Law Bowling Club facing closure after 111 years due to significant membership decline

Law Bowling Club was founded way back in 1906 but it may not be open for much longer unless new members can be found (Submitted pic)
Law Bowling Club was founded way back in 1906 but it may not be open for much longer unless new members can be found (Submitted pic)

There is a genuine fear that crisis hit Law Bowling Club could shut for good imminently without an influx of new members quickly.

Membership at the 111-year-old club has plunged by half in the last decade and closure now beckons, much to the despair of stalwarts like club secretary Derek Bryson who has been a member since 1992.

“The future of this club is in doubt due to a significant downturn in business,” he said. “We simply don’t have enough folk using the club at the moment.

“Ten years ago we had 163 members and that has now dropped to just 83.”

Declining membership at Scottish sporting clubs is not just confined to Law BC, with many other institutions reputedly also suffering and, in some cases, closing altogether.

So why is it that so many formerly vibrant clubs are now struggling?

Derek offered this suggestion: “I think the stricter drink driving rule in Scotland (which was introduced in December 2014) has a lot to do with folk not using clubs. There is also the fact that older people become unfit to keep playing bowls as they age and there are no kids coming through.

“They are at home playing computer games instead. We used to have a big junior section, but today we do not have one junior member.

“I don’t think Bowls Scotland is doing enough to promote the sport.

“They should be sending people round schools to try and get kids involved.

“We have a village of 4500 people but a lot are incomers to new housing and they don’t even know we’re here.”

Law BC secretary Bryson said that, as recently as a month ago, he felt that the club was sure to fold before the start of next season.

But, following an AGM discussion with members, things are looking slightly more promising.

“I think the green will be there in some capacity in 2018,” he added. “As to whether the club will be there, I don’t know.

“We are still trading. Things are looking slightly better but it’s still not good.

“We have a massive hall that holds 120 people, which we don’t charge for people to hold funeral dos in.

“It would be a real blow for the village if it closed.”

Law BC, whose youngest member is 22-year-old Kyle Bulloch, is also the home club for Scotland international Steven Baxter.

Ironically, the 2017 season has been one of the most successful ever for Law BC in terms of titles won.

Derek hopes that this article will help attract new members to save Law BC, which also has indoor winter bowls. Contact him on 07856 730725.