Morton’s national fours success in 1958 seemed to provide something of a boost for Cumbrian bowls, for the 1960s saw a period of further success at all levels, including international recognition.

Carlisle Subscription’s Joe Turner had played for England in 1956 but, in 1961, Edenside’s big Joe Hodgson, who had a wonderfully smooth delivery for a man of his size, gained his international place which he maintained until his sudden death in 1965.

Another big man was to follow in his footsteps when Silloth’s Jock Routledge gained his first cap in 1967 and he played until 1970.

In between these two achievements, Charlie Graham, of Edenside, lifted the national singles at Mortlake, Cumbria’s first singles win since JJ Postlethwaite’s in 1911.

Charlie, I know, had hoped that the win would be the pathway into the international side but, despite playing in the trial he was not selected, one of the rare occasions when the singles winner did not receive that recognition.

It was something which he felt aggrieved about for many years and was only partially recompensed when he was awarded life membership of the National Association for the work he had done as county secretary for 25 years.

In 1965, there was also a Middleton Cup revival when Cumbria won the Northern section and a quarter-final win took them back to Mortlake for the semi-final. Once more, however, that was as good as it got, the side going down to Northampton.

Things were very much on the up in the bowls world in Cumbria at this time and two new competitions came into the programme.

A club two fours knockout was introduced in 1958 and the trophy, which became known as the County Cup, was presented by local Estate Agent Oliver Gibbings. The competition remains popular to this day.

The first winners were Silloth, a strong club at that time and they went on to lift the trophy seven times in the first 12 years. To date, they and Workington are at the head of the winners table with nine victories each. In total, 20 clubs have won the trophy.

Willie Little, a member of Edenside and a turf accountant with an office in Globe Lane in Carlisle, also presented a great trophy in memory of international Joe Hodgson.

It was introduced as a Champion of Champions competition for club singles winners. First played for in 1966, the first winner was Joe Stamper of Carlisle Subscription who defeated George Lockhart of Carlisle Labour Club in the final.

Andrew Bracken of Penrith Friars won the competition five times and, like John Bell of Wigton, also managed three consecutive victories.

Incidentally, Jack Warren, who represented Nalgo, was unfortunate to reach the final twice during Bell’s purple patch.

A total of 22 different clubs have won this competition.

There then followed the Two Wood Singles Trophy which was presented by Fred Taylor in memory of Joe Turner, another Cumbrian international.

The first winner was Jock Routledge who defeated David Taylor of Currock in the final at Silloth in 1966. Having two good standard greens, Silloth became the regular venue for many years.

Regrettably, entries in this particular competition have declined considerably in the last 22, which is a great shame. Any two-bowl game is the truest test of a players’ bowling ability. Subscription has been the top club with 10 victories all achieved in the last 19 years and entirely through the exploits of Rick Gallagher, seven wins and Mark Nanson three wins.

More new competitions followed. The Junior Singles for The John Downie Shield, another turf accountant, was won by David Taylor of Currock who defeated David Gregory of Workington in the first county finals day, which was held on the president Bill Edgar’s green at Appleby.

Three players, David Forster Jnr, Ian Reeves and Richard Sampson managed four wins.

With so many new competitions, it was important that the draws for each were readily available to all competitors and so, in 1964, the first County handbook was produced.

Until then, all the draws had been distributed on draw sheets but this was a big step forward and one does wonder how the competitions were run without this annual tome.

At one time it took many hours to produce the draws but, with the assistance of a more than able typist, well known to me, the job could be done in a few hours.

It was particularly useful to have the draws in book form for at this time the competitions had both a Thursday and a Saturday section for the first days play, all rounds thereafter were played by set dates and mutual agreement of greens.

This week’s club review is for another founder member of the County Association, Edenside, which regrettably is no longer in existence.

Edenside came into existence on April 28,1898 and shared the site with the cricket and athletic club.

The first subscription was a guinea (£1.05p) for the bowls club. In 1900, two club delegates attended a meeting to discuss the formation of a City Bowls League. The league did not materialise then and it was 67 years later before it did, Edenside the first winners of the Carliol League.

In 1901, Stanwix Bowling Club was formed and this was a setback for Edenside for a number of Edenside’s leading lights moved to Stanwix.

There seemed to be no real ill-feelings, however, other than a friendly rivalry between them.

In 1904, Edenside affiliated to the EBA and, in 1907, James Emmerson became the first Cumbrian to win the national singles.

Emmerson went on to win the national fours in 1908 when the final was played on the Upper Clapton Bowls Club in London. The game lasted just four ends for, on the fifth end, the opposing skip collapsed on the green and died immediately.

The game was abandoned, the prize-money halved but the title was awarded to Edenside. Albert Smith was the first Edenside player to play for England in 1911.

On April 14, 1914, it was agreed that Edenside would attend a meeting and join the County Association but the association was not formed then and the affiliation took place five years later.

When the County Association was formed in 1919, it was Edenside secretary Jimmy Emmerson who drew up the first draft rules.

During the war there seemed to be little bowling at Edenside but, in 1919, things got moving again.

In 1921, Edenside and Stanwix got together and commenced a 32-rink competition which was played on both greens with the final stages alternating between the two greens. This tournament was the first one in which I played and in 1965 when I represented Upperby Institute.

On that day, I led for Walter Buxton (who played the last two bowls) though Bill Kettle actually skipped the rink. We caused a surprise by defeating a Middleton Cup standard four skipped by Fred Taylor. It was a hot afternoon and Kettle and his opposite No.3 Gordon Sewell, who could both be somewhat fiery, at one point fell out and I thought that it would come to blows.

Fortunately, it did not quite go that far, but only just. In round two, the high standard of the tournament was seen when we came up against Stan Laybourne, John Holliday, Bob Holliday and Lanty Laybourne of Workington. We lost.

Edenside was always a strong competitive club and continued to be a leading light in Cumbria for the latter half of the 20th century. It provided many county players and officials.

There were improvements to its clubhouse and green, new domestic competitions, but flooding had always been an ever present cloud on the horizon.

The club suffered way back in 1925, again in 1964 and again in 2005.

On each occasion the members battled to get the club up and running but in January 2009 the club was again flooded and, with the prospect of no further insurance and a decline in membership, an extraordinary meeting on January 22 voted 31-29 to wind up the club.

It was a great shame that a great club should end this way and with such a close vote there will be many who felt it unnecessary. However, it was done and Edenside was finished.