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
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 reformed 1947 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
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 )
Ladies Charities Cup winners ( Hospital cup )
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