Guilsfield Community Bowling Club
A Short History of the Club
In a time when shoulder pads reigned supreme and hair was huge, the germ of an idea was brewing in a land far, far away. Well, Guilsfield to be precise.
In 1989, a meeting was held in the Community Centre to discuss the interest in and the feasability of a bowling green. A committee was formed and without further ado, fundraising began.
The village was awash with raffles, bingo evenings and car boot sales. Commemorative Guilsfield teatowels were ordered and proved so popular, a second batch had to be ordered. A Cow Pat Competition proved very successful, raising over £800! No details exist of said competition, but as fund raisers go, it was spectacular!
By 1990 the club had raised over £3000. It was time to start knocking on doors. A grant was applied for from the then Sports Council for Wales. An estimate was obtained for building a green which came in at £30,000 - £40,000. A small fortune.
The Club approached The Sports Council, Mid Wales Development Board, The Montomerysire Trust Fund and The Foundation for Sports and the Arts.
At this stage, the 'green' was actually a 500 ton pile of earth left over when the infant block was added to the school. This had to be moved and to save money the club decided to do it themselves. The appropriate equipment was borrowed and on August Bank Holiday 1990 it was all hands on deck and most of it was shifted!
By November 1991, a little over half the cost of building the green had been received in grants.
Further grants were applied for and received and in the spring of 1992 tenders went out for the work.
Construction started in August 1992 and completed in November of the same year.
However, November 1992 was wet. Actually it was record breaking weather and it prevented the grass seed from germinating properly. Rumours abound that discussions were held to scrap the idea of a bowling green and grow rice instead!
But perseverence was the order of the day and the green was reseeded. No play took place during 1993 to allow the green to recover and establish itself.
Although the club took over the green on June 7th 1993, the official opening was not until May 4th 1994 when the club played its first match against Llansantffraid. President Mr Stan Woodhouse bowled the first wood.
At the AGM that was held in October 1998, a sub-committee was set up to arrange the building of a clubhouse. A possible grant from Sportlot was discussed and in September 1999, Powys County Council visited to site to mark out the boundries.
Things were happening!
The clubhouse was built between July and December 2000.
The Grand Official Opening of the Clubhouse (Yes, it was really called that!) took place on Friday March 2nd 2001.
Since then our club has gone from strength to strength with new members providing new blood and fresh ideas. We owe so much to so many for providing us with our wonderful green and clubhouse. The whole project is a testament to the tenacity and perseverence of a group of people who passionately believed that if you want something to happen, you can make it happen.
The names of all those involved are too numerous to mention, but special thanks must go to Brian Watkin, Lorraine Williams, John Davies, Allan Cox, Stan Woodhouse and Richard Jones.
Next year, 2023, we'll celebrate our 30th Anniversary and will hopefully raise a glass to the next 30 years.