A HISTORIC South Tyneside bowling club will soon have its crowning glory back in winning form – courtesy of a £9,000 National Lottery grant.
Jarrow Bowling Club, in West Park, secured the cash for a major refurbishment of its pavilion, including a total refit and major revamp of its kitchen facilities.
Best of all, the work will be completed before the start of the new outdoor bowling season in April.
These are exciting times for the club, which dates back to the late 19th century, after it was selected to host the prestigious Durham County Vets Championships for the 2015 season.
Also, it’s all change at the top amid plans to bolster membership among both sexes and all age groups.
Long-serving and respected chairman Colin Davidson and secretary Norman Holland have retired from office.
Mr Davidson has been a superb bowler over an award-strewn career spanning 60 years.
And Mr Holland also played at the highest level for Durham County.
Both men are leaving behind many marvellous memories, but have able replacements in the shape of new chairman Bob Strand, and secretary Peter Whitehead.
Mr Whitehead said: “Colin and Norman have contributed greatly to the club, both on and off the greens, by maintaining the long-established standards and success enjoyed by so many at Jarrow Bowling Club.
“The current members would like to convey great appreciation for all their hard work and tremendous dedication over the years.
“After recently receiving financial support of a National Lottery grant, the club is embarking on a bowls pavilion refurbishment, which will be completed in readiness for the beginning of the 2015 season, and we are excited by the expected end result.
“We are always on the look-out for new members and would welcome anyone who is keen and interested in enjoying this wonderful game, confident in the thought that new members will enjoy the facility facelift to make their bowling experience a pleasant one.
“We would welcome ladies and gents, the younger generation too, because the future is very much in our thoughts. All would be made most welcome.”
Records show that Jarrovians were actually playing bowls as far back as 1895, when there is a record of the town competing in the Durham County Challenge Cup.
Today’s club dates its origins to 1911.
It quickly established prominence and in 1918, the first president of the Durham County Bowling Federation was a Jarrow Bowling Club man, JW Moore.
The club had a substantial following in its early days, with buses being put on to take supporters to county, and even national, championship matches. By the early 1950s, it was winning virtually every tournament it entered.
For more information on Jarrow Bowling Club, contact Peter Whitehead on 428 1559 or email firstname.lastname@example.org