2021 Season Summary
The year began under a heavy shadow of Covid restrictions with a Government road map in place to progressively reduce restrictions in a phased manner with the objective of returning to normality by mid-July. As a consequence, no social gatherings were possible during the winter months and the pre-season Spring meeting had to be cancelled. When the green opened at the end of April, measures were again in place to protect members and ensure a safe playing environment. Prior to the start of the season, a full program of fixtures had been arranged but from the outset, these were subject to cancellation and rearrangement. The primary influencing factors causing this were limitations on numbers permitted to be present on greens, car sharing restrictions for travel and prior year’s reduction in membership of many Clubs as a result of the pandemic. The County Men’s League was cancelled and the Wessex Mixed League reduced from four rinks to three. Numerous friendly matches were also cancelled or rescheduled during the early season. However, by June normality had largely returned and it was possible to largely complete the program of scheduled matches as well as successfully completing the Club competitions. The Club finished well down the Leagues in both the Wessex Mixed and South-West Ladies Leagues but this year the fixtures were played more as friendlies than is normal.
A further consequence of the Pandemic was a decision taken early in the year to cancel the planned Bowls Tour to Torquay, originally scheduled for early September. Plans are well advanced to re-schedule this for 2022. It was also decided to reduce membership fees for the year by 50% in view of the disruption of the season caused by cancellations and rescheduling. The Club did however obtain a further grant to offset the loss of revenue caused by the restrictions.
Our working party of volunteers continued to operate during the out-season, completing a variety of maintenance tasks including preparing the Clubhouse for use. All of the hard work on the Green was in evidence from the start of the season with the surface bowling well throughout. The Club is highly indebted to these volunteers who enthusiastically always ensure facilities are fully up to standard.
From the start of the season, members were able to enjoy the expanded facility of the extended Clubhouse. During the season, the improved facility was used to hold a music evening, host the Presentation Dinner and accommodate the AGM. It is planned to make greater use of the Clubhouse to host out-of-season social activities in the future. It was also decided to use the remainder of the bequest money to replace the doors and windows in the kitchen and changing rooms. A number of these were in a bad state and would have required extensive repair work or replacement in the near future.
Following a decline in membership, largely due to natural wastage during the pandemic year of 2020, an intensive effort was made to recruit new members. This included participation in the Bowls England ‘National Open Weekend’ initiative. During the course of the season, we were able to recruit 12 new members, seven of whom were Ladies. At the end of the season our membership was 58.
Sadly, a number of people with current or past associations with the Club passed away this year namely, Geof Thompson (ex-President & Chairman), Jan Dyer (ex-Ladies President), Tony Dyos (Life Member), Joyce Bird (Life Member) and Jim Forrest.