Seasonal Almanac

Start of autumn: white dew descends (2 of 5)

February 11th, 2009

Start of autumn 7 of 15We ususally do a loop walk in the early evening. Starting at Asquith, we turn right at Balfour, cross the railway bridge onto Moore Street, head towards the beach, turn left at Lawrence Hargarve, then up to the first headland. We sit on the bench or the grass for a little while, chat, observe, and speculate. We head back down Toxteth, turn left at Wigram at the back of the Austinmer Bowling Club, through under the railway bridge, then along the railway until we get back onto Balfour.

We have been walking this loop since we moved to the area. At that time the Austinmer Bowling Club was still in business in its newly renovated building. It was a well-positioned small club and always looked very inviting. The club closed temporarily in December 2007 but never re-open again. It had been experiencing falling membership and financial trouble for a number of years. Even volunteers, a new administrator, and efforts to amalgamate could not save the club from closure.

The land on which the club stands was initially for sale. Later the sale sign was replaced by a ‘for lease’ sign, which is still up but now somewhat faded and de-faced. The bowing greens are covered with tall weeds. Every time we walk past the club, we stop and look.

2 Responses to “Start of autumn: white dew descends (2 of 5)”

  1. 1 lizzie
    February 16th, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    so sad. strange that such a healthy little community couldn’t sustain a bowlo. the petersham bowlo similarly struggles constantly with falling income. they’ve tried everything too, and are pitching everything now on the new chef they have in the restaurant concession.

    the austinmer bowlo is a prime spot for some guerilla gardening. But i guess everyone round there has heaps of garden space already.

  2. 2 jolaw
    February 16th, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    It is as sad as the weeds are tall. I have been told that the changing demographic (aging population moves elsewhere replaced by young families) is a major contributor to this kind of problem. Plus there seem to be a lot of bowling clubs around here – one in Wombarra, one in Thirroul, and one in Bulli.

    The real estate agency is angling for businesses like childcare centres to take up the lease. I reckon though communal vegetable gardens might attract flat-dwelling cityslickers to come down for gardening weekends.