Since its inception Datchworth Bowls Club has come from nowhere to become the envy of many a county player throughout Hertfordshire.
As a potential amenity on the new Turkey Farm Site, seventeen people attended a meeting on the 18th September 1978, in Datchworth Village Hall, and agreed to form the Bowls Club with membership open to both men and ladies.
A commitee was formed responsible for raising sufficient funds to build a six rink green, a clubhouse and obtaining sufficient membership to make the project work.
In 1994 a new equipment shed was acquired and during the winter an automatic watering system was installed, both with grants from East Herts District Council.
It is worth recording that members fund raising over the years, together with profits from the bar, have raised almost £40,000.
Today the club is rightfully proud of its playing facilities. The green has matured greatly since 1982 and is now considered one of the best, not the worst in Hertfordshire; a fact recognised by the County Association selecting Datchworth as one of the venues for playing the latter rounds of its competitions when a "neutral" green is required for competitions.
The club is very proud also of the playing standards now achieved by its members since those first eleven matches in 1979. In 1983 the club joined an inter-village league, by 1987 they were the winners and runner-up also in 1989, 1990 and 1995. The club have since won the league, in its various formats, on a number of occasions.
Overall in 1994, of the seasons seventy-eight maches played, forty-seven were won, two drawn and twenty-nine lost. Most matches comprise mixed teams of men and ladies.
Individuals too have acquitted themselves with hounours: In 1989 Janet Roffe was runner-up in the County Singles and represented Hertfordshire in the all England National Competitions at Royal Lemington Spa. In 1992 a trio of ladies - Jane Harding, Doreen Hodson-Smith and Janet Roffe were runners-up in the County Benevolent Triples. A substantial number of men are all County "Badged" players; no mean feat when to qualify one has to be chosen to play in at least five inter County matches spread over not less than three seasons or its equivalent.
The club set new standards for itself, in the 2014 season, reaching
the area final of the County Club Championship 3 rink competetion, retaining
the Stevenage Mixed League title, losing only 1 of the 22 games played, winning
the Welwyn Hatfield Bowls League Division 1, finishing runners-up in the East
Herts Bowls League Division 3, with a team mainly consisting of brand new
bowlers and supplying all of the finalists in both the Welwyn Hatfield and
East Herts Bowls League Singles finals.
In 1995 Doreen Hodson-Smith was elected Junior Vice President of the Hertfordshire County Women's Bowling Association, which means she progressed via Senior Vice President in 1996 to become President in 1997. Father and son Jim and David Wright have both served as President of Letchworth and District Bowling Assocciation in 2000 and 2003 respectively.
The club is run by a Management Committee comprising of a Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, together with three ordinary members, at least one, preferbly two, of whom should be female. This equality of the sexes is enshrined in the constitution, adopted on the 6th May 1985, in stark contrast to many traditionally run clubs where ladies are treated very much as second class citizens! As of 2014 there is a full Playing Membership of over eighty, including six junior members and twenty Associate Members. The club are always looking for new members whether they are experienced bowlers or novices (anybody interested should contact the club secretary).
Datchworth Bowls Club