Welcome to Thame Bowls Club's website...
There is nothing better than playing a game of bowls and soak up the sun at the same time !
Our Clubhouse is no longer a prominent feature in Queens Road
A new Clubhouse is being built to replace the old one recently demolished.

As we reach the end of May, as promised here is the latest note from your Chairman and Committee on the latest position and actions we are taking regarding the Club.

We will cover the usual relevant topics below, but before we get to that we want to thank the members for their fantastic response to our call to support the 4th annual cycle of the 200 Club.  Ian has been flooded with all manner of renewal payments and fresh interest in participation to the extent that we expect to have all 200 numbers allocated and paid for before this week’s draw on Friday. This is very positive news for future finances when much of our income is being impacted by an absence of the playing activity that we rely upon for financial security, more of which later.  Although we knew our members could be relied upon to support our Club as always, we nevertheless wish thank you for helping us meet the target number.



The Government last week announced that facilities associated with lawn bowls along with many other outdoor sports and physical activities may re-open under very strict guidelines. The relaxation does not facilitate a resumption of competitive fixtures which are now cancelled until the beginning of August at the earliest.

There is better news about the progress of the Clubhouse and subject to further developments with Government restrictions we are still very hopeful that for those who wish to participate, we can enjoy bowling of some format before too long.


The Clubhouse Rebuild

Our builder Matt Hawes is back on site now that he can get hold of materials.  Since our last note the painter has been in, has finished painting the ceilings and has put a couple of coats of paint on the walls.  The electricians have put much of the lighting up.  Matt and his reduced and socially distanced team are now busy constructing the bar area and doing the skirtings, architrave and internal doors.  Meanwhile the external groundworks have started.

Kitchen units are due to be delivered week commencing 1st June and hopefully will be fitted the following week.

Sanitaryware and toilet cubicles are on order as are the floorcoverings, but delivery timescales of these are uncertain.

We continue to post photos regularly on our website and if you double click on any photo you will get a brief update on progress.  Use the link below to take you to our website page where you will see a further link to the photos  https://www.thamebowlsclub.co.uk/index.php/clubhouse-rebuild

Once the Rebuilding project has been completed and therefore toilets, washing facilities and the equipment sheds are complete and safe to access, we can implement procedures to allow members to start playing again within the very strict guidelines for safety we have been informed we must work to.


The Green

Our contractors Avonmore are now working again and a team of guys arrived in 3 vehicles last week to complete most of the early season treatment that had been delayed since March. They carried out the heavy work which removes all of the underlying “thatch” which impedes new growth and impairs the drainage and makes the surface “spongy” rather than firm for good bowling.  In addition they carried out new procedures which breaks up and oxygenates the soil deep down under the roots, this again helps drainage but more importantly encourages the grass to put down a deeper and stronger rooting system.

Chris has invited members of the mowing team back from their unpaid “furlough” and we are now mowing the green to an early season bowling level.  Chris and the team are of course working to sensible protocols and employing social distancing at all times, avoiding sharing equipment and sanitising this after use.  So many thanks to Jesse Matthews, John Ashfield, Barry Green, Mike Sawyer and Ray Lewin for coming back to help Chris and Janet with the mowing and maintenance tasks.

So the green is looking very good, a little browner than normal for this time of year, but hopefully we have not seen any long term damage from the delays to the normal early season routines. 


Re-opening the Green

We are hoping the Clubhouse with toilet facilities and kitchen plus the exterior work will be completed at the very least by the end of July if not before.  This will enable us to reclaim our furniture and playing equipment from storage, so long as we can figure out how to do this safely with social distancing and so on – this may prove tricky with a cooker, dishwasher and other heavy items to move.

Over the next week or so we will send you a copy of Covid-19: Supplementary Guidance for Lawn Bowls Clubs Approved by Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).  In addition, there is a further document covering practical issues on how to manage playing again safely and within existing social distancing guidelines.

At that time, we would like to sound you out on how many of you would like to use the green for roll ups, but more of that in our next note.

Clearly, over the coming weeks restrictions may be “loosened” if there is evidence the outbreak is now more under control, but meanwhile we can only work with the rules we have been given to support playing safely.


Bowls England and County Bowling

As advised previously, all National and County Bowling competitions have been cancelled.  Sadly, we are reminded that this past weekend we were due to play a celebratory game against the Friends of English Bowls to mark the opening of our clubhouse.


Club Finance

As we stated in our last note, we have ongoing costs for 2020 and an as yet unfinished building to complete.  Even though we have had an amazing response to Membership Subscriptions we estimate we could be £12,000 or more down on income this season due to a lack of bar profits, match fees, raffles, Friday League, sponsorship and other money-making activities such as club functions and hosting County games.

So, with regard to Membership Fees we are not thinking of making refunds but will review the situation later in the year, by the very latest at the AGM if not before, when we will have greater clarity to what degree we have been and will be able to participate in any activities between now and 31st March 2021.

If any member is suffering hardship or feels they wish to cancel membership of the Bowls Club we will have no hesitation in agreeing to refund their subscription.  If this is the case please contact our Treasurer.


In conclusion

As before, any one of your Committee is very happy to discuss your concerns or answer any questions you may have about this note or any other issues not addressed by this latest communication. Let’s stay in touch with each other at these most difficult of times.  It is still vital that we all need to stay safe and well and as always, we are very grateful for your support and understanding.


Bill Giles OBE Chairman Thame Bowls Club and the Bowls Club Committee

Copyright © 2020 Thame Bowls Club. All Rights Reserved.
Friday, 10th of July 2020