|The formation of the Terrace End Bowling Club was the brainchild of Mr. Gus. Mansfield who lived opposite the clubs now Ruahine St. entrance (then East St.). He became the clubs first Honorary secretary and later the Mayor of Palmerston North.
Other Prime movers were Alex Turner, Rupert and Frank Sollit. The Clubs land then measured one and a quarter acres and was purchased for 250 pounds. These men were the first paid up members at a fee of 2 guineas each. ( This was pre Dollar times). A private company was also formed at the stage and the first monies were raised by issuing 10 pound debentures then they were up and running.
The contract for the laying of the first green went to Mr. A. Whightson ( a nursery man in Hokowhitu) and the Sollitt Bros. won the tender to build the clubrooms for a cost of 300 pounds.This same pavilion is still in use today.
November 1908 saw the opening ceremony take place before with arround 50 people in attendance.
The first committee was- President, Mr. A. Turner, with R. and F. Sollitt, W. Mundy, E. Toms, A.W. Thompson. Honary Treasurer was C. Sutcliffe with Mr. B Martin as paid secretary
Next milestone was the purchase of the land that now make up the car park and the number 3 green.This land was bought for 20 pounds a square chain. The membership at this time was 49 with a sub of 10 shillings and six pence. Nearly were tennis players so there had to be a court included in the grounds. The club also opened its membership to the public and we can assume an influx of members.
The club prospered for the next couple of decades and numbered many top bowlers of that era in its ranks.
1937 saw the club in financial trouble, unable to service loans or pay the interest. The morgagee wanted to forclose and turn the site into a gravel pit. The city council saved the day and took over the land for six hundred and eighty pounds and agreed to lease the land back to the club, which they still do but not at the early rent which was one pound a year. The six hundred and eighty pounds settled the clubs debts.
If only the members could have raised this sum of money another way! what a different club we would be now.
That the site was suitable for a gravel pit explains the good drainage the greens have. It may also be a motive for the foundation of the club. What would you prefur in your street, a gravel pit or a bowling green?.
The club survived through WW2, had its 50th Jubilee in 1958.
Disaster nearly overtook the club in 1962 when the then president declared the club " DRY " and caused a downturn in membership( imagine someone tried it now ! )
They held on to the end of his term and then sanity was restored, in fact the club went through a period of growth.
The nineties saw the extension of the club house to what we see now and the present members are enjoying the effort put in then.
The new millenium has seen a reduction of people playing the sport, nation wide not just local, but Terrace End has managed to maintain an adequate membership to offer a top selection of both competitive and social bowls.
A great club to join.