WHEN severe storms ripped the canopy from the front of a bowling club’s pavilion, it looked like it could be years before it would be replaced.
Nine months later and members of Lockswood Bowling Club have been able to enjoy their new pavilion after it was rebuilt, thanks to a boost from Fareham Borough Council’s community fund.
The club, at Priory Park, in Upper Brook Drive, Locks Heath, was battered in last year’s Christmas Eve storms.
Club secretary Frank Hadlow, 70, said: ‘I got a phone call from the cleaner on the night before Christmas Eve and she said to get down to the club quick.
‘In the strong winds the canopy had blown over the top and was on the roof. Bits of it had blown into the playschool playground next door and on to the green.
‘As the property belongs to the council, it was not insured and we found out to get it replaced would cost £15,000.’
The club met to discuss how to fund replacing the canopy with a conservatory to prevent similar future occurrences and it was delighted to be successful in a bid for money from the council’s community fund.
The council gave the club £4,999, which Mr Hadlow said helped speed up the rebuild and meant that the pavilion would be completed in time for the last of the summer months.
Mr Hadlow, of Abshot Road, Locks Heath, said: ‘The grant helped and nearly paid for a third of the conservatory.
‘The rest of it came from club’s funds, which we had to specially authorise. It was a big help. Everyone is delighted with the new conservatory.’
The 175 club members and 60 social club members, as well as spectators, have been making full use of the new conservatory, and the club has been hosting social events, such as barbecues, quiz nights and board game evenings.
Chairwoman of the Western Wards community action team, councillor Susan Bayford, said: ‘I’m really pleased we have been able to help the bowling club as it has a healthy membership and gets a lot of use through private hires.
‘If anyone has a project they think deserves funding I recommend they apply.’
Any resident or organisation in Fareham can apply to the community fund to pay for one off purchases. For more call 01329 236100.
Mr Hadlow said the club would also like new members, for more information on joining call 01489 583999.