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Marldon Bowling Club Opening Day April 1995

Herald Express report transcript below....

AFTER nine "homeless" years a South Devon sports club has finally won its most stamina-sapping challenge - finding a pitch to play on.

Web manager note: quite amused that they refer to our green as a pitch.

Now members of the Marldon (Maple Leaf) Bowls Club are looking forward to contesting their first ever home game on newly laid turf in the village after nearly a decade of playing away.

Overjoyed club secretary Mrs Peggy Mountford said: "We thought this moment would never happen. There were times when we were all down in the dumps and felt like giving up."

The club, which plays in the Mid-Devon League, was founded nine years ago and quickly built up a membership of around 20 keen bowlers. and a fund raising campaign was launched to help buy the members what they missed most - a pitch.

Mrs Mountford said: "Bits of land came up in the village but we couldn't use them because we didn't have enough finance or there were planning problems.

"All the while we were having to travel away to get a match." Just as it looked as if the club was going to lose its most hard fought fixture, it finally got the run (rub?) of the green in the shape of a government grant.

"In 1993 we were awarded a £64,000 grant from the Sports and Arts Foundation, something the committee had been quietly plugging away for. And the club had raised £16,000 itself by holding jumble sales and raffles."

The Marldon Bowlers were on the home straight when a piece of land in the village jointly owned by villagers Margaret English, Norman English and Margaret Pearse, all three now honorarv vice presidents, became available.

The pitch was laid and a gala opening ceremony at the newly-erected clubhouse, brought the search to an official end. Mrs Mountford added: "Everyone at the club is thrilled."