A Tense Morning At The Bowls Club

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There was a mix of tension and anticipation as the ten committee members took their places around the table.  By a strange coincidence, the monthly committee meeting of Trimley (Cranfield) Bowls Club was taking place at precisely the same time as Max Dalzell, director of Pumps and Filtrations Ltd., was outside drilling a borehole on their behalf in the hope of finding water.  The operation represented a large financial commitment and failure to find water would have been a major disappointment for the club.

One of the ten committee members around that table was Paul Hazelwood.  Paul has looked after the bowls green at Trimley, acknowledged to be one of the finest greens in Suffolk, for over thirty years and was a strong advocate for the new borehole.  As the club greenkeeper, it had been Paul’s responsibility to maintain the green’s great condition throughout the long hot summer months of 2018.  He had a team to help him, but the decision to use 56000 litres of water a week at a cost of around £100 was his alone, and the knowledge that he was spending club funds weighed heavily on his shoulders.  A successful borehole would provide free irrigation water for the foreseeable future.

At ten o’clock Chairperson Gill Haseman opened the meeting but the throb of the drilling rig engine was a constant reminder of what was at stake and the journey that had culminated in that moment.

Two years previously a shallower borehole had run dry after only a couple of years.  There was the fear that the water source had totally disappeared, due either to climate change or an adjacent new housing development.  Local Councillor Graham Harding heard of the club’s plight and offered to use his undeniable skill with dowsing rods to search for a suitable location for a new borehole.  Graham quickly identified a position, close to the clubhouse, where he was sure there was water available.  He also invited the club to apply for a grant to help with the cost of drilling the borehole.

Outside the clubhouse, twenty minutes after the start of the meeting and two hours after commencing the drilling, Max and his men had drilled to a depth of just over four metres when they struck water.  At eight and a half metres they hit the London Clay that runs under much of Suffolk. 

The good news that the club had secured a source of water with a depth of 4.5 metres was very welcome and a huge relief to the committee members inside. 

Later, Gill Haseman said, “The club committee and all of its members would like to express their sincere appreciation for the help they have received from Councillor Graham Harding and Suffolk Coastal District Council for making this borehole happen, and also Trimley Parish Council for their cooperation.”

“The installation of this borehole means a great deal to the club,” she added.  “Going forward it will reduce our overheads and help us to keep our subscription fees down, which is very important at a time when bowls clubs throughout the country are closing at an unprecedented rate.  Apart from having a truly magnificent lawn bowls green, we offer short mat bowls during the winter months and also hold regular social events such as quiz nights, bingo and beetle drives.  Trimley Bowls really is a welcoming and friendly club and if anyone is tempted to try bowling, call Terry Piner on 01394 278281 for a chat.  There is no better club to get you started and to make new friends.”

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