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‘Massive blow’ for bowling club facing imminent closure

PUBLISHED: 19:04 11 January 2018 | UPDATED: 19:04 11 January 2018

Browston Hall, at Browston near Belton, Great Yarmouth, is up for sale. Photo: Savills

Browston Hall, at Browston near Belton, Great Yarmouth, is up for sale. Photo: Savills

Savills

Indoor bowling could come to an end at an historic country house hotel, club members have claimed.

The competitive sport has been going on at Browston Hall, near Bradwell, since 1983.

But the new owners have reportedly told the club’s 350 players that it is not part of the leisure hub’s future and that the six rinks will close at the end of the season in April.

Jon Carter, B-team captain, said the news had come as a massive blow.

As well as the sport itself and the element of competition there was also a social side that the mostly older people enjoyed.

“A lot of the bowlers are looking for other clubs, a lot of them are going to Yarmouth, Acle, Lowestoft, and Beccles,” he said.

“It is a great shame. There are six rinks, all well-used.

“It did need a bit of refurbishment, but nothing that would have cost a lot of money.

“It was a massive blow because bowling is a way of life and a social club. A lot of the members are elderly and it suited them.

“Every day there are people playing Monday to Friday, two or three times a day with tournaments on Saturdays and Sundays.

“I like meeting people and I like the competition.”

It comes as Great Yarmouth Borough Council considers the future of the seafront Marina Centre and its indoor bowling rinks, home to a busy and well-supported club which faces eviction - and is now the only one in the borough.

The council’s own Sport and Leisure Strategy states the borough has a requirement for “at least 10 rinks.”

Council leader Graham Plant, said the development could have an impact on current thinking but it would be up to the members to decide.

He said a new strategy would take account of the updated figures.

Last year the council agreed the best way forward would be a new-build leisure centre.

Officers are scoping out locations as they decide where the best place for it would be, with the Golden Mile still an option.

Helen Farrow, chair of the Great Yarmouth Indoor Bowls’ Club, is among those pushing for a re-think to allow local folk to continue playing the sport they love in their home borough.

Browston Hall has been approached for a comment.

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