Les Grigson

LESThe History of the Club as remembered by Les Grigson Inaugral and Life Member of the Club.

In the early 50s there was nothing sporting out here only sand drift and swamp with cattle roaming from Clontarf.

In 1957 the RSL decided Manning needed a sporting club, so the only sporting club they could think of was a bowling club.  There is a picture on the wall in the club with a couple of the blokes who started if off.

The first meeting to form the club was in the St Peter’s Hall on Monday the 8th of April 1957 and they formed Manning Memorial Bowling Club.  I was at the meeting, there were 18 elected to form the Committee.  A President, and two Vice Presidents (as two blokes wanted to be vice president) a Secretary, Treasurer and 13 make up the rest of the committee and I was one of the 13 elected.

The club was started some time later and the clubhouse was about 5m by 5m (the area where the four pillars are in the club). The original area was all swamp and tea trees and the cattle used to roam through until we put the fence up. The back of that was a heap of sand where we used to shovel up the sand and loam for the greens

The first meeting was held in Noughtons Business Place in Melville Parade but that has since gone since the freeway went through. The rest of the meeting were held on the verandah of the primary school and it was bloody cold.

My job was to raise finance and I worked in town by selling tickets. Arthur Judge opened an open air theatre in Welwyn Avenue, where the garage used to be. I sold the tickets for Judgey and the Club would get 50%.  Harold Munday (another long time member) lived opposite the theatre and he and his mates used to club up his tree to watch the movies.

We made 118 pound from our original raffle.  Dutchy Holland’s daughter won second prize which was a set of bowls which Dutchy was still using when he finished bowls many years later.  The tickets were one shilling each and a set of bowls then was 7 pound fifteen, I know because that what it cost me for my first set of bowls. I sold them to a lady in Applecross some years later for the same price.

We used Spearwood sand mixed with loam and some other stuff and the grass we got from Mends Street.  We used to go down there every Sunday morning and spend all day pulling the couch grass out and then brought it back here and planted it in runners.  We had to chop the runners so that it could be controlled.  We had a lot of RSL workers who helped for months and months.

Fred Jones used to live on the corner and and he said he was a builder so he would put the greens down and A and B, but when we checked there was a seven inch drop across the greens.  Press Brothers became interested and they built the clubhouse at cost, especially old Tom Press and he was always there.

The original club was like a postage stamp, 4 yards by 4 yards. The pillars in the club upt to where the machine is was the original clubhouse.  The toilets were on the north side and the wall used for darts.

Where the power pole is between C green and D green was as big gum tree that the members chopped down by hand as there was no machinery available.

The water table was only 8 inches under the surface so we had to dig deeper to find water suitable for the greens.

Best bowler Les has seen at the club was Arthur Hall but he said that they tried to get Bert Sharp to come to the club but he wanted money so stayed at Vic Park.

The club started actual pennants with 2 fourth division teams that cleaned everyone up.  Les, Dutchy Holland and Tom Pres were the selectors and there selection was unique.  Three blokes worked at the PMG and weren’t bad blokes so they formed one team, another team was made up of members of the RSL, and another team all got on with each other so this 16 became one side and the second side were picked along similar lines.

Les was a Member of the Club since 1957. He was Secretary for 9 years, a selector and fund raiser during his years at Manning.

Keith Freestone

KFreestoneKeith joined the Manning Memorial Bowling Club in 96

He has played pennants since but has reduced his commitment due to failing health. Keith has a goal to play again in 2013 to complete 50 years of playing.

He has been a Club Selector and on Grounds but is best know for his volunteer work with the gardens, especially the roses, since 1991. He has been involved in a lot of the external beautification of the club and hopes to continue volunteering for a few more years yet.

Keith has a keen interest in horse racing, AFL, cricket, touring, reading, music and of course gardening.

He is very interesting to chat to if you would like to know about some of the characters who have graced our club over the years.

Keith has experienced many highlights but considers the amalgamation of the men’s and ladies clubs as being one that stands out.

Keith is a very humble and quite man who does not like fuss but just gets in and does the job.  A deserved Life Member of our club.

Sadly Keith passed away in March 2015.

Barry Allen

Barry and his wife Lindsay left their Bruce Rock Farm in 1995 and moved to Manning and he joined the Manning Bowling Club that same year.  He became a very keen and competent bowler winning a pennant and competing in Club Championships.  He was a regular at Pakkas in his latter years and was still playing pennants in 2012.

He was a valued volunteer at the club doing gardens and surrounds for many years with his special place being the front rose garden.  He daily raked all the ditches, maintained the capping around the greens and patiently painted the capping and all the rink markers on all the greens.  He didn’t need to be told what needed doing he just got in and did it, and made sure it was done properly.

Barry was honoured with Life Membership in 2009.  Barry was also a Life Member of the Bruce Rock Cricket Club and a 50 year plus member of the WACA.

He was always smiling and sharing jokes with his mates.  Barry was the consummate gentleman and his passing was a sad day for the Manning Bowling Club.

Robert Uppill

Rob_Uppill_30Robert joined Manning Memorial Bowling Club after moving into town from Tammin in 2001.  He is married to Lyn Uppill.

Robert has been Club President for 2 years during which time the decision to employ a club development officer commenced “Manning on the Move”.  He remains active in the club being the backup greenkeeper.  He has been Grounds Chairman, Greens Director and key holder/security for several years.

Rob started playing pennants in 2001 and was a member of the Thursday teams which saw Manning’s top team rise above 3rd division.  He has been a regular skipper in 3rd Division on Saturdays and has played in the 1st division on Thursdays.

Robert is a board member of the Manning Senior Citizens, volunteer bus driver and recently took over the duties of Committee Chairman working towards a men’s shed at the centre.

He enjoys caravanning especially with family and friends and has travelled extensively throughout WA and Australia.  He also enjoys a spot of fishing. He latest and greatest interest is being “Pop” to his granddaughters.

Rob attended a call out when two burglars broke into the rear door of the bar cool room. They were seen by neighbours running off with a few tinnies.  So damaged was the door that it could not shut fully, so the alarm switch on the door would not work..or so thought the two burglars!!.  “I roped the door shut from the inside, set the alarm and headed off home.  The crooks, thinking the alarm would not go off, returned with a ute.  They touched the door, the alarm went off and so did the villains.”

Rob’s highlight of his time at Manning was when one of the objectives of putting on Peter Bowden was achieved…Manning winning “Club of the Year”.  Other highlights were being granted Interstate events on our greens and being recognised as turf greens that set the standard for Perth.

Rob sums up ”With Manning on the move I am very pleased to see it being recognised as a friendly club, and a club that welcomes country bowlers”.

Darrell Andrews

DarrellDarrell joined Manning in 1980 and has since played pennants both Thursday and Saturday, and plays bowls with the Pakka Group and Saturday mixed events.  He is still playing at the age of 78 years.

From 1991-93 Darrell spent two years on the Management Committee as a member of the Match Committee.

In 2001 Darrell retired from commercial and domestic building and became a regular member of the working party at the club. He works on maintenance to the club house and help on the grounds when required.

In 2003 Darrell was elected to the Management Committee as House Chairman, a position he still holds.