Ilminster Bowling Club has been established for 88 years, and in that time has had many great achievements with County, National and International champions throughout its history.
Ilminster Bowling Club was founded in 1929. The Club was then made up of members of the local community, many of whom were shopkeepers who just wanted to play and enjoy the game of bowls in their home town. The Club President at that the time was the late Hector Hutchings. Hector was Somerset and Ilminster President, and held the Ilminster presidency for 52 years. Trophies and Cups named in his honour are still played for today.
The Club was probably the strongest club in Somerset in the 1960s when it won the men's County Cup many times with great players like Bryn Mattravers, Wilf Miller, John Wiseman, Allan Chiffers, John Low and many more. Later came Peter Mattravers, Robin Burden and Derek Johnson .
Ilminster in 2012 reached the National Championships finals at Worthing for the first time in the Club's history in the men's Bowls England Club National Two Fours, being runners-up after a 3 shot defeat to Gaston Bowling Club. Ilminster has continued to improve as a bowls club, and in recent seasons both England International Louis Ridout, and World Number 3 Rob Paxton have graced its greens.
Ilminster Indoor Bowling Club was founded in 1969. The Club had a single rink in a long room which currently is used as the function room. When the room was required for a function (annual dinner, parties etc.) the carpet was rolled up and the ditches covered over!
Ilminster then had a 2 rink green built in 1979.This green was constantly used up to the new development of the Bowling Club in 2007. Then the club was able to build a purpose built three rink indoor green, add accommodation for a Steward and re-develop the club lounge and bar area. This was after a long, drawn out process of negotiations with developers, and was successful due to the diligence of members at the time. It was no surprise when in 2007 the Club won the ‘Club Mirror’ award for the best club refurbishment, which was nominated by the Club's bar supplier St Austell Brewery.
The Club also continues to strive forward with more changes and improvements being made to the Club's buildings and facilities. The Club is widely considered to have the best facilities in Somerset. The Club holds a membership of over 500 members with bowlers, tennis players, snooker players, table tennis players and social members using the Club on a day to day basis.
Ilminster received a great honour in 2017 coming runner up in the Bowls England Club Of The Year . Ilminster put together an excellent proposal and showed what the club has done to encourage and develop new and existing members and to develop the clubs junior section.