Bowling club is lost opportunity

ALTHOUGH I am a member of the Ryedale Indoor Bowls Club, and wish to see indoor bowling continue, I am more concerned about the impending loss of an under-appreciated general leisure and recreation facility of value to the whole of Ryedale and, particularly, to those who live closest to the club.

It was built as an eight-rink bowling club, with accompanying facilities: restaurant and bar, ballroom and meeting room to benefit a huge initial membership. On taking ownership, the council should not have set out to maximise their financial return (with an 80 per cent return in the first year alone), but sought to exploit, instead, the potential of the place as a community centre that included indoor bowling.

In his letter (Gazette, January 9) Coun Ives says that he “took the decision (to vote for the sale) based on the facts presented to me”, leaving the impression that he didn’t visit the club to find out anything for himself, and considered no other information other than that presented by partial colleagues.

How many councillors and council officers had visited the club or really appreciated the asset that they had? And it is not credible that money raised from the sale of the club would be put to such a use as Coun Ives mentioned. As Coun Knaggs has has stated, there is no money left to spend, With a little support from the council, the building could have been a thriving community centre.

Little or no cost need have been involved; advertising is expensive but Ryedale District Council could have included promotional information (beyond the club’s address tucked away in a backwater of the website). And now, there is a newsletter sent out by email which could be used to promote this, and other, facilities.

As to the indoor bowling itself, for those that have not tried it, be ‘bo(w)ld’, give it a go before your council deprives you of the opportunity.

HARRY DAVIS, Great Barugh

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