BARRHEAD bowlers finally have a new clubhouse...five years after their old one was destroyed in a freak accident.

Members of Arthurlie Bowling Club were left distraught in January 2018 when a tree which toppled during a storm crashed into their clubhouse, damaging the roof, function room, bar, kitchen and toilets.

A rebuild was delayed by Covid lockdowns and a legal row with East Renfrewshire Council over compensation.

Barrhead News: Arthurlie Bowling ClubArthurlie Bowling Club

Work finally began last June and was completed in December, at a cost of around £500,000.

Now the new clubhouse is open to members and visitors.

Keith White, chair of the management board at Arthurlie Bowling Club, said: “We are now fully up and running and had our first function last week.

“There was a slight delay in the actual opening, as all our volunteer bar staff had to be retrained and the beer didn’t arrive on time.

“We have already taken bookings for christenings, anniversaries and other functions.

“It is the social side that makes money for the club. Without a bar, clubs can’t survive.”

Barrhead News: Keith White at the new clubhouseKeith White at the new clubhouse

Work on the new clubhouse began after the compensation dispute with the council was settled.

Keith said members are delighted with the outcome.

“We have everything that we need,” he added. “We also have enough money left over to put in new changing rooms, which used to be a portable cabin.

“Since the new clubhouse was completed, we have already started taking on new members, which is very encouraging, particularly with the new season beginning in April.”

Barrhead News: The old clubhouse was destroyed by a falling tree five years agoThe old clubhouse was destroyed by a falling tree five years ago

Powerful winds that were battering Barrhead at the time were blamed for the tree’s demise.

The club had to put in temporary toilets for the last five years to allow members and visiting teams to play.

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

He also paid tribute to project manager Iain Glover and treasurer Gordon Johnston for their work on the clubhouse rebuild.

Keith 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.”