PLYMOUTH INDOOR BOWLS CLUB, FOUNDED 1969
Renamed Plymouth Life Centre Indoor Bowls Club, 2011
President : Alderman F.Chapman.
Hon Secretary: S V Perry OBE
Hon Treasurer: E G Crocker
Match Secretary: D A Jack
Green Ranger: G J Elliot
The PIBC was formed in 1969 by a group of public spirited men who enjoyed playing bowls outdoors, and saw the opportunity to play indoors during the close season. They commenced playing in the swimming pool area on a roll out mat.
Its popularity grew very quickly, so much so, that they negotiated with Plymouth City Council to incorporate a new facilty connected to the recently constructed Mayflower Centre. An estimate of £20,000 to build the new bowls hall was obtained, but by the time agreement was reached, this had doubled to £40,000.
The Committee was faced with a deadline, and ultimatum to raise 50% of the cost and procede immediately, or risk further escalation in the cost if the order was not placed soon. They decided to procede, and set about raising funds which was achieved by donations large and small, and a loan of £12,000 was also taken out. The project commenced in 1972, and the new bowls hall was in use in a very short time with a membership of 430 bowlers.
With the closure in 2007, of the nearby Plymouth Civil Service indoor bowls club, which had 6 rinks, the PIBC membership soon increased. Unfortunately with just 4 rinks available, it was unable to take on more than 600 members. After a few false starts and promises, a group was formed to lobby the Plymouth City Council to build a new facilty that the bowlers of Plymouth could be proud of. After much discussion a feasabilty study was taken. The Plymouth City Council then agreed to include a new eight (8) rink bowls hall within the new Life Centre.
It will have taken five (5) years, and many hours of meetings, workshops and negotiations, by a small group of dedicated men and women, to achieve what they set out to achieve which is a new 8 rink bowls hall. With the new eight (8) rink bowls hall, it is hoped to achieve a membership from the present 617 members, to a membership of 800, over the first 3 years of the centre opening.
The Club has one the largest disabled groups in the Country, which was formed in 1984 by John Tiddy and a group of tireless volunteers, who make a remarkable contribution for disabled men and ladies in the Plymouth and District area, many have progressed to international level representing England and Wales at bowls around the world. We also cater for the severely disabled and visually impaired, and is an inspiration to anybody who visit their bowls sessions. Volunteers are always welcome.
In 2004 Peter Brown with the assistance of Ken Spear formed the coaching section, which has gone from strength to strength. It has introduced on average 4 bowlers a month into the sport and give free taster lessons to non bowlers, and refresher courses to anybody who wishes to attend.
Currently the lead coach is the amiable Jim Street, ably backed up by John Seldon and a very dedicated group of coaches who hold coaching courses on a Friday morning. The coaching sessions are available to anybody who wishes to attend, and will be made to feel very welcome in what is a happy, and informative atmosphere. Apart from the work the coaches do at our Club, they also travel all over the Country, training new coaches and passing on their expertise. All disabled and coaching sessions are carried out voluntarily and unpaid, which proves what a very impressive club membership we have.