Five local bowling clubs are working with the Friends of Centre Vale Park to some action to repair the bowling pavilion.
Twenty-six people attended a recent Friends meeting to decide how to save the 99-year-old Centre Vale bowlers’ pavilion. Repair is needed urgently or it may have to close.
Years of council neglect, and promises of grant applications that never happened, have left the iconic little bowlers’ pavilion in a very bad state, they say. “It is no longer fit for purpose. In fact it is an embarrassment,” said, David Sutcliffe for the Veterans Club based there.
The Friends have at last persuaded Calderdale to give them permission to carry out simple repairs to keep the rain out - but the money will not come from Calderdale, whose asset management department believes the provision of bowling facilities in Todmorden to be a “low priority”. The money must therefore be found by the community.
There will be the big British Federation of Bowls late season competition this weekend when there will be over 200 people using the greens. That event will mark the launch of this big fundraising push, and initially the money will be used to repair the roof, gutters and pointing.
Sarah Pennie for the Friends said they were surprised Calderdale had over many years failed to acknowledge the importance of the bowling facilities in Centre Vale Park. Bowling teams from a very wide area are attracted to the four greens in Centre Vale which are perfect for big competitions.
“The facilities we have to offer these visiting teams are frankly awful, and it is such a bad advertisement for our town,” said Fred Birtwistle, a bowling club member who is acting as co-ordinator between the Friends of the park and the clubs. “All these big competitions bring benefits to the town but several prestigious competitions have been lost to Todmorden because of the very poor facilities here”,
Sarah added: “The greens are open daily in the season, and used by many local people - we urge people to support the Bowls Pavilion fund”.
Donations to help repair the 99-year-old pavilion, pictured above, can be sent to the Bowls Pavilion Fund, and addressed to Linda Jones, 14 Wood Lea, Church Road, Todmorden OL14 8EZ. Enquiries for the Friends of Centre Vale should go to Sarah, 01706 559971.
Alan Lee, Calderdale Council’s lead for corporate asset and facilities management, said: “We are aware that the bowling pavilion is in need of attention and have worked with the Friends to agree some simple repairs. We are also working together to prepare a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to seek ‘Parks for People’ funding to enable improvements to be carried out in Centre Vale Park more generally. The bid will be submitted in February 2015.”