.Where is St Mary's Bowling Club?
The Club is in St Mary’s Park, a delightful, peaceful setting above the town and near St Mary’s Church. There is plenty of free parking and disabled access to the Clubhouse. The Clubhouse itself is a comfortable, airy space with a kitchen in the centre next to the bar. It is used for many Club bowling and scial activities.
Is learning to bowl expensive?
Your first year is free as long as you have not bowled before. You can borrow the equipment need while you get to grips with the game.
How do I learn to bowl?
There is a well-regulated induction at St Mary’s starting with coaching, twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays. By the time you have finished the course you will be well-versed in the game of bowls. Weekly rollups provide opportunities for new members to play with more experienced players and learn the skills of team play. You can also turn up at any time to practise, provided there is an empty rink. As your game improves you will be encouraged to put your name down for league games under the guidance of the coaches.
Open Day is an event that takes place every year at the beginning of the season and it provides an opportunity for anyone interested to come along to meet existing members and to give bowling a try.
The first organised coaching for every season commences after Open Day, when all new members are given their introduction
by members of the Club. The following week and for the next two months, new members are coached for two and a half hours each day, twice a week. Our coaching team consists of experienced club bowlers, led by our LevelTwo Coach, Tug Wilson. On completion of coaching new players will be asked to join the Club.
We coach everyone of all ages, sex and disability. We appear, from the numbers joining us each year, to be a very popular club. In the last five years our membership has doubled from 50 to approximately 100 playing members. Our members are from all walks of life, some have played sport all their lives, other have never played any sport but our regular social roll-ups ensure that mambers of varying ability play together and get to know each other.
There is a well-stocked bar which is open after games with other clubs and you can socialise and enjoy a drink at competitive prices.
What happens after the green closes for the winter?
The Club shuts down in mid-October and the week following sees the start of our weekly skittles evenings. The bar is open and anyone interested turns up and joins in. At the end of the season, the overall winner receives a cup.
The social aspect of the Club is well established and there are monthly social events organised through the winter which help us all keep in touch. There are monthly Ladies’ coffee mornings based around a craft theme which are well attended and much enjoyed, for both the craft and the chat!
How can I contribute to the life of the Club
When the next full season starts we will be introducing a suggestions form which is a direct route to the Management Committee. Anyone with suggestions for improvements can ensure that their ideas will be considered and implemented if possible.
You can volunteer to help with organising some of the many activities and events that take place throughout the year. New people and new ideas keep the Club moving forward.
We have an inclusive policy and do our best to support each other in all aspects of Club life. Our Safeguarding Officers are there to help find solutions to personal issues within the Club and to support vulnerable people when appropriate.
Stewart ‘Tug’ Wilson
Tug is an ex-Royal Navy Chief Petty Officer who followed this first career with a spell in the Police Force working on restorative justice programmes for young offenders. In the past he has worked for the Club as Fixture Secretary and he now runs the Club coaching programme. He is also joint organiser of internal Club competitions. He is well-known to all and at the Club most days so easy to find if you want a chat.
Jane is a long-term member of the Club who has served it well in a variety of roles. She has been Lady Captain four times and Fixture Secretary for four years. She has also been responsible for chairing the Social Committee and organising numerous catering events. She is a popular and well-regarded member of the Ladies and she is genuinely helpful and supportive.