Club reaches final end after nearly 90 years

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A LEVEN bowling club is to close for the final time this weekend after almost 90 years of play.

The last ever jack will be rolled at Scoonie Bowling Club, Scoonie Crescent, on Saturday, after members decided they couldn’t afford to take on the running of the Fife Council managed green.

Formed in 1923, the club had announced in April this season would be its last, after overwhelmingly voting against the idea of taking over the running of the club.

Club president Alison Hart told the Mail it will be a sad day when the club finally closes.

She said: “The council said they wouldn’t be funding bowling clubs any more and they wanted us to take it on.

“It has been on the cards for about three years and we (the bowling club’s members) decided we just couldn’t afford it.”

Mrs Hart explained the added costs of electricity, water, insurance, green maintenance and fixing up the clubhouse was just too much for the club, which has around 45 members with the majority over the age of 70, to take on.

“To make the clubhouse usable could cost about £20,000 and the annual maintencance of the green is around £7000,” she continued.

“We tried to get more interest in the club by handing out flyers and getting the schools involved but, even if we put up the membership fees, it would still be too much.

“A lot of us (members) are going to Leven Bowling Club, some to Buckhaven and one to Lundin Links. It’s alright if you have a car but others are giving up, or planning to play indoors all year round.”

The final matches at Scoonie Bowling Club take place on Saturday from 2pm.

What next for Scoonie?

WITH Scoonie Bowling Club closing on Saturday, there has already been some debate on what will become of the Scoonie Crescent site.

Earlier this year, Fife Council denied there was any chance of the land being sold off for housing, with Dave Paterson, area services manager, saying at the time it “was not for consideration”.

It is thought a preferred option for the venue would be for it to be kept for community use and two local organisations have already expressed their interest in it.

Leven-based MyBUS has teamed up with APW Associates CIC, of Kirkcaldy, and launched a consultation questionnaire for residents in Leven, asking what they would like the bowling green and clubhouse to be used for.

The main suggestions include it still being run as a bowling green, with training offered to schools and community groups, who could also use it to host coffee mornings and lunch clubs.

Within that, the clubhouse could also be used as a training venue for greenkeeping and catering.

The consultation, which is in the process of being distributed at events and in public buildings, states it is seeking people’s preferences for the site, with nothing decided yet.

It reads: “If nothing is done, the pavilion and bowling green that has been part of the community since 1921 (Scoonie Bowling Club formed two years later in 1923) will be lost.

“While this is sad, it is a great opportunity to turn the building and bowling green into a community facility.”