Defiant Dagenham bowls club play on despite repeated vandal attacks

Damage caused to one of the club's bathrooms

Damage caused to one of the club's bathrooms - Credit: Archant

Members of a bowls team have been left shocked and saddened after seeing vandals trash their club – and fear it may happen again.

Members of Old Dagenham Bowls Club

Members of Old Dagenham Bowls Club - Credit: Archant

In three separate incidents the attackers – described as schoolboys – smashed skylights, pulled tiles off the roof, took lightning conductors and even threw bricks at members guarding their green.

Club secretary Daphne Purvis, 70, has been left confused by the destruction at Old Dagenham Park Bowls Club, in Siviter Way.

“I didn’t expect anyone to target a place like this,” she said. “People are so upset – we are one of the few spaces for bowls in the borough so I hope we can repair the damage, which is going to cost thousands.”

Daphne said the first attack was last Wednesday, followed by another on Thursday that led bowlers to stand their ground on Friday evening in an attempt to scare off the vandals.

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But instead of dissuading the boys, members themselves ended up being the target – though luckily none was hurt. Police then managed to scare off the attackers and detain two.

“They tried to cut up the green, but if we go around the damaged bits we can still play,” Daphne said.

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“I just hope they don’t come back. I hope they don’t stop us playing here, because we have around 60 members – one of whom is 92 – and we’re very active.

“It’s been such a shock.”

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