Inverell history matters: Our green beginnings

A scene from 1916: The Inverell Bowling Club during a carnival with cars and buggies drawn up to the fence.
A scene from 1916: The Inverell Bowling Club during a carnival with cars and buggies drawn up to the fence.

The first public meeting to establish a bowling club and town green at Inverell was called in February 1914.

Despite the financial struggle, the effect of World War I and drought, two rinks were ready for use by March 1916...

An aerial view of the bowling green in about 1960.

An aerial view of the bowling green in about 1960.

Two months later, Messrs. D. Millar, G. Grove and J. Davidson met with the municipal council requesting permission to construct greens “in the park”.

The site, once the old teamster’s camp in Campbell Street, was ideal as the council wanted beautification of the “barren spot at the entrance of the town” near the Macintyre Bridge.

An aerial view of the bowling green in about 1919.

An aerial view of the bowling green in about 1919.

Another advantage was that water was readily available there.  Council’s offer was tenancy for three years on a rental basis, the council being trustees. 

By July membership of the club had grown to 125. The executive committee members were Messrs Mather (chairman), Pepper, Davey, Bucknell, Ring, Davidson, Millar, O’Connor, Holdaway and Sceats.

Despite the financial struggle, the effect of World War I and drought, two rinks were ready for use by the official opening in March 1916 and a flag pole had been erected. On this day, club members were requested to wear “blazers, rag hats, club colours and shoes”. Mr S. G. Davey, who was made a life member, was credited as conceiving the idea of a bowling club, achieved through his “tenacity and ability”.

During the 1920s, a croquet club began and a croquet lawn established at the bowling club. Eventually, the croquet club erected their own clubhouse, an ornate structure of wood with a red tiled roof.

As their activities included bridge and mah jong, the name of the association changed to the Inverell Garden Club.

Over the years, the bowling club continued to make improvements to the greens. The Inverell Bowling Club was well-known for its Easter carnivals. During 1954, moves were made to start a second bowling club, now Inverell East Club.

The original old wooden clubhouse was moved to Edward Street in 1968 to make way for a new building designed by Mr R. H. Lockwood.

With dwindling membership, the club closed and in 2003 renovations added a new visitor information centre. Today, the building sits in attractive landscaped gardens where in December the town Christmas tree has pride of place.