Keen bowlers in Wrexham are beating disability to finish jack high come rain, hail, snow or shine on an all-weather surface thanks to the backing of Wales’s biggest self-storage company.
Bradley Park Bowling Club hold regular weekly sessions for their Touch-Wood visually-impaired players on Wednesdays from April to October at the club in Gwersyllt and on Thursday the disability club Spot the Jack meet up.
They also run a highly competitive winter league which attracts some of the best bowls players from across North Wales and the Wirral with the help of their sponsorship from Denbigh-based Lock Stock Self Storage.
Ray Barnes, Bradley Park’s chairman, said: “The old bowling green had become derelict here for 13 years but thanks to a fantastic bunch of dedicated committee members we managed to raise grants of £250,000 and built this all-weather surface and opened it in 2012.
“They’re still here running Bradley Bowling Club today and we are looking at improving the facility for all members of the public to enjoy and make them as comfortable as possible.
“It’s really well-used and all year round as well – it’s a bit tricky if there’s a frost because the bowls just won’t stop but we get lots of players from other clubs coming here in the winter.
“Spot the Jack turn up every week of the year but if the weather beats us we just socialise in the clubhouse over a hot drink and plenty of chocolate biscuits.
“The club also includes stroke victims and while a lot of members bring along their own carers, without the volunteers and committee members we would be at a loss so a big thankyou to them.”
The visually-impaired bowlers are helped to line up by club members like Richard Millward, and they then bowl the jack out which gives them a feel for how hard they need to send out their two woods.
Richard said: “Ray asked me along to help out and I really enjoy it and it’s great for the Touchwood bowlers and the disabled members of the Spot The Jack club.
“It gets them out and about and involved in a sport and in meeting people and they love it and they can have a cup of tea and some food.”
Lock Stock have a total of 19 storage parks across North Wales and the border counties and Mike Trow manages their two sites in Wrexham, at Felin Puleston, on Ruabon Road, and on the Whitegate Light Industrial Estate on Queensway.
He said: “It’s a great facility here at Bradley Park and it’s fantastic to see so many people making use of it.
“There’s a special community spirit here and you can see how much it means to the visually-impaired and disabled bowlers and how much they enjoy it.
“We’re also glad to be able to help the club with the Winter League and we wish them every success in the future.”
Tony Curtis is 77 and has been bowling since 2008 and he said: “I have a degenerative eye condition which has left me with no sight at all. I can get light and dark but it’s like looking at it through a really thick fog.
“I really enjoy it though and we have a great time. It’s a great way to meet people and to get out and do something.”
Lock Stock are the UK’s biggest container storage company and recently commissioned their 3,000th storage unit which they celebrated by painting it gold instead of their usual dark green.
The storage units, all eight foot high by eight foot wide, come in 10, 20 and 40 foot lengths with capacities ranging from 640 cubic feet to 2,560 cubic feet while the storage parks have high standard security and 24/7 entry.
Many units are used by people in the process of moving house but more and more small businesses use them because there are no business rates or service charges and with three different sizes they are very versatile.
As well as the Wrexham sites the company, founded in 1999 in Denbigh, have storage parks at Holyhead, Caernarfon, Bangor, Llandudno Junction and Rhyl on the North Wales Coast, on the Dee at Flint, Sandycroft and Saltney, and inland at the Colomendy Industrial Estate in Denbigh, Mold and Newtown in Powys, and at Oswestry and Shrewsbury in Shropshire.
As well as offering units to hire on their sites they sell a range of used and new units delivered by their specialist lorry – they also sell fireworks at Chester, and Llandudno Junction all year, seasonally at Denbigh, Rhyl, Shrewsbury and Wrexham, and on-line.
Anyone interested in taking parts in the bowls sessions at Bradley Bowling Club can contact Touch-Wood Secretary Chris Curtis, 07708 021566, and Spot the Jack Secretary Yvonne Shaw, 07729 316551.
For more information on Lock Stock go to http://www.lockstock.biz/