Thornton Club – 3 years on

Members of the Thornton Club, formerly known as the Cambridge Bowling Club, have seen an increase in membership since merging with the Cambridge Club. Pictured: president Graham Henshaw, treasurer Roy Shepherd and fundraising coordinator Peter Hand.

The Thornton Club has reported an increase in membership since two of the town’s longest-standing clubs, the Cambridge Bowling Club and the Cambridge Club, joined as one inside the iconic Thornton Rd building.

Now known as the Thornton Club, they’re welcoming more locals to come along and join in on their social nights or bowling afternoons held weekly at the historic bowling green on Thornton Rd. Prospective members can “have a go” on the green, bowls provided, or enjoy drinks and nibbles inside the clubhouse, originally established in 1898.

As a historic site, crucial fixes were needed inside the old building, so last year club members rallied together to raise $25,000, with the help of supporters, to complete much needed wiring and refurbishment repairs. This year they hope to continue adding to the clubhouse and grounds, with the goal of raising another $25,000 in 2018. So far, they’re on track with a few fundraising events planned for the coming months.

“We’re just enhancing a unique facility for members of the community,” explained Peter Hand, the club’s fundraising coordinator. “It’s for the future of the community, because it’s an icon. We’re keen to see it being used, for the wider benefit really. It’s a bit like we’ve amalgamated into a community club, rather than just a bowls club. You’ve got the social side of things, you’ve got darts, pétanque, private functions, hiring… So in association with bowls there’s all those other things which are available from the club.”

Thursday and Friday nights are designated as social evenings, kicking off at 5.30pm, with raffles and a membership draw. Wednesday nights are quiz nights, and weekly bowls are played on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 1pm. “Anyone can come along,” club president Graham Henshaw said. “New people can have tuition and training… Bowls are provided.”

With over 160 members on the books, the Thornton Club welcomes more Cambridge locals to get involved. To sign up, find out more, or to enquire about donating or sponsoring fundraising efforts to keep the beautiful 1890s building alive and well, contact Graham on (07) 210 0255, or Peter, 021 372 555.

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