Bowlers celebrate reprieve of their Bognor sports site

MP Nick Gibb joins the celebrations at Swanfield Gardens.'''Picture by Louise Adams C130550-1 Bog Apr25 Swansea
MP Nick Gibb joins the celebrations at Swanfield Gardens.'''Picture by Louise Adams C130550-1 Bog Apr25 Swansea

BOWLERS toasted the success of their campaign to save their Bognor Regis home from closing.

The members of Pagham, Telepost and Bognor Beavers clubs said thank you to those who had helped their campaign to protect Swansea Gardens.

Some 30 people went along to the occasion ahead of the sporting action there this summer.

Peter Quilter, the Pagham club’s chairman, said: “This site is vital for our clubs. It is the most important thing about us. We really do like it here and we are looking forward to the new season.”

Bognor Beavers’ player Beverley Quilter said: “This site gives so much pleasure to so many people.

“It’s good to have a clubhouse, which gives us a community spirit.

“The three clubs here going to Waterloo Square with its three clubs, as was suggested, would never have worked.

“It was not just about the loss of the greens. It was also about the loss of the clubhouse.”

Mike Kibby, the vice-chairman of Telepost, said: “The three clubs here have worked together for this site with tremendous co-operation.”

The threat to Swansea Gardens’ six bowling rinks and three tennis courts arose last September. Arun sought the public’s views on a consultant’s report about moving the bowling and selling the land for housing.

The £2.6m raised would have been spent improving 
the seafront. But the council’s cabinet agreed in March to protect Swansea Gardens.

This has yet to be ratified by all councillors because of a delayed meeting.

But Arun leader Gillian Brown said she was confident the decision would be backed at the new meeting on May 15.

“The community spirit here is what we want to see flourishing in the area, “ she said.

Cllr Paul Wells (LD, Aldwick West) said: “It is fantastic we have got this result.

“I’m pleased common sense has prevailed. This shows what people can do when they get together for the benefit of an area.”

A public meeting held by Cllr Wells last November saw some 250 people turn up to protest about the threat to Swansea Gardens.