Sandham Grounds after opening

Sandham Grounds Recreation Park as it was then called was officially opened on Friday 13th June 1924.

On October 1st 1924, the second phase of the Grounds development started which included the bowling green at a cost of £1,100 which was laid with Cumberland turf costing £600 and £515 for the dressing rooms.


Sandham Grounds Looking over the crazy golf (still there today) towards the Bowls Changing rooms

The formation of Sandown Bowling Club was accomplished at a public meeting held in the Council Chamber on Friday October 23rd 1925.

Members fees were suggested at 5/- per annum, which were hoped would cover all expenses. It had hoped that the Bowling Green would be ready for play during the summer season of 1925 but due to subsidence in certain areas it was not.

The charges fixed for the summer 1926 were; each player including the use of two bowls, 3d per hour, season tickets £1.1s; Club members season tickets (temporary measure) 16s, weekly tickets including the use of two bowls 4s, Club matches, per match, 5/-

Three rinks were allocted for matches but only in special circumstances would matches be allowed in August.

The adverts that were placed in the Chronicle and the cancellation notice

There was an announcement that there would be an auspicious opening of the Bowling Green on May 8th 1926.

The English Bowling Association were sending a team of five rinks who were to compete against the best bowlers from around the Island clubs.

The team were due to be entertained to luncheon at the Royal Pier Hotel by members of Sandown Town Council.   Prior to their departure they were also booked for tea at the Sandham Grounds Cafe.   Despite all of this being advertised in the Chronicle, it was cancelled without reason being published and the Bowling Green opened without ceremony.

The first match on the new green took place on Wednesday May 19th 1926 against Shanklin.

The margin of victory was one shot, Sandown 56 - Shanklin 55.

The team representing Sandown on that inaugural occasion were: G Lowe, H Dore, J H Griffin, J Denham, H Phillips, L C Guy, C Westbrook, W E Martin, R Barber, C W Adams, C Alexandra and C J Atwell.

For all of the trials and tribulations encountered by all sides at the beginning of this venture the end product has served the town well ever since.

This is a photo of Sandown Bay with the position of the 2nd Sandham Fort superimposed on top.

This fort was rebuilt arround the 1650's after the 1st one was washed away by the rising tide levels.

The "Arrow Headed Bastion" that is pictured laying across the green was probably the cause of the subsidence which delayed the opening of the Club in 1925