Ian has just stepped down as Chairman of Hornsea Indoor Bowling Club, a position he has held for many years and this is Ian’s story of how the Bowling Club has developed:
“As a teacher I enjoyed fairly long summer holidays. I would spend these either painting the house or on the beach with the children. During the long hot summer of 1983 I found myself being recruited to play bowls at the Hornsea Bowls Club on the promenade. With fine weather it is one of ‘God’s little acres’, sun, sea and sand combined with physical activity hooked me and I have never stopped bowling since.
To understand the undoubted success of the indoor club as a community project we have to look back over some of that early history, because it is the result of the commitment and vision of many people over all that time. Success is never down to one single person when it comes to a venture such as this.
When I joined Hornsea Bowls Club the members had been raising funds to buy their own green. It had taken nearly ten years to raise sufficient funds and a site was purchased on Atwick Road. The club moved to the new site in 1990. Several of the original members wished to remain and the promenade Club was formed.
In just a few years the membership at Atwick Road had risen to over 100 and it was felt necessary to form a planning group to look at future developments. I was asked to form the Chair the group (Ian Paddy, Phil Hargreaves, Geoff Reynolds, David Marshall, Colin Wormald, Vernon Smith and later Barry Hurt).
A plan in two phases was presented to club members and they agreed. The first phase was to apply for Lottery funding through Sport England for a grant to build an indoor facility on the spare land adjacent to Atwick Road. The lottery was in its infancy and it was possible to obtain 90% grants providing we could prove we were able to find the other 10%. Sport England liked our concept and eventually a grant of over £750,000 was given to build the club we see today.
Did I think it would be the success that is? Well yes I did. There was never any doubt that it would succeed because unlike many other clubs we had no debt to service. How that was achieved is another story.
Therefore as a non-profit making club owned by its members all profit could be reinvested in the building. It has taken many years to establish one of the best clubs in the county if not the country. Over those years members have given freely of their time and skill to improve and develop their club. This willingness to contribute is the one over-riding reason why the club is the community success that exists today. The open door policy where every member is encouraged to feel some sense of belonging and ownership will ensure the longevity of this project well into the future. I look forward to enjoying a much longed for retirement from responsibility of managing the club’s financial viability and wish the new directors every success in the future.”