Friday, December 1, 2023

Bristol side Wick go DIY SOS in clubhouse hockey makeover

A resourceful Bristol club has taken over a pub landlord’s rundown skittle alley and turned it into a clubhouse it “can now call home.”

Bristol side Wick Ladies HC hasn’t had a clubhouse since the 1990s when it moved from grass to astro and couldn’t afford to build a new pitch at the club’s ground, based in a little village on the outskirts of the city. 

“We used different pubs for teas over the years, many shutting down with the recession,” says Jen Clark, Wick HC’s club captain.

“We have been using The Railway Tavern in Fishponds near our pitch for the last three years. The alley had seen better days, with black walls and dark woodwork. The room was all very dark and miserable, we would just have food and go.”

At a committee meeting, the club had a light bulb moment about investing time and money into redecorating and renovating the space and making it into a clubhouse Wick could be proud of.

Clark says: “Sam, the owner of the pub, was over the moon with the idea and so our dream started to be realised.

“Thankfully one of our players is a painter and decorator and could direct us with regards to buying paint and what order it needs to be applied.”

This summer 35 players, partners and children, spent three days putting “hours and hours in” and changing the colour scheme from black and brown to green and white in the club colours.

“It’s amazing what can be achieved with a lot of people, who want to make a dream happen,” added Clark. “It was like DIY SOS.

“The space is not only going to be used by us, but become a sporting community hub, for football and dart teams.

“But it will have the Wick stamp on it with photos and our logo everywhere.

Wick members with pub landlord Sam

“We reassured Sam that anyone can use it, but it’s in our club colours and has our stamp on it. ‘Yes please’ he said!”

Wick had its first social gathering during England women’s run to the football World Cup final.

“It’s just great to be able to get together, have a drink, food and a laugh,” adds Clark.

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