From the Secretary
After holding our breaths for what seems like for ever , it looks like we might finally be working our way back to some level of normality, and be able to start bowling again. The Committee has finally met face-to-face, and we are busy planning our Start-Up for 2021.
But before we get to that, we should remember some old friends who passed on since we last met, and those who have been unwell over the last months. Sadly we lost Bill Thorne, Arthur Lewis and Ros Wintle, over the winter, and I’m sure you will join me in sending their families our sympathy and condolences. Additionally several members have been unwell recently, and not just with Covid 19, and we wish all of them better health in the coming months. We look forward to seeing you back down at the club , whether bowling or enjoying some sunshine.
The Club should open up on Thursday 22nd April, but we all have to remember that this will be under Step 2 of the government roadmap, and this will restrict activity to the minimum. We will issue guidelines shortly before the 22nd, but in essence we will have to socially distance, the clubhouse will remain closed – apart from the toilets – and roll-ups will need to have been booked with Steve Arnold beforehand (See separate email from Steve detailing how to book), in order that we don’t exceed the number of players allowed on the green at any one time. If you want a drink or refreshments, you will have to provide them yourselves. The planned Presidents vs Captains match on Saturday 24th April has been postponed, but in its place we are hoping to run a limited players game where the first 24 members to put their names to Steve Arnold will be selected to play in 2 teams made up of 3 rinks each. Steve has already sent you all information about the early fixtures we hope to play, so if you want to play in these games, please send him your nominations. Discussion is ongoing about the make-up of the Stevenage Mixed League this year, and until, probably, June 21st, we will only be playing competitive and friendly games as a maximum of 3 triples.
One additional decision that has been made is that, until we are able to open the changing rooms, all matches, including those played on Saturdays and Sundays, will be played in greys.
We had planned to hold Newcomers events on the 1st/2nd May and Coaching on the 4 following Sunday mornings, but at present this is on hold as the Bowls England guidelines on coaching restrict activity to 1:1 or 2:1 from the same household only, which would make the sessions impractical. If this changes we will let you know.
We think our membership numbers have held up quite well, - they may be down a little on last year – but there are some new members on the horizon, so hopefully we will be able to field all the teams we want to in the various leagues and competitions. I understand most of you have paid your subs, but if you haven’t and you want to play, or maybe just want to be an Associate Member (only £5.00), please send your cheques or payments to the Treasurer.
As you know we have been unable to hold an AGM, and at this
stage we have no plans to hold an EGM (Emergency General Meeting) either,
as the logistics of holding such a meeting
make it impossible for the time being. The majority of club post- holders agreed to continue without election for another year, but we do have a vacancy for a Lady Vice-Captain, as June Russell has stood down after many years . If there are any Ladies out there who would be prepared to volunteer for this post, it would be most helpful. The post includes being a member of the Selection Committee, which meets most weeks throughout the season, and very occasionally deputising for the Captain.
The 2021 Club Tour to Eastbourne is booked, and the final preparations
are being made. If you need more information please contact Steve Arnold.
I would like to start by extending a warm welcome to our new members who have joined either in 2020 or this year.
I am sure both new and existing members are looking forward to the new season and the potential to finally escape from the pandemic lockdown. The green is looking in prime condition thanks to Peter Hills and his team. Coaching has had to be delayed due to the current restrictions but may be available later in the year, talk to either Les Parsley or Peter Hills after May 17th for an update.
Steve Arnold has arranged a full list of both league and friendly matches and is preparing availability lists and a roll up booking scheme for use during step 2 of the government's roadmap to easing lockdown (up to 16th May) (details given elsewhere and by email).
Don't forget to enter lots of our club competitions and in particular those with two or more bowlers where there will be random draws (weighted by handicap) for teams. Details were circulated in an email on 5th March and entries should go to Julian Hales (89, Downlands, Stevenage, SG2 7BJ or email@example.com).
We are hoping to be able to open the bar after 17th May and I will be contacting last year's bar staff to confirm their availability during the season to enable preparation of the rota.
Finally I wish you all a happy and successful summer's bowling and I look forward to seeing you from Thursday 22nd April onwards.
The Captain has already circulated the information for his Rink
After a year of no bowling whatsoever, both outdoor and our
Short Mat in the Village Hall on Thursday nights, it looks like there is light
at the end of the tunnel and the time I have spent arranging all of this season’s
fixtures will not go to waste. Bowls England circulated an update on the situation
on Friday 5th March. Following meetings with Sport England and the Department
for Culture, Media, and Sports they hope to be able to issue a stepped return
for Bowls Clubs in the near future. Step 1 could result in us being able to
hold our first Clubnight on Thursday 22nd April and start playing matches
the following weekend with certain restriction in place, both on and off the
green. There could then be 3 further Steps resulting in us being able to bowl
without restriction, on and off the green, by the end of June. But let us
not count our chickens too early. But as most of the older generation will
have had at least one jab, if not two in some cases, by then, we can only
hope that the plan comes together, and we are indeed able to bowl again. It
will also mean that all the hard work Peter Hills and his band of helpers
has done on the green over the winter months will be put to good use once
If restriction allow we could also be able to run our Newcomers Weekend over the 1st and 2nd May, from 10.00 to 1.00, followed by 2-hour coaching sessions from 10.00 to 12.00 on the following 4 Sunday morning. These would all be free, and the Coaching carried out by our Bowls England Qualified Coaches. Anyone interested, regardless of age, gender, or ability, please contact either our Secretary, Rob Hazeu on 01438 515562, or myself, on 01438 812290, or just turn up. Flat soled shoes are required to be worn on the green, all woods and jacks etc. will be provided by the club.
Whilst writing this report I sadly had two reports of former members passing away. The first report was the passing of Arthur Lewis, who along with his wife Peggy joined us when the Bragbury End club had to close. The second was the passing of Ros Wintle. Both had been members for several years and had toured with us regularly before their age influenced their decision that it was time for them to step back from bowling. Our thoughts go out to both their families and friends at this sad time, and both will be fondly remembered by their friends at the club.
To all members,
As you may be expecting, we now have to postpone our AGM until further notice.
This will require a change to our Constitution, which charges us to hold an AGM annually, but never envisaged the current situation. We will write the change and decide how best to get it authorised.
In the meantime, we would still like confirmation, or otherwise,
that all office holders are happy to remain in post for another year. To that
end I would ask the following to let me know as soon as possible;
Peter Hills - as President and Greenkeeper.
Julian Hales - as Vice-Captain, Competition Secretary and on the Greenkeeping team
Neil Mean and Jim Russell - as Selection Committee members
Les Parsley - as County/National Team Captain, HB and L&D delegate.
Chris Hills - as Village Hall rep and Children's Welfare Officer
Jenny Holzbauer, Chris Hills and Sue Kiernan as members of the Social Committee
Phil Berry, Ian Green, Graham & Janet Akers, Phil Holzbauer as members of the Maintenance Committee.
Richard Brewster - as a member of the Greenkeeping team,
And all those who signed up as Bar Staff.
We will need a nomination for another Committee member as Annette is standing down, so please let me or any other Committee member know if you would like to join us.
Secretary - Datchworth Bowls Club
The Committee met today to discuss the current state of affairs with Covid, and what we should do about the AGM and related matters.
Following the government announcement last night we have put plans for the AGM on hold. Given the meeting would normally be held towards the end of November, and the continuous change in guidelines/rules coming out, we will not make a decision on what to do until nearer the planned date.
Election of Officers:
In a normal year we would be looking for nominations for club officers together with proposers and seconders at this time. But, because of the distinct possibilty that we will not be able to hold an AGM any time soon, and the lack of club activity this year, we have decided to ask all position holders if they would be prepare to carry over their nomination/election to next season. I have listed the current holders in the attachment to remind those who volunteered from the last AGM, and request that you all let me know if you are happy to carry on into 2021.
The only exceptions to this are the position of Treasurer and one Committee Member, where we may need to hold a vote. We already have nominations for Treasurer, but would welcome a volunteer for the Committee to stand for 3 years. Again if you would like to put your name forward, please let me know. Existing Club officers; see attachment
The Green will not require 'Putting to Bed' this year, so the sunday bowling activity will continue through to the end of September (and maybe beyond) as long as the weather is kind.
The 2021 Club Tour is still on, and Steve Arnold would welcome any more names who want to join in. Steve has all the details.
The 2020 Club Dinner has now been cancelled.
Secretary - Datchworth Bowls Club
Following the gradual lifting of some Covid restrictions,
the Committee met this morning and agreed the following:
The clubhouse bar will be opened on a trial basis beginning this thursday 23rd July between 7 and 9pm in the evening. It will operate as a shop selling cans and bottles at 20% discount.
Members will be required to bring their own glasses and to take away the empties.
It will be cash only, and members are asked to bring change rather than large notes.
Drinking must be outside as the clubhouse effectively remains closed, apart from use of the toilets and for purchasing drinks.
Social Distancing should be observed both inside and outside the clubhouse.
Members wishing to roll-up on a thursday evening must still book slots with Steve Arnold and follow the original guidance. The evening slot runs between 5:30 and 7:30pm.
The Committee has decided to cancel all remaining scheduled matches this season (as have many other clubs), but agreed to try and organise some competitive internal games for those that wish to take part.
We are looking at running organised games on a sunday afternoon, beginning on August 2nd. This obviously depends upon demand.
The bar could be opened for drinks, but members would be required to bring any food they wanted as well as their own glasses if they wanted a drink. There would be a small match fee.
Mike Mahoney has offered to run these events, so initially we need to understand how many members would be interested in taking part.
Please let me know (not Mike), if you would like to join in competitive games on sundays, and whether you would want to play regularly, i.e. every sunday, or just occasionally.
If you are replying to this note, remember to hit Reply and not Reply All to avoid everyone getting a copy.
Secretary - Datchworth Bowls Club