Still bowling along after 80 years

Steyning Bowling Club is celebrating its 80th year
Steyning Bowling Club is celebrating its 80th year
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STEYNING Bowling Club is celebrating 80 years of bowling, and on Thursday evenings throughout May, is offering taster sessions to encourage more people to go along.

The Mill Road club has about 70 members, but it is always keen to welcome in new blood.

Secretary Keith Scott said: “We have 40-plus men and 20 or so ladies, but they don’t all play. Some of them play for Sussex County but the majority are just club members.

“We would like more mixed ages but the membership is predominantly the over-60s.

“We play a lot of friendly matches, but most of them are in the afternoons during the week, which means it is difficult for working people to come.”

At Thursday’s taster session, seven or eight people from young to old turned out in the evening sunshine to have a go, and it was clear there were opportunities for all at the club.

The land is rented from Steyning Parish Council, but the club is responsible for looking after it. Members share responsibility for the six rinks and the clubhouse, including mowing and cleaning.

It’s a real community atmosphere, and Keith explained they had been working hard to improve the social life, too.

“We realised a year or so ago that we weren’t as membership friendly as we should be, so we tried to get more socials and include people in the running of the club and that sort of thing,” he said.

“On club days, we have tea afterwards and we have put heating in the clubhouse, so we can have social evenings during the winter.”

There’s an annual holiday, too, when 20 or 30 members go away during the indoor season for a bowls week, with recent destinations including Hayling Island and Torquay.

The club first started at the Railway Hotel in Steyning in 1933, and moved to its site on the Memorial Playing Fields in 1935.

The current clubhouse was put up about 16 years ago. The season runs from April to mid-September and there are about 85 matches during the year. Many of the members bowl indoors during the winter, for example at Adur Indoor Bowling Club.

For more information, visit www.steyningbc.co.uk or contact Keith on 01903 817161.