Club History

The following is an extract from the article "Club History" as appeared in the June 1995 edition of the "Official Publication of the Perth and Tattersall's Bowling and Recreation Club". The writer of the articles in the magazine is that ole' newspaper man, our very own, Brian 'Doc' Paddick.

"On a winter evening in 1894 four men were cracking chestnuts" in Bill Savage's sanctum in the old Freemasons' Hotel when the talk swung to bowls.''
Those few lines from a Perth historian record the meeting that led to the birth of the first bowling club in Western Australia and the establishment of greens and a clubhouse on the Esplanade in 1895.
The Freemasons Hotel was later to become the site of the Palace Hotel and in more recent times re-developed as the Bankwest Tower.
The historian and an early member of the WA Bowling Association - Iater to become the RWABA - the late Joss Hammill, traced and recorded the early history of bowls in Western Australia, parts of which were subsequently published in a booklet celebrating the Perth Bowling Club's golden anniversary.
Hammill's record of that meeting reads:
"The outcome of this chance-blown gathering was the formation of the parent club which secured from the then Mayor of Perth, Mr Alec Forrest, the lease of a portion of the Esplanade on which a green was at once laid down. In 1895 Lady Forrest formally opened the green and rolled up the first bowl."
"Under the devoted tutelage ofthe late Lord Forrest (foundation president of the Perth Bowling Club, T.B. Jackson and Dr Leger Erson (vice presidents) and R Laing (secretary) the club attracted many old bowlers from other climes and new recruits who well and truly established the pastime in our midst.
"All honour to the sturdy pioneers to whose foresight and energy we owe a debt of gratitude."
"Prominent among its big hearted presidents stand "General" Jackson (five terms), W.W. Berry (nine terms), Hon H.P. Colebatch, "Dad" Warner, H Williams, Hon George Leake and W.H. McCormack who all did sterling work in steering the club through the many difficulties that beset a city bowling fraternity."
"Perth has nurtured many great bowlers and the names of A Harber, J Varley, C Corpaccioli, J.C Smith, R.B. Pettigrew, A Mather, E Ford, A.E. Pickering, A.H. Silverman and E Read sprinkle classic finals."
"In 1910 the pavilion was enlarged and Mr Berry was instrumental in making available an office and council room as headquarters for the WA Bowling Association."
Thus ended Joss Hammill's description of the foundation of the Perth Bowling Club. However, the 50th anniversary booklet records that a bowling green actually existed in Western Australia before the Perth green was opened. An unknown writer records:
"It was perhaps Dr Leger Erson who helped to bring the game into prominence.

"Old files of "The West Australian" show that before the opening day of the Esplanade club, Dr Leger-Erson had a private green at his Leederville residence and details of a match played between members of the newly formed club are given.
"For many years the Bowling Association used portion of the Perth Club building for its headquarters."

Tattersalls Club in Perth

The Tattersalls did indeed amalgamate with the Perth Bowling Club in the early 70's. Hence the name of our Club being the Perth and Tattersalls Bowling and Recreation Club.

For more on the Tattersalls click HERE.

If you have any more information or old photos that we could use on this page, please email Pat at

Historical Photos

Click to enlarge