Castings bowlers adapt to new home as club demolition is approved

Castings Social Club is closed but its bowling section has been welcomed elsewhere
Castings Social Club is closed but its bowling section has been welcomed elsewhere
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Bowlers forced to find somewhere else to play after their social club was sold are finding the ‘grass is greener’ after all.

At a meeting of Falkirk Council’s planning committee last week to decide if the former Castings Social Club in Etna Road should be developed for housing, SNP Group leader Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn argued a ‘yes’ vote would leave the bowlers who were forced out in 2012 with no chance of ever playing there again – and struggling to find a green elsewhere.

She said: “The community faces losing a well-run and popular club which was the social hub and while bowlers could join another club the reality is they will not get a game.”

This week, however, nearby Grahamston Bowling Club said it is already benefiting from having a number of former Castings players as new members – and one has already clinched a club trophy.

Secretary Margaret McIntosh said: “It’s rubbish to suggest we’d let them join then not allow them to play. They have been made more than welcome and have all represented us at games across the district. We’re told the Castings ladies section who joined Bainsford have also been made to feel right at home.”

Grahamston, Middlefield and Westfield Community Council fought the planning bid. It said Castings losing the club was an “act of social vandalism.”

The application was granted but £40,000 ‘compensation’ from the developer for the loss of facilities was awarded to the community council to use as a starting fund to try and create new bowling and tennis facilities within the community.