Appeal to help bowls club complete pavilion projet in time for centenary

Lewis Baglow outside the United Services Bowling Club pavilion. Picture: Tony Freeman

Lewis Baglow outside the United Services Bowling Club pavilion. Picture: Tony Freeman - Credit: Tony Freeman

A Barnstaple bowling club is appealing for help to ensure their renovated club house will be ready in time to celebrate their centenary year.

United Services Bowling Club will celebrate their centenary in 2021, and are calling for support to ensure their extended clubhouse and changing rooms are in place before hosting a special event to mark the occasion.

The plans would see the pavilion extended, providing a more spacious club room, bigger changing rooms and better facilities for disabled people.

However, the clubhouse project has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and the club is facing a funding shortfall.

Having raised almost 50 per cent of the funds required with the help of Sport England, the club still needs another £150,000 to complete the build.

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The uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic means they’ve found it hard to access additional funding, and the pandemic has also reduced the opportunities for fundraising.

Club captain Lewis Baglow said: “Some six years ago our bowls club, the United Services Bowling club, found out that the asbestos roof was in a dangerous state and it had to be replaced.

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“It, like the rest of the clubhouse, is 100 years old with very little meaningful changes during that time.

“As 2021 is our club’s centenary year and faced with an unexpected roof cost of over £40,000 we decided to bring forward our long-term, plans which included facilities to attract the disabled and young people, and upgrade the whole clubhouse.

“We have started the project already and the roof is partially complete but we are now in danger of not having a watertight shell by Christmas.”

While the first phase of work has been able to get under way, a second phase of work won’t be able to start until next winter unless the club is able to source funding quickly.

Lewis added: “To celebrate our centenary the club has arranged for a team of bowlers from all over the UK who have represented the nation to play at the club on May 4, so we now need as much help as possible to be ready.

“It is not in my nature to see a job half done but we have been hit with the most difficult and unexpected situation this year, hence my request from any source on behalf of our club to make our dream come true.”

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