AS English as cream teas and cucumber sandwiches, lawn bowls are an intrinsic feature of village life - seen as 'quaint' by some and for the 'retired' by many, it nevertheless is a gentle reminder of times past.
But for members of Hockley Heath Bowling Club, the illusion was soon shattered when vandals tore up the green with a lawn edger and smashed sheds- one of which had been standing since 1920 when the club first opened.
Albert Donnelly, president of the club was shocked to see the damage which occurred in the village almost a fortnight ago. "It happened on the Saturday night. I'm the captain of the Sunday morning team and one of our bowlers arrived early and saw the carnage. He rang me and I cancelled the game with the other team. All the other players came and tried to put it back in the best order. It's useable now."
The vandals also made their way to the nearby Hockley Heath Recreation Ground where they ripped off a wooden shutter and hurled a huge plant pot and paving slab through the window. A fire extinguisher was also set off inside the building.
However, Albert who lives in Shirley has vowed to carry on. "We are quite resilient and keep battling on."
Sergeant Jo Comer from West Midlands Police, Knowle, Dorridge and Blythe Neighbourhood Policing Team said: "West Midlands Police take these issues very seriously and are keen to work with members of the community in Hockley Heath. We have had 12 calls in 12 months in relation to the Cricket Pavilion. Anybody causing damage or acting in an anti-social way will be dealt with robustly by the local Neighbourhood police team. If you have any information please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 08451135000 ex 7828 6264 - Sgt Jo Comer."
Hockley Heath Bowling Club would love to hear from local people of all ages who would like to join them. Games are played most days of the week so why not drop by and take a look? ..SUPL: