ONE of Ellesmere's "best-kept secrets" is aiming to raise £10,000 to replace its floodlights.

Ellesmere Bowling Club will be hosting a darts tournament to raise money on Saturday, July 2 in the Black Lion Hotel in Scotland Street, as part of a drive to raise the five-figure sum.

The club hopes to raise the money to replace the LED floodlights on the greens at the club and this will be one of many events which will be held to raise the funds.

Gerard Brooke-Bennett is a member of the club and said it is a lot of money for the club to find.

He added: "We have been facing a bill to replace the LED floodlights on both greens.

"That is a lot of money for a small club like us to find.

"Yes we have got members, 80 odd, but when you are only paying £40 a year, you don't have to be a maths genius to work that out.

"And of course you have got expenses that need to be met by the club.

"We are a members club, run by the members, so I am having to go out into the community and see what I can raise."

Gerard said there has been a good response from people and is hoping for a good turnout.

He explained: "So far, so good. But it is one of these things when you invite people to a party and hope they all turn up.

"Until 12pm tomorrow, I do not know what the turnout is going to be.

"I am just keeping my fingers and my toes crossed and hoping for the best.

"But then again I am the eternal optimist – I have been supporting West Ham for 60 years so, that says enough."

Gerard explained the bowling club brings people in the town together from different backgrounds and different ages

He said: "It is one of the best kept secrets of Ellesmere actually.

"There is this feeling that you have to be of a certain class to join a bowling club. We are trying to dispel this myth.

"We have got cooks, painters, decorators, teachers, nurses, all sorts of people.

"We have got some youngsters but there is still this feeling that it is only for the wealthy.

"But it is not, it is open to everybody regardless of age, experience and we have got two Shropshire qualified coaches in the club.

"And we are happy to give tuition to anybody who wants to turn up on a Monday night."

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