Getting closer – we are planning to re-open on 17th May

We hope this Newsletter finds you and your family well.

We’ve all been through a long hard winter, locked down at home and unable to meet with friends and family, but our thoughts are for those who are no longer with us. Thanks to lockdown and the vaccination programme the pandemic is in retreat. The Covid-19 virus hasn’t gone away but at least we are fighting back and it no longer rules our lives.

The Board of Directors has continued to meet during lockdown to review the advice from the Government and the EIBA, and to deal with the day-to-day administration of the club. The Bowls Committee and the Directors are working together to open the club as soon as it is safe and financially viable to do so. We can’t wait to welcome you back and put some sort of ‘normality’ into our lives.


On the 12th April England moved into Step 2 of the Government’s Roadmap out of lockdown.

The next stage will be Step 3 – but ‘not before 17th May’. Peter Thompson, Chief Executive of the EIBA, has stated “Under Step 3 Indoor Bowls Clubs would be able to open under the rule of 6 individuals and provide indoor hospitality. The EIBA will issue further guidance in relation to Step 3 when appropriate.”


In anticipation of moving to Step 3 of the Government’s Roadmap, the club intends to re-open on Monday, 17th May, initially with limited sessions. At the time of writing, we do not know what the Government and EIBA conditions will be but we are ready to adopt some or all of the previous ‘Covid’ regime ie social distancing, temperature checks on arrival, wearing of masks when not on the green, sanitisation of mats and jacks and a maximum of six per rink. We are fortunate in that the club has an extremely efficient air conditioning system which far exceeds current guidelines. We will update you on the conditions of re-opening as soon as we are advised by the EIBA.

From 17th May – 21st June (or earlier) the sessions will be:

FIVE MORNINGS 10.00 am – 12.00 noon

TOP TEN (Tues, Wed and Friday) Thanks go to Christine Smith for co-ordinating the Top Ten.

ROLL-UPS (Mon and Thurs).

TWO EVENINGS 7.00 pm – 9.00 pm.

ROLL-UPS Tues and Thurs

If there is a demand for more sessions in these opening weeks, then we are flexible and willing to consider them. Normal session fees will apply.

The Bar will be open during the above hours and current Clubcard holders may still enjoy the 10% discount.  Why not join us, even if you’re not playing, for a glass of your favourite tipple, morning coffee or tea, seated indoors or outdoors when the weather is fine?


Step 4 of the Roadmap. By this date we hope the nation will have kicked Covid-19 into touch so let’s celebrate! Details to be announced.


All being well and we move to Step 4 of the Roadmap, we plan to run a Summer Programme from 21st June or earlier if circumstances permit.

Morning Top Ten and Roll-Ups will continue and we plan to start an Evening League programme from 7.00 pm.

Tuesday and Thursday will be ‘Triples Leagues’ and Wednesday night ‘Australian Pairs League’.

We will be contacting all those who previously bowled in the summer and any new bowlers to find out if they wish to join in. Thanks go to David Stoneman, our Summer Bowls Co-ordinator, who will be organising this.


We started the 2020/21 season in October with cautious optimism. We had a strict regime to keep members safe but it was not to be and the Government closed our doors on 4th November. This has resulted in a great loss of revenue for the club but we have been sustained by Government grants. The Directors wish to be fair to those members who paid their full subs in the 2020/21 season but obviously have been unable to bowl. They confirm that there will be at least a 50% reduction in subscription fees for current Members renewing their membership for the 2021-22 season by 31st October ie £45 for the year instead of £90.


During Lockdown a small Working Party of 6, made up of Bowls Committee officers and Directors, has been meeting to look at ways of moving the club forward post pandemic. The main change we would like to implement is to move the 6.30 league back half an hour to start at 7 pm. This will allow more time for those who work. We then have a more useful session from 5 pm – 7 pm affording the opportunity for the Summer bowlers to continue their league programme through the winter season. The League Secretary will be in touch shortly with all Team Captains regarding putting in a team for the 2021/22 winter leagues. Peter Sweeney has a difficult job in these uncertain times so please give him your full support.


To remind you that we were able to complete the 2019-20 club competitions, apart from the Fours. The results are on the website and the Honours Boards will be updated accordingly. We were unable to hold any competitions in this 2020-21 season, but thanks go to Trevor Mortimer, our Competitions Secretary, who put in a lot of work to no avail. Looking forward, we encourage members, particularly the ladies, to think about entering competitions next season.


With the positive news that we have a pathway to a return to normality the EIBA are planning that a full programme of competitions can take place next season.

The entry forms and rules have been sent to clubs. Participants can either enter via their club or on the EIBA website. The closing date is Monday, 7th June 2021.

The EIBA have also published the proposed dates for the rounds of the various National Championships and Team Competitions for the 2021/22 season.

The rounds of the Singles, Pairs, Triples and Fours are planned to run from 17 October 2021 with Finals on 6 March 2022. The other competitions, including those for the Under-18’s and Under-25’s, will run in a similar timescale although their Finals may be earlier.

The Team Competitions, i.e. Denny, Yetton, Mason etc., are planned to run from 9 October 2021 to 9 April 2022.


We haven’t been able to hold the monthly draw since October 2020. We will have catch up draws when we return in May so good luck to all participants. The Office will notify the lucky winners.


We dread to think how the pandemic has affected membership, not just in this club but in Bowls clubs all over the world. At West Berks we haven’t been able to hold an Open Day since January 2020 so we haven’t had the intake of new bowlers coming through to sustain our numbers and revenue from rink fees.

It is so important to the future of the club that we recruit new members. Do you know of anyone who might be interested? Post lockdown perhaps they are looking for regular exercise, getting out of the house, making new friends, meeting socially? Maybe they are younger, competitive and looking for a new sport? The first Taster session is always free. If you know of anyone, then please contact Angela on email hidden; JavaScript is required or 07729 183373.

If we all recruited just one new member then we would double our membership!


The smooth running of the club relies on members volunteering their free time to help in a variety of ways. Our sincere thanks go to all our current volunteers, but we always need more!

We are short of stewards and now that the club is cashless you would not be required to use the till.

Maybe you have a particular skill or you think you can help in another way. We want to hear from you. The more volunteers we have, the lighter the load. If you think you can give a bit back, then please contact Ruth Barringer, Office Secretary, in the first instance.


As you are aware, under Government restrictions we have been unable to hold the AGMs. The Bowls Committee AGM usually takes place in April and the Association in October. We hope to hold the Bowls AGM in the early part of next season, or possibly hold both on the same evening, Government guidelines permitting.


In order to decorate the changing rooms, bags, bowls, shoes etc were moved to one side. Some of these are old and dusty and may not belong to current members. We would like to tidy up the changing rooms so ask for your help in identifying the owners when you return.


We have been hearing that many of you are suffering aches and pains that you didn’t have before lockdown. All the joints have joined in; knees, hips, shoulders and backs. A sure sign that you are probably not doing enough exercise and need to get back to bowling. A brisk walk up and down the bowls green is the answer but why is it that the word exercise sounds a lot like extra fries?🤣

Finally, none of us has a crystal ball. We can only deal with what is in front of us and plan accordingly. In these Covid times things may change, and we must all remain flexible. As HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, would say ‘Just get on with it’ so we are!

If you have any comments/suggestions regarding this Newsletter or any other club matter, then we’d love to hear from you. Please email email hidden; JavaScript is required

Stay well, stay safe and we look forward to seeing you all again soon.

The Directors

The Bowls Committee                                                                                          20-04-2021

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