Old Scottish Bowlers from the 1880s
Seen here measuring the head ie after all bowls have
been delivered measuring to determine which bowl is
nearest the jack.
Over the years I've attended various events at local bowling clubs but I've never quite managed to play the game because, much to the relief of those who know how to get anywhere near the wee while ball, the scheduled times for beginner groups has always coincided with my voluntary work.
Wrongly I assumed bowling clubs were privately owned until I learned the council still manages and maintains seven clubs in central Fife. Council officials are now insisting that these clubs must pay for maintenance of their greens and pavilions (which are council owned buildings), electricity and water, insurance, machinery and equipment.
Colin Morrison, the president of one of the clubs affected said: "The parks and countryside department have been talking to us over the past three years but it came as a surprise to be told, 'Take over the club or close'. He complained the membership was too old to push a mower/scarifier or aerator around a green and other sports were sponsored by the council; naming swimmers who are subsidised to the amount of £3.59 per visit.
The most heavily subsidised bowling club is in an MP's constituency. Each member of Galltown in Kirkcaldy is said to be subsidised to the tune of £540 annually. Given that bowling greens are closed for six months of the year that's a hefty subsidy. I wonder if they've called on Gordon Brown for assistance.
It would appear that the local authority is keen to offer assistance and according to the service manager for parks and countryside there are 'a lot of options', so why do I get the feeling that Mr Morrison is highlighting this now for purely political reasons, after admitting he'd been in talks about it for three years.