In 1936 a plot of land was purchased for the employees of Carpet Trades at a cost of £200-00, this site was called ‘White Wickets’ and was developed into a sports facility, including a bowling green. Jim McGilvery was one of the main organisers of this project and in fact went on to become its first President when it became affiliated to the County Association.
The green was bowled on for the first time in 1939, but was green was not used again until 1947, in that year the green was worked on and partly opened, being fully opened in 1950.
During the 1950’s and 1960’s the green was used for the Kidderminster league.
In 1966 under the Chairmanship of Dennis Simpson, Carpet Trades Bowls Club joined the County Association, and Frank Rushton who was a founder member is still playing for the Club.
Carpet Trades took the name of Gilt Edge and amalgamated with the Carpet Manufacturing Company, who had a sports ground at Oldington (the Club’s present site), because it was in the green belt it was decided to make use of this facility. This was financed by a loan and partly by employees at Gilt Edge Carpets. In 1980 Gilt Edge Leisure Centre was opened, and provision was made to play football, tennis & bowls, the green being purpose built as a rink bowls green.
Stan Perrins was project manager and was also a keen bowler, unfortunately Stan died in 1981 before the bowls club was really under way. A trophy is played for annually in memory of Stan.
During the years from 1980 to the present day the Club has evolved and become very successful, 1994 saw a membership of 120 men & 50 ladies, the ladies section being founded in 1990, since then numbers have dropped but have been maintained at steady 70/80 men and 25/30 ladies.
Club members having much success in County Competitions and have represented the County many times at the National Championships. An outstanding achievement has been made by Grant Burgess, having been an International Player for 14 years, earning 50 England caps, and having the honour of captaining the National side.
The Club has always supported the County Association, hosting many inter-county games, competitive and friendly, also County Finals. When the Gilt Edge Club is mentioned in many parts of the country the name of Jim Coates is always mentioned, he played his first game for the County in 1947, he became a selector in 1972 and is still involved in an advisory capacity, he became County Match Secretary.
Jim was elected County President in 2000, and later elected an Honorary Life Member in recognition of his work for the County. Jim’s brother Peter also received that honour for his contribution to bowls, he being the first Worcestershire bowler to receive an England cap.