Members devastated as Huntingdon bowls club is set alight by vandals

Huntingdon Outdoor Bowls Club arson attack, (l-r) Secretary Mike Anderson, and Chairman Mick Verland

Huntingdon Outdoor Bowls Club arson attack, (l-r) Secretary Mike Anderson, and Chairman Mick Verlander, - Credit: Archant

Bowls club members have expressed their heartache and frustration after suffering two break-ins in three weeks.

Huntingdon Outdoor Bowls Club became the target of vandals in the early hours of last Saturday morning (October 17), with offenders burning a hole in the floor of the building in St Peter’s Road.

Chairman of the club Mick Verlander said: “We struggle as a club to keep it going, what’s the point in them doing this.”

The offenders broke into the club through the back door and set fire to books that were in the building.

Club treasurer Tony Bradford said: “We are really frustrated that anybody would have the mentality to do this.”

The fire came as a shock to Mr Bradford, who discovered it on Saturday morning after being alerted by neighbours of the club.

“I saw smoke coming from the front of the building so I called the emergency services, it was just devastating.

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“The building will now have to be totally refurbished, it is going to cost us thousands and it’s money that we don’t have – it is not fair on our members.”

In September the club was broken into by burglars who stole alcohol and other items from the bar.

“After that we decided to remove everything from the club so I think they must have seen that and decided to set fire to the books inside.

“Our only saving grace is that the outdoor bowls club is closed until April which means we have time to do the work.”

Throughout the year the club have plagued with attacks including metal pipes being thrown onto the green during a game and a total of three break-ins.

Mr Verlander added: “We’ve never really had any trouble before. We took over in 1994 and this is the first time I have had something like this happen.”