Banningham bowlers defy the passage of time to build their own clubhouse

It sounds like a plot-line from Last of the Summer Wine.

For when a collection of 70- and 80-somethings realised their decrepit bowls clubhouse was on the way out, they decided to build their own replacement with reclaimed and recycled materials.

In the long-running TV comedy, there would have been mishaps and comic turns galore as Compo, Foggy and Clegg made a hash of the job.

Thankfully, the men from Banningham Bowls Club are made of sterner stuff, and they avoided any madcap moments to produce a pristine new clubhouse - for the princely sum of �2,400.

Last week, the clubhouse was officially opened with a barbecue - much to the delight of the 23 members, many of whom are aged in their 70s or 80s.


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The project leader was 83-year-old Alan Rowlands, who said the old clubhouse was 'dreadful'.

He said: 'The end was starting to fall down. We had seen other clubs with decent places and our guests had to sit outside ours. That was embarrassing.

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'We got some estimates for a replacement, and I even suggested a portable building. Obviously that wouldn't have looked right. Someone got a price for a very large garden shed, and even that was �8,000. We only had �2,000 in the kitty.'

The �2,000 came from a legacy from Bryan Hall, who had lived in the village.

With the limited resources in mind, Mr Rowlands suggested a DIY project.

Pallets were collected from Mr Rowlands' sons' business, then broken up to make the frame. Two front windows came from Mr Rowlands' daughter when she had double-glazing fitted.

The front door was from Mitchells demolition business, while the kitchen units and the roof tiles were donated.

Mr Rowlands said: 'Pretty much everything has been scrounged, except the cladding and plaster-board.'

He added: 'We built the frame in six-foot sections, then lifted them over the hedge.

'The only time I got in trouble was when I was up on the roof with another chap in his 80s. My daughter saw the photograph and told me off. Her and her husband came and finished that bit off.'

Club captain Richard Anderson-Dungar estimated the building would have cost up to �15,000 if had been new-built.

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