One of the Midlands’ top crown green bowling clubs is under threat of eviction from its Northfield home of almost 80 years.
The King George V Bowling Club is situated at the rear of the former public house of the same name in Tessall Lane, Northfield. The Grade II listed building, currently named The Emerald by the previous owner, has been purchased by a Birmingham business man who intends to open a new venture on the site.
Unfortunately, no lease agreement has so far been able to be reached between the club and the new owner.
And club officials say they have been told that they will not be able to access the site from tomorrow (Friday 4th July) unless they sign a lease that the new owner has drawn up which would allow them to stay until September, even though they have not had it checked by a solicitor.
Cllr Reg Corns (Con, Northfield) raised the issue at the Northfield District Committee meeting on Friday and members from both parties expressed concern for the future of the club.
Northfield MP Richard Burden hoped that the owners and club members could work together to resolve the situation. He said: “I have urged the new owners of the site to sit down with the bowls club to reach an amicable solution and I have offered to help achieve that. [The building] is a historic landmark in the Northfield area and one that has had important community uses over the years. One of those that remain to this day is that the bowling green to the rear of the building is home to the KGV Bowling Club.”
Councillor Andy Cartwright (Lab, Longbridge) said: “I fully support the petition and the need to get around the table to talk.”
Longbridge Councillor Ian Cruise (Lab), himself a crown green bowler in the past, issued a strong statement of support for the club saying: “The King George V bowls club have been playing on this green since the opening of the pub in 1937. Many generations have played and still play on this historic piece of turf. The treatment of the members of the club by the new owner of the Emerald/King George V is nothing short of shocking. I find it hard to believe that a business man who wishes the local community to use his facility – I’ve heard it will be an Indian restaurant – is being so uncompromising to members of the same local community who wish to play the sport they love.
“The King George V club are the Liverpool or Man Utd of the bowling scene. They are one of the UK’s top 5 clubs. If they were evicted from their home of 77 years it would be a travesty. It would be like Liverpool or Man Utd being kicked out of Anfield or Old Trafford. I will continue to work with the club to keep them at their home & hope the new owner of Emerald/KGV will see sense, show some compassion & let the club stay put.”
If you wish to show your support, you can sign the petition below: