Club closes the doors after 114 years

Methil Bowling Club 1919
Methil Bowling Club 1919

A long standing sports club has closed its doors after 114 years in the town.

Methil Bowling Club staged its last tournament last month, going out on a high after winning the Fife Fours.

Committee members were forced to make the difficult decision to call time as membership numbers fell away, and young folk didn’t show an interest of stepping on to the green.

It’s a far cry from the club’s heyday when it had over 700 members on its books.

Now it has opened talks which may see the club and land sold off.

George Miller, president, said: “It was a very difficult decision to make.

And his vice-president, Andrew Stenhouse, reflected: “I’ve been with the club for 30 years - some of the members even longer than that - and we have a lot of happy memories.”

George, who has taken on the role of club president twice since joining the club in 1988, looked back on brighter days.

“I remember a time when there were six games at home, six games away and a club full of people,” he said. “At the club’s peak, there were over 700 members and a two year waiting list to join, but now members have been dying off with no replacements.”

The club has witnessed a drop in the number in numbers for many years now, and that led to its ultimate closure.

“We’ve just run out of members,” said Andrew.

“We aren’t in debt or anything, but over the last few years, numbers have gradually gone down.

“We have some social members, but not much happens over the winter, and during that time, all of our members played at the East Fife indoor rink.

“Youngsters aren’t too keen to join bowling clubs nowadays, it’s just something they aren’t into.”

The club’s 14 bowling members have now joined other local clubs - but Andrew says many of those are in the same position.

“A lot of clubs in the local area are struggling.”

The club is in talks about selling off the remainder of the club house and the green, with suggestions that the ground could be used for housing.

Both George and Andrew gave their thanks to all past and present members for their support over the years.

The committee has asked that any members who have left clothing or equipment at the clubhouse to contact them to retrieve any items they would like to keep otherwise, they will be disposed of.