End of an Era

After 30 cheerful years, Scothern Indoor Bowls Club has officially closed their doors. “We have lost so many members and none of us are getting any younger,” says member Gail Franklin, “so the difficult decision was made to close the club.”

“30 years ago, the club was started by the founding members, many who are sadly no longer with us” Gail continues, “such as Dennis and Doreen Turnell, John and Joy Gibbon, and stalwart and lifelong members the Sargeant family, Pauline and Craig, who have kept the club going all this time and Pauline’s husband John, also no longer with us, but who enjoyed a game of bowls.”

“So, a very big thank you to Pauline Sargeant who has dished out tea, coffee and biscuits for many a long year, made special supersize apple pies at Christmas, made new members welcome and could not have been more welcoming to my then 17 year old grandson, who came along when he was staying with me a few years ago (he loved it). Also, to Craig Sargeant who took over from his mum when Pauline has been unable to bowl due to ill health. Thank you also to them both for organising our twice-yearly bowling meal.”

Since the very beginning The Village Hall has been home of the bowling club, and originally there were so many members it was run on both a Monday and Wednesday evening, moving in later years to Wednesdays at 7.30pm. Over recent years members have left due to age and ill health or moving away from the village, so the numbers are sadly now so depleted that the club is no longer viable.

“Those of us who are left will miss the bowling, the tea, coffee and chat, the special treats on birthday nights – oh the famous birthday nights – but most of all the companionship, the laughter, the chat and the ‘sayings’. All official bowling speak of course – ‘Rabbits’ – Pauline Sargeant. ‘It’s ta short’ or ‘it’s ta long’ – John Gibbon. I could go on. Lastly to all the members who have supported the club all these years, a very big thank you.” says Gail.

“The bowls belong to the Village Hall and the extras such as the score board belong to the bowling club; they are all being left together for anyone who wishes to hire the hall for a game of bowls. The long carpet – I would love to know whose house that originally came from – is still going strong. Perhaps we could have the odd afternoon when we get together, all welcome, to hire the hall and have a couple of hours bowling, refreshments obligatory.”
Gail concludes.

<Photographs courtesy of Pauline Sargeant>