In 1937, Mr. Frank Pitcher and Mr Ted Gratton (pictures in the lounge) decided to build and Indoor Bowling Green in Boston.
A Ltd Company was formed under the name of Boston and District Indoor Bowling Club with 1300 shares valued at £5 each this giving a capital of £6500, these shares were sold mainly to people in playing bowls.
The club was built at the end of E H Gratton Agricultural Engineers yard on the address that became Threadneedle Street and bowling commenced in early September 1938. It had 4 rinks, cafe bar, card room and 2 full-size Billiard Tables. It was very successful being only the second indoor green north of London (the only other was a 2 rink green in Cambridge)
Bowlers came from far and wide to play friendly bowls, also the club hosted the Indoor International Series twice in 1954 and 1959.
During the period 1938 to 1982 where the current club opened the club provided many ladies and men's internationals. We won the Denny Cup in 1951 and Yetton Trophy in 1958, 1961, 1994, 2001 and 2004.
In 1940 Hitlers bombs nearly hit the club. It broke all the windows in the roof and shattered glass damaged the carpet. Tarpaulin sheets were put on the roof to make it watertight, a thin layer of sawdust was put on the concrete floor and bowling continued until the end of the war. Then the roof was re-glazed and a new carpet laid.
In 1938 the subscriptions were £1-1s od (a guinea) Rink fees were 2d (old money for 45 mins)
The subscriptions was later reduced to £1 and by mid-1950 were 3d per 1-hour session.
In 76 years the feeds have no risen significantly.
In September 1982 following the opening of a new modern and up to date 6 rink indoor greens at Lincoln, Spalding, Scunthorpe and Grantham it was decided by the Directors that they should look into the possibility of building a new 6 rink club. Again forward thinking meant Boston would have a facility to be proud of.
A meeting was called and the decision was agreed to ask Boston Borough Council if it was possible to find a suitable site for the new club to be built. The Council offered the site of Rosebery Avenue on a 30-year lease.
The old Indoor club was sold for £90,000 to the G.P.O and was used as a parcel sorting office until 2003 when it was demolished for the new multi-storey car park for the Pescod Square shopping centre.
Shareholders of the old club agreed to take £20.00 each for their £5.00 shares and then the limited company was dissolved. The remaining proceeds of the sale was given to the new club (£60,000) together with £12,000 from the club accounts. Also given from the old club were lockers, bowls equipment and the furniture including one full-size Billard table. Hence Boston Indoor Bowling Ltd (Members club) was formed in 1983.
For the new club plans passed in May 1983 club was built by Richard Reed Ltd and opened in September 1983.
When the old club closed the subscription was £24.00 and the hourly charge was 40p. Membership was 580 playing members.
The cost of the new club was £350,000 and was funded by the monies from the old club. Funding raised by various events by the members included a 72-hour Bowlathon, Sports Council Grant, Boston Borough Council Grant. Interest-free loans from members, donations from members, loans from Lloyds Bank, Ind Coope brewery and Boston Borough Council repayable over 10 years.
In the first season the new roof leaked and a new roof was put over the first which has proved successful to date. Due to a high water table, water appeared in the ditches and French drains were constructed around the building.
A few teething problems but with the drive and enthusiasm of the Directors and Committee the club continued to expand and provide successful bowlers at International and County level.
The membership increased quite dramatically but has suffered since new clubs have been built at Sleaford, Horncastle and Skegness which reduced the clubs area of potential members.
In the 30 years continued improvements were made e.g. a new entrance porch, suspended ceiling, new lighting etc...
A wooden floor was installed in 1996 and a Woven carpet installed following the wool felt surface that was installed when the club opened.
The current surface was installed in 2008.
Boston Indoor Bowls Club continues to be successful, currently being the 2nd largest Sports Club in Boston with over 750 members and making considerable improvements with assistance of Sports England Inspired Facility Grants and other sources.
A new 99-year lease was agreed with Boston Borough Council in 2013 and therefore, the long-term future is secure.
The playing success of the club and its members are recorded on the Honours Board.
The foresight of Mr. Ted Gratton and Frank Pitcher gave Boston its first Indoor Bowls Club but the hardwork and dedication of Committees, Directors and the members since have ensured that their dream continues to prosper for Boston Bowlers.