St Margarets Co-operative Bowling Club - A History
Chapter 2 The Work Begins
The whole of the first phase was carried out between the end of the 1989 season and the begining of the 1990 season. The first job was to find a site. This was done with the help of Peter Bryan who was on the Co-op Sports and Social Committee on Birstall Road, less than a mile from the Thurcaston Road site. They had a disused tennis court and surrounding land (1990-10) which was suitable and they were prepared to let to the new club
1990-10 click to enlarge
The vast majority of the work involved was done by club members in their own time. Events were staged and donations taken to raise the necessary funds. The atmosphere among members was electric. People virtualy lived down at the club and the dedication shown simply cannot be overstated. Johnny and the other members worked with a passion. The part he played, in founding and building up the club, is one of the proudest atchievements of his life.
The work was co-ordinated and overseen by the green keeper Joe Moore seen on the right in this snap. (1990-65) Two temporary white cabins were craned in and the green area was prepared and flattened (1990-20). Next, 38 yards square of turf (1990-30) together with well drained sandy soil to a depth of 18 inches, was lifted (the picture shows the old station master's house and the kennels, both since demolished) and taken to the new site where it was laid and levelled by eye.
1990-65 click to enlarge 1990-20 click to enlarge 1990-30 click to enlarge
It was contained by concrete edging which had been put in (1990-40). On this picture the old Thorne Lighting factory, a Leicester landmark since demolished, can be seen in the distance. Next, the white pavilion was lifted and craned in. This was originally built in 1972 and now serves as the men's changing room. Fencing was erected and the green edges were slabbed with slabs sourced from the Thurcaston Road ground. (1990-50) This last picture (1990-60) from the early phase shows, conifers planted, score board and flag pole in place and the grass cut and rolled.
1990-40 click to enlarge 1990-50 click to enlarge 1990-60 click to enlarge
A solid start had been made and phase one was complete. The real threat of imminent closure had been countered. The club was now viable again with a very positive team spirit. Facilities were somewhat basic but an essential goal had been reached which meant that play could now commence. See video below.
JOHNNY WESSON BOWLING THE FIRST BOWL ON NEW GREEN