was – in progress there at the same time.  It would be better to have a good quiet game such as bowls, which were generally watched by a quiet, well-disposed body.

Mr H Young remarked that it was not a question whether they as ratepayers wanted bowls, it was whether it was an attraction for visitors, and if so, why they should not provide it.  Teignmouth was now about the only respectable town that did not possess a bowling green.

Mr G Young said the bowling green would be for the whole of the inhabitants - not for the few.  He disliked the stereotyped phrase that it could not be provided.  If the Teignmouth Council could not, well then, it was time for them to go as an apprentice to some other Council to see the way they did it.  Bitton was a very enjoyable place, and he daresay he had been there more than any other three in the room, but he considered it a little too far from the town for a bowling green to be put there.  He was very pleased to observe that the working man with his family enjoyed Bitton.  They must make attractions for visitors, otherwise the two instances mentioned by Mr Croydon would be multiplied by hundreds.

The Chairman considered that a very good case had been made out as to the necessity of a bowling green.  If, however, it was placed on the Front there would, no doubt, be some opposition.  In addition to this, he did not think the Council would so readily sanction the provision of a bowling green on the Den as at Bitton.

The proposition that a deputation wait upon this Council to urge them to proceed with the Den improvement, including the provision of a bowling green, was unanimously carried.

The deputation elected was Dr Rudkin, Mr Croydon, Mr Gunning and Mr H Young.  It was decided that they attend before the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting on the following morning.

Other discussions took place as to rowdyism on the Den, and also with reference to the concert party on the Den.  We have, however, after mature consideration, decided not to publish the opinions expressed by members on these matters as we think no good would be done the town by so doing.   The deputation undertook to call the attention of the Council to these matters also.