72-year-old claims he was assaulted in row over bowls vote

IT'S usually one of the more sedate sports but now police have been called in to sort out a dispute at a city lawn bowling club.

• Former soldier Kenneth Teppie was involved in a dispute with other members of Gilmerton Bowling Club.

The peace was shattered at Gilmerton Bowling Club when an executive reshuffle led to heated debate.

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One club member called the police amid claims he was assaulted when a shouting match allegedly escalated into violence outside the Ravenscroft Street club.

Kenneth Teppie, a 72-year-old former soldier with 26 years' military experience, said: "The president of the club was voted out but I argued that the vote was invalid because they didn't have the proper quorum present.

"I wasn't happy about it but my objections were dismissed, and all through Saturday night I was the subject of snide remarks by some members of the club and staff accusing me of talking the club down.

"I left the club about 12.30am and one of the men that works at the club, the son of the new president, was shouting abuse at me and eventually he pushed me. If it wasn't for some of the other members I could have fallen quite badly. I was so upset that I reported the assault to the police."

However, new club president Margaret Blair said no hands were raised and claims she was elected fairly.

She said: "If there was any pushing being done it was me pushing my sons back. Ken was shouting abuse at me - saying that I wasn't fit to lead the club - and there were words flying in both directions but at no point did it descend into violence."

Secretary Ronald Abrahams was keen to distance the club from the dispute, which he said occurred between individuals and did not reflect the attitudes of the majority of members.

He said: "We have set procedures for dealing with disputes. If any member has a problem they are encouraged to write a letter to the executive and it will be dealt with. Mr Teppie tried to raise the incident at a meeting to formally elect the new president the following day but was told it wasn't the forum for it. He became so heated that I eventually had to threaten to remove him from the meeting."

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Mr Abrahams added that it was a good club full of charitable members. Earlier this month the club handed a cheque for 7200 to Bob Wright, father of Corporal Mark Wright who was awarded a posthumous George Cross for saving colleagues from a minefield in Afghanistan in 2006, and founder of The Mark Wright Project for returning soldiers.

The money was raised during club bingo nights, raffles and an auction.

A police spokesman said: "Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding a disturbance that happened within Gilmerton Bowling Club in the early hours of Sunday morning."