Fears for two clubs as matches are switched to Centre Vale

Hebden Bridge Bowling Club at Salem Fields
Hebden Bridge Bowling Club at Salem Fields

Two Calder Valley bowling clubs will be playing league matches at Todmorden BC this summer, raising fears about their futures.

They are Hebden Bridge BC and Hollins BC, both members of the Hebden Royd League.

Halifax club Shroggs Park has closed this winter as spiralling council rents kick in but the two Valley clubs are both privately owned.

Hebden Bridge BC, in existence for more than a century on Lee Mill Road, has a dwindling membership and has been hit by vandalism.

Windows have been smashed and their green has been used as a picnic area. Their hut is in a poor state.

Spokesman John Pickles said a membership of around a dozen members was struggling to pay rates and for green upkeep.

“We will try to keep the green cut this year and look into grants,” he said. “The first job is to keep the team together and that is why we are going to Todmorden Park.

“We are all gutted but the green is not fit state to bowl. We didn’t have the money at end of last season to repair it.”

The secretary of Walsden club Hollins BC could not be contacted, but it is believed that their leased green is in poor condition with a lack of drainage a particular issue.

Fred Rothwell, secretary of the Hebden Royd and District ABA, feared more clubs would follow Mytholmroyd WMC last year and go to the wall.

Rothwell knows some clubs are struggling to fill teams in the Hebden Royd League’s Monday evening competition and the league has reacted by cutting the number of players per team to six in the third division.

Matches will start on April 20 with Crossroads A the defending champions.

The veterans league, in contrast, is buoyant with a nett gain of three teams.

Hill Crest and Crow Wood are new to league while Mytholmroyd and Halifax have added extra teams. Old Town have pulled out.

The veterans’ longer season starts on Wednesday, April 8. Savile A are the defending champions.

Hebden Royd League line-ups for 2015

Evening League - Division One: Crossroads A, Crossroads B, Old Town A, Heptonstall A, Mytholmroyd A, Todmorden Park, Oxenhope A, Denholme A, Lung Park.

Division Two: Hebden Bridge, Oakworth, Mytholmroyd B, Savile A, Cullingworth A, Denholme B, Heptonstall B, Sowerby A, Hollins.

Division Three: Crossroads C, Old Town B, Luddenden Foot, Mytholmroyd C, Heptonstall C, Cullingworth B, Sowerby B, Oxenhope B, Savile B.

Veterans - Division One: Luddenden Foot, Keighley, Hill Crest, Savile A, Walsden A, Ripponden A, Ripponden B, Heptonstall, Old Town. Mytholmroyd A, Mytholmroyd B.

Division Two: Sowerby, Halifax A, Halifax B, Halifax C, Mytholmroyd C, Mytholmroyd D, Greenroyd A, Greenroyd B, Savile B, Crow Wood Park, Walsden B.