Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Village bowls club shuts as no one volunteers to run it

PEPPARD Bowls Club is to close down after all.

PEPPARD Bowls Club is to close down after all.

The club was given a stay of executtion in the autumn while attempts were made to find someone to run it.

But the search by the trustees of Peppard War Memorial Hall in Gallowstree Road, where the club’s greens are, has proved fruitless.

Clive Mills, who chairs the trustees, said: “It’s sad that we are having to take this action but it’s probably a sign of the times.

“We have tried every available avenue. I thought the last article in the Henley Standard might bring someone forward but nobody has appeared.

“The hall trustees and bowls club representative met last week to plan the move of their equipment and removal of everything from the club room.

“We have a trustees meeting at the end of the month and we will ask them to come up with a list of what they might like to see in place of the bowls club.’

The original decision to close the club was made at an extraordinary meeting in October due to a lack of volunteers for the committee.

It was the second time this had happened following a previous attempt to form a committee at the club’s annual meeting in September.

The closure was then postponed until Christmas at the request of the hall trustees, who were concerned about their loss of income.

The hall received about a fifth of its income in rent from the club and without this will make only a small profit.

The club, which was formed in 1929, had about 50 playing members last year as well as additional social  members.

Mr Mills, from Peppard Common, said the future of the hall was not at risk but that the loss of income would affect the trustees’ attempts to raise money to replace the roof.

The roof work, which includes the removal of asbestos tiles by specialist contractors, will cost up to £60,000.

Mr Mills said: “We can definitely last without someone in there. It just means we have to be extra vigilant in our spending.

“In the end it may mean the trustees can’t contribute as much as they would like to the roof project.’

Other organisations that use the hall include the Peppard Revels, Peppard Luncheon Club and Peppard Table Tennis Club.

Mr Mills said the trustees had been approached about a new beaver and cub pack meeting at the hall.

He said: “They’re excited because of the amount of storage we have there with the bowls club equipment being moved.’

The equipment would go to other bowls clubs or be sold and the Peppard club would decide where the proceeds should go.

“That is some way down the line,’ said Mr Mills. “I’ve been at social gatherings and people have mentioned various things that could go there.

“If anybody has any other ideas for how that space could best be used please come forward.’

Mr Mills can be contacted by phone on 0118 972 4154.

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