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May 2020 Update No 1

By Kim Buggins Biddenden Bowls Club

Wednesday, 20 May 2020


Biddenden Bowls Club Contributor


This is part 1 of our May newsletter. See part 2 as well for an update on our social media presence and a light hearted look at what is happening at the green.

Well the green has opened albeit on a very restricted basis. 11 club members have already been along for their first roll ups of 2020. It is a little weird as we keep 2m apart (and generally much more than this) and wipe down the mats, jacks, the padlock and gate handle and any other surfaces which we touch with anti-bacterial spray before and after use. Our hands have never been so well sanitised!! The green looks and is playing great and the sun has been out - sad though that we cannot all be down there for roll ups, matches and socialising as we normally would be. Hopefully it will be possible before too long.

The committee stresses to all those who choose to bowl that the guidelines must be followed including prebooking a rink, maintaining a 2m gap with anyone not from your own household and complying fully with the hygiene processes AND sadly that this is not a social gathering and must be just bowls/exercise.

Committee Update

We had another ZOOM meeting last week (we are getting quite good at them now!) and agreed the following:

  • All friendly matches due to be played in June are to be cancelled.
  • The club "2 Woods" and "Open Pairs" competitions to be postponed for the time being
  • The green to be reopened for roll ups from 16th May subject to the very stringent guidelines circulated to members on 16th May 2020
  • Committee will meet again mid June to review the situation and consider fixtures and competitions in July and onwards in the light of government guidelines and Bowls England Guidance.
  • A Club Facebook page to be created to add another avenue to communicate with both members, the community and potential new members. See May update no. 2

Ladies Tournament and Raffle Prizes

A decision has not yet been made regarding our Ladies Tournament in August but this will be considered at the next committee meeting. However, Jeannette asks that we think about raffle prizes as we tidy and sort during lock down. If you come across unused gifts or items (which are not perishable) which might make good raffle prizes please put them to one side

Club Finances

COVID 19 is having and will continue to have a significant impact on the club's finances as is the case for so many individuals, businesses, charities and of course sports clubs. This year we could well lose all of our income from match fees, from raffles and other fund raisers. Other income such as that from the Ladies Tournament is in doubt. Members have left their annual subscriptions for 2020 with the club providing important cash flow but adjustment/allowance for this and roll over of club competitions fees in 2021 means the finances will be impacted well beyond 2020. Expenditure does not stop at a bowls club just because there is no bowling. Despite the amazing work done by club volunteers to keep down costs, expenditure on the green, premises and for utilities, rent, water, insurance etc. goes on. (e.g. We have had to do much more watering of the green than we normally would in April/May). With our toilet block project last year club reserves are lower than they have been for a while.

HOWEVER, WE HAVE SOME REALLY GOOD NEWS - The government has launched many schemes to help those impacted by COVID 19, one of which is a Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grant of £10,000 payable to businesses and organisations which occupy a rateable property. The committee is delighted to confirm that a grant of £10,000 has been made to the bowls club via Ashford Borough Council under this scheme. This will be a vital lifeline for us and means, despite our significant drop in income this year, we can be confident that the club is able to financially weather this crisis over the coming years. It is also good to report that under the same scheme the squash club has received £8200 and the Junior Football Club £1800 and that the Village Halls Committee has received a grant of £10,000.

Contact Information

Kim Buggins

  • 07795802630

Find Biddenden Bowls Club

The Green, Gordon Jones Playing Fields, Tenterden Road, Biddenden, Ashford, Kent, TN27 8BB


Additional Information

Turn off the A262 (Tenterden Road) into Old Mill Court and then immediately bear left into first car park. Continue past playing field and to the right of the squash club. The bowls club is on the left at the far end of the car park.