What is a Bowling Bag?

Our leather bags are reinventions of heritage pieces that should never have been forgotten. Some bags are just too brilliant to not be enjoyed today - such as the leather satchel - so, imagine our surprise, joy and downright excitement when we found this…This beauty was labelled as harking back to 1934 and is a Bowls Bag - a Bowls Bag?

Who knew?

Who knew that such was the passion for the game of lawn bowling that people would have a bag made just to carry their two wooden bowls…?

Well, the more we read and researched, the more intrigued we became - we had already fallen for the unique style and shape of the bag, but read on and prepare to be bowled over…

Picture of an old fashioned bowls bag

The history of the Bowls Bag

Steeped in history, this was a game once banned for the people and enjoyed exclusively by royalty!

Yes, we might have guessed that good old Henry VIII was the one who decided to reserve lawn bowling for royalty and prohibit the sport for common people, believing that it encouraged gambling and distraction from work (luckily he wasn’t around to see Playstation and mobile phones…) Bowls is therefore also known as the ‘Sport of Kings’.

Henry, how many times? That orb is not going to fit in your bag…

Henry VIII statue wearing one of our bowls bags

Another fun fact: it was by accident that the Duke of Suffolk broke a round wooden bowl and replaced it with an ornamental ball that he sawed off the bottom of a wooden banister inside the house. This caused the bowl to curve when rolling. That was 1522, when the new shape became all the rage. We might be biased, but we think that’s fascinating.

And as if that wasn’t enough….

Plymouth 1588 - Sir Francis Drake was playing bowls when his game was interrupted - he was informed that the Spanish Armada was approaching, and replied, ‘There is plenty of time to win the game and thrash the Spaniards too’. And that, according to legend, is what then happened. We are now beginning to see what Henry VIII was concerned about.

A Cambridge stamp on a heritage classic

As always, we are keen to claim some reflected glory and so we were beside ourselves with pride when we discovered that Cambridge is home to the oldest purpose built indoor green in England, no less.

Opened in 1933, the two rink green forms part of the Cambridge and County Bowling Club, where, despite the lack of Tudor rows and calls to battle, the spirit of the game remains as lively as ever.

It was particularly lively when we based our photoshoot there (thank you Phil for your welcome and patience).

Discovering that quirky Bowls Bag led us to look at the game of Bowls in a whole new way, we love the stories behind our latest addition.

But also - without wishing to be too superficial - we are obsessed with its looks and in true Cambridge Satchel Co. tradition we have splashed the colour.

Yes, traditional does look lovely, but what about this?

Cambridge Satchel Co.'s take on The Bowls Bag created with beautiful red leather hanging with other bowls bags

Why our Bowls Bag is loved by everyone!

Our leather Bowls Bag is a real head turner. Thanks to its distinctive design and shape, it has earned many nicknames over the years from the barrel and the cylinder to the tube bag.

Based on a bag from 1930s, it now has the added benefit of a hidden magnetic closure and a detachable shoulder strap for multiple uses.

Made from sustainable leather, our Bowls Bag is loved by everyone and comes in a range of different colours to suit you.

Don’t forget that you can make it personal with our bag personalisation embossing service to add that special touch!

Front and back image of our leather handbag, The Bowls Bag in black leather.
Check out our range of leather bowls bags >