POLICE had to be called out to a troubled Brighouse club after the latest twist in a bitter row.
They were called to Albion bowling club after members of the Blakeborough Social and Sports Club – who own the premises – cut off the power and gas supplies and changed the locks.
Tempers flared after members of the social club lost patience with the bowlers who were overwhelmingly defeated in a court battle a month ago over who ran the club.
The social club on Bradford Road wants to demolish the bowling club in Halifax Road and sell it for development in a bid to ease their considerable debts.
Andy Taylor, the social club’s former subscriptions secretary, said the committee had no choice as the bowlers had allegedly refused to co-operate in handing over documents and to agree any kind of way forward in the light of the court’s decision.
He said: “They have defied the courts so we secured the main gate with a chain and padlock.
“In addition, clasps and locks were placed on the main and side doors.
“Notices were put up warning people that if they did enter they would be prosecuted.
“Police were called that night as one of the bowling club members broke in.
“He has been warned to stay away. No-one can now go in that club without the express permission of Blakeborough’s committee.
“The following day we brought in a locksmith as locks had been damaged. Also, we believe money has been taken out of the safe and the till and documents taken.
“Our solicitors will be writing to those concerned to return these items to us.
“There will also be a bill for £255 for the cost of the locks.”
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Before 8pm on Thursday, November 29, police were called to Halifax Road, Brighouse, after reports that a building had been broken into.
“Inquiries established that this was part of an ongoing legal dispute over ownership of the building and the relevant parties were advised accordingly about their future behaviour.”
Andy Speechley, who has been leading the bowling faction, said: “There’s no justification for locking up that club other than spite.
“I think the whole episode has been very, very sad. We never wanted a fight.
“My advice to members of the bowling club has been not to do anything which could be interpreted as misguided or provocative behaviour.”
Mr Speechley is fighting Recorder Brian Rawlings’ ruling in Leeds Chancery Court on November 2 and is set to appeal.
To this end he has employed a senior barrister, Mark Halliwell, of Kings Chambers, in Manchester.
Ironically, both clubs are now shut.
Mr Taylor’s attempts to get the utility companies to switch the gas, electricity and water have so far failed.
After the Leeds victory he said he hoped the club would be open before Christmas.