Vandals target Denton bowling club – again

ANOTHER attack on Denton Park Social Bowling Club has reinforced members’ determination to improve security at their Victoria Park home.The latest incident, which happened between Christmas and New Year, saw the shutters to the new clubhouse damaged and graffiti daubed on the walls.

It came in the wake of a fourth arson attack in as many years, reported in the December issue, when damage was caused to the bowling green.

Club secretary Tony Moran said: “The need for security fencing and CCTV has never been greater before Victoria Park becomes a no-go area.

“After another serious attack of criminal damage and graffiti to the clubhouse, we require immediate protection from people who carry out these mindless acts.”

Bowling club members recently launched a £10,000 fundraising appeal to erect a perimeter fence.

This was done because Tameside Council, which leases the green to the bowling club, claimed they did not have funds due to austerity.

Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish and honorary president of the bowling club, has been supportive in calling for an emergency meeting which is being arranged.

It will involve his office, Tameside councillors and the police in the hope of formulating an action plan which can be set in place ready for the new bowling season in April.Tony, who discovered the damage while out for a walk on New Year’s Day, added: “After a series of wilful criminal acts of arson and recent events of graffiti and criminal damage, we are not deterred and stay fully committed to get this community facility back up and running in time for start of the season.”

It has been a rollercoaster period for the bowling club whose clubhouse was destroyed in an arson attack in 2016, leaving it homeless.

A new £50,000 clubhouse was officially opened by then Tameside Civic Mayor Cllr Denise Ward before the start of the 2019 season.

Tameside Council provided the replacement clubhouse which is leased to the bowling club which has 75 members aged between 22 and 91 years and which is run by volunteers.

It was a dawn of a new era as there was also a change of name from Denton Bowling Club.

After a successful season the executive committee agreed to develop the club with a wider remit for 2020 as they are to become one of the town’s litter pick hubs while also holding healthy lifestyle wellness events in partnership with local doctors’ surgeries and charity events.

Tony said: “We are trying to become more than just a bowling club, but an important part of the community.

“Our members are upset by what has gone on because they have put in a lot of time and effort into making the club successful.

“Hopefully the meeting will be constructive and something positive will come out of it.”

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