This page has been created to provide a concise history of Lincoln Bowling Club, mainly using photographs to tell the story.  The text has been selected from the original words by Lois Begg and Gavin Eastwick, crafted to support the 75th Anniversary of the club.  The photographs have been selected from hundreds collated by Dave Grey for the same event.

The club has steadily improved the facilities and bowling options available to members and is now the premier club in the district, with a membership covering a wide area of Selwyn.
 The Club House as it is now, July 2021
The Club House as it is now. It is the ‘third’ Clubroom to be built, and there have been many additions and improvements to each club house over the past 75 years.
Photos of the Opening of Lincoln Bowling Club
Very early photographs of the “Opening of Lincoln Bowling Club”.
In 1946 the Lincoln Bowling Club was established. The foundation members were F. Hill (President), A. Geddis (Secretary), N. Bissett, S. Bray, J. Doherty, E.D. Greaves, H. Greaves, C.F. Howell, S. Major, H.W. Perryman, R. Rickerby and W.D. Templeton. The first annual meeting was held in the Lincoln Public Hall supper room on 28th July 1947. 

In the early years ground was given to establish a croquet club on the basis that when it was no longer required it was to be handed back. In September 1950 it was first mooted that a shared clubrooms with the croquet club be built, as long as it cost no more than four hundred pounds. On 17th November 1951 the clubrooms were officially opened. There was a close association between the clubs with some fund raising being done jointly. 
Photo of the Foundation Members of LBC photographed in 1952
The Foundation Members of the club photographed in 1952.
Back Row: S Major, W. D. Templeton, J. Doherty, C. F. Howell, H. W. Peryman (Sec.), N. Bissett
Front Row : A. Geddis (1st Sec.), F. Hill (1st Pres.), R. Rickerby (Pres.), S. Bray (Past Pres.)
Not present : H Greaves, E. D. Greaves

The first green was composed of sawdust and soil and much of the work to establish the green was donated as were most of the materials. In the mid 1950’s a grass green was established.

By 1970, the croquet club had ceased to function and the bowling club sought permission from the Domain Board to take over the ground.  In 1975 the Ellesmere Country Club outdoor bowls section was granted access to play bowls on the Lincoln green.

Shelters were constructed at the northern end of the green and continual improvement was made to the club’s facilities, thanks to the voluntary efforts of many.  
The Ladies photographed in 1957-58
The Ladies photographed in 1957-58. Back Row: D. Watson, R Thompson, E Brown, G. Miller, M White, Mrs Smart & M. Stalker Front Row: M Birch, N Rickerby, K Calder, E Gibbs, L. Simpson, Mrs Streeter & E. Bell
The Ladies gathered for the 35th Celebrations in 1987
The Ladies gathered for the 35th Celebrations in 1987
Group Photo Men 1990
Group Photo of the Men in 1990.
Back Row: A Jones, D Potts, S Joblin, —–, R Cant, ? Ridder, C Schat, H Dellitt, G Hewit, M Nairn, W Jones, R Williamson, J Rasmussan, N Lowery. Second Row: C Lowery, J Upston, M Lowery, P Udy, J Greenwood, T Ward, D Lowery. Front Row: A Brown, R Boal, K Chappel, B Gollan, A Shankie, T McLachlan, W Mcgire, M Henderson, P Barnett, G Thomas
Phot of a Ladies Club Day in 1992
A Ladies Club Day in 1992. By now the Ladies Club had grown steadily to over 30 members.

It was at the annual meeting in June 2006 that Alan Eathorne, the then Chairman of the Finance Committee, presented the research he had undertaken into constructing an all weather green.  In January 2007 it was unanimously agreed that the club proceed, subject to the necessary funding and approvals.

The “New Green 2010” report was tabled at the 2010 June Annual General Meeting :-
    • Selwyn District Council’s approval had been received.
    • The women’s fundraising calendar had raised $10,000.
    • Debenture money raised and promised totalled $28,500 (see below)
    • Council Reserves Fund approved an application for $50,000.
    • Lincoln Community Board allocated $3,500 to the project.
    • The Canterbury Community Trust donated $20,000 and agreed to lend $50,000 for 10 years at 3% interest per annum.

Debentures, loans and gifts, mostly interest free, were eventually advanced by about 20 members to about $50,000. Don Watson was very active talking to members on an anonymous basis.

After much investigation and costing the club decided on a “greengauge” carpet from an Australian firm, with a local firm for constructing the base work.  A number of club members contributed their time and equipment when needed.

In May 2012 the official opening, celebrating the completion of the green, was conducted by the Mayor, Kelvin Coe. Invited guests and representatives of Ellesmere Bowling Clubs also attended.  Fittingly, the all weather green was first used for the Alan Eathorne Memorial Trophy tournament held at the end of the 2012 season.  
The Third Clubroom being built in 2011
The Third Clubroom being built in 2011

In 2007 the Lincoln Bowling Club took up a challenge to promote “Twilight Bowls” to the community to enable non bowlers to “give it a go”. Colleen Mitchell and Jean Gare did a leaflet drop to gauge interest in supporting “Cracker Jack Bowls”, to be played on a Monday night from 6- 8 p.m. The response was very pleasing and the concept was introduced. At the conclusion of each evening’s play, they would promote and discuss the game of bowls. They also donated a trophy to be presented to the winning team at the end of the “Cracker Jack Bowl’s” season. 
In 2009, another leaflet drop was made around the local business community and the bowls was run as “Business House Bowls”. It was designed to further introduce the community to the game of bowls.  As “Twilight Bowls” grew, the Lincoln Bowling Club match committee decided to bring in more changes and changed to “Community Bowls” with 2 games of 45 minutes each Monday night.

 In 2012 the all weather green allowed “Community Bowls” to grow further, by having both the weed and artificial greens available for use. This allowed 32 teams or 128 players each week to compete. To this day, “Community Bowls” is a significant activity conducted by the club. It involves many helpers for the 6 weeks it is run, commencing in January. It brings an awareness and an enjoyment of the game to non-bowlers and the club has gained many bowlers who have progressed from community bowls to full members.
Community Bowls, the Ladies on the food, February 2021
Community Bowls – the Ladies on the food – February 2021
The First Clubroom photographed in 1951
In November 1951 the first clubrooms were officially opened and it was not until January 1979 that a combined meeting of the Men’s and Women’s Clubs decided to widen and lengthen the existing clubrooms. Debentures totalling $1400 were promised and it was agreed that the clubrooms be extended by 400 sq. ft. on the north end.

The first meeting of the Lincoln Women’s Bowling Club was held at the home of Mrs F.H. Robson on 4th November 1952. Those present included: Mesdames Robson (President), Hewton (Secretary), Blakemore, Freeman, Perryman, Rickerby, Wilson and Mr Rickerby.

It was decided that the club colours be maroon blazers with blue braid or monogram.  The Women’s subscription to the Men’s Bowling Club was 30/- (thirty shillings), plus 2/- (two shillings) affiliation fee. 

Through the 1950’s there were only about 10-12 members. The first 10 years were a struggle, but membership went up to 20 in the 1960’s. Bring and buys and sales tables were the main ways of raising money for the Club. 

The women’s 25th Jubilee was celebrated on 19th October 1977 with a dinner held at the Union Building at Lincoln College. During the 1970’s the women’s membership increased and by 1980 there were 31 women members.
The Second Clubroom photographed in 1957
The Second Clubroom photographed in 1957
Collecting Weed from the West Coast in 1967
Having provided a soil shed, shelters and other
improvements, it became obvious that the club needed to establish a weed green. On 29th April 1967 John Stalker drove a Bedford truck to collect weed from a site near Westport. He arrived about 12 noon and he, and some members of the Kirwee Club, together with C. Miller and F. Carter, cut the weed with spades. The cuts were about one inch deep and were cut into squares. The squares were carefully bagged and kept moist for the return journey. The weed was chopped up in a machine and used to seed the green.
The Ladies 25th Celebrations in 1977
The Ladies 25th Celebrations in 1977. Mr & Mrs N Bissett and Mr & Mrs J Hewitt.
A photo of the Club Opening Day in 1987
The Club Opening Day in 1987

On 22nd August 2000 it was moved by the women’s club that a letter be sent to the men’s club suggesting talks begin on amalgamation. 

The men agreed to the commencement of talks. Initially there were three men and three women involved in the discussion. The women prepared the agenda and confirmed that a copy of the draft new constitution was to hand. The women noted in November 2000 the discussion with the men’s club was going well.

Thirty-nine members attended a special meeting on March 10th 2001 to adopt the new constitution.
The Ladies Donate a Clock to the Club: Esme Ludeman (LM), Lex Stewart (LM) & Margaret Woods (LM)
The Ladies Donate a Clock to the Club in 2001: Esme Ludeman (LM), Lex Stewart (LM) & Margaret Woods (LM)
Checking the Final Levels for the new all weather Green: Just before the Last Coat of Silica Sand.  Ron 			Donald (seated) is recording the levels read off by Eric Action of Sports Auckland.
Checking the Final Levels for the new all weather Green: Just before the Last Coat of Silica Sand. Ron Donald (seated) is recording the levels read off by Eric Action of Sports Auckland.
The first coat of glue
The first coat of glue
Stitching the Carpet
Stitching the carpet
The first tournament on the All-weather green - The Alan Eathorne Trophy - May 2012
The first tournament on the All-weather green – The Alan Eathorne Trophy – May 2012
Community Bowls Starts with a 'Ditch to Ditch' on both Greens - March 2021
Community Bowls Starts with a ‘Ditch to Ditch’ on both Greens – March 2021
Community Bowls - Talk and Bowl at the same time !
Community Bowls – Talk and Bowl at the same time !

Since the inception of the Koru Games, in 2014, Lincoln Bowling Club has been involved in running the bowls section. A three-day multi-sport tournament for South Island 7- and 8-year students, is hosted by the Selwyn Sports Trust, at venues in the Selwyn district.

Each September, prior to the opening of the summer season, up to 144 children are hosted, playing on the all weather green. The format was developed by the trust and the tournament is run by Bowls Canterbury, supported by Lincoln Bowling Club members with coaching, barbecue, kitchen and results recording. 

Due to Covid19 Koru Bowls was not held in 2020/21, but the club looks forward to hosting the tournament in 2022 and future years.