TO SOME it felt as though it would never happen, but on Sunday Earlston Bowling Club members stood back and admired the fruits of their labour.
The new nine-metre by five-metre pavilion had finally been completed, in time for the 2012 opening day.
It was not an easy road. It took club treasurer Jack Greer three years to ensure the funding was in place. This came from Scottish Borders Council Landfill Community Fund administered by BCCF Environmental, Scottish Borders Council Community Grant Scheme and Ettrick and Lauderdale Sports Council.
When work finally got under way in September, weather and the usual building problems hampered progress considerably. And just as there was a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, the volunteer workers discovered rising damp along the length of the older part of the building meaning a complete overhaul there too.
As another season looms, though, visitors to the club will be pleased to learn that the final nails have been hammered into place and that changing in the narrow corridor next to the loos is now no longer required.
A much relieved president Alex Fairley told the large gathering of members, family, friends and people of the Earlston community: “Today it really has to be the adaptation of the ‘I have a dream’ speech.
“It is so difficult to single people out as this really has been a massive team effort.
“The ground work, grants and planning, was much down to the hard work of Jack and in September the rest of the army marched in. The pro-squad, Michael Scott and Steven Greer; the plastering and painting squad, who resurrected some of their ancient skills, Pat McNally, Bob Beattie and George A Cessford, the general infantry and of course the bacon roll squad. All club members and all giving up their time to make this happen. Team work at its best.”
After the official cutting of the ribbon by life members George Cessford Snr and George Dougall, members got on with their annual club triples tournament in bright but breezy conditions. After a highly competitive day’s bowling, George A Cessford (skip), Michael Scott and Shiela Weatherhead beat Brian Turner (skip), Walter Russell and Fiona Scott in a close fought final.
Over 40 members attended the 2012 Mens Opening Day at Abbotsford Bowling Club on Saturday when president Brian Anderson’s wife Pauline threw the first jack to officially open the green. This was followed by the usual president versus vice-president game, which finished just in time to avoid the hail shower.
The presentations of prizes for the indoor competitions were made by past president Vic Graham, the winners being as follows.
Triples: winners, C. Hancock; runner-up, J. Purves. Pairs: winners, C. Turnbull and C Hancock; runners-up, A. Howlieson and B. Anderson. singles: Winner, B. Anderson; runner-up, E. Hancock. Pool competition: winner, S. Thompson; runner-up, C. HancockAbbotsford members should note that the sheet for names for the trial game on Wednesday, April 25 is on the notice board and more names are required to pick two full teams.
Saturday also saw the opening of the green at Ettrick Forest Bowling Club. Club president Colin Sandilands thanked the members for turning out to the opening and his youngest son Daniel threw the first jack with eldest son Greg throwing the first bowl. Members then enjoyed a fun game in the sun.
The first club competition ison Sunday, April 29 which is the Charters mixed pairs starting at 1pm. Sheets are up for all club competitions for the season so members new and old can enter.