Welcome to Thame Bowls Club's website...
Our Pavilion is a prominent feature in Queens Road
Bowls won't roll in the snow; roll the snow flat and try curling...
There is nothing better than playing a game of bowls and soak up the sun at the same time !
Thame Bowls Club are working towards a new clubhouse with their colleagues in the Thame Sports Club
Proposed new Clubhouse

We held our first recruitment day on Saturday and signed up six new members and with two more recruitment days to come (on Wednesday May 2 from 6.00pm and Sunday May 20 from 2.00pm) we have had an encouraging start from a numbers point of view.  We are also continuing with our Tuesday evening rollups for potential new members from 6.00pm when the only kit required is a pair of comfortable flat soled shoes as bowls will be provided.

Mike Ralls

The Pre-Season Dinner on the 24th March went like a dream (rather than a nightmare) with everyone arriving well before time and sitting up straight waiting to be served.  There might have been a small delay in serving the soup but this was cunningly disguised by opening the Chairman’s raffle board and encouraging more bids for the silent auction.  

After the soup plates had been cleared (despite calls from elderly Oliver Twists for more) everyone joined in the Heads and Tails game which was keenly disputed by four finalists; eventually the bottle of Vintage Port went to Mrs Lynch.

The main course was despatched promptly and with compliments raining in from all sides (rather than bread rolls), the evening began to feel like a success.  The miracle workers in the kitchen Irena and Sue had masterminded the cooking of two varieties of soups, 72 portions of cottage pie and lasagne and a heap of mixed veg whilst ensuring everything arrived piping hot to the table.  This was helped enormously by plate warming in Les’ hostess trollies, the thermal dishes provided by John and Ruth and the speedy serving by Sandra, for which many thanks.

With the desserts, coffee and mints all included in the price, many favourable comments were received about both the value for money and the tasty food. 

The raffle prize winners were spread among several tables and the auction lot bids were most generous.

The evening raised in excess of a fantastic £1,100 and an album of photos can be viewed in the gallery. 

Thame Bowls Club would like to thank the following for their very generous support:
Chinnor Rugby Club; The Crown, Sydenham; The Black Horse, Thame; Pretty As A Picture, Thame; The Spread Eagle, Thame; Eclipse Salon, Thame; The Seven Stars, Dinton; The Six Bells, Thame; Hozelock Ltd, The Oxfordshire Golf Club; The Thatch, Thame.  

Mike Ralls
Development Team

The Silent Auction winning bids on Saturday evening at the Pre Season Dinner now appear on the table below - a tremendous total of £635.
Thanks to everyone who bid and especially those who bid the highest!
And special thanks goes to those people and companies that donated the auction lots to us. 
By all accounts the whole event was a roaring success and a report of the evening together with photos will appear on this website in the coming days.
 

Lot

Number

Gifted By

Details

Use By

 

Winning

Bids

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

John & Ann Ashfield

Two tickets for a match at Chinnor Rugby Club in March/April as a guest of John and Ann, to include Lunch & a Bottle of Wine

30/4/18

 

£50

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

The Crown Sydenham

£40 Food and Drink Voucher

 

 

 

£40

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

The Black Horse Thame

Two Course set Lunch for Two

Mon - Fri

 

£40

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

Pretty as a Picture Thame

Framing Voucher

1 Year

 

£20

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

The Spread Eagle Thame

Three Course Sunday Lunch for Two

01/09/18

 

£55

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

Eclipse Salon Thame

Voucher for a Cut and Finish

10/05/18

 

£20

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

Seven Stars Dinton

£25 Food and Drink Voucher

30/06/18

 

£35

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

The Six Bells Thame

£40 Food & Drink Voucher

14/12/18

 

£40

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

Hozelock Ltd

20m Auto-reel including fittings

Plus Multi Spray Gun

 

 

£75

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

The Oxfordshire Hotel

Round of Golf for four

1 Year

 

£200

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

The Thatch Thame

£50 Food & Drink Voucher

1 Year

 

£60

 
 

Avonmore have today Verti-cut the grass, which controls weed grasses and helps maintain more upright growth.  The Green was then mown, spiked and over-seeded.  We will not mow it now for a week to ten days, to allow the seed time to become established, but just brush it regularly in the morning if it is damp with dew.

Avonmore will fertilise the Green in the next two weeks, we will then start to lower the mowing cut as we approach the beginning of season on the 11th April. What we really need is some sunshine and warmth to help promote further growth as we are a few weeks behind normal progress due to the cold weather.

Chris Shannon

Paul Heafey passed away on Saturday morning 10th March after a heart attack.

Paul was a relatively new member of Thame Bowls Club but very quickly learned the rudiments of the game such that he won his first club competition, The Taylor Cup, in 2012.

That was just the beginning, winning The Michael Jones Cup in 2016 and 2017 as well as being the runner up in The Coronation Cup, basically the top Men’s competition.  In 2017 he was also the winner of The President’s Trophy with Jill Brooks and John Walker, but the pinnacle of his achievements must be winning The Josey Cup - also named the married pairs - with Sharon last August.

Not only was Paul one of the best bowlers in the club but he also played with great enthusiasm and success in the County Competitions.

He was a true, loyal club member and as Competition Secretary and League Club Captain was outstanding leading Thame Bowls Club to be undefeated in Oxfordshire League 4 during the 2017 season.

He appeared very laid back but had a very astute mind and a clever managerial approach which put everyone at their ease but he was not frightened to be quite firm when the occasion arose.  He was also an accomplished bar steward travelling down from Bicester to serve the thirsty bowling members on his allotted days.

To say that he will be sadly missed is an understatement and it will be a long time before we see the likes of Paul again - he was loved by everyone. 

Paul's funeral will be held at Oxford Crematorium at 10.00am on Tuesday 3rd April and after the service, from 11.30 onwards, we will celebrate Paul's life at Thame Bowls Club.

Bill Giles OBE
Chairman, Thame Bowls Club


 

The Pre-Season Forum was held at the clubhouse on 14th March starting at 7pm. 

Our Chairman Bill Giles opened the meeting with a one minute silence to honour Paul Heafey, our highly regarded League Captain and Competitions Secretary who passed away on Saturday morning.  Paul will be greatly missed both as a friend and as a very active member of the bowls club.

The following people then spoke:

Bill Giles -Welcome and introductions

Chris Shannon - Apologies for Absence, Membership List, League Applications

David Owens - Overview of the evening and sponsorship

Mike Ralls - New member recruitment and development, Tuesday roll-ups, Newsletter

Ian Rutherford and Phil Reed - Website, Twitter, Instagram, Members Booklet, 200 Club

Graham Watson - Fixture booklet

Bill Giles - Competitions, League games

Les Canfield - Weekend games and the Green

Jill Brooks - Ladies fixtures

Bill Giles (on behalf of Gordon Taylor) - Midweek fixtures

Ron Duncan - Cheltenham Trip 11th June

John Walker - Bar and staffing

Bill Giles - Friday League starting 1st June

Graham Watson - Pre-season event

Bill Giles - Volunteering and close

The speakers were asked to limit themselves to brief 4 minute sessions to allow for socialising afterwards, with any questions to be covered in conversation later in the evening.

 

Our turf contractors Avonmore visited us on the 7thMarch to carry out their regular maintenance of the green.  

The green was cut and then spiked, followed by the application of lawn sand for the moss and agents to encourage growth and kill the weeds.

They inform us that the green is looking good, but as with all other greens, it has been held back by the weather conditions we have experienced to date this year - please see photos in the gallery.

We are now cutting weekly to a length of 6.5mm reducing to 6mm in a few weeks, but with the season fast approaching it will be imperative for us the recruit more assistance to maintain the green, if we are to enjoy the usual standard of play we all enjoy.

Would any volunteers please contact either Chris Shannon or Les Canfield - all guidance and training will of course be given.

Great news for us all is that South Oxfordshire District Council have now formally announced their offer of a £250,000 grant to the Thame Sports Club in a press release.  

Their public support will surely help us in our quest for further funding towards the rebuild. 

You can see the full article on the SODC website here. 

http://www.southoxon.gov.uk/news/2018/2018-03/quarter-million-pounds-awarded-sports-club-thame

And also copied here:

A quarter of a million pounds awarded to sports club in Thame

Released on March 1, 2018

A new sports clubhouse in Thame is a step closer after South Oxfordshire District Council awarded a grant of £250,000 to Thame Sports Club, which will help to provide a new building for the whole community to use.

Thame Sports Club is home to the town’s tennis and bowls club, but the clubhouse doubles up as a community building where many other groups meet to take part in a variety of activities including whist, art, wine appreciation and toddler groups.

The South Oxfordshire District Council Capital grant will make up over 45 per cent of the estimated total project cost of £554,000.  The sports club has now raised around 70 per cent of the total cost and the sizeable funding from the council will make it much easier for the club to attract the final 30 per cent.

The grant was agreed by the capital grants panel and has now been given the final stamp of approval by South Oxfordshire District Council cabinet member for community services, Cllr Lynn Lloyd.

Cllr Lloyd said: “I am absolutely delighted that we were able to make such a substantial contribution towards the rebuilding of the clubhouse, which has been a part of Thame for almost a century.

“However, all those years of use have taken their toll and a full rebuild will make it a wonderful community hub for generations to come.

“I hope that our contribution will encourage other funding organisations and local residents to support them. I also hope the new building means that people in Thame will continue to have great place to meet for decades."

The original part of the clubhouse was built in the 1920’s and is in poor condition, especially the roof and much of the woodwork. Also, because it has little insulation it is expensive to heat during the winter months.

The club has, in their own words, “an ambitious project to demolish it and to replace it with a modern pavilion”.

The new designs could mean that the clubhouse could accommodate indoor bowling which means the Bowls Club could join the local winter leagues, increasing participation numbers during winter months. 

The rebuild committee is aiming to start building in October this year with completion by the end of March next year.

 

 

Our friend the Thame Town Mayor has asked Bill to promote his Quiz Night and Golf Day, both being run in aid of the Thame & District Day Centre and the Red Kite Family Centre.  Posters for these events appear below.  Bill or IanR have a booking form for the Golf Day if you wish to play.

 

 

 

 

As mentioned by Mike Ralls in his recent article, we are going to try something a little different this year by holding a Pre-Season Dinner in the Clubhouse on 24th March at 7pm.
 
This will enable us all to get together, enjoy some good food and drink and look forward to the new season with our friends in the club. 

The plan is to have our food provided by a company of restaurant and pub food suppliers that has been highly recommended, and it will be prepared by us in the clubhouse kitchen.  Of course we hope it will be such a success that we will all want to do it again next year, if not before! 

I'm sure you will want to join us and it will be helpful to let us know asap if you would like to come.  Details of the menu choices and how to book and pay are on Forms in the Clubhouse.  If you are unable to get into the Clubhouse then please contact Ian Rutherford on 01844 214665. 

The cost is just £6 per person.  Initially we suggest places only be open to Club members plus 1 and we will open it up to friends in a few weeks time depending on demand.  

We are still planning on having a fun ‘secret auction’ on the night inviting closed bids for a number of lots, but more news on that later.

Now that we are into a new year, the thoughts of Bowls Club members are turning to the start of the Summer season and ways of continuing to raise funds to allow the clubhouse to be refurbished.

Race and Bingo Nights
John Hurley’s Race Night in November saw some 40 members enjoy a fun social evening which raised over £250.  John Timms’ Bingo Night in December saw 35 members raise over £40 and on the same night, Ron and Maire Duncan drew their Christmas Draw winners, raising over £380 for club funds.  Winners names can be seen in the clubhouse.  These events take a huge amount of organisation and the Club much appreciates the effort put in by these valued members.

Forum Date – Wednesday 14th March
Going forward, the Club Forum will be held on 14 March to allow Club Members to renew their membership for the new season and to enter the internal Club competitions.  Any new potential members will be made very welcome.

Pre-Season Social Event – Saturday 24th March
This year we will hold a fundraising dinner in the Clubhouse on 24th March and because of health and safety reasons, numbers will be restricted.  Tickets will be sold on a first come/first served basis and the cost will be £6 per person for a three course meal followed by coffee and mints.  More news shortly when tickets are available, but let me know if you want to reserve your seats now. 

We are considering having a ‘secret auction’ on the night inviting closed bids for a number of lots.  If any bowls club members can offer prizes (such as ‘a morning’s gardening ‘) then please contact Graham Watson or any member of the Development Team.

Your Details on the Club Website
Please check your details on the Club’s website list of members and advise either Chris Shannon or Ian Rutherford of any changes that need to be made (address, telephone number or e-mail address).

Here is hoping that we all have a great new season of bowls that will one day lead on to a wonderful refurbished clubhouse.

Mike Ralls

There is now a calendar on the Sports Club website that shows when the clubhouse has been booked for an activity. 

A link to the Sports Club website is here

Some of you will have already noticed we now have a table tennis table in the clubhouse.

The decision to start a table tennis club was an initiative first introduced as part of both the Bowls and Tennis Clubs’ 5 year development plans submitted to SODC in our bid for grant monies of £250,000, towards the ongoing clubhouse rebuilding project.

To qualify for this grant and any future LTA and Sports England grants, as a local Sports Club we need to show that we are trying to accommodate activities for as many diverse groups as possible, of all ages and interests. 

Table Tennis is a very popular activity with most grant bodies as it has wide appeal across all ages and levels of fitness. It also dovetails very nicely with all of the other activities outside of Bowls and Tennis that use the Clubhouse during the week - from art classes, toddler groups, U3A, carpet bowls, whist and crib matches. 

An added bonus was that we were also able to get separate grant monies from the Town Council to purchase the table itself and all the additional equipment. So we have expanded our spread of activities with no additional cost to the Sports Club members.

So that’s the background and it’s likely that someone will organise a regular Table Tennis Club open to all Sports Club members early in the New Year. However there is nothing to stop us using the table and equipment immediately during times when the clubhouse is available and we have earmarked Friday afternoon 15th December from 2pm to 4pm as our first invitation session.  This will be open to any member who wants to come along and have a game. We will only play short games to give everybody a chance to play – and also to get their breath back in between matches!

Most of us having a go will not have picked up a bat in many a year, but I suspect there are some experts amongst us waiting to show everyone their prowess at both Ping and Pong. So if you are interested, come along this week to see – I will even open up the Bar!

Chris Shannon

Secretary

Remember to double click on the images (in most of the galleries) to make the photos pop up on your screen!! 

There are photos of 10th December's snow, the Race Night, a Friday Night roll up and Avonmore's work on the green 

 

As the season draws to a close, Thame Bowls Club members can reflect on a mixed few months in 2017 with successes and disappointments in equal measure.
The men’s League team won all their weekly matches in the Oxford and District League to finish top of Division 4 and gain promotion to Division 3. The winning margin of 19 points was a record.
The ladies won 3 of their 11 games and are looking forward to improving that in the coming season.
There was a total of 17 midweek mixed friendly games against local opposition resulting in 6 wins, 9 defeats, 1 draw and 1 abandoned match in foul weather. The Saturday games provided just 2 wins with 10 defeats but many friendly meetings against some old acquaintances and some new friends.
Highlights also included 3 County matches, blind bowler events and the Thame Mayor’s friendly charity game which raised £300.  There have been numerous fundraising events during the year including a horse racing evening, a bingo evening, the Friday night internal league and the annual Christmas draw.
There was also a very successful (if somewhat damp) club trip to Southbourne for a match and meal (to include a little local shopping) enjoyed by all.
The efforts to rebuild the club house are growing apace and it is still hoped  that work will commence at the close of the 2018 season.  A 200 club started this season to assist with funding this rebuild is proving popular and will culminate in a Christmas draw.  A new 200 club will open again in May 2018.
The Forum held at the beginning of each season to assist with the annual enrolment and set out the forthcoming matches and events is scheduled for March 14th 2018 and a fortnightly news letter is planned to show results and giving brief details of events as and when they happen.   
 

The most improved bowler in any one season is voted for by the various Club Captains and this year John Sear is our winner.  Unfortunately John is unable to make the Presentation Evening, so is seen here being presented with his trophy by Club President Les Canfield on Friday 29th September.

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