Club History

The Green, Molineux Road, Minster-in-Thanet, Ramsgate, CT12 4DW  01843 824 082
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The Club was formed in 1937, playing on one of the then 2 tennis courts in the Recreation Ground. This was then extended by the members who shared a wooden pavilion with the Cricket Club . Friendly matches with other local clubs were arranged.
1970 A small wooden building was erected by members at a cost of £200 and for the first time gave members and visiting teams their own changing facilities.
1983 Saw an influx of new members, many being retired cricketers and footballers, who gave the club a new competitive outlook.
1985 Saw all the banks and ditches renewed, bringing the Green up to County standard. Members covered the cost and labour themselves. Competitions as well as friendly matches were now being played on the 4 Rink Green and although the surface levels left a lot to be desired, the standard of play was improving all the time.
1987 The wooden building at the side of the Green was demolished during the notorious October storms.
1988 A caravan was used for changing facilities.
1989 A brick building was completed, enabling members to have electricity, water and toilet facilities for the first time. Built by the Bowls Club at a cost to them of £25,000, which included a £6,000 loan from Thanet District Council that was paid back over 3 years. The majority of work which included a new kitchen, and a very long, labour intensive weekend hand digging trenches and laying the services from the main pavilion, was done by members themselves.
1994 Disaster struck when the pavilion was razed to the ground by arsonists. Damage was put at a cost of £80,000. A large portacabin was then used as temporary accommodation.
1998 Minster Parish Council with the help of insurance money from the burnt down pavilion and a large loan, laid a new 6 Rink Green on the acquired extension to the Recreation Ground at a cost of £142,000. The Green with loads of TLC, hard work and devotion by members, and the Parish Council’s groundsman, Neil Cooper,  is now said to be one of the best in Thanet.
1999 Thanet District Council gave temporary planning permission for the Club to convert a wooden stable-block into a pavilion. This they did at a cost of £18,000 and a great deal of hard work, once again from members. The membership at this time was in the region of 45.
2006 Having been fund raising for three years and planning for the last two with a view to meeting the immediate and long term future of the Club, critical examination of our tired wooden building was undertaken and having agreed it was coming to the end of its useful life, with the help of Minster Parish Council the Club Steering Group now have plans in place. With planning permission having been granted by Thanet District Council, work is due to start on the new pavilion at the end of September with all systems and requirements in place for the grand opening during the 2nd week of April 2007.
2007 Friday 20th April saw the opening and naming of the new pavilion. Dr Stephen Ladyman MP, and a Vice President of this club, did us the honour of naming the pavilion “The Ray Razzell Bowls Pavilion” in recognition of Ray’s life and all he did for this village. The build came in on time and under budget thanks to the team of volunteers who worked so hard to complete it to such a high standard.
2013/14 This period in our history saw some major changes to the internal structure of the clubhouse and the building of separate external changing facilities for both ladies and gents, due in the most part to a very generous grant from Sport England and the huge amount of voluntary work by some of our members.

The Short Mat section was originally formed in 1985 (formerly as Minster Short Mat Bowls Club), firstly playing in the Village Hall with 2 mats and equipment that the Hall Committee financed, on the understanding that the SM Bowls Club would reimburse them, which they did much sooner than expected.
Originally members were charged 1p for hitting the block and a tidy sum was raised by this means, but after a few years the novelty wore off and the practice ceased.
Minster SMBC, in the guise of member Eric Harber, who made the initial suggestion, were instrumental in the setting up of the East Kent Short Mat Bowls League, later to change their title from League to Association when membership had grown to 12 clubs. The original Chairman of the EKSMBL was Ray Razzell from Minster and the first Hon. Secretary also from Minster was Ray Owen who remained in post for 22yrs before relinquishing the position, which was then split into 3 separate posts – Assn Sec, League Sec and Comp Sec. Ray continued to assist in the background helping to keep the website up to date and he was awarded the honour of becoming the first EKSMBA Life Vice President.
Minster SMBC was affiliated to the London & South East SMBA, but later dropped this affiliation in favour of joining the newly resurrected Kent SMBA. Minster had many successes in both L&SE and Kent competitions and have also held the EKSMBA Division One winners title.
The Short Mat Club made the move to the Bowls Pavilion in 2007 and became an integral part of the main Club.
Short mat bowls continues to be played at the Village Hall on a more relaxed and fun based basis under the auspices of the Village Hall Committee and not associated to Minster Bowls Club.

Thanks must go to all those members, past and present, for all their loyal support to enable us to do our bit now, for future generations of bowlers, the Club and the Village of Minster.

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