Clayton Bowls Club Telling History
Clayton Bowls Club, 37 A Springs Road, was established in 1961 on swampland located next to the Namatjira Springs. Namatjira Springs was a watering hole used by early horse drawn coaches en route from Melbourne to Dandenong.
The nucleus of the existing clubhouse was built in 1982. The Men’s locker room and restrooms were at the front, and an entrance to the club was through this area. The Ladies’ locker and restrooms were approximately where the existing cool room is today. The green was located on the north side of the building. The club used this clubhouse for bowls and successful social functions until 1998.
In 1994 the front section of the Club was renovated to accommodate the newly acquired poker machines. The original bar was located along the front of the cool room, and serviced both the Members and the Gaming area.
In 1999, there were major renovations that established the existing Bar and the addition of the Bistro. Prior to this time the kitchen was used as the Bistro, known as the “Bowl Inn”, but only on a Wednesday night. To allow the construction of the Bistro, the No 1 green was moved some 16 metres north.
The most recent extensions, in 2005, involved remodelling the restrooms and Mavis Faull Room, and building new offices, a Boardroom, Store Room and expanded locker rooms.
The Geo Osborough Green was first constructed in 1962, ready for play in the 1963-4 Season. It was located 16 metres south of the present position in front of the then clubhouse. It was moved in 1999 to allow the construction of the Club’s Bistro. The green was named after George Osborough, one of the founding Members who was a two term President.
Green number three was constructed in the late 1980’s. Originally this was the car park for the Club, and being wet in nature, many an unsuspecting Member parked there only to come back some time later to find their cars “bogged”. Members were summoned from the Bar or the social function to extricate the vehicle. This green was named after two club stalwarts, Terry Fleming and Bill Marshall, both Life Members of the Club. Terry was the greenkeeper for many years, and established the irrigation system for the greens. Bill was active in bowls activities, holding many positions in the Club as well as being an R.V.B.A. Councillor.
Sometime around 1980, Terry Fleming had the foresight to enhance a spring located to the rear of the clubhouse. The Club excavated the spring to a depth of 20 feet, placed in two 5000 litre tanks, filled the surrounds of the tanks with broken bricks and then covered the area to the existing ground level. Water was drawn from the tanks for the irrigation of the greens. The reservoir created by the tanks and bricks, allowed the club to draw some 30,000 litres of water at a time. In early times, the reservoir regenerated in 24 to 36 hours. In 2005, with residents drawing on the underground water, it took three to four days to recover.
During 2006 it was decided to drought proof the Club and avoid any problems if severe water restrictions were imposed. With the introduction of Stage 3 restrictions, the Club called on Members to assist with hand watering the greens because of the restricted times allocated for hand watering and irrigation.
The Club installed a 150,000 litre above ground tank, placed a submersible pump into one of the tanks in the spring, and drew water automatically at a slow rate to fill the large tank. It took 2 weeks in the middle of the drought to fill the tank, and with extensive use since, it has not been less than half full at any time. The spring has not been dry in 30 years so it is hoped that this system will continue to supply the Club with near pure water for a long time.