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Members see blue at Clacton and District IBC

Clacton and District Indoor Bowls Club, one of the oldest in England having been formed in 1936 when members originally played their games in the Winter Gardens on the Clacton seafront, has undergone a major refurbishment.

The club, which moved to its present location in Valley Road in 1972, has recently turned blue in honour of its Golden Jubilee (writes James Lamb, club treasurer).

Over the years, numerous extensions have been added to the original four rink shed to what is now a six-rink club with excellent bar, social and dining facilities.

Having had issues with the existing six-rink bowls green for some time, due to earlier subsidence in one corner following the erection of the external cladding, the club committee and directors took the decision to dig into the club’s reserves and pay for a £120,000 refurbishment to construct a new timber raised floor over the existing floor, and to also refurbish the bar and social areas.

To bring a change to the club, the decision was also made to put back a blue carpet instead of the traditional green. The work was carried out by bowls floor specialist Dales Sports Surfaces in the space of four weeks.

To celebrate the work, club president Pat Cleland, men’s captain Alan Bailey and ladies’ captain Carol Bramble organised a grand opening match and six local clubs were invited along: Colchester IBC, Harwich IBC, Walton IBC, Thorpe BC, Holland-on-Sea BC and Clacton BC. Each club sent three players to provide six rinks of triples played over 18 ends.

To help with the grand reopening, local MP Giles Watling and Essex Cllr Mark Stephenson also came along to roll a jack and bowl to get the new rink underway. There was a little bit of friendly rivalry – we won’t reveal who rolled the best bowls! They both commented that they were unaware of the facilities that were hidden behind the steel-clad building but were both amazed at the great amenities within.

The club wish to thank them both for taking the time to come along and help celebrate, and to all the invited clubs for taking part and helping to ‘christen’ the new facilities.

All existing members on return to the club have been rejuvenated by the refurbishment, especially following two years of on and off bowls during the pandemic.

Has there been an exciting new project at your club for the 2022 season or is it celebrating a milestone anniversary which we can feature in a future edition? If so, we would like to hear from you. Please contact ceris.hewlings@keypublishing.com

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