A BOWLING club which is more than 100 years old has been subjected to a spate of vandalism.

The Panel, which has its headquarters at The Red Lion Bowling Green in Westhoughton, has been targeted by vandals over the last year and has just had a recent number of incidents.

As well as windows being smashed and benches being upturned and damaged, bicycles have been left wedged into the green.

Chris Morrison, secretary at The Panel, said: “They tend to happen on a nightly or daily basis where a group of youngsters climb over the wall near the memorial garden and cause damage.

“Particularly in the last few months they have caused damage to the green. Most of it minor damage and we have had damage to the windows.

“We think it is just young children who do not have much to do.

“The club has quite a history, all of the great bowlers have played on it including Brian Duncan.

“And we have tried to keep the club going, it has been going for more than 100 years.”

The Panel was founded in 1908 and it currently has 115 members who use the green regularly.

The vandalism has caused uproar in the town and Cllr David Wilkinson, who represents Hoskers and Hart Common, said he was hoping to get the police involved.

He said: “I have met a couple of the club members and they said the club has suffered significant damage. It must be costing them an arm and a leg to repair broken windows and benches.

“There are a lot of young people in Westhoughton who really should be ashamed of themselves. Just because they are young people and do not have much to do, it does not been they can go destroying something that somebody works hard to maintain.

“This is criminal vandalism and they seem to take pleasure in destroying the hard work of others. The bowling club are disappointed and I think it will be the same with a lot of other people in Westhoughton.”

The club has not been the only one to experience significant damage as a result of vandalism this year. Bradshaw Cricket Club believes it may have cost up to £1,000 to mend the damage caused by 40 older teens. The gang vandalised specialist pitch covers and a 11-foot-high sight screen when they terrorised members of the club in September.

Anyone with information on the vandalism should call Greater Manchester Police on 101.