Shortly after the 1914 - 1918 War Mr. R. W. Coan, together with a group of local business men, several of whom were Clacton Urban District Councillors, purchased a large plot of land at the end of Marine Parade West for the purpose of laying greens for a Bowling Club. A Company was formed and shares were sold at £1.00 each.
Two Cumberland Turf Greens were laid and an attractive, spacious thatched Pavilion built, the property then being leased to the newly formed Clacton-on-Sea Bowling Club, which was inaugurated in May 1922. Mr. R. W. Coan was elected as president and opened the greens on the 19th. August 1922, having the privilege of bowling the first wood.
During the early years of the Club a putting green was laid, in the position now occupied by the rose beds and also a Croquet Lawn, extending to the main road, behind the high hedge of the bottom green. It was a feature on Bank Holidays to hold a Bazaar with Hoop la, Darts etc. on the Croquet Lawn and a considerable amount of money was raised in this way. The site of the present Car Park was originally an allotment for the use of the Green keeper.
After the termination of the Second World War the situation altered and the Club found it difficult to meet its financial commitments. The Clacton Urban District Council was sympathetic and two new Clubs were provided. This resulted in many of our Members leaving for bowling facilities nearer their homes. This, coupled with the large increase in the cost of maintenance of the greens and upkeep of the pavilion caused a large reduction in profits, making it an impossibility to pay extra rent and interest to the shareholders.
Almost all the remaining Members were retired, non shareholders and quite averse to paying increased subscriptions, without additional facilities, for the benefit of the Company, whose Officials no longer made use of the facilities. Furthermore, the situation became extremely difficult as most of the shares were held by descendants of the original purchasers, who were non bowlers and non residents of the Town, with no interest in the Club. Many of those individuals were requesting redemption of the shares and or payment of accrued interest.
The Company finally decided that the time had arrived to endeavour to persuade the Clacton Urban District Council to purchase the property. The Council made a deal with the Company and purchased the entire property for a figure that was sufficient to redeem 100% of all shares. The Council then leased the property to the Clacton-on-Sea Bowling Club and undertook to maintain the greens and surrounding flower beds, as well as the upkeep of the Pavilion.
In the early days of the Club the Ladies Section was obliged to use the basement for their changing room and the use of the Lounge was forbidden to them. Now the Ladies and their guests have their own changing room and full use of the Lounge and Bar facilities.
In the winter months of 1986 the club premises were redecorated and refurbished with new tables, chairs and carpets and a portion of the veranda was partitioned to provide additional dressing room space for the Ladies.
The Committee had been negotiating over the past three years with the local authority, regarding a new lease and have now agreed to a twenty year lease at a peppercorn rent and agreed to be responsible for maintenance of greens, pavilion and surrounding areas. In early 1990 a great deal of work was carried out on the pavilion including renewing the thatch roof and the banks surrounding both greens were built up to comply with the ruling of the E.B.A. A Number of members carried out the majority of this work.
At the end of the 1991 Season a watering system was installed which we trust will improve the standard of the green for the ensuing seasons. The pavilion has been extended by including the front veranda entrance in the lounge and will provide considerably more room to accommodate our 165 members and 75 Lady members.
In 1994 an application was made to the Arts Council, and the Lottery, for grants to enable the club to extend, by building a new ladies changing room, an office and improve the kitchen as well as building a new bar storage area in the cellar, extend the mens changing room, and refurbishing the toilets and building a new viewing area.
By the perseverance and hard work of Derek Norman, in 1996 the grant was obtained and the building started, in November 1996. It was completed by April 1997.
To members of the Club who have held office during the past years and all members who have helped in any way to bring the Club to our present standard, we express our thanks.