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Our History

The Formation of Poole Park Bowling Club took place at a meeting called by L. D. Ballard, the Mayor of Poole, at the Guildhall on Tuesday 1st June 1909. There were 16 people present as bowling had little following in the area at the time.

His Worship the Mayor was elected President and the green should be opened on 15th June at 3.30.

 

The 15th June was a great day with representatives from Bournemouth Council and the Poole Council joining with Poole Park Bowling Club members to open the new green. A representative team from Meyrick Park Bowling Club came to give the Poole Park membership, that had already risen to about 50, a demonstration on how to play the game.

 

The green was laid during the winter months in order to provide work for the local un-employed of the area. This way the town got a valuable asset and those out of work were able to feed their families. The cost is said to be "upwards of £200”.

 

In 1910 the club joined the Bournemouth and District Bowling Association and lost most of the matches played.

 

The provision of a Pavilion was discussed at a Committee Meeting in January 1913 and it was decided to place the idea to the Parks Committee at their next meeting. The Council agreed provided that the Club repay them at a rate of 5% per year of the claimed outlay of £150. This was agreed by the council and a site was found and the pavilion was built by September.

 

The Clubs first badge was designed in 1915 although over the years there were several changes made. In 1924 the club asked to incorporate the town coat of arms into the design of the badge and the Club Colours for the production of a tie were agreed.

1919 was the year the Club applied to become affiliated to the E.B.A. and a Flag was purchased in the Club Colours and Mr. Habgood presented the club with a flag pole.

 

In 1921 there was a request form Wimborne B. C. to join with other clubs in Dorset to form the Dorset County Bowling Association. This was agreed to, and Mr. Young of Poole Park was elected to be the first President.   

 

By 1925 a new flag was presented in the new colours and a new badge was produced. The Club requested a new pavilion from the Council.

 

A second green was laid during the winter of 1929-30 and opened on May 28th 1930 with a match between the Dorset County Bowling Association and the three Poole Borough Clubs.

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1932 was the year that Percy Baker won his first E.B.A. Singles title and brought Poole Park Bowling Club to the notice of the rest of the bowling world. Percy Baker went on to become the most outstanding player of all time.

The first Poole Park Bowls Tournament was held in 1936 with 112 entries and a first prize of 3 guineas was held with the co-operation of the other clubs in the borough.

 

Dorset County won the Middleton Cup in 1938 with a team that had 10 players from Poole Park Bowling Club in the team.

During the Second World War years all League Games were cancelled. The Club played many competitions to raise funds for Cornelia Hospital and the Dorset County War Fund. It also made donations to many other organisations that requested funds.

1949 was the season that the Club decided that it would join the Dorset League. In the past they had played only friendly games and competitions with other members of the County.

 

In 1950 a number of ladies expressed a desire to form a bowls club and the Poole Park Women’s Bowls club was officially opened on 29 April 1951.  At the end of 1954,  the Council started the improvements and also started to build a separate pavilion for the ladies.

 

In 1965 the Poole Borough Bowling Association requested permission to hold an open tournament, on an annual basis, from the Council. This was agreed on the condition that Poole Park was the tournament headquarters.

 

During the negotiations into the facilities that the Club required it was stated "A bar would not be to our advantage". This has since proved to be the biggest wrong assumption ever made by the club’s management.

 

1991 saw major changes with the men’s and ladies clubs combining but with separate sections and taking out a lease of the bowls facilities.  This was followed in 1995 by taking over maintenance of the greens. After talks with the council it was decided that we should do this from spring 1995. A mower was purchased, and a contractor was hired. The pebbles in the ditches were replaced with a new rubber mating.

 

2001 saw the opening of the present pavilion with the help of lottery funds following many years hard work. The Official opening was carried out by the Deputy Mayor on 22nd June 2001.

 

The introduction of Short Mat bowling during the winter months resulted in the introduction of a third section to the management of the Club. Two mats were purchased and all the equipment in 2002.  It was found that the floor was not level and had to be levelled by Dales Floors Ltd at a cost of £2,600 to the club.