The Middlesex County Bowling Association was founded on 4th March 1911. Government of the game in the South started in 1896, when the London & Southern Counties BA., composed of private clubs only, was founded. Five years later, in 1901, the London Parks came into being, providing for clubs playing on public greens.
The English Bowling Association was formed in 1903, and accepted both private and public clubs into direct affiliation. The rapid growth of the game, with consequent increase in the number of clubs, in a few years made decentralisation a necessity. The natural division brought to birth the County Associations and, pursuing the metaphor, various births were accompanied by many complications and accomplished after much labour. Middlesex was no exception and, indeed, was particularly unfortunate.
Writing long after the event, it is now obvious that very much of the trouble would never have happened had the E.B.A. then laid down the rule (brought in a few years later) that all clubs affiliated to the National Association should first affiliate to the appropriate County Association. Instead, they continued the direct affiliations, and this had unfortunate results in Middlesex.
No possible purpose can be served by presuming to criticise the bowlers and pioneers of 1911. Most of them have departed, and never in their wildest visions could they have foreseen the new lease of life the ancient game was to take. Centuries ago the game was popular with the elite, but banned to the masses and for long long years bowls had just a casual existence. Then fifty years ago, came the advance, and in the year of grace 1946 His Majesty King George VI and Queen Elisabeth accompanied by the President and Secretary of the E.B.A., watched with interest a game of bowls – on a Middlesex green.
The above excerpt was from a booklet produced in 1947 by W. T. Elliott County President 1945. If you wish to read the rest, hopefully, it will be available in a booklet to be produced for our 100th anniversary in 2011.