In April 1920, as the result of money being raised by public subscriptions, about six acres of what had originally been farmland, behind the shops just to the west of the main street, was purchased for £850 for use as the War Memorial Recreation Ground.
Three locals, a rector and a minister of the Church and a stockbroker, were Trustees.Then a further parcel of land next to the Recreation Ground, was bought and donated by a Mr Matterson, a Bournemouth chemist who lived in New Milton.
This was to become the home ofthe New Milton & District Bowling Club which was founded in 1924.
Obviously money was needed and an issue of £5 debentures was made to raise funds.This was successful and the new green was opened on 26th April 1926. The entrance or joining fee, at the time, was 10/6 !
In 1929 the club was affiliated to the Bournemouth & District Bowling Association.
The whole site was registered with the Charity Commission and in February 1937 a scheme was approved by the Commission for the Recreation Ground to be administered by the Lymington Borough Council as Trustees.This continued until, after local government re-organisation, the task was taken on by New Milton Town Council.
In 1947 the Club was one of the five founder members of the New Forest Bowling Association.
At the end of 1949 the green was dug up and replaced with Cumberland turf, at a cost of £1035! This sum was raised by the members themselves.
The green was officially opened on 5th August 1950 by the Mayor of Lymington.
This was followed by a mixed match against Hampshire B.A. (Men) and Hampshire W.B.A. (Women).
Over the years the Club membership grew in numbers leading to the need for the construction of a second green.This was initially laid with only four rinks, but later two more were added.
On 23rd June 1996 the new pavilion was opened.This was a joint venture between the Club and New Milton Town Council and was part funded by the Lottery Commission. This also marked the official joining of the Men's and Ladies Clubs to form the New Milton Bowling Club.
As the top (original) green had increased in height over its 50+ years it was lowered at the end of the 2003 season and new turf laid. The cost was appreciably more than the £1035 in 1949!
The work was carried out by staff from the Borough of Poole and after three years the green reached a high standard and became regarded as one of the best in the area.
The club was registered as a Community Amateur Sports Club, number 02197, on the 13th November 2004.
ABOUT US NOW
New Milton is in west Hampshire, between Bournemouth and Southampton, less than a mile from the New Forest to the north and from the cliff-top at Barton-on-Sea to the south. The Bowling Club is situated near to the centre of the town on the north part of the Memorial Recreation Ground.
The site is controlled by the New Milton Town Council and they also maintain our greens. There are two greens, both of six rinks, with two rinks available to members of the public who can hire woods and shoes. We have a large modern clubhouse with a bar in the spacious meeting area.
The club structure has the men's and ladies sections whose committees deal with their own bowling matters, under the umbrella of the Club Management Committee. The latter is comprised of some of the section committees? members and the Club Officers, most of whom can be of either sex.
We have many members who were already bowlers who then retired to this area and others who are locals who have taken up the game here. Our current membership is about 130 men and 60 ladies. It is a friendly club with a good mix of both competitive and social players.
We have regular organised social bowling sessions and members have plenty of opportunity simply to roll-up with friends or practice on their own. The club runs a full range of internal competitions and many members also enter the local associations, county or national competitions.
The club has teams in both the men's and ladies leagues of the local Bournemouth & District and the New Forest Associations.
Each year we have a programme of friendly matches, some booked through Bowlaway, who arrange hotel accommodation and matches in the Bournemouth area for touring sides, and some arranged directly with our Friendly Match Secretary. These games, which are frequently mixed, are popular both as a way of meeting different people and also as an opportunity to play with and against bowlers of varying abilities in a friendly and pressure-free atmosphere.
We have qualified coaches who can get newcomers off to a good start in learning the game and also assist the more experienced players who wish to improve their game or who may have developed a slight problem!
We have an enthusiastic social committee which organises various activities regularly throughout the year.
Each year we hold an Open Day, with free trial sessions, to give people a taste of the game. For more details of this please go to the Open Day page.