What happened to the bowling green?
The bowling green was used by a partially sighted bowls club and a croquet club. The council decided to decommission the bowling green in July 2017. The croquet club was then consulted later in 2017 and they expressed a wish to remain at Victoria Park. On then being told that the decision to close the green had already been taken in July they accepted that they had no option but to move elsewhere. Contact details for the croquet club can be found here.
Following decommissioning the high hedge surrounding the bowling green was reduced in height which gave a clearer view of the lodges, which were subsequently renovated externally and floodlit. The green itself become a compound for vehicles and equipment used in the creation of the new cycleway on London Road. On completion of this work the green was vacated. The picture below shows its current condition.
What is the plan now?
The plan now is to convert the bowling green into an area of parkland with trees, shrubs, paths, and sitting areas which ultimately will link to a wider plan for the restoration of the pavilion. A concept impression of what this area will look like can be seen below.
In this illustration the park pavilion can be seen in the background. As this develops the bowling green area should become an attractive space for park users and others to walk, sit, enjoy the park, and take refreshments from the restored pavilion. More details of the plans for the restoration of the pavilion can be found here.
Notwithstanding the loss of the bowling green, once the work on the former green is completed and the pavilion is restored it should transform this area of the park into an attractive space which should prove popular with park and pavilion users. It is hoped that the work on the former green will be carried out in 2020. The restoration of the pavilion, which is a major project, is likely to take much longer.