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BOWLERS at Avon Bowls Club have vowed to continue as normal, despite experiencing a number of incidents of vandalism and intimidation.
Last week, club members reported youths throwing stones onto the green whilst members were playing, rubbish thrown across the club’s car park, and damage to guttering at the rear of the clubhouse, which was ripped off and thrown onto the roof.
Despite the trouble, the club pressed ahead with plans to host the prestigious President’s Day, which this week saw the club’s chair, Dawn Edwards, in her role as Bowls Wiltshire Ladies’ County President, welcome ladies from across the county to the club for a day of friendly competitions to celebrate her year in the role.
Speaking to Melksham News at the event about the vandalism, Dawn said, “Their parents would be horrified if they knew what they were doing. Some of them are youngsters, some of them up to the age of 14, and they were doing silly things like chucking big stones over whilst people were playing.
“When someone told them that they shouldn’t be down here, they decided to ride their scooters across the green – luckily the green is very hard because of the rain, so they caused little damage.
“I’m just hoping they realise that we are here to enjoy ourselves and that we have youngsters playing here too – it’s not an old sport any more. And if they want to come along and have a go, then we would be more than happy to have them here and give them a game.
“But it’s the coming down to the clubhouse and not knowing what to expect. Something has to be done. Some people are sitting here in the evening, just in case people turn up. We shouldn’t have to do that.”
The club has appealed to Wiltshire Council, who still own the site, for support and have been told that the council will repair the guttering and will liaise with the local community policing team to investigate improving site security.
“With the best will in the world I don’t know what Wiltshire Council can do,” said Dawn, “this is an open site. So it’s down to the parents – do you know what your children are doing?”