Rugby club says farewell to its old clubhouse as delays hamper new facilities
A Shropshire rugby club said an emotional farewell to its old clubhouse at the weekend, despite delays having hampered the opening of its new facilities.
Bridgnorth Rugby Club has been using the The Bull in Bridge Street as its clubhouse since it bought the former pub in Low Town in the 1970s.
As the club has grown over the years, the rugby club has invested now £1.5 million in new flood-proof facilities attached to its Edgar Davies Ground (EDG) in Bandon Lane.
As the EDG sits on a flood plane, the new clubhouse is raised 2.5 metres above the ground. However, a theft all the copper pipes from the new building in August, along with recent bad weather, has hampered the opening of the new facilities, which will now not be ready until December.
Chair of Bridgnorth Rugby Club, Karen Sawbridge, said the new owner of The Bull is allowing them team to continue using the changing rooms until the new clubhouse opens later this year.
"We actually sold The Bull last week but the new owner is a fabulous person and has not only allowed us to continue using the changing rooms but let us to open up at the weekend to watch the rugby."
Club members packed into The Bull for their "final fling weekend" to watch both England versus Argentina in the World Cup third place play-off on Friday and Saturday's final between New Zealand and South Africa.
"It was a fabulous weekend," said Karen. "On Sunday we also all got together and moved all the memorabilia from the clubhouse and put it away until the new clubhouse opens.
"The Bull has served us well but we have 550 members now and 420 are rugby players so it is not big enough," said Karen.
She said the opening of its replacement has been hampered by flooding and a theft of the copper pipework in August.
"We had hoped to open in August but just two days before we were getting approval to open, they came in and ripped out all the copper pipes.
"We also had the recent floods, so we are hoping the new clubhouse will be open just before Christmas."