History

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Our History

Birth Of The E.B.U. to the Creation of Bowls Europe Ltd

The road travelled from the birth of the European Bowls Union (E.B.U.) to the formation of Bowls Europe Limited (B.E.) was a long one. The journey was, at times, arduous, with many challenges that had to be overcome.

The journey began in June 1995, when it was formed by Alan Williams (a past President of World Bowls and Secretary of the then, Welsh Bowling Association) and Roy Peacock (Past President of the then, English Bowling Association).

Both men believed, quite correctly, that there was a need for an organisation to “promote, foster, and develop the sport of Bowls, throughout Mainland Europe”. Not only was that required for the countries where bowls was, already. firmly established, but in countries where it was still being established. In the longer term, the organisation would also aid and assist countries where bowls wasn’t being played at all.

On its launch, there was only 4 member countries, being Scotland, England Wales and Ireland. In just over a year, that number grew to 10. When, in September 2021, the EBU was rebranded and replaced by Bowls Europe Ltd, the number of member countries had risen to 19. Many of those members did not have any bowling greens in 1995, never mind having International teams. Some of those countries have already, gone on to establish themselves well in the World of Bowls, including at International Bowls.

Photo of Guernsey, Scotland and France at European Championships 2019
The winners and runners up at 12th and final EBU Team Championships, held in Guernsey, 2019

In 1997, the EBU ran its first, and successful International Tournament. The tournament was hosted by Guernsey and it was won by Ireland.

After the inaugural championships, the European Team Championships were held every two years. 

In 2021, the Championships were to be played in Scotland, hosted by Bowls Scotland. Unfortunately, the tournament was cancelled due to the COVID pandemic. Because of that cancellation, the last Championships were held in 2019 hosted by Guernsey.

Year on year, the championships grew and became increasingly successful.

Throughout the years, the format went under many iterations. From singles and mixed pairs, to men and women’s pairs and mixed fours, to now singles, pairs, triples and fours for both genders. 

Between 1995 and 2021, the EBU went from strength to strength. The road it travelled was at times arduous, with many problems and challenges that had to be overcome. 

That road was successfully negotiated through the hard work and dedication of many people who helped organise the EBU, far too many people to mention individually. 

Without the help of all those people and, of course, with the support and help of the member countries, Bowls Europe Ltd may never have come to fruition. If it did, it certainly would not have had the strong foundations it started off from.

Below is a broad brush-stroke of the journey made by the E.B.U. and the various officer bearers throughout the years.

Timeline

Timeline of the European Bowls Union

June, 1995
EBU is Born
The European Bowls Union was established in June 1995 and was the brain-child of the late Alan Williams and Roy Peacock.
June, 1995
June, 1995
First countries join
Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales join the E.B.U.
June, 1995
September, 1995
More Countries Join
Spain, Guernsey, the Netherlands and Jersey join the E.B.U.
September, 1995
May, 1996
Two More Join
Israel and Cyprus join the E.B.U.
May, 1996
February, 1997
And 2 more join
The Isle of Man and Portugal join the E.B.U. 
February, 1997
1997
1st European Team Championships held
Guernsey Host the first European Team Championships
1997
1999
2nd European Team Championships held
Jersey host the 2nd European Team Championships
1999
February, 2001
One more "Country" joins
The Canary Islands join the E.B.U. 
February, 2001
2001
3rd European Team Championships held
Jersey host the third European Team Championships
2001
2003
4th European Team Championships held
Portugal host the fourth European Team Championships
2003
February, 2005
One more joins
Malta join the E.B.U. 
February, 2005
April, 2005
Sad news....
Spain announce that the Canary Islands cannot have separate membership....So, unfortunately the Canary Islands leave the E.B.U. 
April, 2005
2005
5th European Team Championships held
Portugal host the fifth European Team Championships
2005
2007
6th European Team Championships held
Cyprus host the sixth European Team Championships
2007
February, 2008
More good news
Germany, Turkey and Sweden join the E.B.U. 
February, 2008
February, 2009
Yet another
Switzerland join the E.B.U. 
February, 2009
2009
7th European Team Championships held
Cyprus host the seventh European Team Championships
2009
2011
8th European Team Championships held
Portugal host the eighth European Team Championships
2011
2013
9th European Team Championships held
Spain host the ninth European Team Championships
2013
2015
10th European Team Championships held
Israel host the tenth European Team Championships
2015
2017
11th European Team Championships held
Jersey host the eleventh European Team Championships
2017
January, 2019
Another country joins
Czech Republic join the EBU.
January, 2019
2019
12th European Team Championships held
Guernsey host the twelfth European Team Championships
2019
2021
13th European Team Championships CANCELLED
Scotland were set to host the 13th European Team Championships, in 2021. The 13th was proved to be "unlucky". Unfortunately, like many things, worldwide, it was cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic.
2021
September 25, 2021
End of an era....
The EBUD ends and is rebranded as European Bowls Ltd.
September 25, 2021
Office Bearers

E.B.U. Office Bearers

Chairman
1995 – 1999 Roy Peacock (England)
Photo of board members making speech at Lawn Bowls Tournament 2017