A historic bowling club could be on the brink of collapse after council bosses announced they are to take away its greens and pavilion due to budget cuts.
Kingsway Ladies Bowling Club fears its 75-year existence could soon be a distant memory after being told Brighton and Hove City Council is planning to close all but two out of ten greens on Western Lawns, Hove.
Town hall chiefs have said they are reclaiming the club pavilion for “commercial purposes” and are thought to be turning it into an ice-cream parlour.
Cynthia Joel, vice-captain of the Kingsway Ladies Bowling Club, fears the team’s elderly members won’t be able to carry on playing if they are forced to carry heavy bowls to an alternative site.
She said: “To take the pavilion for commercial purposes and requiring the Kingsway Ladies Club to move elsewhere would indeed be adding insult to injury and would, in effect, be cutting the ground from beneath our feet.
“Where are we to go to survive as a proper functioning bowls club?
Impact on elderly
“The club functions not only as a facility for competitively played lawn bowls on a national, county and local level, but also as an open air facility for all to exercise in, particularly the elderly.”
She added: “The pavilion building is in Sackville Gardens, a conservation area of Kingsway.
‘Shutting off forever’ “If the council were to take away the present pavilion for their commercial purposes it would have the effect of shutting off forever, the simple leisure of many, but mostly of the elderly.”
The club has celebrated numerous national and county honours throughout its history and has seen various members go on to represent England in international tournaments.
A Brighton and Hove City Council spokeswoman confirmed a decision was made to remove the West Bowling green on Hove Seafront.
Sje said: “The council will continue to promote bowling across the city to try and increase participation as many clubs have membership spaces.”
Talking point: How concerned are you about the closure of bowling greens in Hove? To what extent would you welcome an ice-cream parlour in the area? Share your views by commenting below or email The Argus letters pages firstname.lastname@example.org
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