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Trimley bowled over by new club

PUBLISHED: 22:54 16 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:00 03 March 2010

BOWLERS in Trimley have certainly had the rub of the green - and are today celebrating the opening of a new headquarters for their thriving village club.

BOWLERS in Trimley have certainly had the rub of the green – and are today celebrating the opening of a new headquarters for their thriving village club.

Members of Trimley (Cranfield) Bowls Club had dreamed of a new clubhouse to replace their tumbledown wooden hut, and now have a £113,000 modern building.

England international John Rednall did the honours, officially opening the pavilion behind the Memorial Hall, in Trimley St Martin, watched by club members and invited guests.

The scheme to replace the 40-year-old clubhouse was made possible thanks to a £82,000 lottery grant from Sport England.

The club spent three years trying to get the grant and had to make a number of modifications to its plans, which doubled the cost, at the insistence of Sport England – but the result is a top quality facility for the future, able to be used all year round.

The eight-rink Trimley (Cranfield) club is regarded as "the odd one out" in local bowls circles because it is not being affiliated to any bowling or sporting organisation and allows its members to play in casual clothes, even shorts.

The club though is one of the most popular in the area with nearly 140 members, playing nearly 30 friendly matches a year and hosting three informal tournaments, including one for charity. Touring teams also visit.

The club was formed in the 1950s on land donated by Lady Cranfield on condition that it should always be available for the use of the village.

But it has long needed a new larger and more modern headquarters – with one of the biggest problems being a lack of loos, with members having to borrow a key and run 60 metres to the nearby village hall.

The new clubhouse is twice as large and includes toilets, a meeting room big enough to cater for carpet and short-mat bowls, and a well-equipped kitchen.

The scheme will mean the club will be able to welcome juniors from age seven and a number have already shown an interest in playing.

As well as the Sport England grant, the club also received financial support from Suffolk Coastal council, parish councils in both Trimleys, county council and the Suffolk Environment Trust.

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