Bowlers take on city council over vandalised bowling green

Members of the Regent Park Bowling Club.
Members of the Regent Park Bowling Club.
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Bowling club members in Morecambe took on the city council after their bowling green was vandalised when the gates were left unlocked.

Members of Regent Park Bowling Club pay Lancaster City Council £600 to use the park’s bowling green for its 26 week season.

Members of the Regent Park Veterans Bowling Club.

Members of the Regent Park Veterans Bowling Club.

However, the city council told the club last week that it would be leaving the green gates unlocked for members of the public to use.

During the next few days, the hut used by the bowlers was vandalised along with parts of the green.

Club member Graeme Farrell said: “The council said it was a public green, but we are paying fees for it every year.

“The council suddenly decided the green had to be left unlocked, and within the first week there were stones thrown onto the green and our new hut was vandalised.

Regent Park bowling green.

Regent Park bowling green.

“According to the council they have had complaints that people can’t get onto the green.”

Brian Cooke, who has been a member since the club started about 20 years ago, said: “The council said it’s a public green and so it has to be left unlocked.

“But there’s no one there to collect money from the general public so other people can play for free.

“They won’t pay for someone to collect money which I quite understand.

“But we think it should be kept locked.

“I told them that if they unlock the gates they might as well just take the fence down.

“Kids are playing football on the green and others are bowling there free of charge.

“We are a first division team and I get 20 complaints a month from the opposing teams who want to play on a bowling green and not a field.

“The council don’t appreciate the surface you need for bowling.

“Since 2001 we have also been teaching bowls but you can’t teach on a field. We have got it to a reasonably good playing surface but if kids start going on it it will be ruined.

“We think we are getting a rough deal.”

The bowling club, with about 20 members, plays on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.

There is also a veterans team and a ladies team.

The city council said it has now asked the club members to raise £2,500 to reinstate another bowling green in the park.

They will then lock up the original green.

Mr Cooke said: “This is acceptable to everybody; we want our green locked to keep the green in a good condition.”

A city council spokesman said: “The Regent Park Bowling Club and the council have agreed to work in partnership in order to raise the £2,500 needed to reinstate a second bowling green for unlimited use for casual bowling on a daily basis.

“The bowling green used by the club will be locked each evening and re-opened every morning until the other green is reinstated for use by members of the public.

“Once the maintenance work is complete, the bowling green used by the club will be secured and limited to use by members for practice and competitions and other competitive clubs on request.”