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THE HISTORY OF BOWLS IN GRIMSBY

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The very first bowling green in Grimsby was laid out, by a man affectionately known as "Old Man Flett", behind Van Dyke's Hotel in 1895. Then, just prior to the First World War, a small green was located on the property of a Mr. Pettit on Main Street West, above Kerman Avenue. Some time after that the Gibson-Allen property, Main Street East at Robinson, became the third lawn bowling site.
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A full size green that was built on the property of St. Andrew's church was sponsored by the late Rev. J.A. Ballard. The equipment was kept in the parish hall, and the site was in use until the High School was built in 1922.  Mr. G. Luno, a bowler who had moved from Medicine Hat, built the next green on the grounds of what is now St. George's Church on Ontario Street. It was a small one, and he was the instructor and did most of the work. Another bowling green was built at Grimsby Beach by the Cottager's Association; and soon afterward a large double green that could accommodate 100 bowlers was constructed near to the town center.
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A popular event which was held there each September was the Fruit Tournament, at which large crates of the locally-grown fruit were offered as prizes. This drew so many entries that they were obliged to use the Church and Beach greens as well.

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Bowling in Grimsby came to a standstill during the Second World War and green maintenance was neglected. It was revived in 1947, and records show that the Ladies Section was first proposed in December of 1949. The downtown greens remained in use until the property was sold to developers and became the parking lot for a Zellers store.
At this point, the Grimsby bowlers joined the Beamsville Club until greens were built next to the Grimsby Curling Club in 1962. Eventually, the Club approached the Town of Grimsby for the provision of land for Lawn Bowling Green. Located adjacent to the Senior's Centre on Livingston Avenue, it was officially opened in September of 1976. The maintenance is provided for through club dues and fund-raising events. Currently there is a healthy membership, fairly equally represented by both genders, and teams are often a combination of male & female players.

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The main source for this information was the book: Once Upon A Little Town - Published by the Grimsby Historical Society.

 
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