Bowling vandals Tom

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A bowling club has been forced to close after more than 50 years because of persistent attacks to its green by vandals.

The Mackintosh’s, known as the Mack’s, played for 10 years at the green on Akroyd Park.

But the club’s 24 members have now had to move to Siddal bowling green after attacks by vandals forced them to call it a day.

The club took the decision after wheelie bins and a hut at the bowling green were set on fire.

Bob Batchelor, secretary for 32 years, said: “Over the years the vandals have worked their way in.

“They’ve treated it like a golf course and a football pitch.

“They’re just not very nice people.

“There were two gardens up there at one time but they shut one down and let them use it to play football.

“But they pulled the walls down and kicked it to death then tried to do the same thing to ours.

“The police have been up but as soon as they arrived they’ve cleared off.

“The gardener says they came back again two minutes after the police have gone.

“It got so bad we’ve had to move from there and close the club down and we’ve now joined up with the Siddal bowling club.

“It’s very sad that we’ve had to move and shut the club down but it’s the only thing we could do to keep us all together.

“We’re happy there at the moment and they’ve made us very welcome.”