‘Phoenix’ club vows to rise from ashes

L-R Margaret Blake,John Smith,Tom Hardie and Lawrie Johnstone
L-R Margaret Blake,John Smith,Tom Hardie and Lawrie Johnstone

Walkerburn Bowling Club members have told of their “sheer sadness” after their new clubhouse was hit by an arson attack last week.

As reported in last week’s Southern, police and firefighters were called to the Caberston Road club at around 6.50am on Tuesday, December 19, following reports that the building was alight.

The clubhouse sustained extensive damage and will be closed to the public while repairs are carried out.

The new wooden hut was only built in spring this year, the former building having had to be demolished after being badly damaged by flooding 12 months ago.

This month’s fire has proved to be more devastating than the flood, with trophies, photographs and memorabilia from throughout the 120 years of the club’s existence being ruined.

Match secretary John Smith told us: “We are all gutted. A lot of memories are gone.

“It’s senseless. We all put in a lot of work to get to where we are now with the new building, and it’s gone. We will hopefully be able to put together a plan going ahead.”

Another committee member, who wished not to be named, told us: “There is nothing at all left.

“The old photographs we had on the walls were priceless, and they can’t be replaced.

“We were about to celebrate our 120th anniversary next season, and we had reason to celebrate, but we have just got to pick ourselves up and start again.

“I think we need to rename it the phoenix club because we always rise from the ashes.”

● A 27-year-old man has appeared in private at Selkirk Sheriff Court in connection with the fire at the club.

Sam Williams is charged with culpable and reckless fire-raising. Williams, of Walkerburn, made no plea, and the case was continued for further examination.

He was remanded in custody by sheriff Peter Paterson.