Easter bowl: Club opens its doors and greens as it looks to bring in new members

A day filled with activities was held by a community club as it looks to add new members to its bowling teams.

Saturday, 20th April 2019, 18:36 pm
Updated Saturday, 20th April 2019, 18:49 pm
Billingham Bowling Club is welcoming new members.

Billingham Bowling Club was set up in 1952 and has around 100 members.

But with many growing older, it is looking to add to its following, with an open day held as part of an Easter fair to champion the benefits the sport has for body and mind.

Billingham Bowling Club is welcoming new members.

Its base in John Whitehead Park in Finchale Avenue in the town boasts two greens, one grass and the other an artificial surface, which was laid down two years ago thanks to £100,000 worth of grant cash and now allows players to enjoy the past time all year around.

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Its clubhouse is also welcome to visitors, with a host of social sessions put on to give people of all ages a place to spend their spare time, meet others and get involved.

Today, members laid on a host of activities in addition to bowling, with a model railway, Lego displays, Royal British Legion exhibition and items lent out from Beamish Museum put on for guests to see.

Beamish Museum's links to the club are also forged through its 1950s town plans, which are under construction now, with the bowling club it is creating modeled on Billingham's own clubhouse.

A Lego display was put on as part of the Easter event at the club house in John Whitehouse Park.

Phil Lightfoot, men's section secretary and executive committee member, said: "We have decided to try and advertise the club because the people in Billingham have all passed the club and they don't know we're here.

"They think we're a private club and we're not, we lease the green from Stockton Council.

"We're a very social committee and we don't want our membership to stagnate.

"We've got good facilities here and people can come down and make friends, if they want to learn how to play bowls, we can teach them, and they can even just come down and have a cup of tea, we have a bar so they can have a drink.

Members put their skills on show during the open day.

"Bowling is good for your health, it's good for mental attitude and it's good for your circulation and its social."

Maurice Spence, club chairman, past president of the men's club and coach, holds weekly sessions for people to try out the sport.

He said: "We're a friendly club and we'd say to people come down and try it and our coaching sessions are free, so there's nothing to lose."

The club will be open again next weekend, when Billingham Town Council holds its Easter fair in the park on Saturday, with members to be on hand from 11am onwards.

A model railway was put on show as people were welcomed to have a look around the clubhouse.

Members will also hold a coffee morning on Saturday, April 18, from 10am to 11.30am, with all welcome and entry £1.

Anyone who would like to try a coaching session can join Maurice from 10am on Saturday mornings, while anyone interested in finding out more can call into the club between 1pm and 4pm and 6pm to 8.30pm from Monday to Saturday.

An annual membership for the club costs £57, a winter membership is £32 and casual players pay £3 a session.

For more information visit www.billinghambowlingclub.co.uk/

Displays of items, including those lent by Beamish Museum, was put on exhibition.