Giffnock Bowling & Tennis Club History
In 1893 a club was formed called Eastwood Recreation Club which, with the permission of the owner of the land, proceeded to lay four tennis courts and a croquet lawn on the site now occupied by the North and South greens of our club. Financial and other difficulties caused Eastwood Recreation Club to dissolve and the land owner repossessed the land, built a bowling green on what is presently our North green, dispensed with the croquet lawn and subject to a feu charter, gifted the land in 1895 to the Club formed in that year, called Giffnock Bowling and Tennis Club.
During the first thirteen years the Club grew in size and in 1908 the Monday Night Rink Games were started. A local sponsor for the year-end prizes kindly donated a ton of coal to each winner. The members decided in 1912 that the prizes should be provided by the participants of the games and a charge to each player of one penny per game was made.
During the First World War, Club Matches were suspended and the Club contributed financially to the War Relief Fund, and physically to the horrors of that War. During the two World Wars, seventy two men and twenty eight ladies joined the armed forces, seven men giving their lives for their country.
Lady Membership of the Club was initially restricted to the Tennis Section, but in 1919 it was agreed to allow ladies to play bowls on the green on certain afternoons. It was not until 1928 that Lady Bowlers were accepted as Associate Members of the Club.
In 1923 it was agreed to counter the difficulties of employing Greenkeepers by providing a tied house. The cost of this was £570, the money being raised by Debentures from Members. As social circumstances changed in later years, the house was no longer required, and was sold in 1988 for £43,200.
In 1924 the six tennis courts were transferred from what is now the South bowling green to their present site at a cost of £3000 funded again by Debentures from Members.The financial debt then created was not cleared until twenty two years later.
In 1930 electric lighting was introduced, the entire cost being met by the Ladies Section.
The Club took some time to fully recover from the Second World War and the subsequent Government controls. It was not until the 1950's that the expansion and modernisation programmes could be implemented. During that period extensions of the Ladies rooms on the east side of the Clubhouse and the Gentlemen's toilets on the west side were completed.
The Lady bowlers at Giffnock have added greatly to the welfare of this Club, and to bowling, particularly thoughout the West of Scotland. Our Ladies have produced Internationalists, Scottish and Renfrewshire Champions, and official representatives for the various governing bodies. Ladies were given the status of full membership of the Club in 1970, they were subsequently invited to pay the same subscription, and therefore have the same playing rights as the Gentlemen members. The Ladies however felt happier with the status quo.
Until 1977 the Bowling Clubhouse had an open verandah facing the greens, but in that year it was decided to incorporate the area by extending the hall to allow greater internal space. In 1995 the Club celebrated its centenary, and since then the social side of the Club has developed as strongly as the playing side.