Spring 2024 Newsletter


Not long now! The green is looking very good and, well… green; hardly surprising considering the recent weather. But it absorbs the moisture very well, and is surprisingly firm when you walk on it. As usual, we owe sincere thanks to Ian Tomisson, who has been working on it all winter, supported as usual by Selwyn’s advice, and the team of swishers who operate all year round. Mowing has started, and the team of mowers will soon be in regular action. It is time for our usual green set-up day, which – weather permitting – will be on Saturday April 6th, or during the following week if the Saturday proves too wet. So any volunteers to help with this will be welcome – starting about 10 00 am. There will not be anything particularly strenuous to do, and it shouldn’t take very long: the mats in the ditches will need to be put out, the covers on the gazebos erected, and some weeding of the paths round the green is needed.  

There are also various other jobs to be done. The clubhouse and changing rooms need to be coated with wood-preservative again, which I would like to get done during the weeks beginning April 8th and April 17th; again, volunteers to help with this will be welcome, so please communicate with me if you are able to help with this, and let me know when you will be available during these weeks.

Various other things have been done, or are in the process of being done. The foundations are being laid for a new shed for maintenance equipment, next to the existing one, and various members have been coming along to dig that out. The shed has arrived, but has not yet been put up, which we hope to do before the season starts.

Pam Poling has asked me to remind you about signing up for tea-duty. A few people have already offered to do this on particular days, but not very many. This is a job that we expect everyone to take their turn at, and if everyone does, it only comes round once a year. By the time we get on the green, the list will have been put up at the clubhouse, and you can sign up on that, but if you already know what day you could do it, please let Pam know, to see if the date is still available (at the moment, most are!)

The Committee has been thinking about club shirts. The ones we currently wear are rather dull compared with those of many clubs we play against, and some members have complained that they do not last very well, so we intend to look into having some new ones designed and made up. We have looked at some designs – nothing lurid! – and a ‘sub-committee’ is working on them, with the aim of producing a couple of alternative designs so that members can vote which one they prefer. They will be a bit more expensive than the current ones, but not very much, and should last longer, as well as looking better. We shall expect members who play in league or friendly matches against other clubs to buy one and wear it; if you only come to Spoon Drives, there will be no need to have one. Concerning Spoon Drives, the Committee has also decided that there will be no longer any need to wear white shirts and grey trousers for these, but please try to look ‘smart casual’ – i.e. no scruffy jeans, etc! The same will apply to internal club competitions, except for those members who get through to Finals Weekend. Dress for matches against other clubs remains the same.

Stuart MacNab has set up an Instagram account for the club, for those of you who use social media. If you don’t, he tells me that the thing to do is to go to your App Store and download the Instagram App; when you’ve done that, search for Battlebowlsclub. If you aren’t able to do this, please ask Stuart when you see him, rather than me, as I don’t know anything about these things. While on the subject, it will be good to put some photos on it, which will of course include some of us playing. If you object to photos of you being used in this way, please let me know, so that we can make sure none go public!

The Committee has been considering allowing outsiders to ‘pay and play’ on the green. But this would mean allowing them to play unsupervised, which is undesirable, or that a club member would have to be there to keep an eye on them, which would be an extra burden for someone. As an interim measure, we have decided that if members know of people who might be interested in playing occasionally, but do not wish to become members of the club, they will be able to play on payment of £5 per session – that is, for as long as they want. But it is essential that the member introducing them should stay while they are playing, and record in the green diary how many have played and how much they have paid. Clearly we can’t simply let non-members play whenever they want, unsupervised, even if they pay, as it would not be in the interests of members who pay a subscription.

The question of green use raises another issue, which is that of keeping the green in good condition, which Ian and his team work so hard to do. When the surface of the green is damp, it causes considerable damage if players drop their woods, or throw them: we understand that not all of us can bend as well as we used to, but please do make an effort to keep your woods on the ground as much as possible. We have occasionally put down long mats, in front of the bowling mats, when it has been wet, and we shall probably do this more this year, especially if this wet weather continues into the season. When these mats are in use, please remember that they are to be bowled on, not thrown over, and that they do not affect the course of your woods.

You will all have received the annual documents from Alison, so if you haven’t returned them, please do so as soon as possible, and do enter the club competitions – don’t think that you won’t get anywhere in them: every year there are some surprises, so give yourself a chance!

As you know by now, our opening day is Saturday April 20th, on which there will be a match between Captain’s v President’s teams, so if you want to play in this please let me know so that we can sort out teams. There are two friendly matches during the week following this, and then the first league matches on Sunday 28th; if you want to play in the league match, please play in one of the friendlies to get in practice. Last year we started badly in the league, and got better when it was too late, so I’d like to try to get a good start this year!

I look forward to seeing you all soon, and to the sun shining a bit!