Over 70 years Gullivers Bowls Club become part of Bexhill’s heritage
From: Bob Dean, Hawkhurst Way, Bexhill on Sea
As a member of Gullivers Bowls Club I am pleased to take this opportunity to provide further information and personally address some of the concerns raised, regarding our redevelopment proposals.
Our founder Charles Gulliver was a successful businessman, living in Bexhill and in 1951 he founded Gullivers Bowls Club. He purchased the site in Knole Road which to this present day, continues to provide the residents of Bexhill, with a unique indoor and outdoor bowls facility.
For over 70 years, Gullivers Bowls Club has existed and after such time has become part of the heritage that is Bexhill. During this period our building has served us well but regrettably, the rigours of time have taken their toll and it is no longer able to withstand the English weather and if we are to continue as a bowls club, we must act! The overall cost of redevelopment is far beyond that which could possibly be raised by our members and is an amount, that can only be achieved by selling part of the land. Our new management team have considered minimising the impact on the surrounding area, by forgoing the original plans for retirement flats and instead, are proposing to build a small number of mews style properties situated on the northern boundary, feeling this will provide a more integrated and pleasing outlook. Much has been written that the plot of land in question is an Asset of Community Value and in this regard in November 2020 Gullivers entered into the Asset of Community Value legal process, offering any interested party the chance to bid for the land. Only one party declared their interest but after 6 months, nothing materialised.
It is well documented that seaside towns can expect regeneration over the next few years.
With the news of such regeneration, it can be anticipated, changes will occur in Bexhill and already we are witnessing numerous new house building programmes. As time progresses, the Gulliver’s site could well command a premium but our objective is not to speculate on future property prices but to retain a bowls facility in the area which, it is hoped, will continue to provide and attract members of our community, who wish to partake in a gentle recreation, whilst making new friends.
To sit back and do nothing would be totally unforgivable and result in the eventual closure of Gullivers. If this was to happen, the land and buildings would become derelict, until such time as the future of the entire site is determined. We take this responsibility very seriously and have the opportunity now, to save the land as a bowling club, which is something we hope our community will value and want to support.
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