End of an era

The Co-op and Lakeside teams who look to have played their final end for the clubs. Picture: Paul Jacobs (122852-1)
The Co-op and Lakeside teams who look to have played their final end for the clubs. Picture: Paul Jacobs (122852-1)
Gosport Forton Bowling CLub team members, back row, left to right:  Eric Meighan, Byron Lewis, Mick Lush,
Graham Sampson and Rob Williams
. Front Row, left to right: Steve Anderson, Brian Croucher (team captain
holding cup) and Malcolm Stimpson.

Another one for the trophy cabinet

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Two clubs look to have played their last-ever end.

Co-op and Lakeside are just a couple of the city’s bowls outfits who are facing an uncertain future.

With the council cutting crucial funding for clubs in the region, many are having to disband in the face of rising costs.

And Co-op and Lakeside are no different.

The pair met in midweek triples action at College Park in Copnor on Tuesday.

The match was the final fixture in their current campaigns – and now looks certain to be the last in the two historic sides’ histories.

The Co-op team was formed way back in 1934 as PIMCO managers.

They originally played at Alexandra Park before relocating to College Park in 1968.

Lakeside Bowling Club are a slightly younger outfit – formed 64 years ago in 1948.

They were originally named Wellburns – due to their founders being dockyard welders and burners – and have played at the Southsea Castle and Canoe Lake greens.

The demise of the clubs is due to falling membership, rising costs and the closure of several bowling greens around the region.

The local council will withdraw all funding for the upkeep of bowling greens from April of next year.

They will pass the care and maintenance of pavilions and greens to the clubs, who will then have to shoulder the financial burden.

Local bowls leagues are therefore facing a fight for survival – and are calling for support and sponsorship from local businesses to survive.

– ROB ATKINS