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Monday, January 7, 2013

Owner of Leda Lanes to reopen candlepin alley in Milford

MILFORD – A Milford candlepin bowling alley that has closed and reopened several times in recent years is about to reopen after being taken over by the owner of Leda Lanes.

Sean Howard’s father built Leda Lanes in 1959, and his wife, Lynda Howard, will be in charge of what is being called Lucky’s Lanes. ...

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MILFORD – A Milford candlepin bowling alley that has closed and reopened several times in recent years is about to reopen after being taken over by the owner of Leda Lanes.

Sean Howard’s father built Leda Lanes in 1959, and his wife, Lynda Howard, will be in charge of what is being called Lucky’s Lanes.

The Souhegan Valley’s only bowling alley has been called Milford Lanes most recently and was opened by Al Gangi in 2010 after extensive renovations.

Gangi, owner of candlepin alleys in Gloucester and Woburn, Mass., closed the business this fall, giving no explanation.

It is on Elm Street, next to a plaza that once housed Blake’s Restaurant.

Howard said he wants Lucky’s Lanes to be “a bit more family-oriented,” with turn-key birthday parties – “all you do is bring the children” – designated glo-bowling times and afterschool programs for kids.

“We hope to reach out to all the schools,” he said.

Lucky’s Lanes will be open from 9 a.m.-midnight, seven days a week.

Leda Lanes is a host for the Special Olympics, and the Milford bowling alley will be available for physically challenged children, said Howard, who hopes to have Special Olympics practice sessions there.

The new business owners are renting the building from the owner, and Sean said it almost became an indoor shooting range.

“Al (Gangi) put so much money into it, I couldn’t see that (happening),” he said.

The alley was built in 1961 as Bowlmor Lanes by Emma Kregos, in part by using equipment salvaged from an alley that once operated on the second floor of what is now Town Hall.

Bowlmor shut down in 2006 after Kregos and then her daughter, Sandy Kennon, died.

After that, it became the short-lived Tony’s Lanes. Gangi renovated the interior after he bought it in 2010 and put in automatic scoring.

Candlepin bowling, which differs from 10-pin bowling by having smaller balls with no holes, came to Milford in 1883 when the Ponemah Hotel on Ponemah Hill Road installed alleys in its basement.

Lucky’s Lanes’ phone number is 554-8300.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100, ext. 304, or kcleveland@cabinet.com.