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‘We can’t keep taking hits like this’ – Bowling House concerned for future

PUBLISHED: 10:30 02 August 2020 | UPDATED: 08:06 03 August 2020

The Bowling House in Dereham Road, Norwich. Picture: Daniel Moxon

The Bowling House in Dereham Road, Norwich. Picture: Daniel Moxon

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The owners of a popular city bowling alley have spoken of their “devastation” after they were told they would not be able to reopen this month as planned.

The Bowling House in Dereham Road, Norwich. Picture: Daniel MoxonThe Bowling House in Dereham Road, Norwich. Picture: Daniel Moxon

Bowling alleys were told they would be able to reopen from Saturday, August 1, as one of the last business types to begin operating fully once again after the UK-wide coronavirus lockdown.

But prime minister Boris Johnson announced on Friday, July 31, that they were going to have to remain closed for now.

With less than 24 hours’ notice, the likes of bowling alleys, beauticians and casinos were told that they would not be able to reopen for at least another fortnight.

Independent venue Bowling House, based on Dereham Road in Norwich, planned to reopen with a day of free bowling, while also offering it without charge to dining customers for the whole of August, but they had to change course at the last moment.

They took to social media on Saturday to vent their frustration, saying they felt like “the government has forgotten us or just doesn’t care”.

A Facebook post said: “We heard the shocking news from the government that once again, the return of bowling has been cancelled.

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“Honestly, we are devastated.

The Bowling House in Dereham Road, Norwich. Picture: Daniel MoxonThe Bowling House in Dereham Road, Norwich. Picture: Daniel Moxon

“Everywhere else is open. The support is gone. We feel like the government has forgotten us or just doesn’t care. We know it’s a serious situation and that a little bowling alley isn’t a priority.

“But we’re so much more than just a bowling alley.

“We’re a music venue, a comedy club, the home of a theatre company, a drawing club and a football team. We work with Age UK to tackle loneliness, support the Big C and a long list of other charities.

“We’re part of the community and we’re only just getting started.

The Bowling House in Dereham Road, Norwich. Picture: Daniel MoxonThe Bowling House in Dereham Road, Norwich. Picture: Daniel Moxon

“Before ‘all this’ things were looking good but we can’t keep taking hits like this.”

It’s not all bad news for the Bowling House, though, as they have at least been allowed to reopen the restaurant side of their business.

The Bowling House is participating in the government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme this month, and are offering a main course, dessert, drink and a bowling voucher, to be used in the future, for £10 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.


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