'Life-saving' Brockley bowling club trashed by vandals for fourth time

News Shopper: 'Life-saving' Brockley bowling club trashed by vandals for fourth time 'Life-saving' Brockley bowling club trashed by vandals for fourth time

A Brockley bowls club has been trashed by vandals for the fourth time in recent months, with members warning they need help from Lewisham Council.

Overnight on May 21, vandals climbed over a fence at the Francis Drake club in Hilly Fields, smashing flowerpots and statues, breaking chairs and destroying the bowling green.

Member Bryn McNeill said bowlers had been left in tears after finding out about the latest incident, which he described as "the worst yet".

He said: "The motive has been purely to smash furniture and fittings and to dump stuff on the bowling green.

"Whoever is involved is quite strong as some of the objects thrown and smashed are quite heavy.

"Last night was the most serious incident with a break in to an external cabin, furniture smashed, plant holders ripped from their moorings and smashed, plants damaged beyond repair and various items and earth dumped onto the bowls green."

The club has around 40 members, many of them older people, but its venue is in desperate need of repair, while members warn vandals are getting through one side over a fence.

Regular member Frances Ward, 67, said: "It's much more than just a bowling club. There are people there who are really quite dependent on the club for their social lives.

"There's a man in his 80s who reckons the club saved his life after his wife died."

Mr McNeill said: "Our only hope now is to put pressure on the council to help get a higher wall to keep them out.

"Given that the club house is in need of renewal and increasingly difficult to maintain, the current attacks of vandalism are very demoralising to members who work hard to make the club to attractive to current and potential members."

A Lewisham Council spokesman said: "We deplore all acts of vandalism especially those that cause damage to popular and cherished leisure facilities. We will continue to work with bowls club members, the police and the local community to discuss a number of security options."

 

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