Carpet & Green Bowls
There are 2 bowls clubs serving West Bergholt residents, those playing the indoor version at Orpen Hall, and the other playing the Green variety in Braiswick.
West Bergholt Bowls Club
Founded in 1988 with 30 members, West Bergholt Bowls Club meets in the Orpen Hall Sundays and Thursdays at 7 pm. The indoor form of the game, called Carpet Bowls, is played on a 30 foot long smooth carpet with a short block of wood placed midway to prevent direct play to the jack (the small white ball pictured). This means the bowls must be played to use the ‘bias’ (one side weighs more than the other) in a curved trajectory. As with lawn bowls, there are several variants of play, singles, doubles, triples and fours. The individual, or team, landing their ball closest to the jack gains points based on the number of balls closer than the opposition’s closest ball.
Competitions & Matches
The first week of each month sees the club playing ‘Drawn Pairs’ and Points Competitions. The club also regularly plays matches against local village teams from Eight Ash Green, Ardleigh, Nayland & Bures to name a few. Over the years the clubs’ members have seen success in county competitions; no less than two County Singles winners coming from the club. They have also won a number of charity competitions such as the Pretty Gate Trophy and Great Bentley Trophy.
Membership & Free Trial
From a high point of 40 members and a waiting list in the early 2000s, membership is now slightly below the 1988 level; new members are welcome so what are you waiting for? Come along for a rollup, the first two sessions are free and tuition is given. Get more information from Eileen Brown on 01206 243301. Find out more about Carpet Bowls on the English Carpet Bowls Association webpage.
Woods is the closest club to West Bergholt playing the outdoor game. Based at Keepers Green, Braiswick, the club is open to all ages and abilities. The greens are open for play throughout the spring/summer months of April to September. The club has a mixture of male and female members of varying ability levels.
Members can play in competitive leagues, organised friendly matches, internal club competitions or simply social / practice games.
The club is a small, friendly one; whilst they do not have a lot of facilities, like bigger clubs in the borough, they do offer a warm welcome with the opportunity to get involved in the club as much or as little as you like. The club welcomes new members whether or not you have played before. They will provide coaching/guidance to new players or help returnees to brush up their skills.
What’s Happening in 2021
As of late-March, it will depend on what happens with Covid and potential easing of the lockdown. This will determine what sort of season we might have. In 2020 we could play bowls with our own club members (whilst practising social distancing of course) but not against other clubs.
Big Bowls Weekend
In line with Bowls Englands’ ‘Big Bowls Weekend’ the club’s open day is on Saturday 29th May from 12 pm, there is no charge, just bring yourself and some flat shoes.
New to Bowls?
Most people find bowls an easy sport to start playing. The basic skills are not hard and it does not require any great physical strength or athletic ability. A few practice games will quickly get you familiar with the rules and etiquette, which will help you understand the scoring system and order of play.
There are matches for all abilities. They range from internal club matches and friendlies to the more competitive matches in the Colchester Borough and Sudbury leagues. Competitors normally play matches midweek afternoons and evenings with some Weekend afternoons.
After matches, it is common practice to retire to the clubhouse for refreshment, where you can chat and reflect on the successes or shortfalls in the day’s play.
The Club organises social events throughout the season, which are open to members and guests. These events usually comprise of BBQ’s or Dinners, with a Quiz and raffle.
You can find out more about the club from their website or by calling Peter Pushman on 01206 863854.
Planning for the new season is underway; an early date for your diaries is Saturday 8th May is their open day for 2021 from 2 pm.