The new Bradley Stoke Bowls Clubs (BSBC) was officially opened on Saturday (1st May) by the legendary David Bryant CBE, three-times world champion and four-times Commonwealth Games champion.
Club bowling has been absent from Bradley Stoke’s Baileys Court green for the past two seasons after the eviction (and subsequent demise) of the former Northavon Bowls Club following a rent dispute with the Town Council.
Moves to form a new bowls club in the town were revealed by Bradley Stoke Deputy Mayor Cllr Ben Walker in September last year, following an approach from Jim Durlacher, a former Northavon president.
The Bradley Stoke Bowls Club held its inaugural meeting in January and an agreement with the Town Council was signed by the two parties at the beginning of March.
The new club has signed up around 70 members, about half of whom are said to be newcomers to the sport.
For its first season, the club has arranged 61 friendly games together with ten matches in the Fourth Division of the Bristol & District Bowls League.
BSBC Vice-Chairman Brian Newman told The Journal:
“We were honoured to have David Bryant CBE, three-times world champion, and his wife Ruth to officially open the club on Saturday 1st May.”
“He praised the condition of the green and complimented the Town Council on the manner in which it has been maintained.”
Also attending Saturday’s opening ceremony were Mr John Scott, President of the City & County of Bristol Bowling Association and other dignitaries from Gloucester and Somerset.
In his introductory speech, Mr Newman expressed thanks to the Bradley Stoke branch of Specsavers (the club’s main sponsor) and other local businesses that had made contributions.
Special thanks were expressed to Cllr Ben Walker who had “worked really hard with Jim Durlacher to get the club up and running” and to Club Coach Jim Gregory, who has trained up around 25 new members during the last fortnight.
Once Mr Bryant had cut the ribbon to formally open the club, Cllr Ben Walker and Specsavers Director Edward Stanleigh were invited to “deliver a wood to the jack”, after being given some useful tips from the former world champion.
The new club’s first friendly fixture, against Isle of Wedmore (Somerset) on Sunday, ended in a 4-1 defeat.
The league team has its first match on Thursday evening, away to Yate.
More information: Bradley Stoke Bowls Club (The Journal)
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