CRISIS is facing Winchburgh Bowling Club as they struggle to stay open two years ahead of their centenary.
Severe flood damage and insurance delays mean the club is racking up a huge debt while waiting to fix winter woes.
Club president Archie Walker said: “The main hall has not been used since November. The floor’s been ripped up and the place has been stripped. Although we are hoping to get loss of earnings from the insurance company, the bowling club is in a crisis. We are in severe debts and it’s a hard job for the committee.”
Drying machines are working in the club in preparation for refurbishment.
Archie added: “It is like the village hall. If groups were going to have an anniversary - it would be here. Events that would normally be held in the bowling club had to be cancelled such as the church’s Burns celebrations which is a big loss. It is normally very well used by the community.”
Jim Brown (72) of Oakbank Place in the village has been a member of the club since 1966 and he said: “Following a disastrous November when burst pipes caused major damage and rendered the main function hall unusable, the club’s main source of income dried up. One of West Lothian’s premier bowling clubs is in grave danger of complete closure. It is urgent that members now renew their memberships and show support to aid the club’s recovery.”
After insurance delays, the club have called in a professional loss assessor to speed up the process as debts run into thousands of pounds. But the committee are hopeful they will be able to have a re-opening night in the last week of May and community groups will again be able to enjoy the facilities.
Mary Miller, secretary of Winchburgh Community Council, said: “It’s a hub of the community. It is an institution and it would be a great shame indeed if it had to close.
“A lot of people don’t realise they can become social members as well. It’s become an alternative community centre and people used to have weddings and birthdays in there.”
With the bowling season starting on April 23, there are currently 40 members, down on 60 from last year.
For more information on the club, telephone 01506 890345.