Power restored to Sunderland bowls club after council electricity bill blunder

Gordon Northorpe, Chairman of the Thompson Park Bowls Club, with members of the Ladies team happy that the electricity supply has been restored to the club house.
Gordon Northorpe, Chairman of the Thompson Park Bowls Club, with members of the Ladies team happy that the electricity supply has been restored to the club house.
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BOWLS club members are feeling a lot brighter after electricity was reconnected following a council bill mix-up.

The clubhouse at Thompson Park Bowls Club, in Southwick, was in the dark for seven weeks after being disconnected by engineers.

As reported in the Echo, leisure chiefs at Sunderland City Council, which pays the electricity bill for the club, apologised for the error and bosses said urgent steps were being taken to restore power.

The club is celebrating its 75th year of competition, and as well as playing teams based across Wearside, it also hosts county cup matches against teams from all over the area.

During the blackout, members were still able to get into the hut because they could get the front entrance shutter halfway up.

Toilets at the facility were also used by players, but visitors had to negotiate a trip to the loo in the dark.

It also proved difficult for those taking part in matches to get changed into their uniforms and prepare for games, as well as have proper tea breaks.

But power was restored by engineers on Thursday, June 20, meaning that bowlers at the club and visiting players can enjoy properly-lit facilities once again after a seven-week absence.

Chairman of the club for the past five years, Gordon Northorpe, said he and the organisation’s 40 members are relieved the problem has finally come to an end and they can focus on the rest of the outdoor bowls season.

“We are just very happy to have the electricity back on now,” said 82-year-old Mr Northorpe, of Witherwack, who has held the position of chairman for the past five years.

“Now we are able to get on with things as normal, and it’s a lot easier for the players to come in and use the clubhouse because it was difficult before.”

Members are responsible for the upkeep of the site’s greens throughout the year. As well as apologising for the delay, the council added that they wish they had been made aware of the problem sooner so that the disconnection could have been avoided.