The Cheltenham Skittles League


founded 1906

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     Newspaper article from  the Gloucestershire Echo  of August 27th.1913 regarding the AGM of the Cheltenham and District Skittles League. The write-up indicates that the league was running well before that date. click here It turned out that the league was formed in 1906. If you click on 'Early league tables' the first tables from 1906 onwards.

 The history of the Cheltenham Skittles League is expanding  with the first league tables, some of the early people involved, early Echo write-ups and photographs.

We have been given the first fixture books by Roger the son of Tommy Stratford from when the league was started again in 1948 season with over 500 registered members click here

Newspaper cuttings 1952 click here


 Link  to list and photographs of all alleys used by Cheltenham Skittles League  since 1906 to date click here

   Early league tables When did my team join the league   Founding members       Roll of Honour Divisional honours 1938 -

History of The Cheltenham Skittles League

The latest information shows that the Cheltenham and District Skittle League was formed in 1906,starting with a few teams The Crown, The Vine Tree, The Bee Hive and possibly Wellington Bar and the Fountain Inn. They played 20 matches in a season so there may well have been other teams that made up the league but information has not been found to date. The founder was Charles Baker who became the Hon. Treasurer along with  Mr W. T. Leonard who became the League Secretary. The league grow quickly and by 1912-13 season had 19 clubs  but unfortunately the 1st. World war curtailed the progress.

The Cheltenham Skittles League was  reformed in  August 1938, when a group of people, one of them being J. Gardner (league secretary 1938-40) who played in the early 1900's league assembled in the Sydney Arms in Pittville Street to form a skittles league and at that meeting the Cheltenham Skittles League  was born. It started with just 12 teams, Sydney Arms, Brown Jug, New Inn at Charlton Kings, London Inn, Greyhound Inn, Adam and Eve, White Horse, Old Anchor, Beehive Inn  at Prestbury, Royal Hotel at Charlton Kings, Midlands Inn and the Malvern Inn at Leckhampton.  Winners of the 1938-39 inaugural  season were ' The Sidney ',  following season 1939/40  the' New Inn' from Charlton Kings took the title and in that season the  Charities Cup was started,  the first winners were the White Horse. The league was suspended during the war period and restarted for 1948-49 season and the' New Inn ' carried on where they had left off by taking their second title in the third year of the league. Copy of the first fixtures book 1948-49 season click here

1949-50 season saw  a big increase in the popularity of skittles with  the formation of Divisions 2, 3 and 4. bringing a total of 64  teams

By 1950-51 a fifth division  and the first ladies division were formed the winners being  the Suffolk Arms Ladies.

1951-52 Saw the formation of the sixth division

By 1960-61 season saw 162 men's teams in nine divisions and 54 Ladies teams in three divisions. 17 out of the 18 in the then first division are still in one of the leagues today

At its peak 1973 through to 1994 the Cheltenham Skittles League  consisted of 19 men's leagues with 16 teams per league and an average of 16 players per team, as of today there are 11 men's divisions. The Ladies have 6 divisions and have remained constant in total since the seventies.

We celebrated our Golden Jubilee year from the reforming in 1938-1939 to 1987-1988  and that year over 6500 players were registered.

Teams consist of twelve players, divided into 4 sets of 3 players, each player will bowl 3 balls (a hand) each player will play 6 hands (18 balls )  per set.  

Many leagues throughout the country play skittles  in many different ways, but all play with the same object in mind that being to hit as many pins down with three balls and just enjoy the evening.

Men's Charity Cup winners ( Hospital cup )

 1939/40  White Horse.  1948/49  Conservative 'A'
 1949/50  Sydney.   1950/51  Old Anchor 'A'
 1951/52  Sydney   1951/52  Sydney 
 1953/54  Wheatsheaf 'A'    1954/55  Sydney 'A'
 1955/56  Swan 'A'    1956/57  Swan 'A'
 1957/58  Cleeve Rangers    1958/59  Swan 'A'
 1959/60  Greyhound 'A'    1960/61 Bards 
 1961/62  Midland Hotel 'B'    1962/63 London Inn 'B'
 1963/64 London Inn 'B'    1964/65  The Oaks
 1965/66  Britannia   1966/67  Diards
 1967/68  Cleeve Rangers  1968/69  Swan 'B' 
 1969/70 Rose and Crown  1970/71  Britannia
 1971/72  Swan 'B'    1972/73  Cleeve Rangers 
 1973/74  Shadows  1974/75 Acorns 
 1975/76  Swan' B'   1976/77  Harlequins
 1977/78  Telehiost Tippers   1978/79  Cleeve Rangers   
 1979/80  Victory 'D'  1980/81  Oliffe Boys
 1981/82  Rolling Pins  1982/83  Royal Hotel 'A'
 1983/84  Brit. Legion 'B' B/C  1984/85  Destroyers    
 1985/86  The Rose  1986/87  Welsh Harp 'A'  
 1987/88  Swan 'B'     1988/89  Smiths 'A'
 1989/90  Royal Hotel 'A'    1990/91  Travellers  
 1991/92  Graham Ejectors  1992/93  Smiths 'A' 
  1993/94  Smiths 'A'   1994/95  Victory 'D'
 1995/96  Swan 'B'   1996/97  Chosen Champs 
 1997/98  Smiths 'A'  1998/99  Cannonballs 
 1999/00 Rolling Pins   2000/01  Cannonballs
 2001/02  Legion 'B' Bishops Cleeve   2002/03 Victory 'D'
  2003/04 Merrymakers  2004/05 Legion 'B' Bishops Cleeve
 2005/06 The Flyers  2006/07 Mackesons
 2007/08 The Gamps  2008/09  Victory D
 2009/10 Brolly Boys  2010/11 Travellers
 2011/12 Black Abbotts  2012/13 Victory 'D'
 2013/14 Legion 'B' Bishops Cleeve  2014/15 Victory 'D'
 2015/16 Saracens C  2016/17 Saracens C
 2017/18  2018/19

Ladies Charities Cup winners ( Hospital cup )

 1951/52 Kings Arms  1952/53 Tivoli
 1953/54 Talbot Inn  1954/55 Sherbourne Arms
 1955/56 Sherbourne Arms  1956/57 Sydney Arms
 1957/58 Shakespeare Inn 'A'  1958/59 Suffolk Arms
 1959/60 Sherbourne Inn 'A'  1960/61 S. Smith and Sons
 1961/62 Kings Head 'A'  B/C  19662/63 Kings Head 'A'  B/C
 1963/64 Double Barrel  1964/65 Umbrella 
 1965/66 Britannia   1966/67 Malvern 'A'
 1967/68 Britannia  1968/69 Britannia
 1969/70 Sherbourne  1970/71 Suffolk
 1971/72 Wheatsheaf  1972/73 Half Crowns
 1973/74 Suffolk  1974/75 Sherbourne
 1975/76 Wheatsheaf  1976/77 Suffolk
 1977/78 Wheatsheaf  1978/79 Breakaways
 1979/80 Sherbourne  1980/81 Suffolk
 1981/82 Wheatsheaf  1982/83 Golden Millers
 1983/84 Wheatsheaf  1984/85 Princes Plume
 1985/86 Gamblers  1986/87 Wheatsheaf
 1987/88 Golden Millers  1988/89 Tatty'eads
 1989/90 Charlton Club 'A'  1990/91 Crown and Harp
 1991/92 Aristocrats  1992/93 Aristocrats
 1993/94 Wheatsheaf  1994/95 Aristocrats
 1995/96 Wheatsheaf  1996/97 Crown and Harp Ladies
 1997/98 Aristocrats  1998/99 Union Ladies
 1999/00 Wheatsheaf  2000/01 Gothics
 2001/02 Aristocrats  2002/03 Aristocrats
 2003/04 Wheatsheaf  2004/05 Gothics
 2005/06 Merrymaids  2006/07 Merrymaids
 2007/08 Merrymaids  2008/09 Aristocrats
 2009/10 Belles  2010/11 Rolling Pins
 2011/12 Drop-Outs  2012/13 Ravin' Banshees
 2013/14 Old Anchor Ladies  2014/15 Pink Panthers
 2015/16 Gothics  2016/17 Merrymaids
 2017/18  2018/19


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History of the league

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