Middle Park Bowling Club
A story of progress and success…
The game we play was developed in Scotland in the second half of the 19th Century and introduced to Melbourne in the 1860s by migrants from Scotland. The Middle Park Bowling Club was formed in 1903 – by that time there were 33 bowling clubs in Melbourne, including 7 in the nearby suburbs. The Club was at that time largely for the influential people in the community – members were mostly older men, and membership costs were high. It maintained this status, with membership ranging between 150 and 200 until the Second World War.
Many bowling clubs in this period had women as “associate members”, but at Middle Park the Ladies had their own club and played bowls from the start. This was uncommon. Our Ladies had a great deal of success, winning the Flag in the top Ladies pennant competition 7 times between 1913 and 1925. They dominated Ladies bowls for much of this period. The men did well too – they won the White Flag (for winning the top pennant level) in 1923 – still the only time the Club has won this. Individual members also won many honours. But the depression in the 1930s hit the club hard. From 1930 until after the Second World War, the club did poorly in terms of the number of bowlers, and the results they achieved.