Top bowling on its way thanks to grant

TODMORDEN Park Veterans Bowling Club will be able to honour its commitment to host several national competitions at Centre Vale Park in 2011 thanks to a grant from the town council.

The bowling club has arranged for six prestigious competitions including the Ladies Crown Green Championship and the British Veterans Team Championship to be played on the park greens, but problems with the toilet facilities threatened to flush their plans down the drain.

Secretary David Sutcliffe approached Todmorden town council for help and councillors agreed to give the club a grant of £1,644 to cover the cost of providing portable toilets for the competitions.

Mr Sutcliffe, who is also on the management committee of the British Crown Green Bowling Association, said: “We run tournaments on the park but the toilet facilities are absolutely atrocious.

“There’s only the ladies toilet that’s working. The gents has not been working for 18 months. The roof has caved in.”

Mr Sutcliffe said Calderdale Council encouraged him to get more competitions, which would bring more visitors to the park.

After securing the competition dates for next year, he was then told by Calderdale Council that it could not afford to pay for hiring portable toilets.

“I feel very badly let down by Calderdale Council that they will not do this,” Mr Sutcliffe said.

“If we don’t get toilet facilities we just can’t run these competitions. If we cancel these competitions this year, we will never get them back.”

He said the competitions would bring more visitors into Todmorden.

“Most of these competitions have got 16 teams consisting of ten players each,” he said.

“That’s 160 players, plus referees, officials and spectators. Anything between 200-300 people will be around the greens, which as a Todmordian is great to see.

“We want to see bowling on there. There’s nowhere in the bowling fraternity where the greens are set out like Todmorden.

“It’s the ideal layout for bowling as it’s in a square which makes it easy for bowlers, organisers and referees.

“We are getting top class competition bowling in our town which is absolutely great. People come from round about to watch bowling in Todmorden.

“People have found that Todmorden is a good place to come.”

Town councillors praised the bowling club for attracting top competitions to the town and quickly decided to provide the funding required.

Coun Margareta Holmstedt said: “I think it’s brilliant that they have all these events coming into Todmorden.”

Councillors have written to Calderdale Council to ask that urgent action is taken to repair the toilet facilities in the park.