From the dark times comes a flourishing bowling club

Anstruther Bowling Club members in 1895.
Anstruther Bowling Club members in 1895.

Preparations are underway for Anstruther Bowling Club’s 125th anniversary season.

The traditional president vs vice president game this weekend will kick off a year of celebrations.

The following weekend the club holds it community ppen day at 2pm.

The open day provides the community with a fun and informal way to try their hand at bowling, with equipment provided, and club members on hand with friendly guidance and coaching advice, if required.

It’ll be a year for reflection for the club which held its first opening ceremony on on August 29 1894, with a speech by The Right Hon Henry Torrens Anstruther MP.

The club’s opening day came only six months after a committee of interested locals was first formed to discuss establishing it.

This was helped considerably by the Baird family of Elie, who arranged that the newly formed Anstruther Bowling Club could obtain part of Bankie Park to create their green and erect a clubhouse.

Over the years, the club continued to thrive with a modern clubhouse being built to replace the original building in the 1970s.

In common with other bowling clubs across the UK, Anstruther suffered from a steady decrease in membership during the 1990s – 2000s.

Sadly 2014 saw Anstruther Bowling Club reach a crisis point in its history, which almost saw the institution fold.

With membership at a low of just 19, there were minimum funds available to replace the clubhouse’s badly leaking felt flat roof.

This prompted an unprecedented vote to be held at the club AGM as to whether the club should fold. Fortunately, members agreed that the club ought to continue if funds could be sourced to carry out the essential roof repairs. Thanks to the dedication of the club’s members, and the support of many local organisations, grants were secured to replace the damaged roof.

Following it’s darkest hours, 2015 saw the beginning of a resurgence for Anstruther Bowling Club which becamse used by local community groups and for private events.

Anstruther Bowling Club president, John Parker, said: “The club has come a long was since 2014 when we nearly closed the doors.

“We’re all looking forward to our 125th anniversary and hope the local community will join us in celebrating on April 13.”