April 2022 News Letter

This month the summer bowls season really gets going, following our first two Stevenage Mixed League matches which were scheduled for the end of April.  The clubhouse and green in Watton Road Recreation Ground look good, thanks to all those members who joined working parties on two occasions in April.  On the first, the clubhouse received a thorough spring clean and a week later we carried out some essential outside maintenance.  We extend our grateful thanks, too, to Knebworth Village Trust for a grant towards re-setting paving slabs in the walkways around the green.

I am pleased to welcome some new bowlers who will be making their debut for the club in league competitions this summer.  But more members are always needed as, every year, one or two of our stalwarts decide to hang up their bowls shoes or retire from competitive matches.  If you are thinking of taking up bowls, or are just interested in seeing what it is all about, make a note in your diary for Saturday 28th May. We are taking part in the national Bowls’ Big Weekend and the club will be open to visitors from 10.30am until about 5pm.  The Final of our 2021 Ladies’ Singles competition, which we were unable to fit in at the end of last season, is to be played in the morning  and, during the day, there will be opportunities for visitors to try their hand at bowls.  All you need to bring is a pair of flat-soled shoes for walking on the green. We look forward to seeing you.

As well as 28th May, we welcome spectators at our ‘home’ matches.  During May these are arranged for the afternoons of Saturday 7th, Sunday 15th and Tuesday 17th.  Why not come along and watch for a while?  Or you can find out more through our website.

March 2022 News Letter

This month sees the start of the outdoor bowls season – yes, summer is on its way!  The return to something like normality last year saw Knebworth Bowls Club making its presence known in two of the local leagues, finishing second in Welwyn & Hatfield and a creditable mid-table position in the Stevenage Mixed League.  We also collected a competition winner’s and two runner-up trophies.

In the Stevenage league, the 2022 season presents quite a challenge for a small club like ours.  Because of covid restrictions, matches last year were played as three teams of triples, thus requiring just nine bowlers on each occasion.  The format this year is three teams of four, so 12 bowlers will be needed.  As Club Captain, I am happy to be able to give members more opportunities to play – but it does mean that at least a dozen will need to be available for selection every time.  We would have struggled to make that number last year but I am hoping we can field a full team for each of this season’s 20 fixtures.

A new venture this year is that a few of our ladies have formed a team to enter the Ladies County League. We are already in the North Herts Ladies League so our lady members – who also play in the mixed leagues, of course – look like having a busy summer!  Among our ‘in house’ competitions we have reinstated one of the pairs categories after a lapse of several years.  All in all, there will be plenty of bowls at Knebworth in the coming months.

Saturday 23rd April is the President v Captain match, which traditionally starts our season.  Next day, Sunday 24th April is a Skills Development Day, when a team of expert coaches will help us to improve various aspects of our game (another is scheduled for 22nd May).  For our first competitive match we make the short journey to Aston on the evening of 27th April.  Our home fixtures begin on the afternoon of Saturday 30th April when we welcome, for the first time, Baldock Bowls Club, which has joined the Stevenage Mixed League this year. 

Anyone thinking of taking up bowls is welcome to come along when we are playing at the Watton Road Recreation Ground.  Alternatively, to find out more, have a look at our Facebook page (Knebworth Bowls Club), or phone David Percival Club Captain on 01438 813073.  I hope we can build on last year’s success and that this summer will see a return to the full enjoyment of bowls in the traditional way

February 2022 News Letter

As we move towards the outdoor bowls season, some activity will be taking place at our clubhouse and green in the Watton Road Recreation Ground, with preparations being made for the summer. Last year we achieved some good results in the main programme of Stevenage Mixed League matches. All of our full members played their part and helped us finish in a creditable mid-table position. We also reached the final of the ‘knock out’ competition. Our small team in the Welwyn & Hatfield League also did well, securing second place in the table and winning one of the two competition finals in which they played. We look forward to another good season in 2022.

On the morning of Sunday 20th March members will gather at the club from 10am onwards to ‘sign up’ for the new season. If you are thinking of taking up the sport of bowls, why not come along and find out more. Or you can telephone me on 01438 813073. We welcome new members and even if you are a complete newcomer to bowls you will have opportunities to play in matches against other clubs during the summer. This year we have arranged two days early in the season when experienced coaches from outside the club will come along to help both current and new bowlers to improve their skills, so it will be a good year to take up the sport.

NOVEMBER NEWS LETTER

As we close the green for the winter we can reflect on quite a successful summer.  In the Stevenage Mixed League (comprising ten clubs) we finished sixth, just one point behind the two clubs which were fourth and fifth.  It’s frustrating to be so close to claiming fourth place but it is a big improvement over recent years. We also reached the final of the league’s ‘knock out’ competition.

The club also enters a small team in the Welwyn & Hatfield League and there, too, we did well, taking second place in the table. In addition, we made the finals of two WHL competitions – winning one of them – and we congratulate Dick Berry on reaching one of the singles finals.

The delayed Pairs final in our internal competition programme was played in late September. John Matthews and Russell Davis took the title, with Dick Berry and Jean Lyme runners-up.  It was not possible to play the Ladies’ Singles final before we closed the green so this is scheduled to take place at the start of next year’s season.

October 2021 News Letter

Our season ended last month with a weekend of intense activity. Club Finals Day was on Sunday 12th September and we enjoyed perfect bowling weather, ending the day with tea and some delicious homemade cakes. Congratulations to the winners and runners-up and our thanks to everyone who entered the competitions and played in the preliminary rounds during the summer.

Two of the finals have had to be held over until later in the month, after the copy date for this issue, but the results decided on schedule were:

Winner Runner-up

Altimus Russell Davis Ken Davis

Handicap Russell Davis Dick Berry

Two-woods Dick Berry Russell Davis

Yardstick David Percival John Matthews

Men’s Singles John Matthews Richard Humphrey

The day coincided with Knebworth Scarecrow Festival and some of our ladies put their skills together to introduce ‘Betty’, who spent the day standing beside the entrance to our green in the Watton Road Recreation Ground. Dressed as a bowler, complete with a club shirt, ‘Betty’ attracted many complimentary comments from passers-by and added to the fun of the day.

On the previous day, our members who play in the Welwyn & Hatfield League were finalists in two team competitions at the W&H Finals Day in Welwyn Garden City. The morning saw us lose to Datchworth Bowls Club in the final of the Jubilee Cup but in the afternoon we won the John Brown Trophy in a closely-fought match against Sele Farm, based in Hertford. One of our members was also due to play in the final of a singles competition but this had to be postponed and, at the time of going to press, is still to be arranged.

After a busy weekend we met our local rivals again on Monday 13th September when we were away to Datchworth for our last fixture in the Stevenage Mixed League programme. Our clubs have been separated by only a few points in the middle of the league table for most of the summer. Although our opponents (who still had another fixture to complete their season) won the match, we came away with one point to prevent them collecting the full six – which could be significant in determining our final position in the table. ….. .

September 2021 News letter

Now coming towards the end of the season, by mid-August we have completed thirteen fixtures in the Stevenage Mixed League programme and are fifth in the table, with one or two fixtures in hand over the clubs immediately above us.  We have five more matches to play but two of them are the home and away meetings with the league leader so we may not improve much on our mid-table position.  However, that would be a good result for our small club and certainly an improvement over recent years.

We reached the final of the SML Knockout competition and, although we lost to St Ippolyts, we scored a very respectable 60 shots against their total of 72. It was a good performance by our bowlers, bearing in mind that St Ippolyts won the trophy on the past three or four occasions and are currently some way above us in the league table, at second place. We were due to contest semi-finals in two Welwyn & Hatfield League competitions in the second half of August.

In September, we conclude our Stevenage Mixed League programme with a home match against Stevenage Town on the evening of Thursday 2nd and away matches at Letchworth on Saturday 4th and Datchworth on Monday 13th.  The main event on our green at the Watton Road Recreation Ground is Finals Day for our internal club competitions, scheduled for Saturday 11th September.  However, the Welwyn & Hatfield League have selected the same day for all their competition finals, so we may have to reschedule our Finals Day. It depends upon how our teams perform in the two semi-finals – and on some of our members’ progression in individual W&H competitions.  If we have to change the date we will aim to inform everyone as soon as possible.  Whichever day our finals take place, visitors are welcome to come along and enjoy the proceedings, which start at 10am and, after a lunch break, resume at around 2pm.

August 2021 News Letter

At the time of writing this, in mid-July, we have played nine matches in the Stevenage Mixed League programme, winning four and losing five.  For each match, six points are shared between the clubs (three for the overall score and one for winning each of the three rinks) and two of our wins were comprehensive enough to give us all six points, while another notched up five. The results so far see us with 27 points – exactly half of a possible 54.  This is reflected in our mid-table position, which is pretty encouraging for a small club like Knebworth.  Equally encouraging was our first-round win over the strong Riverain club in the SML ‘knock out’ competition.  As Club Captain this year, I am pleased that our new members are settling in well and are playing their part in both competitive and ‘friendly’ fixtures.

Our team in the Welwyn & Hatfield League has continued to do well and are close to the top of the table.  Since last month we have won our second round match in the John Brown Trophy competition.

With the easing of Covid rules, we have been pleased to welcome back the Health Walkers, who pop in for a cuppa after their exercise around the Recreation Ground – and beyond, for the more energetic!  August should see plenty of action on the green, as members play the quarter and semi-finals of the various competitions before Finals Day in September.  We are now able to invite visitors to the club so, if you want to find out more, why not pop in and watch for a while, or visit our website or telephone David Percival (Captain) on 01438 813073.

July 2021 News letter

At the time of writing this, in mid-July, we have played nine matches in the Stevenage Mixed League programme, winning four and losing five.  For each match, six points are shared between the clubs (three for the overall score and one for winning each of the three rinks) and two of our wins were comprehensive enough to give us all six points, while another notched up five. The results so far see us with 27 points - exactly half of a possible 54.  This is reflected in our mid-table position, which is pretty encouraging for a small club like Knebworth.  Equally encouraging was our first-round win over the strong Riverain club in the SML ‘knock out’ competition.  As Club Captain this year, I am pleased that our new members are settling in well and are playing their part in both competitive and ‘friendly’ fixtures.

Our team in the Welwyn & Hatfield League has continued to do well and are close to the top of the table.  Since last month we have won our second round match in the John Brown Trophy competition.

With the easing of Covid rules, we have been pleased to welcome back the Health Walkers, who pop in for a cuppa after their exercise around the Recreation Ground - and beyond, for the more energetic!  August should see plenty of action on the green, as members play the quarter and semi-finals of the various competitions before Finals Day in September.  We are now able to invite visitors to the club so, if you want to find out more, why not pop in and watch for a while, or visit our website or telephone me on 01438 813073.

June 2021 news letter

Playing bowls this summer is beginning to feel ‘normal’, although we are of course still restricted in what we can do.  Things are getting easier as the restrictions are peeled away.

Our results so far have been mixed.  Unfortunately, we have not been able to build on our initial win in the Stevenage Mixed League as we lost the next three matches, although we picked up a few points along the way.  In the Welwyn & Hatfield League we have had a better start - played four, won two, lost two.  We have also had success in two W&H knock-out competitions, the John Brown Trophy and the Jubilee Cup, winning our first round match in each case and thus progressing to the second round.

‘Big Bowls Weekend’ at the end of May saw activity at the club all day on the Saturday, with club competitions in the morning and a members’ match in the afternoon.  Several visitors turned up to ‘try their hand’ at bowls and we hope that one or two will be encouraged to join us.  For information about the club, please visit our website.  We are also on Facebook or you can telephone me on 01438 813073.

May 2021 news letter

By the time you read this, the 2021 outdoor bowls season should have started at Knebworth. Following tradition, our first event was the start-of-season warm–up for members – the President v Captain fixture. I am writing these notes (on ‘final copy’ date!) a couple of days beforehand and I am hoping that the promised warm weather will arrive for afternoon of the match. As I have the honour to be Club Captain this year, I am looking forward to the event with more than usual anticipation! Our first league fixture is scheduled for the end of April and that is the start of a full programme throughout the summer until September.

In mid-April I attended a virtual meeting of representatives of all the clubs in the Stevenage Mixed League and it was encouraging to see everyone’s enthusiasm for holding a league programme this summer, after the hiatus of 2020. Because of the current restrictions, it will not quite be the same as usual and changes to the way fixtures are organised will be made at various dates, according to the Government’s ‘road map’.

If you happen to be passing the club while we have a weekend afternoon match, for instance, you may notice that we are not playing in ‘whites’ as is usual on Saturdays and Sundays. The League has decided that, until changing rooms can be used, we will play in ‘greys’ – but the traditionalists amongst us hope that, from about the middle of the season, we can be properly attired! Unfortunately, another of the restrictions at present is that we cannot welcome spectators to our green at the Watton Road recreation ground. We do welcome interest from prospective members, though, and anyone who would like to find out more about us can telephone me on 01438 813073.

I wish all our bowlers – including some new members who have joined this year – a successful and, more importantly, enjoyable season.

April 2021 newsletter

After a year with no outdoor bowls season and a severely curtailed indoor programme during the winter, Knebworth bowlers can at last have something to look forward to. Arrangements are being made here in the village, as well as in the local area and throughout the country, for matches to be played this summer, subject to limitations.

At the time of writing (mid-March) we are anticipating that bowls and other outdoor sports will be allowed from March 29, although the ‘rule of six’ will apply until at least the middle of May. We are still awaiting guidelines from our governing body, Bowls England, but we and other local clubs have agreed a programme of fixtures from late-April to mid-September, in the expectation that a league programme can begin at the usual time. It is, of course, hoped that some of the restrictions which will be in place at the start can be relaxed as the season goes on.

Knebworth Bowls Club members should now be receiving a letter from the Committee enclosing their renewal form for this year. The letter explains how ‘signing on’ may be carried out safely and according to current rules by the weekend after Easter. Any members who have not received their letter by the Easter weekend, or who have any questions or comments about the summer programme, should telephone me on 01438 813073. We are always keen to welcome new members. Unfortunately, under current rules we are unable to invite visitors into the club to watch our home matches in the normal way but anyone interested in finding out more can telephone the same number. Let us hope that in the summer of 2021 we can play and enjoy our bowls in as normal a way as possible.

January 2020 newsletter

Happy New Year to all Knebworth residents and readers of Parish News. After the first month of 2020, it may be that some of those new year resolutions have fallen by the wayside, so how about starting February by making another. One idea could be to try something new and get a bit of exercise at the same time. Yes, you know where I’m going with this – why not make a resolution that this is the year you will start playing bowls!

It’s not too long ago – although it may seem so – but I should record that our Christmas Tea in mid-December was enjoyed by a clubhouse full of members and friends. Thank you, Gail Reed and her helpers and all those who came along. We also extend our grateful thanks to McCarthy & Stone who sponsored the event. Along with other funds raised, their generous donation will enable us to carry out some refurbishment of the clubhouse.

Returning to my earlier theme, if you are looking forward to the warm summer months and the idea of playing bowls appeals to you, you can find out more this month. We are holding a coffee morning in the clubhouse at the Watton Road Recreation Ground on Saturday 22nd February. It starts at 10.30 and will include a ‘bring & buy’ sale. You don’t have to ‘bring’ and you don’t even need to ‘buy’ (although we will of course be delighted if you do!) but it will be an opportunity to meet some of our members. Make a note in your diary!

OUTSIDE COMPETITIONS

Welwyn and Hatfield league

Over the summer some of our players have entered competitions outside the club with some success, these are as follows.

Triples Graham Stevens, Roger Mahoney and John Mattews won.

Pairs Graham Stevens and John Matthews were runners up.

East Herts League

Mixed pairs Pam Veale and John Matthews got to the semi finals.

Congratulations and well done to all of you.

September news

At the time of writing we have not quite finished the season, which has been extended well into September by several re-arranged fixtures. Other clubs, too, still have programmes to complete, so we do not yet have the final results of all the leagues in which we play.

We were blessed with perfect bowling weather for this year’s Finals Day, on Saturday 7th September. There were nail-biting finishes to some of the finals, all of which were appreciated by many of our members who came along to watch the proceedings. Congratulations to the winners and runners-up – it is good to see that one or two new names will be added to the Honours Board. Our thanks to those who carried out the organisation of the day and to everyone who entered the competitions and played in the preliminary rounds during the summer.

The results were:

Altimus Winner- Terry Metcalf Runner up- Jim Conder

Handicap Winner- Roger Mahoney Runner up-John Matthews

Two-woods Winner-John Matthews Runner up- David Percival

Yardstick Winner-John Matthews Runner up- Colin Macleod

Ladies’ Singles Winner- Melinda Sprigge Runner up- Gail Reed

Men’s Singles Winner- Ron Hand Runner up- Graham Stevens

Pairs Winners- John Matthews and Dick Berry Runners up- Colin Macleod and Del Woolf

August news

We are hoping for good weather for our main event this month, which is Finals Day, Saturday 7th September. Those club members who have made it through the preliminary rounds will be playing for titles and trophies in seven competitions. The first of the finals begin on our green at the Watton Road Recreation Ground at 10am. We will have a break for lunch and then continue with the afternoon matches at around 2pm. Visitors who would like to join us at any time during the day will be very welcome, especially if you are thinking of taking up bowls next year. So why not make a note in your diary to come along and enjoy the fun – and have a chat with members at the same time.

Our club competition finals usually mark the virtual end of the season but, with so many fixtures postponed during the summer and re-arranged to a later date, we are this year continuing more than half-way through September. As well as several ‘away’ matches, we have fixtures scheduled on our green this month on Tuesday 3rd and Monday 9th (both at 2.30pm); Wednesday 11th at 5.30pm; Saturday 14th at 2.30pm; and Thursday 19th at 5pm. As always, we welcome visitors.

July news

For many people, the internet is the first port of call for information about a particular topic.  Basic information about Knebworth Bowls Club appears in various places but news and details can now be found more easily on our very own website, which was launched last month – www.knebworthbowlsclub.org.uk.  The website has been set up by our member Melinda Sprigge and her husband Robert, who we thank for their work on the project.  You can also find us on Facebook.      

We are now halfway through a season which has seen rather more re-arranged matches than usual, with other clubs often finding it difficult to make up sufficient numbers for the scheduled date. Worst affected has been our North Herts Ladies team, who should have played five matches up to late July but have played none at all!  But our bowlers, including a couple of new members this year, have been enjoying a pretty full season of fixtures in the Welwyn & Hatfield and Stevenage Mixed league fixtures, as well as a few ‘friendly’ matches. 

This year we played many of our ‘home’ fixtures in the early part of the season, so we are mostly playing ‘away’ in August.  However, there are matches on our green at the Watton Road Recreation Ground scheduled for August on Wednesday 7th, Friday 9th, Tuesday 27th (all 6pm) and Saturday 31st (2.30pm).  At various times, members will be playing in the preliminary rounds of our club competitions, prior to Finals Day on Saturday 7th September.  When matches are taking place, visitors are always welcome to come along and watch.

 June News

As well as the Stevenage mixed league, we have a busy programme of fixtures in two other leagues, Welwyn and Hatfield (where we have entered two teams) and North Herts Ladies. This month, members will be competing against each other in the first rounds of our own club competitions.

The following are the matches for July for the Stevenage Mixed League.  Please add your names to the lists on the board for selection if you would like to play.  July 7th has been scheduled.  As there is a Committee meeting today some others may be scheduled if enough names are already on the list as Denis will be at the Clubhouse. 

  2.30 Sunday        July  7        Away        White        3 Horseshoes  

    2.30 Sunday        July 14       Away       White         Datchworth  

    2.30 Wed            July 17        Away        Grey         Stevenage Vets 

    2.30 Sunday       July  20       Away        White        Holwell   

    2.30 Sat              July 27        Home       White        3 Horseshoes

    2.30 Tues            July 30        Away        Grey        Shephalbury 

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May News Letter

Can I remind those that can to add their names to the rota for teas please.  It has been suggested that if nobody has put their name down on the rota that the reserves do the teas for that day.  Also the rota for Monday evening club night/roll ups is on the board if you are able to open up at 6.00 pm and give a little instruction if necessary.   Many thanks.  It really does make a difference if you can add yourself to a rota for one game as it is very difficult to play and do the teas at the same time which in the past has been the case on many occasions.  If it is sandwiches there are always people who will make a loaf of sandwiches (4 loaves are usually enough – less if triples) to lighten the load on the person who has elected to do the tea.   I am always happy to make a loaf of sandwiches so please ask if you would like some made.   Most of all enjoy your games.  

Below is a list of games for SML and North Herts Ladies bowls matches for June.  Please add your names to the available list on the board if you wish to be selected.  May’s matches have now been selected.  Please check board to see if you are playing.  

Aston – Home – White Saturday 1st June 2.30 

St. Ippolyts – Away – White Saturday 8th June 2.30

Whitethorn LADIES – Home – Grey Wednesday 12th June 6.00  

Howard Garden – Home – White Saturday 15th June 2.30

Kimpton Friendly – Away – Grey Wednesday 19th June 2.30

Stevenage Town – Home – Grey Wednesday 26th June 6.15

St. Ippolyts – Home – White Saturday 29th June 2.30  

Gail

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April Newsletter

Hello   The first match of the season with Aston away on April 24th had to be postponed due to the lack of members’ names on the list for selection.  SML will now be triples matches as a number of clubs are experiencing problems having sufficient numbers to field teams.  Particularly lady members as each rink has to have one lady at least on each rink to avoid penalties being applied.

There are different lists on the boards for leagues which some of you signed up to play in which you may have been selected to play so please remember to check when you are at the Club House.

Welwyn Hatfield Blue team have a match on Tuesday 30th April away and Thursday 2nd May at Home.  Please check your list for times and location a copy of which I believe you have been given.  Welwyn Hatfield Yellow team is still to be selected.

On a better note we won our game against Willian on Saturday 27th at Home  73 to 62.  It was very cold and windy but a good game was played over 18 ends. 

Below is a list of games for SML matches for May

  • Saturday 4th May Holwell  2.30 Home White – This match has been selected so please check the board
  • Sunday 12th May Riverain 2.30 Home whites
  • Tuesday 14th May Shephalbury   2.30 Home  Grey
  • Wednesday 29th May Kimpton (Friendly)  2.30 Home   Grey

Enjoy your games.   Gail

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March Newsletter

IT IS TIME TO ENROL.  A couple of other dates have been added as a reminder for your Diary.  Sheets are now on the board for you to add your name if you are available to be selected.

Roll up evening is a Monday from 6.00 p.m. Most of these evenings there will be somebody who can give some instruction if you would like it.  A good way also to get some practise in especially at the beginning of the outdoor season.

6th April 10.00 a.m. ENROLMENT DAY: one of the most important days for your diary.  Time to come and sign up and get out the Club shirts etc. ready for the first game later in the month.  Exciting to start playing outdoors again with all it’s trials and tribulations as well as sunny summer days not experienced indoors.  

20th April 2.00 p.m. PRESIDENT V CAPTAIN: a bring and share day.  Bring something to eat and share for a social after the game assuming we are all still talking to each other.  I know how competitive we all are!!!  

The first 2 STEVENAGE MIXED LEAGUE MATCH DATES  

Wednesday 24th April 6.15 p.m. ASTON away Grey

Saturday    27th April 2.30 p.m. WILLIAN home  White

FUND RAISING EVENT 24TH MAY 2.30 P.M. CREAM TEA £7.00: Scones cream and jam and cake.  All home made.  If you have not been to one yet give it a try.  Tickets sell really quickly so before it is advertised outside the club call Gail on 01438 811887 to book your ticket/s.  Bring a friend or two.  It is a jolly afternoon with lots of chat and laughter.  Leave a message on the answerphone if no reply.