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Welcome to the Vale of Leven Lawn Bowling Club, Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire, Scotland - the BIG green!


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Dumbarton Associated Bowling Clubs

The Dumbarton Associated Bowling Clubs (DABC) is an association of all the clubs in our area. It was formed in 1896 after the County Cup competition had been running since 1873. The founding committee included the ex-provost of Dumbarton, J.Babtie J.P. and the owner of the Lennox Herald newspaper, William Thompson. Originally there were only four members but over the years the membership expanded to the present ten clubs. In addition to the annual County and Scottish Championship games these clubs compete in several of their own Competitions.

Dumbarton associated bowling clubs badge

The badge pictured above was specially designed in 1996 for the centenary of the Dumbarton Associated Clubs by Jim Tennent of the Vale of Leven Bowling Club. It depicts Dumbarton's crest, the Elephant and Castle, the Fountain in Alexandria and the "Monument" in Renton.

Member Clubs of the Dumbarton Associated Bowling Clubs

argyle bowling club badge

Argyle Bowling Club: Argyle Park, Alexandria (Argyle Bowling Club Website)
The Argyle is one of the younger clubs, being founded as late as 1963. Originally a public green under the control of the District Council Parks Department it was invited to join the Municipal Scottish Bowling Association. It remained as a MSBA member until 1984. In 1985 it was accepted for membership of the Scottish Bowling Association (SBA). In the early years the Argyle was seen as a nursery for the other bigger clubs in the area. Quite a few of the Vale's weel kent faces started their bowling careers at the Argyle. More recently a stable membership has allowed them to develop their own identity within the DABC and they have had increasing success in the competitions.

brock bowling club badge

Brock Bowling Club: Crosslet Road, Dumbarton
The Brock was founded in 1948 as the Blackburn Aircraft Factory Welfare Bowling Club. This was a factory that had been set up as part of the war effort but post war was adapted to the manufacture of prefabricated metal housing units, fondly remembered in the area as "the Aluminiums". When the factory closed the club adopted the name of Brock as a tribute to Mrs. Willox, their patron, who previously had been married to Walter Brock Junior of Levenford House.

dixon bowling club badge

Dixon Bowling Club: Helenslee Road, Levengrove, Dumbarton
The Dixon Bowling club was founded in 1888 after permission was obtained from Major Robert Dixon to use the ground at the derelict Levengrove Quarry. They opened an impressive new clubhouse in 1956 and they are one of the innovative clubs in the area. Their new clubhouse includes a large function hall and they were one of the first to install an effective floodlighting system. The "Dixon Floodlight" was for a number of years a very popular local tournament. It is worth noting that the Vale have had an annual friendly match with the Dixon for well over one hundred years.

dumbarton bowling club badge

Dumbarton Bowling Club: 12 St Mary's Way Dumbarton
Like the Vale, Dumbarton BC have two greens and they are by far the oldest of the clubs in the Association. Having been formed way back in 1832 they will soon be looking forward to their bi-centenary celebrations. They have been at their present location since 1859. The present clubhouse, when opened in 1923. was one of the largest in the country. As well as being one of the most competitive clubs in the area Dumbarton have traditionally supplied many DABC and County administrators and officials. From 1910 to 1983 the Hon President of the Dunbartonshire County Association was a Dumbarton BC member. Ernie Johnson of Dumbarton won both the Scottish and the British singles titles in 1961. The Vale have had a keenly contested annual "friendly" match with Dumbarton for many years.

Dumbarton Rock Bowling club badge

Dumbarton Rock Bowling Club: Pier Esplanade, Castle Road, Dumbarton
The "Rock" was founded in 1883. It enjoys an enviable setting right underneath Dumbarton's Castle Rock and there is no more picturesque place to play bowls on a fine summer's day. In recent years they have provided many of the county players not least Andy McGrandle who was also capped for Scotland.

Dumbuck bowling club badge

Dumbuck Bowling Club: Glasgow Road Dumbarton
Dumbuck Bowling Club is another club whose roots are in industry. The green was orginally created in the late 1920's for the employees of the engineering company, Babcock and Wilcox. The green was not at that time of regulation size but in 1948 it was extended and the club was then accepted as a full member of the SBA. The lack of a bar and the facilities offered by some of the other clubs meant that Dumbuck also operated as a feeder club for the others in the association. More recently, like the Argyle, they have had more success and proposals to redevelop the clubhouse are in place.

Eastfield bowling club badge

Eastfield Bowling Club: 127 Glasgow Road, Dumbarton
Eastfield Bowling Club was founded in 1900 by a group of men from the Newtown area of Dumbarton. The original clubhouse was replaced by a modern structure in 1978, which offers an excellent view of play on the green. Eastfield are another very competitive club who supply several players to the county team.

Renton bowling club badge

Renton Bowling Club: Carman Road, Renton, West Dunbartonshire
Our neighbour and old rival club "The Renton" was founded the year before the Vale in 1866. They have seldom been in front of us since. But seriously, they opened an impressive new clubhouse in 1965 with excellent facilities including a large function hall. In 1988 the members constructed a new locker room in a separate building on the site of the original clubhouse. Renton are a strong club who also provide several county players. Each year we have an annual friendly match with "The Renton" for the Lomond cup. While quite a few drams are sunk before, during and after play this is a serious and very keenly contested game.

Townend bowling club badge

Townend Bowling Club: Doveholm, Dumbarton
Townend Bowling was founded in 1897 and built on the site of an old scrapyard near the Barloan Toll. Like the other clubs they also replaced their original clubhouse. The present modern clubhouse was built in 1969. The Vale also has an annual friendly with Townend.

Vale of Leven bowling club badge

Vale of Leven Bowling Club: Middleton Street, Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire
The Big Green! What more can I say?

It is worth commenting on the fact that the three clubs outside Dumbarton (Vale, Renton and Argyle) have recently been doing better membership wise than the Dumbarton clubs. This is mainly due to the rise in population in the Vale and Balloch over the last few years. The Vale of Leven and Balloch, which supports only three clubs is comparable in population to Dumbarton with seven clubs. Most of the clubs now have vacancies as opposed to waiting lists. We should all do our best to advertise this and to promote our sport to the outside world.

Acknowledgement: Much of the information on this page was taken from the association's book, which was published in 1996 to commemorate its first 100 years. Our thanks are due to those who contributed to the original publication.

Note: If any of the local clubs would like to send in suitable pictures for consideration on this website please forward them to us. We would also be willing to host a single web page for each of the clubs in the association who don't have a website of their own. There will be no charge for this so if you want to submit up to 500 words about your club and perhaps a couple of images please send them to us for consideration.

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Dumbarton Associated Bowling Clubs Trophies