Homebuilder creates trophy in memeber of bowling club veteran

Julie Arrowsmith, Stan Hughes, Paul Batho and Karen Wrench

Julie Arrowsmith, Stan Hughes, Paul Batho and Karen Wrench

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A home builder has presented Vulcan Bowling Club with a competition trophy to celebrate its reopening.

Regeneration specialist St Modwen has presented the club with a competition trophy in honour of influential former committee member John Pearson.

Back row left to right: Mayor David Banks, Mayoress Jeanette Banks, Councillor Seve Gomez Aspron, Paul Batho  Projects Director St. Modwen, Conor McGinn. Front row: Julie Arrowsmith and Karen Wrench (John Pearsons daughters) and Stan Hughes

Back row left to right: Mayor David Banks, Mayoress Jeanette Banks, Councillor Seve Gomez Aspron, Paul Batho  Projects Director St. Modwen, Conor McGinn. Front row: Julie Arrowsmith and Karen Wrench (John Pearsons daughters) and Stan Hughes

Mr Pearson, who sadly passed away last year, led the campaign for new sports facilities following the closure of the Vulcan Works in Newton-le-Willows 14 years ago.

He set up the Vulcan Sports Club Steering Committee so the bowling, rifle and football clubs could work together on plans for a new home.

When St Modwen started work on site, the company agreed to the delivery of new premises for the three sports clubs as part of its initial planning consent for the site in 2004.

The regeneration specialist has a long standing commitment to the area off Wargrave Road where it has planning consent for 650 new homes, an Aldi supermarket, children’s play area, history trail and public open space.

The new sports facilities include a bowling green, pavilion, indoor rifle range, multi-use games area, football and rugby pitches, and car park.

Local dignitaries including MP Conor McGinn, Mayor David Banks, councillors, club representatives and Mr Pearson’s family joined St. Modwen on Wednesday (August 24) when they presented the bowling club with The John Pearson Memorial Trophy.

Julie Arrowsmith, one of John Pearson’s two daughters, said: “It’s wonderful to see all of dad’s hard work come to fruition. He spent a lot of time working to secure the future of the clubs. He would be so proud to see the new pavilion, bowling green and other sports facilities.

“Dad started working at the Vulcan Works when he was 14. He worked in the personnel department organising the travel for the engineers before transferring to the service and installation department.

“He was always involved in the sports clubs. Dad took redundancy when the works closed but carried on his links with the clubs. We are so proud today.”

Stan Hughes, John’s friend and member of the Vulcan Bowling Club, said: “We are delighted with the new facility which begins a new era for the bowling club.

“We have a strong history with our association with the old Vulcan Works, but we are now entering a new chapter for the club with new members joining.

“John was a member of the club for many years. When St. Modwen heard of John’s involvement and how we have kept the club going for 14 years after the works closed they honoured this with the donation of the trophy.

“We’ll be launching the John Pearson Memorial Trophy competition in the 2017 bowling season, it will become a regular club fixture.”

Paul Batho, project director of St Modwen, added: “The new Vulcan Sports Club, of which the bowling club is an important part, completed it construction this summer and now forms part of the sporting legacy St Modwen has given to the area.

“Providing modern, new sports facilities was a key commitment we gave many years ago and we are proud to now see this through to fruition for the local community.”

St Helen’s North MP Conor McGinn said: “It was a privilege to join with Stan, club members and the family of John Pearson as the new bowling facility was opened and the trophy was donated in his memory.

“John made a huge contribution to ensuring these facilities were built, and the fine looking green and club house is a fitting tribute. I also want to thank St. Modwen and local councillors for their hard work and support for the community.”

Alongside the new sports facilities, new homes continue to be built and work is due to get underway soon on the new 18,000 sq ft Aldi.

The new supermarket will feature prominently at the entrance to the site providing shopping facilities to local residents.