After a period of illness in 2005 my father brought me along to The old Tanfield Club and getting me ingratiated with the world of bowls. Me? Bowl? You must be having a giraffe I hadn't hit 40 yet and the grey hairs those starting to get numerous on my head the dreaded ear ones were starting to break through. This was an old mans game, I was still playing it cool in Edinburgh's hottest nightclubs like the Cavendish, Harry's Bar and the newly opened Jam House not forgetting the dreaded Fingers. New bars were opening up on George Street like The Living Room, Tiger Lily's and I didn't belong there, if you wanted to be a treacherous bugger just stick to a Harry Bar, I've failed to met anyone there come out of there on a Friday night without someone's tongue down their throat
But I digress, back to the bowling, natural is not a word you could have given me at the time and even 10 years later though my bowling has improved by the helpfulness of the fellow members and even though I've never won any club championships I still have an Edinburgh Cup Champion paperweight, yes you read that right and it's still somewhere keeping the leg up on my computer desk table
Now the members, think of it being back at school, nobody ever gets on with each other all the time but when the time comes and the chips are down (thought I'd put that wee poker reference in) we all get grouped together for the good of the club as the club belongs to all members and not just a few. This club has done a lot for me for nearly 10 years in good times and bad and for that I'm truly grateful. Funnily enough our bowlers are no bad players either and we may have lost a couple of two this season but people still want to play for Tanfield so when others leave others join.
So if you're ever in Inverleith Park over the summer and fasten a wee shot of the game, remember it's no an auld man game, rattle the gate as there are usually members practicing on the green or phone us on 01313326814, if through the day a senior member will always be there to take your call. Have children? Bring them along too as we have junior leagues that play over Edinburgh and give them a great introduction to the game. One thing I've learned since I've joined Tanfield is that I can go into that club and people will take to me, you never feel awkward and I think that's one of our strengths from our Top 16, 2nd 16, and our 3rd team, the teams may have struggled a bit of the last couple of years but the heart's still burning and it will be never doused.
And finally, if you managed to get through all I wrote did I mention that we sell cheap bevy and we are the cheapest establishment in Edinburgh? 35 ml too so don't let me fuss you too much with that.
Oh, and one last thing, membership fees, but you talk to the secretary nearer the time you think you want to join, also you have to be a playing member no social members are allowed .
So maybe I'll see you on the bowling green shortly, I'm always the one getting beat by the gubbiest shots you've ever seen in your life by a certain Mr Peter Findlay. Until then Cheerio!.
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Map showing Tanfield Bowling Club on Arboretum Place