Bowling club alive and well – statement

BLAKES Albion Bowling Club in Brighouse is not closing and is continuing to operate as usual, according to the current management committee.

The announcement comes in the wake of a police report which cleared the committee of Blakeborough Social and Sports Club in Bradford Road of allegations of fraud and theft.

As reported in last week’s Echo, a year-long police investigation concluded there was no evidence of wrong-doing in the financial running of the club. Two factions at the club have been locked in a bitter dispute over attempts to sell Blakes Albion Bowling Club in Halifax Road to secure the future of the social club.

A statement from Blakes Albion Bowling Club said there was no truth in rumours that it was to close.

A spokesman said: “The club continues to conduct business as it has done for the last two years when it has been responsible for its own management and finance. The situation that has developed is very much in the hands of the High Court and is principally a civil matter.

“We wish to assure the people of Brighouse and the membership of both clubs that the bowling club is in the same position as it was when the social club advised us they intended to sell the club some time ago.

“We will be opening as normal and will continue to do so while we await the direction of the court.”

The committee at Blakes Albion Bowling Club is holding a meeting with Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker in Halifax Town Hall on January 28 to discuss their concerns and the best way to resolve the dispute.

Member Andrew Speechley said: “We didn’t expect a great deal from the police investigation. We just asked them to investigate the claims that were being made regarding the management of the club. I would like to see both clubs running OK and all the litigation sorted out this year.”

Though the report cleared the social club of allegations of fraud totalling £250,000, it did highlight shortcomings in the running and management of the organisation. The committee of volunteers was fighting a losing battle to keep the club solvent, said the report.