Earlier this year, Retford Bowling Green was looking forward to the new season starting in mid-April. They were planning their Open Day, public coaching sessions, Charter Day taster sessions, commencing the season’s programme and generally enjoying the game that they all love. Then along came the pandemic and lockdown. But the club hasn’t ceased to function.
Despite the fact that they had to postpone the AGM, a time when most members renew, and the fact that the lockdown offered little prospect of bowling, 87% of bowling members have renewed their membership, a wonderful show of loyalty and commitment. Those members have now been rewarded with the resumption, albeit limited, of bowling. After the Government announced the easing of restrictions for some outdoor sports, including bowls, a small sub-committee was formed to organise a way of bowling safely. On 1st June the plan was put into action and bowling re-commenced with pre-booked entry, no more than two bowlers per rink and alternate rinks in use.
During the lockdown a dedicated team of volunteers have been working hard maintaining the premises and preparing the grounds for re-opening:
• The snooker room and bar have been re-decorated and repairs executed.
• The pathways around the green have been re-instated where the new irrigation system was installed.
• The gardens have been maintained and re-planted.
• Members have been kept informed via newsletters and emails
On that final point the newsletter, titled ‘Just Roll Up’, has been published more frequently to keep members both informed and entertained. It has acted as a form of social media for the club where members have been able to share what they have been doing during lockdown and, in particular, their VE-Day celebrations. Additionally, there have been some competitions in the form of puzzles / quizzes with prizes of a bottle of wine provided by members.
Two members’ activities are worthy of mention. Liz Illger has been making blankets to send to QMC in Nottingham after a request to WI Notts for keepsake blankets in the ‘end of life’ ward. Helen Worth has been keeping busy sewing scrubs in support of ‘Doncaster and Bassetlaw For the Love of Scrubs’, who can be found on Facebook. Material is delivered to Helen and finished sets collected each week. She’s producing about five sets a week. Additionally, she is also making wash bags. These are to put soiled scrubs in to be carried home for washing. For these she would welcome donations of polycotton bed linen to use as her base material. This can be any colour or pattern, including bright children’s prints. The only requirement is that they can be washed at 60 degrees. If you wish to donate material or support the cause you can contact Helen via Geoff Evans, as below.
As and when restrictions ease the club will be happy to welcome new members, both bowling and social, hopefully before the end of the season. If this cannot be accomplished there will hopefully be some form of normality next season. One can but hope!