The History of Winsley Bowls Club

A Little Bit Of History

The story of a broken leg led to the formation of the Club, as told to Richard Kettlety by  Fred J Forster, the man who suffered the broken leg.  Fred Forster was Captain for 53 years.

To start at the beginning Fred Forster was the elder son of Tom Forster, the village Builder, Decorator and Undertaker.  Fred eventually took over the business in 1923 and Richard was apprentice to him as a carpenter.  One day they were working together when John told Richard about the formation of Winsley Bowls Cub in 1903

In the 1890s amateur racing was all the go and Fred Forster was a top class cyclist.  He won a bet to ride from Trinity Church Trowbridge to Winsley Church in 15 mins which showed that he was good. He was playing football in Frome when he broke his right leg 6 inches above his ankle and the Doctor did not make a very good job of setting it.  This meant he was off work for some time and was unable to race or play football again

Sometime later he was on holiday in Portsmouth where he saw bowls being played and found out all he could about the game.  When Fred came home he sounded out some village men, got some kit together and asked  the owner of Winsley House if they could try it out on his lawn.  The owner of Winsley House was keen and laid out a 3 rink green in his grounds on the opposite side of the road where the green is now.  So Winsley Bowls Club was formed in 1903 all because Fred Forster broke his leg playing football.

Here are some of the Founders:

Full List of Founders
  • Fred J Forster
  • Bert Forster (Brother)
  • Tom Forster (Father)
  • Robert Beasley (Schoolmaster)
  • John Herring
  • David Bolwell (Gardener-Conkwell Grange)
  • Talbot Miller (Gardener-Burghope)
  • Mr Leslie (Gardener –Winsley House)    
  • Fred Bert (Gardener-Turleigh Manor)
  • Albert Willcox (Roadman)      
  • Mr Harding (Rose Cottage)    
  • Albert Blake (Baker)   
  • Jim Organ (Blacksmith)   
  • Mr Leary (Coachman-Conkwell Grange)

The Logo, What Does It Mean?

Winsley Bowls Club
  • All symbols reflect to our surroundings in the country-side with the shinning knight (above) looking, and caring for all of us, with his shield.
  • Top left is three oak trees in near-by fields.
  • Top right is the sheep we have close to our club house and reflects the weavers.
  • Bottom left resembles the nearby, river and canals.
  • Finally, we have the stone walling and a tree being battered by the wind