For sale: House with its own bowls club

It gives a whole new meaning to playing at home.Members of the Reepham Private Bowls Club enjoy the luxury of being able to play at a friend's house - after he transformed his garden into a fully-equipped green and his garage into a clubhouse.

It gives a whole new meaning to playing at home.

Members of the Reepham Private Bowls Club enjoy the luxury of being able to play at a friend's house - after he transformed his garden into a fully-equipped green and his garage into a clubhouse.

When David Hindry bought the five- bedroom house at Moor Corner, Norwich Road, Reepham, his love of bowls made him decide to turn his garden of well over an acre into a proper green with drainage ditches and floodlighting and extend his garage into a 1,400 sq ft clubhouse complete with a fully-licensed bar.

And the move almost 20 years ago paid off. The group of friends, some now in their fifties and sixties, had started out as a pub side but soon improved so much they entered the county EBA league and the Cawston league and became a highly successful side.

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Recently, they finished the season having come runner-up in the EBA league and third in the Cawston league on what they say is “one of the best bowling greens in the county”. It is also used by the team known as the Nomads.

But it could all come to an end after members were indeed bowled over when Mr Hindry announced he was selling his house.

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He recently moved to Spain and put the property, with the bowling green and clubhouse, on the market with estate agents Fine & Country.

Mr Hindry said yesterday: “It was my dream to create a bowls green and the clubhouse, and my wife Brenda used to make us all sandwiches and watch us from the conservatory which looks over the green. It was just ideal. But after my wife died I needed to move on. I really hope someone will buy it and let the club still use it.”

Colin Pratt, chairman of the Reepham Private Bowls Club, said: “The green is absolutely brilliant - one of the best in Norfolk, solid as a stone and during the season it is played on every day. I know Dave [David Hindry] is heartbroken and we do all support him in wanting to sell but I just don't know what we will do.

“We held a meeting on Wednesday night and Dave has said we can use the green for the next season until it is sold - we have to enter the leagues now. It is going to be very hard to find a piece of land where we can play - what we have had has been heaven sent and the chance of finding someone who wants to keep it on is probably quite remote.”

Mr Hindry bought the property, which is for sale for a guide price of £625,000, about 18 years ago and immediately set about creating the green. It had to have drains put in for the rain and was sown with special seed as well as three tons of soil added each year. The work was largely carried out by the members themselves with one of the players, Richard Eglington, becoming the official greenkeeper tending it every day. The perfect level has to be maintained and the grass cut every other day, as well as thinned out and soil laid over twice a year, so the job is really demanding.

Children and animals also have to be kept off all year round. Floodlights were added so members could play in the evenings and then they turned their attention to the clubhouse, with Mr Hindry extending it so they could hold functions.

The club members do not pay for using the facilities - which also include Mr Hindry's leisure complex including a swimming pool, sauna, gym and spa - but have always held social events there to raise money for charity. The club has raised almost £2,000, which they plan to donate to East Anglia's Children's Hospices.

Cameron Black, manager of the Norwich office of Fine & Country, said: “It's not every day you come across a property with its own private bowls club, so this is unique.”

The main house offers two/three receptions, a large conservatory and kitchen/breakfast room with four bathrooms and four/five bedrooms totalling 2,800 sq ft with a double garage outside.

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