Eastbourne Bowling Club


The Eastbourne Bowling Club was founded in 1907 with the green established on the back lawn of the Mayor’s family home – WF and HW Shortt.  The present site was acquired in 1913 with the assistance of HW Shortt and a modest club house was built.  A further half green as added in 1931.  Local mayors and town clerks were members of the Club throughout its years and helped materially in the development of the Club as in the supply of un-metered water,

Over its 111 ears the Club has won many competitions starting in 1917/18 Champion of Champions singles right through to 2018/19 with the Wellington Champion of Champions Pairs. Possibly the most notable success was the winning of the 1975 National Pairs title by a truly local combination of Ces Franks and Dave Kidd.  On 2008 Gary Lawson playing out of Eastbourne skipped both the pairs and Fours to World bowls titles and in the same year he and Andy Curtain won the National Pairs under the Eastbourne banner.  More recently Eastbourne teams have won the National Inter Club title on four occasions three being in successive years.

The Eastbourne greens were in grass up until the early seventies when they were relaid in cotula. For some years the western end of the green deteriorated in the mid-summer for reasons unknown. Finally all the guesswork and myths were overtaken by the appearance of a young agromonist from the Sports Turf Institute who showed that the problem was being caused by nematodes. There followed a strict remedial regime that relieved the problem and the greens flourished again. Sadly when the supervisor left the district the institutional knowledge disappeared with him and once again the problem resurfaced. It goes to show how important it is that a written log of work undertaken is kept for future generations.  The half Green was sold off in 2011 and that funding allowed for the Green to be re-laid.  A mammoth task which involved the Club with much of the labour being undertaken by members.  It is pleasing to be able to claim that in the present year the green is among the very best in the Region.  A story often told is when a keen and enthusiastic green supervisor became infatuated with the emerging science of turf culture and introduced the old and vintage Greenkeeper to the wonders of herbicides and insecticides.  The latest chemicals were purchased and the Green keeper donned the required mask and clothing.  However he did not dispose of the chemical containers and after some three years it became evident that he was spraying the Green with water and the chemicals remained in their containers in his shed. The partnership terminated at that stage.

As at the 2018/19 season the club has some 70 members of whom 31 play in Interclub teams, Pennants teams, Quads and a range of Centre events.  Our Casual members number some 40 players who bowls on Tuesadys and Fridays.  Community Bowls was trialed in 2019 with some 30 locals joining in. Ladies teams do very well in their grades but attracting new and younger male and female members has been difficult.

Moving forward we need new members if we are to succeed as a viable Club.  Eastbourne is at the “end of the line” geographically with three other larger Club in the lower Hutt Valley and the new in-door Naenae Bowling Club in the central Valley all attracting members who are disinclined to venture around the Eastern Bays to Eastbourne.

May 2019