HISTORY OF THE LEAGUE

The League was founded in 1983 by three PBI bowlers over a pint of beer after a District league match at The Gate, Saffron Walden. Those three bowlers were Keith Arch, Eric Simpson and David Northrop. A meeting was held in December  1983, the first officers and committee elected and bowling commenced in May 1984.

The first committee consisted of: Chairman – Eric Simpson (PBI), Vice Chairman – Tom Isaacson (Unicam), General Secretary – Sue Slater (PBI), Results Secretary – Keith Arch (PBI), Treasurer – David Northrop (Barclays Bank), Committee members – Eileen Hawkes (Welding Institute) and Sheila Pearce (Fulbourn Hospital).

The League originally consisted of a mixed section only, with twelve teams competing for the Grafton Trophy. BT were the first winners. In 2005, following an increase in the number of teams, the Mixed section was split into two equal divisions, changed in 2011 to Divisions 1 and 2 with promotion and relegation. Winners receive the Keith Arch trophy (division 1) or EmmKay trophy (division 2)

1987 saw the formation of the mens section with a total of 22 teams taking part in the two sections. The mens sction was first sponsored by Manulife, later by Greene King.

The pairs knock-out competitions have been a regular feature of the League since the mixed commenced in 1985, followed by the mens in 1990 and ladies in 1992. The result of an idea by Mick Kernaghan, the then Vice-chairman, the 2-4-2 Open Pairs was introduced in 2007.

The one day tournament, sponsored by the Oddfellows (1992 – 2000), then by the Wicked Cake Company (2002 – 2011), has been an annual event since 1992. Up to 20 teams of four compete for the Rosebowl, playing 5 matches of 6 ends.

Since 2000, the League has played a representative match against the Cambridge & District League. Usually played 9 ends centre jack and 9 ends roving jack, this is a light hearted and enjoyable afternoon.