A BARRHEAD bowling club is to finally get a new clubhouse – four years after the last one was destroyed in a freak accident.

Building work at Arthurlie Bowling Club, in Springhill Road, is expected to begin within weeks, once planning permission has been obtained.

The old clubhouse was hit by a falling tree during a storm in January 2018, flattening the roof, function room, bar, kitchen and toilets.

Efforts to replace it were hampered by the Covid pandemic and a long-running legal dispute with East Renfrewshire Council.

The club’s insurance assessors say the council is responsible for the damage caused by the tree and are seeking compensation.

That matter is expected to be heard in court next month.

Keith White, chairman of the management board at Arthurlie Bowling Club, is hoping the new clubhouse will be in place this summer.

The club was able to survive the pandemic because most of the 70 members continued to pay their subscriptions, even though they were unable to play for most of that period.

However, there was a drop off in membership after the clubhouse accident because there was nowhere to socialise after a game and some joined other clubs in the town as a result.

Keith says the loss of the function room has also cost the club money, as many local people hired it for parties and community activities such as computer classes and line dancing.

He added: “I think the club will come out the other end stronger. Luckily, no-one was inside the clubhouse when the tree came crashing down.

“However, the closure of the club has had a wider impact on the community who used our facilities, including local schools.

“Thankfully, we have found a builder who can give us a new clubhouse within our available funds.

“We lost about ten per cent of our members after the bar was destroyed because many enjoy a drink after a game.”

Powerful winds that were battering Barrhead at the time were blamed for the incident.

Keith added: “If we win our court case, we can also put the funds towards the clubhouse and improving facilities such as disabled access.”

The club, which competes in the First Division of the Johnstone and District League, had to put in temporary toilets after the accident so that members and visiting teams could play.