History of Seaford Bowling Club
Our Club goes back a hundred years and in that period many changes have taken place. Before 1912 our green was a cow field with a pond in the middle! The club founders were looking for a bowling area and approached the owner (a Mr Moore) who later joined the club. He agreed to let it and drained and filled in the pond. Some of us think the pond is still there when it rains!
Since then the club has been through many ups and downs (threatened with closure more than once) and was finally set up by a Mr Bravery in the 1940's - a Cumberland turf green was laid in 1947 at his expense but he sadly died before he could play on it.
The green was bought from his executors by the Blatchington Bowling Green Co. Ltd (set up by members) and the future of the club was assured.
Our fees and facilities are among the best in the area and we look forward to the next 100 years!
Bowls can be traced back to the 13th century; several illustrations from that time show games of bowls in progress.
The first written mention was in 1511 and of course in 1588 Sir Francis Drake wished to finish his game before dealing with the Armada.
Further along the coast in Sussex there was a bowls club established in Brighton in 1892 with other clubs at Hastings and Hove following shortly afterwards.
In 1910 a group of gentlemen from Seaford decided that there should also be a club here and one of them, John Moore, agreed that some of his cow pasture could be used.
The AGM of 1916 shows that the new club was in difficulties and was in debt to the sum of 8, but the president held a recruiting campaign and also arranged to sell the lead water supply pipe for 4.
There were soon sufficient funds to dig ditches around the greens and membership had risen to more than 30.
One of the new members who enrolled that year was George Kennard, who remained a member until he died (on the green) in 1967.
During the Great War membership increased because of the many soldiers based at the nearby North Camp; indeed a Corporal Netley assisted by maintaining the greens.
Most of the matches played during the war were against soldiers and any club members who joined the forces were able to retain their membership without payment.
The son of Mr Galloway, donor of the Presidents Cup, lost his son in the war and donated the beautiful military window in St Leonard's church in his memory.
In 1918 Corporal Netley was promoted to Sergeant and Seaford Bowls Club presented him with a gift of 5 before he left the town.
The ground became unkempt and overgrown but when Royal Engineers arrived at the North Camp they assisted in returning the green to a playable condition.
At this time the club purchased a cast iron bath for use as a water-tank. In 1919 the Victory Cup was presented to the club by Captain and Mrs Parcell-Smith but unfortunately it has now disappeared.
There were further problems for the club in 1921 when the green became so dry it became necessary to lay on water for the first time since the president sold the lead water pipes in 1916. The club was ready to expand.