LIKE many members who attended and spoke at the Angus Buchanan Recreation Trust AGM on April 25, I also attended St John's Cof E School from the 1930s. 

Most of our leisure time was spent in the recreation grounds. My father Harold Bright was a trustee of the ABT for many decades, followed by my brother John Bright. 

My parents played on the nine hole golf course in the grounds, and as a family we were very involved in the local tennis club which adjoined the bowls club. 

Our clubhouse was an almost derelict wooden chalet. The club was very successful and helped many interested children both with equipment and tuition. 

The club was delighted when the Leonard Craze Pavillion was erected, so say for the use by the bowls and tennis clubs. However, keys were never available to the tennis club so they continued to function successfully from the old chalet, until newcomers appeared on the scene. Their perception was that tennis should be available to the public and that the courts should be hired by the hour. This was adopted by the trust. 

In small villages and towns this is never successful. One needs the dedication of members to keep the grounds in playing order.

Many hours have been spent over many years by the people of Coleford in helping to maintain the grounds and bowling green. I do hope that all those hours have not been in vain. I understood from the trust that in the event of the bowling club lease not being renewed, the bowling green would become available for the public to play on. However, having paid several visits to the park recently, it is very sad to see the deterioration of both the bowling green and surrounds. I do hope that the trust committee will make an effort to meet the bowling club again as requested by Mr Ashley Drew at the AGM. It can only be for the benefit of the whole community for them to put their differences behind them and make a fresh start to move forward. 

Green spaces are becoming a rarity and with an eye to the future I hope that both parties can find a mutually beneficial solution which enables this valuable space to be preserved. 


Mary Payne