Bearsden: Emotional farewell as Allander Indoor Bowls Club made homeless

Hundreds of members of Allander Indoor Bowling Club are bidding an emotional farewell this week after 45 years of sport and friendship.
Allander Indoor bowlersAllander Indoor bowlers
Allander Indoor bowlers

The club, which has a 320-strong membership, has been forced to close to make way for the the new £33 million Allander Leisure Centre development.

East Dunbartonshire Council’s LibDem/Conservative-led administration decided against including an indoor bowling green in the plans for the new centre which is currently being built.

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A campaign launched by the club and its supporters in a bid to change the council’s mind, garnered huge support from the local community. But unfortunately, the council refused to budge.

At the time, honorary secretary Sandy Torrie said: “We were advised the projected budget for the new centre had gone up and, as a result, the council were not going to be in a position to go forward with a new bowling hall.

“This obviously came as a great shock to us as for nearly 10 years the phrase ‘like for like’ was the only option and recommendation.”

Some club members were in tears this week as they played their last games on the indoor green which the council’s website still describes as “one of the finest in the West of Scotland.”

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Membership of the club ranges from age nine to 90, with many junior members. Some members have been there since it began in 1977.

Club committee administrator Andrea Torrie told the Herald: “It’s so sad. We still have 320 plus members.

"Many other clubs are still going with half the membership but we just don’t have premises.

"We are in the process of trying to sell club items off, the assets of the club are being divided up. It’s tragic.”

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To mark the club’s 45 years of sport and friendship in the place they called home, members are holding a final farewell event from 2-4pm on Wednesday, April 13.

Andrea said: “The day is to thank all our supporters and everyone for being members over the many years. It’s a celebration of the club.”

Guests will include past and present honorary members and representative from clubs outwith the area.

The last games were played on Friday.