Ladies' Golden Jubilee 2009

Jubilee  Club House

The Ladies section held its 50th anniversary in 2009. A committee was set up, and funds were raised to celebrate the occasion.

Planning the Celebrations

Jubilee Committee

A Committee of seven was formed in 2007, chaired by Mary Hunter and was joined by the Vice-Presidents in 2008 and 2009. Three days of Celebrations were planned on June 9th, 11th and 13th. Invitations were designed, printed and sent to officials of the S.W.B.A., the E.S.W.B.A., the E.W.B.A. and S.E.L.B.L., to all the Clubs with whom we play Friendlies, to all the clubs in the S.E. League and to all our lady members and Associate members - 128 ladies in all.

The gentlemen were invited to join us in a Special Mixed Play day on Saturday 13th June for a game and a celebratory tea.

Our financial target was to raise over £2,000 and a large "thermometer" was on display so that members could see how the "temperature" was rising.

Fundraising was enthusiastically started and all members rallied round to support the various activities.

Fund raising

We held three Beetle Drives, sold three separate quiz sheets (compiled by members), "Guessed the doll's birthday", had a strawberry cream tea and a wine and cheese evening, organised a "bonus-ball" draw, held raffles, sold bowls' accessories, and held the very popular "Bowlers' Market", buying and selling home-made produce. We eventually raised the magnificent sum of £5,367 which enabled us to fulfil all our ambitions.

More Planning

Jubilee Flower Arrangement

A "Golden Jubilee" badge was designed and given to all our Lady members (the gentlemen kindly offered to donate these) and every member and visitor received a commemorative gift of chocolates in a beautifully decorated box and a telephone index in blue with gold inscription.

Catering was ordered - a two-course high tea with wine for 128 ladies (64 on each day) and seating plans were worked out. Three Celebration Cakes bearing the Golden Jubilee badge were ordered, floral display were arranged by members and gold and blue balloons and prizes bought.

Jean Haggart who is our longest serving playing member accepted the invitation to be Honorary President during the celebrations. In March 2009, Joanne Lamb was invited to join the Committee as Treasurer of the Golden Jubilee Fund, to produce a financial statement to ensure that we stayed within our budget.

The Events

Jubilee Cake cutting

On Tuesday and Thursday, guests and members were welcomed by the President, Fiona Mackenzie, and offered wine and canapés. The Order of Play for 7 full rinks was displayed and after a group photograph, the "spider" set the bowls going and the game was soon underway.

Robin Robertson kindly agreed to take individual rink photos which were distributed to every player during the meal.

With all the planning successfully completed the only unknown factor was the weather. We kept our fingers crossed!

Jubilee Table

While the players were enjoying friendly games on the green, in perfect weather, the tables were laid by the catering staff and committee members added the finishing touches of place-names, fanned napkins, little boxes of chocolates and the telephone index memento. Tables were numbered corresponding to the rinks.

We received many cards of congratulations from the Associations and Clubs. Instead of giving us commemorative gifts, we asked guests to support the charity Alzheimers Scotland and we were delighted to receive the total of £336.

At each event, Jean Haggart, as Honorary President, gave a Welcome Speech.

Jean Haggart's Welcome Speech.

First of all I would like to thank the Ladies of Braid for having given me the honour of being the Honorary President for this week - I feel very proud but also very humble. I would like to give you a short resume of how Braid Ladies Section started in 1959 - it has a slight quirk to it.

As you may, or may not, know we are part of Braid Estate Recreation Grounds founded in 1890 for the feuars of the Braid Estate. It comprises the Tennis and Bowling Clubs where only men played - women were expected to be at home doing their knitting or whatever. Anyhow, several of the wives played and had to use the Municipal Greens. In 1959 one of these wives, a Mrs Houston (always known as Bella), again left at home whilst her husband played, sat reading her feu charter which stated the Bowling Green was there for the enjoyment of feuars and their families. Bella realised she had as much right to play on the green as her husband.

Jubilee Table

A day or two later she went along - plonked her bowls on the Green and defied the men to do anything about it - which they couldn't. She then went and knocked at a few doors in the feu area, obtained support, and Braid Ladies Section came into being. To start with it was just four or six friends playing together but by 1963 they had a Singles Competition and our own Bella won it.

I and several other Braid ladies were fortunate enough to know, and play with, three or four of the Founder Members and they had many tales to tell about the obstacles the men put in their way - even their own husbands. Fortunately that is all behind us now; we are full members and have great support from the men - don't know what we'd do without them (don't know what to do with them sometimes), God bless 'em!

We've seen our Clubhouse extended and the original Clubhouse across the Green renovated, and we all look forward to many more happy hours on the Green. I do hope this has given you an inkling of how Braid Ladies came into being,