Historic bowls club in desperate hunt for new members
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
A previously "thriving" Suffolk bowls club is concerned about its future after finding itself with a lack of members.
Leiston Town Bowls Club has been in the town for more than 100 years, and used to be thriving.
Now, however, its struggling to field members for games and has had to pull out of some local leagues due to a lack of players.
"We don't have a vast membership," said treasurer Bing Boast.
"We have had to pull out of the Saxmundham league. That league is one of the main leagues in the county.
"The bowls club used to be very successful. We are just not getting any new members coming in."
Leiston used to have two bowling greens but the former Leiston and District Constitutional Club and its adjoining green closed.
Last month it was confirmed that the area would be converted into 12 apartments with three bungalows going on the old bowling green.
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The loss of Constitutional Club meant that all the bowls members were offered the chance to move over to the Leiston Town Bowls Club instead.
Despite the merger, however, the Town Bowls Club is now struggling to field enough members.
Mr Boast said it was a disappointing situation given the fact the club was recognised as having some of the best facilities in the county.
"It's recognised across Suffolk as one of the best greens," said Mr Boast.
He said that one of the biggest attractions of the game was the socialising aspect and the opportunity to make friends as well as the thrill of the game itself.
"You have all those benefits," said Mr Boast.
"I have been playing for 40 years, it's a challenge and there are skills involved."
Mr Boast said that he knew there were younger players in the county having seen other teams including Waldringfield, field younger players at games.
"I think that's the exception to the rule really," said Mr Boast.
"Most clubs are like us."
Mr Boast said that the club had also previously benefitted from having younger people visit from local schools, something which had ended because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Anyone wanting to join Leiston Town Bowls Club should contact them directly.