BOWLS: ONE of Ellesmere Port's oldest bowling clubs is facing an uncertain future after it was revealed that they may not have a green to complete the season on.
With less than a month to go until the start of the 2005 campaign, Stanney Lane, who have been competing for almost a century, were told that their temporary Inglewood home in Led-sham may be built on as early as this summer.
The club have led a nomadic existence since their Stanney Lane green was sold to property developers along with its social club two years ago. Last season they played at Castrol.
However, several members then left the club, reportedly unhappy with facilities at the alternative venue.
On learning that their future at Inglewood was unclear, Stanney Lane members met on Monday and decided to stay at Ledsham rather than return to Castrol, even though the green's owners cannot guarantee them the venue for an entire season.
Player Phil Gibbs, 68, said: 'When Stanney Lane was sold, the developers were supposed to supply us with a new green but we're still waiting. We've now been told that the land is going to a different consortium but it doesn't help us. The green at Castrol was in such a poor condition that nobody wanted to go back and we lost about nine players due to it last season.
'The Stanney Lane club has been around since I was a child and we don't want to fold, but I'm feeling quite dejected at the moment. Inglewood has some beautiful surroundings but
we're dependent on their good nature. We don't have anything on paper that says they can't just kick us out at any time if the building work they're planning starts, which could be as early as June.'
He added: 'I read with interest what Pat Stanton and Wally Pear said in the Pioneer recently about the future of bowls in our town and agreed with them, but I don't believe they went far enough. I'm worried that the Ellesmere Port League could be finished in five years. We've got to change our way of thinking in regards to the way our game is run.'
Stanney Lane secretary Chris Jones said: 'We're hoping that Inglewood will allow us to play there for the rest of this season and we're looking to go back to an upgraded Castrol in 2006.'