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Free crazy golf in Bishop’s Stortford town centre over Easter

At Christmas it was a skating rink, for Easter it’s going to be a crazy golf course.

East Herts Council is inviting residents of all ages in the Bishop’s Stortford area to put their golfing skills to the test.

A pop-up nine-hole crazy golf course on the redundant former Charringtons car park in Old River Lane will be open for three days from Thursday to Saturday (April 4-6), from 10am to 4pm each day. No booking is required.

Playing the course will be free, but donations to the East Herts Council chairman’s chosen charity, Isabel Hospice, will be welcome, either in cash on the day or online via www.isabelhospice.org.uk/donate.

East Herts district councillor Sarah Copley (Lib Dem, Bishop’s Stortford North), who is also the town’s deputy mayor and a member of Bishop’s Stortford BID (Business Improvement District), which supports over 300 town centre businesses, said: “We’re committed to driving footfall into the town and making effective use of Charringtons before work starts to transform it into a vibrant community space.”

EHC chairman Cllr Calvin Horner (Lib Dem, Bishop’s Stortford), who is also Herts county councillor for Bishop’s Stortford East division and a town councillor for Thorley Manor North ward, said: “Isabel Hospice cares for hundreds of people with cancer and other life-limiting conditions across East Herts every year. I hope golfers will be generous in their support of this worthy cause.”

East Herts is offering the space free of charge to businesses which can offer ways of using it to the benefit of residents. Potential operators will need to take responsibility for maintaining site security, have full insurance for their activities and enter into a licence agreement with the council. Certain activities may be subject to planning permission or alcohol or entertainment licensing.

This event is being run on behalf of EHC by Swindon-based Odin Events, which claims to be “the UK’s leading event entertainment specialists”.

At Christmas, hundreds enjoyed free family fun on a skating rink on the car park in a joint initiative by EHC, the BID and Bishop’s Stortford Town Council. The authorities split the £6,800 cost of providing the synthetic rink for three days between Christmas and New Year with the help of £1,000 sponsorship from Lit Fibre.

It was free to use with 720 slots available in total. After a controversial last-minute rethink, an online booking system was introduced for 540 reservations which were snapped up within two hours, leaving 180 available for those who turned up on the day. The one-hour skating sessions allowed 40 skaters of all ages to use the rink from 10am to 4pm each day.

The response from residents varied from pithy disdain to disappointment at the lack of festive atmosphere and appreciation and great enjoyment.

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