Work is underway at Wellington Bowling Club to make substantial improvements to access and facilities in time for the opening of the new season on 16 April. Scaffolding has gone up around the indoor rink for roofing to be carried out, Richard Derbyshire has already made progress in providing disabled access to the outdoor rink and fitting a new fully-equipped disability toilet in the clubhouse and A J Shire will be fitting new LED lighting in the indoor rink. All work will be completed over the next 3 to 4 weeks.
Richard Manning, the club’s Development Officer, explained: “We had to provide disabled access so we’re making a new ‘self-access’ gate, platform, ramp and rails leading to the flat area around the outdoor rink. The roof over the indoor rink contains 1% asbestos so ARM Roofing is replacing that with a metal structure faced with concrete tiles. We’ve consulted a specialist company to calculate the format for the indoor rink LED lighting. I’m not aware that lighting like this has been fitted in any other club except at Bristol.”
The improvements have been partly funded by grants from Taunton Deane Borough Council and Viridor but the club itself is responsible for raising a substantial sum to complete the works as a whole.
These developments are part of an ongoing initiative to improve facilities, drive up membership and increase the profile of the club in the town. More than 40 new members have already joined as a result of the club’s presence at events such as the World Wellington Boot Throwing Championships, Street Fair and May Day in Wellington Park. Richard said, “I found that many people were either not aware of the bowling club or didn’t know where it was. It’s important for people who’ve moved into the area to know about the club.”
Further developments are now planned – including more social events, improvements to the bar area and the creation of a short mat to add to the indoor rink which is heavily used during winter months. Applications for grants have already been submitted. Richard added, “We’d like to see younger children involved and have been to Beech Grove Primary School with short mat to raise interest. We’d like to see a Saturday morning and evening club where children and their parents can come along. We need to generate a broader membership base and, with all the new housing on the outskirts of the town, we want to make people aware that we’re here.”
More information about the club can be found on its website: www.wellingtonbowling.club.