Strikes Bowling Alley in Ely closes its lanes for good, but Cosmic Cat gets a new owner!
PUBLISHED: 12:15 14 April 2016 | UPDATED: 12:15 14 April 2016
Strikes Bowling Alley, which has been in Ely since the late 1990s, closed its lanes for good on Sunday.
The Angel Drove building is to taken over by the county council for its archives that could bring up to 9,000 visitors a year to the city.
Among the last to use Strikes was Jason Colleen of Littleport who took his family along for a nostalgic final visit.
“My son wanted a souvenir from Strikes,” he said. “Most people would perhaps try to buy a ten pin, a bowling ball, nick a menu or glass.
“But not me; I made an offer and bought the Planet Zoom character outfit ‘ Cosmic Cat’ which wasn’t even for sale!
“My son Scott was well happy. When my wife worked at Strikes about 16 years ago she used to wear it.”
Councillors say the loss of a bowling complex is not a huge concern because of a new leisure complex being built in Downham Road.
However, some local residents said they are concerned abut moving the archives to Strikes because Ely is not as accessible as Cambridge, there is not enough study space, a lack of space for school visits, unsuitability of building due to lack of windows and concerns about building security.
Why has Strikes closed?
The closure comes after plans to turn the Angel Drove building into an archive storage centre were announced in April 2015.
The transformation will see thousands of historical documents and records - some dating back to the 13th century - move from Cambridge to Ely, with the aim of providing an ‘alternative cultural community attraction’.
“The relocation of the archives is expected to draw 6,000 to 9,000 visitors annually to Ely which could contribute to the city centre economy,” said Elizabeth Verdegem, development manager for Cambridgeshire County Council.
“It is not far to travel into Ely city centre from this location and visitors to the archive may choose to spend more time in Ely once they have made their initial journey to the area.”
She added that the archive hub will create a “cultural and educational facility of county wide significance”.
Established in 1855, the Cambridgeshire collection of archives has items including county, city and village histories, street directories, political posters, playbills for theatrical events, newspapers dating from 1762, maps, plans, photographs and pieces dating from the 1680s, including images of places, people and events.
Councillors say the loss of a bowling complex is not a huge concern because of a new leisure complex that was given the go-ahead for Downham Road in April 2015.