First ball bowled as Norwich bowling alley reopens

The Bowling House in Dereham Road, Norwich. Picture: Daniel Moxon

The Bowling House in Dereham Road, Norwich. Picture: Daniel Moxon - Credit: Archant

A Norwich bowling alley is welcoming the wet weather after it was left “crushed” it could not reopen at the start of the month.

The Bowling House, in Dereham Road, was among businesses ready to reopen on August 1 only for it to be delayed by two weeks following a rise in coronavirus cases.

Prime minister Boris Johnson made the announcement on Thursday evening on the latest easing measures.

The bowling alley will open three of its five lanes and has installed wooden barriers to create a booth area for bowlers which are cleaned down after every use.

More: Bowling House inundated with bookings after plea for supportThe business is also offering any customers that eats a main meal in its restaurant can bowl for free.

Sam Leonard, marketing manager for the alley, said: “We are just so happy.

“We hope for rain with bowling as everyone going to the beach will come.

“I can remember the first ball bowled when we open and it’s going to be like that today.”

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He said the support from people of Norwich had been incredible after they posted an appeal for support on Facebook urging people to eat and drink there.

More: It’s bring your own shoes as bowling alleys prepare to reopenMr Leonard said: “It is a bit of a emotional roller coaster for us.

“We had wall to wall bookings and all ready to come back and it was all gone.

“We were so crushed.

“We were ready we had everything and we felt safe and we felt ready to open.

“It’s been so quiet that’s been the weird thing, people are eating and drinking and having a laugh and that’s really good we were missing that sound of the bowling.

“It’s a little bit eerie and it will be nice to have the sound back.”

More: PM announces tougher fines on people who repeatedly refuse to wear face coveringsAs well as bowling alleys reopening indoor theatres, music and performances can go ahead with socially-distanced audiences.

Skating rings, casinos and indoor play and soft play areas able to reopen for the first time, if they meet covid secure guidelines.

The beauty industry will also be able to offer close contact services and treatments such as eyebrow threading, eyelash treatments and facials at beauty salons, tattoo studios, spas and barbers in England.