Outlook gloomy for floods victims at bowls clubhouse

The Oxford Times: From left, West Oxford Bowls Club committee member Mick Pinfold, member Cyril Honour and president Mick Alderson peer out through the bar windows in the clubhouse through condensation caused by the floods From left, West Oxford Bowls Club committee member Mick Pinfold, member Cyril Honour and president Mick Alderson peer out through the bar windows in the clubhouse through condensation caused by the floods

THEIR clubhouse has been damaged by flooding on more than five previous occasions.

And the members of West Oxford Bowls Club are once again counting the cost of flood damage after the most recent severe weather.

They say the building at the club in Botley Park could take months to repair and cost them at least £2,000.

President of the club Mick Alderson has been inspecting the damage.

The 70-year-old from Botley said: “The carpets are soaked. The kitchen is full of mould and damp, and it has got into the electrics. The priority for us now is to dry it out. We need dehumidifiers and we’re going to have to do a lot of it ourselves.”

The club is now discussing the possibility of applying for grants from various organisations including Sports England.

Members say they cannot get insurance for the building and so have to pay for all the repairs themselves.

The clubhouse was previously a condemned cricket pavilion in Cutteslowe Park.

The team was offered it and it took volunteers a year to dismantle, move and rebuild it in Botley Park, officially opening it in 1983.

It stood in Botley Park for nearly 20 years before it was first flooded in 2000.

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Since 2000, the building has been flooded five times – in 2003, 2007 where there was 13 inches of water in the clubhouse, 2012 and twice this year including the most recent floods.

Mick Pinfold, 72, from Headington Quarry, has been a member of the club since 1965. He said: “It is really disheartening. It is happening more and more often over the years. This is my 49th year with the bowls club.

"I feel sad really because it has been a good club for the community and I have seen a lot of the members come and go.

“As the years have gone by, the clubhouse has got increasingly more flooded out and the members have worked so hard to keep it going.

“The green is wonderful in the summer. But it is going to take a while to get the clubhouse back to that state.”

Members began redecorating the building last year, but were halted by the weather.

The club, founded in 1924, currently has 40 members who play both indoor and outdoor bowls.

Counting the costs

The Association of British Insurers has predicted that, following the wettest winter on record, there may be £446m paid in insurance claims to customers whose homes, businesses, and vehicles were flooded across the UK. It doesn’t have a breakdown for different areas.

The Oxford Times:

  • Richer Sounds, in Botley Road, Oxford

Staff at Richer Sounds, in Botley Road, Oxford, are also assessing the damage caused by the recent floods.

Deputy manager Ed Railton said that the store was closed for one week when they lost about £20,000 of stock. He said: “A lot of our internal systems were damaged but, apart from that, the major costs will be the cost of the refit.”

The flood waters have receded from areas along Botley Road including the Oatlands Road Recreation Ground, the allotments and the West Oxford Community Association playground.

Comments (1)

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10:07am Tue 18 Mar 14

mytaxes says...

If the club was in Blackbird Leys the council would build you a new one on stilts with gold plated doors. Ask the West Oxford Labour councillors to help and don't accept, " we have no money because of the cuts", as an excuse, they have plenty of money to spend in other areas.
If the club was in Blackbird Leys the council would build you a new one on stilts with gold plated doors. Ask the West Oxford Labour councillors to help and don't accept, " we have no money because of the cuts", as an excuse, they have plenty of money to spend in other areas. mytaxes
  • Score: 1

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