Fire-hit Regent Road bowling group find a new home in Lowestoft

The league players from the Wednesday Coffee Time Trios at theirr new venue Richardson's Family Ente

The league players from the Wednesday Coffee Time Trios at theirr new venue Richardson's Family Entertainment Centre in Lowestoft. - Credit: Archant

Ten pin bowlers who found themselves homeless following the Regent Road fire are back in the swing of things at a new venue despite having lost all their kit in the blaze.

Players from the Wednesday Coffee Time Trios are settling in at the Richardson's complex in Lowestoft after more than half a century at the Great Yarmouth venue.

Susanne Mason who bowled as a teenager when the seaside centre first opened in the 1960s said hundreds of people had lost balls, shoes, clothing and equipment stored in lockers on the site and worth around £200 to each player.

But members of her league had 'taken it on the chin' and decided not to claim for their losses believing that because they were not charged for the safekeeping the company was probably not liable.

Meanwhile everyone had paid out for new custom-made balls and outfits and were ready to face the lanes once more.

Mrs Mason, 73, said players had been devastated by the fire which had brought Yarmouth to a standstill and shocked the town.

Striking at the heart of the summer on its main thoroughfare, it was among the most ferocious blazes in living memory.

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Having been there since the beginning Mrs Mason said it was sad to see that it had all been destroyed.

In its bowling heyday players would fill all 22 lanes, several of which were cut in recent years to add a play area and other facilities.

However, she said she was delighted with the warm reception at Lowestoft where everything was being done to welcome them.

The only downside was that the centre used a different computer system meaning they had to tot things up in their heads to work out handicaps.

Mrs Mason added that they had lost only one team in the move meaning six had transferred.

The fire broke out in the early hours of the morning on Thursday August 4 sending an indoor market and bowling alley up in flames.

Businessman Phil Thompson who owns the building said demolition at the site was continuing and set to last for another four weeks.

Meanwhile he remained hopeful that the building would be re-instated and returned to its former use as a bowling alley.

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