Majority back bid to keep National Bowling Championships

THE VAST majority of our readers who contacted us want Worthing to retain the National Men’s Bowling Championships – one even describing a possible relocation as an “utter disgrace”.

We exclusively revealed last week that Worthing Borough Council had tabled an offer to Bowls England to stop a possible move of the prestigious tournament to Royal Leamington Spa.

The town council met with Bowls England two weeks ago to put its proposals on the table to prevent a possible relocation of the annual men’s event, which takes place at Beach House Park.

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We asked for the views of our readers over the possible move and a number got in contact through writing to us or commenting online and a poll on our website revealed 81 per cent of people want the tournament to remain in the town.

Will Lefebve, from Cissbury Road, Ferring, said: “A national event like this belongs in a seaside environment with charm, decent weather and beautiful floral displays, not some boring, dingy Midlands backwater.

“And these are the thoughts of someone originally from Cheltenham – 40 miles from Leamington.”

Marine View Hotel owner, Christine Oliver, wrote to us pointing out the availability of parking permits in Worthing.

She said: “My B&B has had many bowlers stay, with our prices starting from £40 per person per night. We have for 14 years had bowlers and spectators often threatened with Leamington Spa and going to hold the event there, this is not the first time this has happened.”

On parking, she added: “Hotel and accommodation providers have daily permits for their guests at £1 per day in Zone B and a bit more for Zone A. Parking prices have never been an issue for my bowlers.”

Marine Gardens bowler Mary Stenton said: “I would like to see Worthing’s Beach House Park keep the National Men’s Bowling Championships.

“Clearly, hotels, guest houses and restaurants would suffer from the loss of trade if the Nationals were relocated to Leamington.

“I understand from bowlers who have bowled at Leamington that the greens there are not that good, whereas those at Beach House Park are kept in a fine condition.”

Mark Flower, from Holmbush Close in Shoreham, commented: “I’d find it an utter disgrace if this bowls competition was to go to the Midlands, and for what reason?”

For more reaction and the full story, pick up the current edition of Worthing Herald, Shoreham Herald or Littlehampton Gazette out now.