Ambitious plans by Midhurst Bowling Club

Members enjoying their annual barbecue last year outside the clubhouse ENGSUS00120120514114518
Members enjoying their annual barbecue last year outside the clubhouse ENGSUS00120120514114518

AMBITIOUS plans to provide a new home for Midhurst’s historic bowling club have been unveiled.

The club in June Lane, which celebrated its centenary in 2012, is hoping to buy the former St Margaret’s Convent playing fields across the road next to Midhurst Tennis Club and has submitted to the South Downs National Park Authority, plans to build a new pavilion, a green and six rinks.

Chairman Howard Seymour said; “It would be brilliant if we could carry out these plans.

“It must be at least five years we have been talking about it and it’s not black and white yet, but it is looking more promising all the time.”

He said there were two reasons for wanting to make the move from the club’s current home, which it owns.

“We want to improve the rink. Our present facilities are adequate, but we can only play in one direction which is hard on the grass.

“We would also get a new clubhouse. Our present one was built in 1934 and has done us brilliantly, but we do need a new one.

“And very importantly, we would have car parking space off the road which would alleviate some of the problems now experienced on June Lane.”

The plans have come about as a result of an offer from Affinity Sutton to buy the club’s present ground as housing land for its neighbouring development.

At the same time, the former playing fields across the road came on the market and the bowling club made an offer to buy in conjunction with Midhurst Tennis Club which has 
been using the tennis courts on the site for a number of years.

The playing field was originally bought by the convent in 1972 from the Cowdray Estate with a covenant on the land limiting its use solely for the purpose of a sports ground or playing field and no building other than a pavilion.

The site was landscaped to form three levels, with the tennis courts on the lowest and playing pitches on the other two.

Access to the site would be through the existing entrance drive on June Lane close to the tennis courts.