A Brief History
Flemington & Kensington Bowling Club — or simply Flem-Ken — was founded in 1892, making it one of the oldest bowling clubs in Melbourne. We have won a large number of important accolades, but have always retained a strong reputation for enjoying our bowls and even being a little irreverent at times.
Flem-Ken is located on the boundary between Flemington and Kensington, a stone’s throw from Flemington Racecourse, and is an important part of the local community.
Flem-Ken was a foundation club in the Royal Victorian Bowling Association (RVBA) pennant competition and the honour boards at the club are filled with the names of some of Victoria’s best bowlers, and some of the most important citizens of the district. You can view the honour boards here .
We have won many pennants over the years, but pride of place is reserved for the two Division 1 pennants the club won in the 1990s. At the time, Division 1 was the top division in Melbourne and many of the players who were in those teams, and many others, have gone on to represent Victoria and Australia in major competitions, including the Commonwealth Games.
We are extremely proud of our recent achievements, particularly because Flem-Ken, as a relatively small, pokies-free club holds its own against clubs with many more resources.
The Club Today
Flemington-Kensington Bowling Club is a vibrant and energetic place dedicated to promoting and enjoying the sport of lawn bowls in a relaxed and family-friendly environment. We are also renowned as one of the Inner West’s biggest craft beer venues and regularly hold social events such as ‘Meet the Brewer’ days with some of Melbourne’s best craft beer breweries, among many other events.
In the 2016-17 Saturday pennant season, Flem-Ken fielded teams in Divisions 2, 4 and 7. All sides made the finals. We are particularly proud of this achievement given the Division 4 and 7 teams had the year before competed in lower grades and were still able to hold their own and make the finals against much stiffer competition.
During the winter of 2011 the club’s turf greens were replaced with an 11-rink synthetic green. This allowed the club to field sides in the Winter Pennant for the first time in 2012.
Each year we field at least one team in the winter pennant competition and always perform strongly.
Flem-Ken has a strong presence in Melbourne’s Wednesday night pennant. In fact, we were undefeated during the regular rounds of the 2017 night pennant season, but unfortunately couldn’t carry the form into the finals.
Club Championships & Tournaments
The club has eight internal championships each season: Singles, Minor Singles, Club Pairs, Club Triples, Club Fours, Mixed Pairs, Ray Fullarton 100-up handicap and President’s Cup handicap. All competitions draw large numbers of club members.
As well, Flem-Ken holds three tournaments each year that carry both prestige and prize-money: the Nelson Alexander Real Estate Triples, a competition open to bowlers from Flem-Ken and those from other clubs; the Nelson Alexander Community Cup, for novice bowlers; and the Midge Sharp Perpetual Trophy, which honours our long-serving bar lady, the late Midge Sharp, and is a more relaxed competition in which everyone wears casual clothes and many bowl barefoot.
A Community Hub
As well as having a strong presence in the pennant bowls competition, Flem-Ken’s clubrooms serve as a hub for many other local sporting and community groups. The bar is open most days of the year for members, visitors and social bowlers. The club’s large function rooms are regularly booked by members of the local community for birthdays and other celebrations.
Flem-Ken boasts two large function rooms with a pool table and 2 full size snooker tables, foosball, a table tennis table, stage and audio equipment making it a perfect venue for everything from birthdays, weddings, charity events and more. If you are interested in booking a function or trying your hand at bowling for Flem Ken, then click here for more information