BOWLERS whose 107-year-old clubhouse is in a state of disrepair are urgently seeking funds to construct a new one.

Shildon Town Bowling Club, based in Hackworth Park, use a wooden structure which members say is in need of major repair.

The roof and floor need renovating and the windows are also in need of attention.

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Officials fear that some members will leave the club if a new facility is not secured, putting the future of the bowling club at risk.

A club spokesman said: “The building could date from 1907 and its life expectancy is almost up.

“It is part of the park’s facilities, but the roof and floor are no good and the windows are poor.

“In a few years the facilities may not be available and so we’re looking for funding to replace the clubhouse, but it’s in the very early stages.

“People have joined us this year and we have five league teams, but there is a thought that the club could close as people will drift off.

“Rather than sitting and waiting for the clubhouse to become unusable we are being proactive and we hope to secure the future of the bowling club.”

Applications to secure funding for the new clubhouse are at a very early stage. It is hoped to locate the new site near to the existing one.

Shildon Miners’ Welfare Bowling Club was originally located on the site and it was a private members set up.

It became a public facility in 1927 and then Shildon Town Bowling Club began to operate in 1934.

The club currently has teams in several leagues including the Darlington and District League.

The current clubhouse, located off Drybourne Avenue, is used by 40 club members and it is owned by Shildon Town Council.

Durham County and Shildon Town councillor Henry Nicholson said: “We’re looking to support them, but there’s not a lot of money about.

“We’re going to invite them round a table to see how we can move forward as it’s a long standing problem.”

Mick Waterson, Shildon town clerk, said: “It’s not going to fall down, but it’s in such a bad condition it’s probably not got a long time left.

“We need to look at alternatives or else we will have to invest a lot of money into it.”

The town councillors discussed the issue at this week’s meeting and they are keen to support the bowling club’s plans.