Scarborough’s South Cliff Bowling Club was founded in 1908 and it is very close to where I currently live. It is open on Wednesdays & Saturdays from 2:00pm throughout the season (April – late September).
In 1912 the club had to resist efforts by the Yorkshire Lawn Tennis Club to take over the green for use as a croquet lawn. As the land was owned by the council, the club had exclusive use of the green for only six half days a week. The club employed a gatekeeper to set up the green each day and collect money from visiting players. In 1938 the club found it impossible to play home matches because of the large number of visitors using the green.
Ladies were admitted to the club in 1909, but it brought few privileges. In 1971 a proposal to give women full voting rights (except when voting for men’s captain, vice captain or match secretary) was actually defeated. It wasn’t until 1992 that Ladies achieved equality and in 1996 the club had its first Lady Club Captain.
Originally the clubhouse was situated with its back to Filey Road and facing the original green. It was moved to its present site in 1911. The clubhouse had two rooms one for use by the members and one for use by the public. By the 1930’s these had become separate men’s and ladies’ rooms. In 1960 the clubhouse was extended, but sliding screens still separated the men from the women. This screen was still in place in 1974. In the 1960’s non members were not allowed in the clubhouse even when it was raining.
Nowdays the club is an Asset of Community Value, located in a Conservation Area and has developed the gardens, rebuilt the benches and is looking to develop the area as a Community Hub. It also has a range of social activities. These range from the important task of preparing the Green – where members come together to work on the close season requirements – meals, quiz, race afternoon, Cake and a Cuppa on Yorkshire Day, BBQ, Bonfire Night celebrations in addition to close season weekly activities – jigsaws, mobi, Rummikub, cards, and good conversation.
The South Cliff Bowling Club is closed at the moment due to the Covid-19 pandemic but they will open again soon. The list of fees is available on the Club’s official website: