A BARRHEAD bowling club will finally get a new clubhouse – four years after the last one was destroyed in a freak accident.
Building work at the Arthurlie Bowling Club in Springhill Road is expected to begin within weeks, once planning permission has been obtained.
The old clubhouse was hit by a falling tree during a storm in January 2018, flattening the roof, reception room, bar, kitchen and toilets.
Efforts to replace him have been hampered by the Covid pandemic and a long-running legal dispute with East Renfrewshire Council.
The club’s insurance assessors claim the council is liable for the damage caused by the tree and are seeking compensation.
That case is expected to be heard in court next month.
Keith White, chairman of the Arthurlie Bowling Club board, hopes the new pavilion will be in place this summer.
The club was able to survive the pandemic as most of the 70 members continued to pay their dues, despite not being able to play for most of that time.
However, there was a dip in membership after the clubhouse crash as there was nowhere to socialize after a game and so some joined other clubs in town.
Keith says the loss of the function room has also cost the club money, as many locals have rented it out for parties and community activities such as computer classes and line dancing.
He added: “I think the club will come out of this stronger. Luckily no one was inside the clubhouse when the tree collapsed.
“However, the club’s closure has had a wider impact on the community who have used our facilities, including local schools.
“Fortunately, we have found a builder who can give us a new flag within the limits of our available funds.
“We lost about ten per cent of our members after the bar was destroyed, as many have a drink after a game.”
Strong winds battering Barrhead at the time were blamed for the incident.
Keith added: “If we win our case, we can also invest the funds in the clubhouse and improve facilities such as disabled access.”
The club, which play in the First Division of the Johnstone and District League, had to install temporary toilets after the accident so members and visiting teams could play.