Borehamwood Bowls Club
Tuesday, 26.03.2019
The demise of our Club PDF Print E-mail

We were evicted by Hertsmere Council from our Meadow Park facility at the end of 2018, and the remaining members voted to formally close the club on 18th February 2019.  For further information, please read on.

 

November 2017, we first became aware that our tenancy at Meadow Park was under threat following a post on the "Borehamwood not Elstree" Facebook group.


November 2017, we arranged a meeting with Hertsmere to discuss the news.  They confirmed they were considering changing our pavilion into a cafe and public toilets, our green into a car park, and creating an artificial 4-rink bowls facility at Aberford Park. However, council documentation seems to suggest this was more then a consideration.

24th May 2018, at a meeting with the council, called at our request as we had heard nothing further since November, we were told we had been served with a 6-month termination of our tenancy in January 2018.  This was the first the club committee knew of this, and Hertsmere were unable to prove the provenance of the letter, which they claim was posted to us "Signed For".

At that meeting we were informed that we could probably have an extension to the end of 2018 so we could complete our season of fixtures and social events.  However, this was only given verbally, and not in writing.

2nd June 2018 the bowls club committee delivered a letter to Morris Bright, Leader of Hertsmere Council, requesting a response within 14 days.  The letter raised our concerns that we had not been communicated with or consulted on the proposed changes and relocation, and had not received written confirmation that our tenancy could be extended until the end of 2018.

After no response was received, we posted the following statement on our website on 19th June 2018. Please click here. We also posted an update on the "Borehamwood not Elstree" Facebook group.

21st June 2018 we received a response from Morris Bright, Lead of Hertsmere Council, to our letter of 2nd June.

Mr Bright's letter contains several factual inaccuracies, and fails to grasp that there was no consultation between the council and the bowls club prior to the changes being proposed and approved by the council in 2017, or any communication afterwards.  In the letter he alludes to an extension of our tenancy, which we had requested, but not that it had been granted.

We have been seeking to arrange a meeting with Hertsmere officials for several weeks so that we can get written approval of our tenancy extension to the end of 2018, and to discuss how the Aberford Park facility will be managed. However, we still await further information.

6th July 2018, an article on our plight was published in the Borehamwood Times and may be read here.   We would like to thank Nathan Louis for his journalistic work on this, including seeking answers from Hertsmere Council.

 

25th July 2018, a further meeting took place between Hertsmere Borough Council and Borehamwood Bowls Club.  We again had to chase Hertsmere to confirm the meeting as communication from the council remains poor.

 

31st July 2018, a further statement from the Borehamwood Bowls Club Committee was issued, and may be read here.


24th September 2018.  We played our last scheduled match on our Meadow Park green yesterday.   We still await, from Hertsmere Borough Council, details on how they propose to manage the artificial facility currently under construction in Aberford Park.  We are hoping to arrange a visit to another club, with a similar facility, in October.  However, at Aberford Park, we won't have a club house, changing rooms, toilets, anywhere to store equipment or make refreshments.

 

10th October 2018.  Hertsmere and the artificial green contractor arranged a visit to a similar green at Chess Vale Bowling Club, Chesham.  We are grateful to their chairman for his time to facilitate our visit.  Whilst we have no issue with the quality of the artificial green, which is clearly excellent, Hertsmere have failed to grasp the fact that without any club facilities at Aberford Park, such as a pavilion where you can shelter from the rain, use toilets, change, make a cup of tea and hold functions, the club has no heart.  Hertsmere also have not yet firmed up how Aberford Park Community Centre will be managed, and how or if we will be able to access it.  Furthermore, they clearly have not considered any equipment that will be required to maintain their investment in the green, or where it can be stored.

 

14th December 2018.  Hertsmere invited representatives of the club to try out the new facility at Aberford Park.  Whilst we have no issues with the bowling surface that has been provided, we still have absolutely no facilities at Aberford Park.  It is unclear if, or on what terms, we can even use the toilets in the adjacent hall or café, let alone changing facilities, etc.  We again raised the need for storage of basic bowls equipment.  The council also need to work out how the green can be maintained as it will need regularly cleaning.  Therefore, the future remains very uncertain.

 

31st December 2018 was the end of a 61 year era at Meadow Park when we locked up for the very last time.  Hertsmere BC have now taken possession of their premises, but as yet we are still no clearer how the Aberford Park facility will be managed or how we can access it.  All in all, a shambolic and sad situation.

 

18th February 2019.  At a meeting with 14 club members present, it was unanimously voted that the club should close with immediate effect.   It had proved impossible to form a stable committee to run the club in recent months, and Hertsmere BC had not been forthcoming with a workable, practical or affordable way whereby we could make use of the Aberford Park artificial bowls green.