The former president of a disbanded bowls club fears a new community bowls facility could become the "biggest white elephant Borehamwood has ever purchased".

This week, Communities 1st launched the new bowling green at Aberford Park - a £120,000 project jointly funded by Hertsmere Borough Council and Elstree & Borehamwood Town Council.

Rob Martindale, 71, was president of the 61-year-old Borehamwood Bowls Club and one of around 100 members who played at Meadow Park.

Borehamwood Times:

Members of the now dissolved Borehamwood Bowls Club, pictured, campaigned to stay at Meadow Park

Members played professionally on a flat green, and after matches, they entertained their guests at the Pavillion clubhouse.

Players at Aberford Community Bowling Green will bowl on an artificial surface. There will only be four rinks compared to the six at Meadow Park, while no changing facilities are provided.

Borehamwood Times:

Borehamwood Times:

Aberford Community Bowling Green on Wednesday

Mr Martindale, who attended the launch event on Wednesday, said: "There will always be an element of bowlers who want to play on grass. It became clear following discussions with the council that the Meadow Park and Aberford Park facilities would not be like for like.

"I don't want to play at Aberford Park due to the cost, lack of facilities, and playing surface. A few members of Borehamwood Bowls Club are prepared to give to give this new place a go but many have moved to different bowls clubs.

"I wish Aberford Park every success providing the community a facility to play bowls but I believe this will prove to be the biggest white elephant Borehamwood has ever purchased."

Borehamwood Times:

Aberford Community Bowling Green

Labour councillor Michelle Vince was also in attendance on Wednesday.

She said: "The reception Communities 1st gave was very welcoming and they are making something of this the best they can. But this in no way replaces the facility lost. It is a white elephant."

Conservative councillor Victor Eni also dropped by for a game of bowls.

He said: "It is a nice facility but it definitely needs more publicity. There also needs to be continued engagement with members from Meadow Park for this to be a success."

Communities 1st chief executive Stephen Craker says bowls can be a game for youngsters to enjoy alongside retirees too.

He said: "Outdoor bowls is often a widely misrepresented game. It will be great to see youngsters enjoying the bowling. It’s all about being out in the fresh air with friends on the green, keeping active.”

Following Wednesday's event, he said: "We had around 50 new faces. Around three groups said they will attend regularly."

Cllr Seamus Quilty, speaking on behalf of Hertsmere Borough Council, which was heavily criticised by Borehamwood Bowls Club for the way it handled the termination of its lease, said: "The bowling green is a welcome and exciting addition to the facilities available at Aberford Park. We hope it will inspire people of all ages to have a go at bowling."

Elstree & Borehamwood Town Council said it "supported plans for a new green and was happy to contribute towards the project".

It will cost £3.50 per hour for non-members play at Aberford Park. Members pay £2.50 per hour but this requires an individual membership which costs £10 a year. Group rates are offered too.

For full details, including how to book and opening times, visit