Next Local Election in Thetford

Days
Hours
Minutes

Hundreds sign petition to save Bowls Club

Efforts to save a town’s bowls club from a rent hike of 1,200pc have stepped up with calls for support of a public petition. 
Hundreds sign petition to save Thetford Bowls Club

Efforts to save a town’s bowls club from a rent hike of 1,200pc have stepped up with calls for support of a public petition. 

Almost 600 people have signed the online version of the ‘Save GW Staniforth Bowls Club’ petition, with hundreds more said to have signed hard copies in Thetford. 

The 55 members of the south Norfolk club, which was founded in 1951, spoke of their shock last month after learning that its landlord, the Staniforth Trust, intends to increase annual rent from £300 to £3,950.

They have warned that such a rise would mean the club would have to close, leaving Thetford as the biggest town in England without a bowls green.

Both the bowls club and the trust are named after George Wild Staniforth, who died in 1947 leaving his home, its gardens and his fortune to the town of Thetford. 

The rent hike comes despite club members tending to and paying for all maintenance at the site, off St Giles’ Lane, in the town centre.

The Staniforth Trust have said the decision to increase the rent was agreed after an independent valuation of King’s House Gardens.

However, chairman Stuart Wright said he hopes a compromise could be found and that the bowls club needed to “make their case” for what they can afford. 

The petition has subsequently been launched, with bowls club secretary John Wright saying: “I want to thank every single person who has taken the trouble to sign so far.

“We are co-ordinating this petition which will be presented to trustees of the GW Staniforth Trust and ask that they reconsider their decision to increase the rent and instead work with, and support, the bowls club so that it can remain operating.” 

He added that annual subscription fees would need to rise from £50 a year to £150 a year to meet the rent increase, which he described as “completely unfeasible”. 

District councillor Stuart Terry is supporting the club. He said: “We know that George Staniforth, who gave the land and buildings to the Trust, was a keen bowls player himself.

“I am sure that he would be disappointed to see the end of this club after more than 71 years and I hope that the trustees review their decision.” 

Hard copies of the petition are at the bowls club, the Leaping Hare information centre and the Charles Burrell Centre. The online petition can be signed at chng.it/VwKnTPHmfd

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Send us A Message

More news articles across our website

Norfolk County Council rethink call on £52m cuts and savings
Terry Jermy
Council leaders are coming under renewed pressure to drop proposed cuts which would hit people with disabilities - after the government handed County Hall £9.5m of extra cash.
Thetford Town Council provides £25,000 for groups and charities
Terry Jermy
Community groups and charities in Thetford have been invited to apply for a share of £25,000 worth of funding made available by Thetford Town Council.
Cashless society drive 'damaging for rural Norfolk'
Terry Jermy
Rural communities across Norfolk are suffering from the rapid decline in the use of cash, councillors have warned.
Norfolk recycling centre closure plans blasted by critics
Terry Jermy
Controversial proposals to shut all of Norfolk's recycling centres once a week - and to force people to book appointments to dump rubbish - will increase fly-tipping, critics have warned.

Are you a registered voter? You can now apply for a postal vote in just two minutes