The origin of Caister Bowls Club is lost in the mists of time. A few old pictures suggest it was a true “spit and sawdust” men only pub team and there are a few people who will tell you that Caister was ejected from its previous home, the now demolished Lord Nelson pub, because its members did not drink enough beer!
Until 1967, the year before it moved to the present location in Allendale road, the team played friendly matches – with one exception: Being a pub owned by Lacons Brewery they were allowed to enter the Lacon Cup and they have been competing for it regularly ever since.
The space the club took over when they moved to the King George Vth Playing Field in Allendale road in 1968 had actually been tennis courts, but they had fallen into disuse and the members set about creating their own green, literally by the sweat of their brows.
At one time – and to some extent still – doing it themselves was a tradition in the club. Having created a green with its own peculiarities they later added their own single skinned brick changing room, though facilities were distinctly “rural”.
This was still an all male club with members having to live or to have been born in the village. The arrival of the Ladies in 1977 saw membership increase from 50 to around 70 and led to a self built extension on the “pavilion” to provide toilettes and rudimentary catering facilities from which the ladies produced superb refreshments.
Residential qualifications and gender discrimination have long since disappeared but what does remain is the self help aspect, members doing all the work on the green, with annual support from the specialist firm which laid it.
The new green created in 2005 was the clubs biggest advance and thrust it into the front rank of bowling in the region. The project came as part of a major regeneration of the entire recreational area of the Playing Field. A further improvement, the all new pavilion to replace the original, came in 2009 with support from the Playing Field management Committee and a major financial commitment by the membership.
Now with a top class green and an excellent clubhouse, Caister is able to attract visiting teams and to stage tournaments that in turn help to meet the cost of the new building and bring new members to the club.
Both EBF and EBA bowls are played; there are two ladies only teams, three men only teams and three mixed gender teams. A full programme of cup and friendly matches is available as well as "roll ups" and club events for those who do not wish to play in matches.