COWAN Park Community Bowling Club is seeking some new recruits to help with maintenance and restore the club to its former glory.

Club president Jimmy Docherty is on a mission to encourage some new faces onto the historic green to boost activity and help lend it a new lease of life.

At its peak, Cowan Park Community Bowling Club had 60 members but this has dwindled to 20 in recent years as older members grew unfit or passed away.

And this has made it especially difficult to maintain the grounds, which is entirely the responsibility of members.

Currently, upkeep is managed by three unpaid caretakers – Jimmy Williams, 76, Pat Docherty, 70, and 69-year-old president Jimmy.

“Basically, it’s left to the three of us to do all the work, maintaining the green, the paths and everything inside the clubhouse,” said Jimmy.

“There has been a lot to do but we’re mostly on top of it now. The hedge is the main problem because it’s quite high. If we could get help with trimming the hedge, that would be champion.”

Jimmy is especially keen to get the club in top condition as it approaches the renewal of its lease, when he intends to seek funding for a new green.

He said: “With the help of the council we’d like to apply for a Lottery grant to make it an all-weather green, which would make it easier to coach youngsters who are just coming in.

“There are also a lot of bowlers who can’t play at Cowan Park because they find the green too heavy. With an all-weather green it’s a lot easier and it would open it up to a lot more bowlers.

“At the moment, we don’t have enough members to play in any of the leagues or anything like that but we’re always looking for new members.

“The first year of membership is free, so it costs nothing to come along and give it a try.”

The original Cowan Park bowling green was established not long after Barrhead’s beloved park opened in 1911 – and the club has a trophy from 1924, engraved with the club’s name, to prove its heritage.

When the new clubhouse was built in 1971, the name was changed to St John’s Bowling Club but many people assumed it was connected to St John’s Church.

It was subsequently renamed Cowan Park Community Bowling Club to make it clear it is open to everyone.

Jimmy, who has been a member for over 20 years, said: “It has a lot of history to it. A lot of people learned to bowl at Cowan Park and then, when they started playing in the leagues, they would get poached by other clubs.

“A lot of players who came through us played at Scottish tournaments. A lot of champions came out of Cowan Park.”

Anyone who is interested in joining Cowan Park Community Bowling Club or would be happy to volunteer to help with the hedge is asked to call Jimmy on 0784 270 1865.