A Brief History of Kingsley Indoor Bowling Club
The Club was formed following the erection of the Bowls Hall, designed by Bowls World Champion David Bryant, back in 1988.
The Bowls hall became a key part of the Kingsley Leisure Holiday Centre.
Local Bowls Clubs were invited to form an Indoor Club and this started in the winter season of 1988/89. The Official Opening was performed by the Chairman of Torridge District Council and the inauguration of the Club confirmed by a day's visit from David Bryant, who gave the new green his formal “seal of approval” by playing a pairs match with the leading Club players. To see David in action at the club click here .
A committee was formed to run the bowling activities in order to enter competitions at Club, County & National level also to invite friendly matches with other newly formed Indoor Clubs in addition to some outdoor Clubs who were interested in sending a team to play regular matches.
At this time responsibility for the maintenance of the building and therefore all Subscriptions and Green Fees went to the owner. The club had to start building up its’ own Funds by the work and generosity of members in those early days. The Club only ever financed its activities through catering, raffles and the work of the Social sub-committee also the generosity of members, who provide cakes, etc to assist with match teas also, probably of more value, by giving up their time to help make the Club the success which it has undoubtedly become.
Between 1988 and 1992 the premises were managed and staffed by the owner. There was a small nucleus of members who continued to play indoor bowls during the summer months, but, at that time, from May until the end of September, the Bowls Centre was part of the leisure activities of the Kingsley Holiday Centre and events were organised for the benefit of the holiday makers.
In 1991 the owner decided that he wished to give up the daily management of the Bowls Centre and the Bowls Club was asked to either buy the building or enter into a lease with the owner.
The Club firstly had to consider the full financial implications of taking over the responsibility for the upkeep and running costs of the building. As all members are responsible for the debts of a Club if it should have to close down, advice was given to form a Limited Company to give members financial protection.
The Kingsley Indoor Bowling Company Limited was therefore formed on 12 August 1992. The Articles of Association allowed the issue of £1 shares, payable by each member upon joining the Club. This £1 is the total liability due from any member if, for any reason, the Club had to close down and the Company assets liquidated.
It would have been impossible to try to administer both the bowling and the building administration, if the complex legal functions of the Company had been imposed upon the Club's General Management Committee.
It was therefore decided to create a Constitution with the functions of the Club and Company separately defined, but able to work efficiently alongside each other. The Company initially entered into a seven-year lease in October but in 1998 the landlord informed the Club that the site around the Club premises would be re-developed for housing. The current lease, taken out in 1992, expired in September 1999. Within this lease was the right to purchase the freehold of the premises, provided a purchase price could be agreed.
It was not an easy task to get Banks interested in loaning money to a new Club and attempts for a mortgage failed. However, two members generously provided the majority of the funds and the following article appeared in “The Gazette” on 22 November 2000.
“There were celebrations at Kingsley Indoor Bowling Club when members marked the acquisition of the freehold of their premises. A limited company was formed and members issued with £1 shares. Two members provided the funds to the tune of £200,000 to be repaid by a mortgage over 15 years. The final £30,000 of the purchase price came via a grant from the Foundation for Sports and Arts”.
Kingsley Indoor Bowling Club has continued to run in the same format, of Club and Company, even after the discharge of the mortgage and since has obtained CASC Registration.
This history was compiled from articles by Alan Fitzjohn, Dennis Bamford & "The Gazette".