Members welcome new clubhouse after fire causes thousands of pounds of damage

Huntingdon Bowls Club refurbishment, (l-r) Secretary Mike Anderson, and Chairman Mick Verlander,

Huntingdon Bowls Club refurbishment, (l-r) Secretary Mike Anderson, and Chairman Mick Verlander, - Credit: Archant

Bowls club members have celebrated the opening of their redeveloped clubhouse after suffering three break-ins and a fire last year.

After months of construction the club was officially opened on Sunday (April 24) by the mayor of Huntingdon, Councillor Bill Hensley.

Club secretary Mike Anderson said: “It was a hassle and an inconvenience for us to have to do this work but everyone is pleased with the outcome of the refurbishment. It is a shame it had to come because of the fire though.”

The work on the building started in January after Huntingdonshire District Council’s and the club’s insurers gave the go ahead.

“When the fire happened in October we had to have it assessed before any work could start so we had a delay then but we managed to get the building finished with about a week to spare.”

After investigations it was found that the club would have to buy new furniture and electrical equipment.

“This meant extra costs for us as we were told that we wouldn’t be able to get the smoke smell out of the chairs and that the electrical equipment, including the oven, were beyond repair so we completely replaced everything.”

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Following the break-ins the club have increased security to deter further attacks on the building.

“We obviously don’t want this type of thing to happen again so we made sure during the refurbishment that we installed extra security throughout the clubhouse as a deterrent for anyone that is thinking about targeting us,” added Mr Anderson.

During the spate of attacks last year the club had alcohol and other items stolen from the bar and metal pipes thrown onto the green during a game.

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