Skittles HQ is closed by helath and safety

PUBLISHED: 06:32 06 April 2006 | UPDATED: 09:05 24 May 2010

A SKITTLES team including players from three generations of the same family will soon be looking for a new base when its unique home is demolished after 60 years. The Queen's Arms skittles club has been playing its matches in a wooden shack behind the pub

A SKITTLES team including players from three generations of the same family will soon be looking for a new base when its unique home is demolished after 60 years.The Queen's Arms skittles club has been playing its matches in a wooden shack behind the pub of the same name in Bleadon since the end of World War Two.But after six decades, the skittles alley itself is due to be bowled over because it does not meet health and safety regulations.Stanley Nipper, who lives in the village, has been a team regular since 1946 and has been joined by his son Jim and grandson Richard.Another member regularly flies from his home in Italy to take part in club games in the creaking hut in Celtic Way which dates from World War One.The final wooden peg is due to be knocked down during a district league match on Monday when the current 16-person team will meet the Survivors from The Crown Inn, Axbridge.Club captain John Loxton is urging members and supporters, past and present, to turn up and cheer on the team one last time.Mr Loxton, aged 64, said: "The clubhouse has been a fixture and fitting in Bleadon for over half a century."We are sad but we have no problem with the brewery or pub landlord because we know they are only doing what is best. The building has been deteriorating over the last few years."Playing in the shack means we have a special atmosphere. We will never forget having to brave the elements to buy a pint or even make a comfort break between games. "Many ladies and gents have played on the alley and I think it is a pillar of village life. But I think it is time the plug was pulled."The club is looking for alternative venues in nearby Lympsham or Uphill.Guy Newell, a director of Butcombe Brewery, which runs the pub, said: "We have done our best but it is a 70-year-old temporary building that is almost falling down. It is regrettable but the shack has to go.

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