A Colne dad has been bowled over by support in getting a disused bowling green back into use.
The area in Alkincoats Park had started to become a magnet for anti-social behaviour and was causing concern to residents and the council.
Suggestions were made to give the plot a new lease of life by transforming it into a community garden - but it was Daryl Wright’s heartfelt plea to maintain it as a bowling green that earned the backing of councillors on the Pendle Council Colne and District Committee.
Mr Wright and members of the Philip Wright Bowling Academy have worked alongside Pendle Council’s Parks and Recreation team to get the area ready for the 2015 season. And on Saturday, members were able to reap the benefits of their labour and use the green for the first time.
The academy was set up following the death of Daryl’s son and keen sportsman Philip, who was tragically killed in a car accident in July 2009, aged just 25.
Kieron Roberts, service development officer in Parks and Recreation, said: “The bowling green has been out of action for some time following anti social behaviour there and misuse of the green for football.
“We’ve been working closely with the police, the Philip Wright Crown Green Bowling Academy and residents of Barcroft Street to bring the bowling green back into use. The bowling academy in particular has worked very hard over the last six months to drive the project forward and it’s great that the new bowling green is ready in time for the 2015 season.
“It’s a fantastic community asset now that the green has been brought up to a better standard. I’m sure it will see plenty of action over the spring and summer.”
The Alkincoats Park bowling green will be used for coaching sessions delivered by Philip Wright Crown Green Bowling Academy members.
Free Saturday morning sessions for people of all ages between 10am and 12pm have now begun. And weekday bowling afternoons will take place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The bowling green is also available to the general public to use for free. Sets of bowls can be borrowed from the academy. Mr Wright said: “Without a great deal of help from a large number of people this project would not have got off the ground.
“We had a good start on our first volunteer day in September with over 10 people turning up to strip back the green. I would like to thank all the people who helped out and for the encouragement from the local people and residents of Barcroft Street.
“We hope to join the local leagues and form new teams for the 2016 season. With this in mind we are running 16 taster days with local schools over the summer. Two of our new members have been looking at the history of the Alkincoats’ greens and have put an exhibition in Colne library’s entrance during April.”
Members of the Philip Wright Crown Green Bowling Academy will help Pendle Council’s grounds maintenance team to maintain the bowling green throughout the season.