Saturday, 04 December 2021

Bowls club in £5,000 appeal to re-lay green

Bowls club in £5,000 appeal to re-lay green

A BOWLING club formed earlier this year hopes to raise £5,000 to improve its green.

Goring Almshouses Bowls Club says the current green has reached the end of its life.

It was laid by volunteers some years ago and is now in a poor condition because proper support wasn’t installed around the edges so it is heavily worn and uneven.

The club hopes to have it professionally levelled by experts who would shore up the perimeter and measure the ground with a laser. It also wants to add another rink to make a total of four.

This work will cost about £17,000 but the club has already raised £12,000 in sponsorship and donations and legacies from current and former members.

It hopes to raise the rest through an online campaign.

Sport England cannot help because it is prioritising projects to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The club was created by the merger of Goring with Goring Heath’s bowling clubs and plays at the Goring almhouses. The green is at the Grade I listed almhouses in Goring Heath.

The Goring club was struggling because membership had dwindled from more than 60 at its peak to just over 20, making it difficult to compete in inter-club and league fixtures.

The new club, which has 42 members including 38 active players, has also inherited the lease on the disbanded club’s green at the Gardiner recreation ground off Upper Red Cross Road.

This has three rinks but no space to expand so it probably won’t renew the lease with Goring Parish Council next year.

Club secretary David Watson, from Crays Pond, said: “Our Goring Heath ground has deteriorated badly and while we’ve already raised much of the money to address this, we need a bit of help with the last bit.

“We’re focusing our efforts on the almshouses because there’s space to expand whereas Goring is sandwiched between a road and a cricket field and the parking is appalling, especially during cricket matches.

“We usually have get-togethers with the opposing team after games and we have to host these at Goring Social Club, which charges, and there’s also our rent to Goring Parish Council.

“That makes the Goring site a massive drain on our resources whereas the Goring Heath almshouses have a common room for social gatherings. It also isn’t viable to run two greens in the long term.

“Our online appeal initially raised about £900 but it has stalled since then and any contributions would be welcomed.”

The club, which plays in the Oddfellows League, is welcoming new members. Anyone interested should call Clive Goodbourn on (01491) 682491.

To make a donation, visit

Goring Parish Council knows that the club plans to leave the green and has discussed alternative uses but nothing has been decided.

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