Wisbech bowlers appeal for help to re-start club

Daisy Tooley and Geoff Bloye enjoy a game of bowls watched by volunteer Harry Smith (middle) on the indoor bowls mat. ENGANL00120110826123911
Daisy Tooley and Geoff Bloye enjoy a game of bowls watched by volunteer Harry Smith (middle) on the indoor bowls mat. ENGANL00120110826123911

Bowlers are frustrated after facing a season without play after a club has ceased.

Wisbech Indoor Bowls Club relinquished its lease for the rinks at the Hudson Centre in March. The club owes Fenland District Council £16,000.

Now three people are trying to resurrect the club and say more than 70 people want bowls in the town.

One of these people, Roger Rawson, has been approached by bowlers desperate to know what’s happening and is calling on the council to help.

He said bowlers are either forced to hire the rinks privately or join other clubs.

He said: “A lot of the clubs are pretty full and some people don’t want to travel. They want to play indoor bowls at Wisbech and have been left in limbo.

“Bowling is very social and keeps you fit.

“We would like the council to sit down with the people trying to re-establish the club to find out what we can do and what they will allow us to do.”

A council spokesman says it has met with officials from the club.

He said: “We are still hoping the club can develop a realistic business plan to show that it can be viable. So far they haven’t managed to do that.

“They haven’t told us how they propose to deal with the outstanding debt, nor have they come up with positive ideas to increase their membership.

“We met with Frank Howard, the club’s acting secretary, on July 23, and suggested that they approach Living Sport and ask for its support in producing a detailed business plan.

“After discussions with the English Indoor Bowling Association, we have also made some suggestions about generating more income through minor increases in annual membership fees and rink fees.

“To date they have not come back to us on any of this.

“We are doing our best to highlight the support available to the club and continue to hope that they can come forward with a realistic business plan shortly.”