The battle to retain the iconic home of crown green bowling at The Waterloo at Blackpool has now been formally acknowledged as over by the Committee that has been working hard to preserve the 'Wembley of Bowling' for our sport.
That has been signified by the decision to run many of the competitions that are traditionally staged at The Waterloo to a new home just down the road at Fleetwood Bowling Club. There are photographs at the foot of this posting of the Fleetwood two greens of which neither appears to be a true four-sided rectangular shape.
Hopes had been raised in September with a new consortium working to provide a long-term solution to the threat of closure. This finally came to nothing and priority is now being given to reallocating the competitions that have been so much a feature of crown green bowling for many years, including on television. This is the latest communications we have on the arrangements to transfer the major Blackpool Waterloo competitions to the new home venue of the Fleetwood Bowling Club.
Fleetwood BC Hosting Waterloo events
The sole intention when setting up the venture was to keep the history and the future of the Waterloo competitions for as long as possible. The Men’s autumn competition has run from 1907 and is the most sought-after prize in crown green bowling, to let this just fade into the history books like so many other comps I feel was sacrilege hence this attempt to carry on the history.
As most are aware the finals days and the famous Waterloo week would also be lost if an alternative wasn’t found, as I was travelling to the Fleetwood festival this year the thought came to me of the possibility (if the save the Waterloo campaign does fail) of maybe hosting things there. Realising the need to be a seaside venue within easy reach of hotels in Blackpool Cleveleys and anywhere else locally used by loyal competitors and supporters, I made some enquiries asking if the club would be interested in hosting such events, the response was positive.
I then contacted the Waterloo committee to offer the service and ask what criteria would be required to do so. An arrangement is in place with Gary & Ricky to hold any transferred donations from the Save the Waterloo campaign until it’s required for the works ongoing.
Within the criteria was a reference to the ownership of the land/premises (the club and land is owned by the Fleetwood Bowling Club).
In 2010 the centenary all England finals was held at the club, a seated stand was erected on the north side of the Euston green a large number of spectators were present (no official record of numbers but estimates in excess of 700 were mentioned) unfortunately the weather wasn’t favourable and proceeded to rain most of the day, highlighting the lack of cover available. Other than that there were no major problems reported.
Fleetwood bowling club facilities include two greens ( No1 Euston the larger of the two greens closest to the Euston hotel and the smaller No2 floodlit green, both always well maintained and both having varied challenges. The clubhouse sits between the two greens with a large function room with views to both greens, a bar and small kitchen area for snacks etc. A tram stop linked directly to Blackpool / Cleveleys sits alongside the property.
Negotiations are in progress to secure a large parking facility within 100 metres of the greens especially during the finals week. Suggested upgrades to bring the property in line to host larger crowds, please note these will be subject to available funds, for this reason work may be carried out in stages, obviously the sooner the better.
Estimated costs of materials, labour etc is £45,000 as most are aware at this present time raw material costs are rising at quite an alarming rate which could affect these estimates. Erect a covered area on 3 sides of the Euston green approx 125 meters, and approx 50 metres around the floodlit green. Dig out existing banking & level with concrete base also raised at rear for improved viewing from fixed seating area.
Have steel support brackets manufactured to support the steel sheet roof. Roof sheets and timber braces to cover approx 175m length x 3m width. Permanent seating installed possibly two rows determined by available funds. An area set out and concreted to house temporary toilet facilities especially during the September finals week. Have steel safety rails manufactured and fitted to certain areas of both greens. Upgrade existing toilet facilities in the clubhouse to assist disabled access.
Labour costs to complete the work have been factored in however if anyone wishes to volunteer their services in that respect or help in any way you’re welcome to contact us.
If funds allow the possibility of irrigation systems on both greens (these are not included in the estimated work above).
All monies donated will be used to finance the improvements and ensure the future of the once Waterloo events.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me via email email@example.com or PM me via Facebook, I do however work for a living therefore may be a delay in replies especially between 8.30-5.30pm.
The photos below are all of the present Fleetwood Bowling Club.