Tributes paid to man who fought for bowls

Reg Metherell
Reg Metherell

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A KEY player in the bringing indoor bowls to Fareham has died aged 92.

Reginald Metherell fought to set up Palmerston Indoor Bowls Club in the 1990s – now a thriving club with hundreds of members.

Mr Metherell was also well-known for his work as a newsagent, running Bridgemary Cash Stores and Hoeford Post Office, in Fareham Road, Gosport, from 1945 until 1968.

At one point the newsagent was so busy, he employed 18 paper boys. Mr Metherell sold the business in 1968 and he took over Lee Carpets, from his daughter Janet Collins.

Mr Metherell had two children Derek and Janet, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

His wife, Betty, who he married on June 10, 1944 at Alverstoke Church, died 10 years ago – three months short of celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary.

When Mr Metherell retired in 1982, he joined Bridgemary Bowls Club with his wife, where he held the post of secretary for three years, before becoming the Fareham and Gosport League secretary.

It was here he and his friends had the idea for an indoor bowls club and after many refusals from Gosport council they were approached by Fareham council and offered a piece of land at Cams Alders. A meeting was held which more than 800 people attended and the initial funding was raised to start the club.

They received a grant of £700,000 from the Lottery and in 1997 the Palmerston Indoor Bowls Club was opened.

Janet said: ‘A wonderful dream came true for him and all who were involved in he scheme. From the moment he started playing bowls, he worked for the bowling community. He always said you have to put something in to get something back.’

Mr Metherell’s funeral will be held on Wednesday at 12.30pm at St Peter’s Church, Titchfield.

A wake will be held at the bowls club afterwards. All are welcome to attend.