Newsletter – May 2020

Don’t forget to look at our website –  now being updated regularly.
Just search for Croydon Bowling Club!!


Many of our supporters have been involved in or enjoyed bowling at Croydon for a number of years. 

Whilst you are sitting at home, with nothing much to do, we would be delighted if you could think of anything we could include in the newsletter to ensure that our history is recorded for future generations.

If you can think of anything please send to  and I would be delighted to include it.


The Trustees of the SCBA Benevolent Fund are very aware that we are in very difficult and unknown times which can cause sudden and extreme hardship.

The Benevolent Fund is a charitable fund which exists solely to help Surrey Bowlers (who are or have been affiliated members of the Surrey County Bowling Association) and/or their dependents who from age, illness, infirmity or any other cause are impoverished or in difficult financial circumstances.

If you are in this situation or know of anyone who fits this criteria, please contact one of the four  trustees whose details are as follows:

All applications are treated with confidence by The Trustees.

Please send either by post or email all relevant details to support your application to one of the following:

Roger Rashleigh
66b, Bracken Path
Epsom. KT18 7SZ

Tony Bourne
8 Sixth Avenue
Holly Lodge
Lower Kingswood
KT20 6SN

Andrew Boarer
20, Choir Green,
Woking GU21 2NQ

Edward Dear
34, Rickwood Park,
Beare Green,
Dorking RH5 4PP

Sadly Bob Bennett died on 27th April – our thoughts are with Maggie and his daughters.

Rest assured our thoughts are with anyone who has suffered or lost relatives through this sad time. Please all stay safe.

President's Report

Dear Members

It is anticipated we reopen the outdoor greens on 8th June at 10.00am this will include the over 70s but those with a medical risk are asked to think hard before making a decision to bowl.  We as a Club cannot be held responsible for your safety…….

Paul Baker will be available for members to retrieve their bowls etc. either Thursday between 10.00 and 12 noon or Friday between 1.00 pm and 4.00 pm.  The 2 metre distance must be observed also the wiping of doors you have touched.  It will be one lady and one man at a time. The Clubhouse will still be on lockdown so once you have retrieved your bowls  they will be held by yourselves. 

Entrance into the greens can only be by the back entrance car park.  No other entrance will be open.

Fees must be paid by members wishing to bowl and once registered can contact Jean Hunter for a playing slot between 9.00am and 12 noon.

Playing times will be: 

Monday, Wednesday and Friday:

10 – 11 am 11.30 – 12.30, 1.00 – 2.00 pm
2.30 – 3.30 & 4.00 – 5.00 pm                           

 Tuesday and Thursday:                                        1 green a.m. 1 green p.m.

10 – 11 am & 11.30 – 12.30 am
1.00 – 2.00pm 2.30 – 3.30 &4.00 – 5.00pm

There is an hours play and 30 minutes for the changeover.  No visitors or markers are permitted.  It will be singles play with one player touching the mat and 2 jacks per rink.

There will be 6 persons per rink, 12 in all.

Safety rules and playing regulations will be given to each player, either when collecting bowls etc. or on your first playing session.  Please read them carefully they are so informative as to what is expected of us.

Sanitizers will be fitted around the green, handwash in the Toilets and wipes for surfaces touched.  Will you also ensure to read the Notices dotted around and must be adhered to.

Wipes, tissues, sweet papers etc. must be taken home by you.  There will be no litter bins around so would advise you to bring a bag with you for litter..  thank you.

I send you my very best wishes and looking forward to seeing you all very soon.



The following rules of play and guidance have been taken from the latest guidelines for clubs issued by Bowls England and approved by The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) – May 14th 2020 regarding COVID-19 and the reopening of greens.

The physical and mental wellbeing of our bowls community is of paramount importance. Bowls England wants to support those clubs that wish to reopen and members who would like to play, to do so safely and in accordance with Government guidance.

Government guidance released on 13th May 2020 states: “You can play lawn bowls where facilities have reopened, but you can only take part in these activities by yourself, or with members of your household or with one person outside of your household, as long as you are able to maintain social distancing.” 

The guidance we have developed below supplements the Government guidance by covering situations specific to the sport of lawn bowls. It is a live document and will be updated if advice changes and we continue to actively seek the latest advice from Government. 

Croydon Bowling & Sports Club have agreed to re-open for out-door bowling subject to the following conditions and rules being met.

If you have any questions, please e-mail: (CBC Bowls Director.). We are here to help and we will endeavour to respond within three working days. 

We hope you all stay healthy and that we all get through these challenging times by looking to help each other where we can.

Meanwhile, keep safe, take care, look after yourself and, when you do return to the green, enjoy your bowls.  Stay alert, control the virus, save lives.

  1. Clubs – Summary of Recommended Action

 Bowls England recommends that all clubs follow the guidance below (the guidance may be adapted if necessary for your club, so long as it remains consistent with Government advice and social distancing requirements):

 Play arrangements

  • Booking system for rink allocation Jean Hunter will be members’ point of contact re booking a bowling slot. Please phone Jean on 01689 848201 am only. At least 48 hrs before you wish to play.
  • Minimum of 30 minutes between allocated time slots to enable players to arrive/depart safely
  • Social Distancing requirements. On arrival at the club players will remain in their cars (rear car park until 15 minutes before their allocated time slot and return to their cars within 15min at the end of the allotted time.
  • Play will only be allowed on alternate rinks e.g. 1, 3, 5 (keep an empty rink between rinks that are being played on)
  • Maximum of twelve players and up to two marshals on club premises at any one time. Tuesday and Thursday only ONE green will be available for 6 Players
  • No visitors/spectators to be admitted to the club • Capping the number of occasions a player can book a rink each week to0 2 in order to ensure that the available capacity is distributed fairly.

Time Slots of 1hr. Will be allocated by the booking officer; where possible a requested time will be given but if it is not available please show tolerance.

Playing Formats: The following playing formats are in accordance with Government guidelines.

  • Individuals playing bowls on their own on a single rink. If booking allow.
  • Two individuals from two different households playing on a single rink (no marker)
  • Members of the same household on a single rink (no marker)

Social distancing rules must be strictly adhered to; you must remain at least two metres apart from other bowlers (who are not part of your household) at all times).

Clubhouse and Facilities

  • Until further notice, all clubhouse facilities will be closed.
  • The outside toilets and hand washing facilities may be used.
  • Sanitiser will be available for cleaning hands and equipment before and after playing
  • No rubbish bins – players must take any rubbish away with them.

Social distancing rules must be strictly adhered to; you must remain at least two metres apart from other bowlers (who are not part of your household) at all times.

Equipment:  To minimise the risk of infection, only essential items (as below) should be utilised during any session: 

  • Mat • Bowls • Jack • Rink markers • Gloves • Scorecards (these should be retained by one person only if required) • Bowling arm/lifter (for use by one person only if required)

To minimise the risk of infection, any other equipment is not deemed essential equipment at this time and should not be utilised. This includes:

  • Scoreboards • Bowls pushers • Ditch markers • 2m distance sticks • Chalk

Paul Baker
Bowls Director

A message from Will Matters LLP

(one of our ongoing sponsors)

We have all had a huge shock brought about by the Covid 19 pandemic and maybe we thought that we should get our affairs into order.  Part of this is making a Will to ensure that your estate goes securely to who you wish and also what might happen should you lose mental or physical capacity to arrange your own affairs.

Will Matters LLP is a small family run practice dedicated to providing you with professional, efficient, friendly and personal service normally in the comfort of your own home.  However, whilst we prefer to meet our clients face to face, in the current situation we are happy to take instruction for your Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney by telephone or Zoom consultation.

Please have a look at our website or call me on 07742 874672.   Sally O’Brien

21 Years of Croydon Bowling Tour

It is difficult to believe that next year will be my 21st year of taking a group of bowlers and supporters on tour. Looking back at our tour brochure for 2000 we went to Bournemouth and stayed at the Ullswater Hotel. Some of our tourist on that tour are sadly no longer around, but we still have a few that are still bowling. In the first game against Bournemouth BC we had Val Rowe, Daphne Lye and myself in the team. In fact we are the only ones left throughout the whole tour!

So where are we going next year? Somewhere where we haven’t toured before so I hope having read through the details you would like to join us.

John Hilton

Ladies Outdoor Committee

I am writing this on what they say is going to be the hottest day of the year, so far.  I’m sure we are all wishing that we might be outside on our splendid greens – though some may say it’s too hot for bowls and would prefer to stay in the shade with a cool drink of some kind!

Nothing much to “report” from our committee, except to say that we hope everyone is doing well and staying alert.

We are, of course, looking forward to getting together when it is safe for us to do so.

Jackie Barlow

Men’s Indoor

As you can imagine everything is currently in limbo as we are unsure as to what the future brings in regards to the indoor season, we can only wait and see if this dreadful virus moves into almost total remission and that the government allows us to get started. This hasn’t stopped members of the committee working on your behalf in the event we are up and running come October.

Peter Duncan is busy trying to arrange fixtures including some new ones as substitutes for the games that we have dropped. We will not be going to Victory or Adur which will save the

section approx. £750 and Peter advises me that the fixture against Worthing  may be in doubt

– from their end not ours.  However, if Worthing do drop our fixture it will be another £500 saving on a coach.

Allan Banks is also working on Competitions both internal, County & National, David Blackburn is working on the internal leagues as well as helping out with membership invoices.

So that’s where we are at the moment folks – all hoping that we can begin our indoor season come 1st October. All indoor clubs are in the same boat as us and facing the same problems.

Stay Well and Stay Safe.

Bill Hudson
Men’s Indoor Captain

A Little Lightheartedness....

My wife and I were watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire while we were in bed.

I turned to her and said, ‘Do you want to have Sex?’

‘No,’ she answered.

I then said, ‘Is that your final answer?’

… She didn’t even look at me this time, simply saying, ‘Yes..’

So I said, “Then I’d like to phone a friend.”

And then the fight started…

My wife and I were sitting at a table at her school reunion, and she kept staring at a drunken man swigging his drink as he sat alone at a nearby table.

I asked her, “Do you know him?”

“Yes”, she sighed,

“He’s my old boyfriend. I understand he took to drinking right after we split up those many years ago, and I hear he hasn’t been sober since.”

“My God!” I said, “Who would think a person could go on celebrating that long?”

And then the fight started…

How about a quiz?

We had only one person respond!!!!

The prize (bottle of wine) goes to Alan Whittlesey.

Advanced question

What in bowls is between 19.8cm and 20.1cm (I.e. just under 8 inches)?   A….  circumference of Jack

Here are the answers:

  1. What on a bowls green is 600mm long? A… the mat
  2. The jack can be what colour besides white? . yellow
  3. Bowls must be made of wood (lignum vitae), rubber or plastic resin – true or false?   A… True
  4. What feature of a bowls green is also slang for ‘abandon’? A… ditch
  5. What is defined as ‘the jack and any bowls which have come to rest in the boundaries of the rink of play and are not dead’? (It is also a word for a part of an animal’s body.)   A…  head
  6. A set of bowls must be 4 bowls which are of the same make and model and of the same size, weight, X , bias, serial number and engraving. What is the missing feature X? A…  colour
  7. What item of equipment is relevant to current social distancing?   A… 2 metres
  8. If a jack is knocked into the ditch, it is marked on the bank by an indicator of what colour? A… white
  9. Pegs at the side of the rink are used to mark what distance? A) 23 metres from the front of the mat. B) 25 metres from the rear ditch or C) 10 metres from the front ditch? A…  B
  10. There is guidance on how to conduct oneself when participating in bowls. Is it known as?
  11. A) The oracle
    B) The Etiquette or
    C) The Conventions ?

Barry Swannie

You all know we have some members who have had colourful and varied lives – I thought it may be interesting to include some biographical notes of some of the lives and achievements of our members – (I must admit – I am also quite nosey!).

Thanks to Barry for starting us off…………

CB&SC Men’s Outdoor Captain 2020

Ted Barlow was recently asked who will be the Men’s Outdoor Captain at Croydon this year. He replied, “Barry Swannie”, to which the bowler questioned, “Barry who?”.


Barry, who lives in Wandsworth, returned to play bowls at Croydon in 2018 after his wife passed away, having fought cancer for nearly 20 years.

He has recently been elected to the CB&SC Finance Committee where he is concentrating on cost savings and improving the quality of reporting to the Board. He is also a member of the Bowls Committee and from time to time volunteers as barman.

When he has spare time, his hobby is collecting ‘phone cards, around 5,000+ from around the world, specialising in Greece.  He also has a large collection of model railway sets, locomotives and rolling stock. Barrie also enjoys travelling and spent many memorable cruising holidays when his wife was alive.


The Early Years

Barry was born in Mayday Hospital in 1942. His father left the family home posted to Africa during the 2nd World War. He never returned and later became a United Nations courier and Head of Broadcasting in Sierra Leone. He also played the piano. Barry’s mother was taught the saxophone by Ivy Benson, famous for her all-girl band.

Some of the highlights of Barry’s early years include

  1. Learnt to play violin at primary school
  2. Watched the Coronation from the Victoria Embankment.

1953-1959. Attended Alleyn’s School in Dulwich.

  1. Interviewed on TV News and reported in the National and local newspapers for attempting to save an invalid woman from her burning house.
  2. Awarded scholarship to Trinity College of Music for violin.
  3. Recorded an operatic chorus at Decca Studios in London conducted by Benjamin Britten.
  4. Joined school Cadet Force band and learnt the trombone.
  5. Toured with the London Schools’ Symphony Orchestra playing to Ralph Vaughan-Williams at the Royal Festival Hall.
  6. School champion for .22 & .303 rifle shooting and won a medal for .38 pistol shooting at Bisley.
  7. Visited the World’s Fair in Brussels during a 3-weeks’ Merchant Navy ‘familiarisation cruise’ arranged by the School careers’ master.
  1. Left school – found work as a Trainee Accountant with Costain’s.

Barry joined a rock group playing bass guitar along with his drummer brother. His guitar was purchased for £11 and he later acquired amplification from Jimi Hendrix.


In the early 60s, when playing at the Bromley Court Hotel, Barry met the late drummer Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce, considered to be one of the most important and influential bass guitarists of all time. He played the double-bass at that time and asked to play Barry’s electric bass guitar (which he still has to this day).

Jimmy Hill, Brentford & Fulham footballer and Coventry City manager and later presenter of Match of the Day sang with one of his bands as did non-other than, Soichiro Honda, founder of the Honda Motor Company.


Barry introduced his band to Croydon BC and played several times at Social Dance nights during the 80s.

Bowling Career

“Over the hill” at 33, playing quality table tennis and working for Wates, Barry was introduced to Croydon Bowling Club by a work colleague, Martin Kenaghan. You will find his name on the Honours’ Board back in the 70s.


Barry is very modest about his bowling career knowing too well that some of his friends have enjoyed far greater success than himself a fact which he acknowledges.

Barry is probably the longest serving paid-up member at Croydon having joined the club at the end of April 1975 –  when Ladies were not allowed to drink in the bar area!

Due to a change in his work schedule, Barry temporarily gave up playing at the end of 1999 but continued to visit the Club once a year to pay his subscription. As a Surrey County Bowling Assn. Council member, he had to remain a Club member.

He won the Hawkes Trophy and Handicap Singles outdoor competitions followed by the Indoor Pairs in his first year.

In 1977, together with Doris Stanton, he set up an annual invitation match – Men v Ladies to be played at the beginning of the Outdoor season. The unique Swanton Cup now sits in the top

right-hand corner of the trophy cabinet. Could it be re-instated?

In 1978 Barry received his Surrey Badge by reaching the final of the Surrey Triples and was picked to play in the 1979 Surrey Middleton Cup team. Over a 12-year period, he played over 40 games playing in every position. Playing No. 3 in the winning team of 1983 the team beat Somerset by 1 shot – the last time that Surrey won the trophy. He also won the Bournemouth Open Pairs by 13-11 in 1979, the Old Dene Open Pairs, and the Dulwich Open Triples in 1988 along with the L&SCBA Shield in 1989.

In October 1982, Bowls International magazine ran a bowls tour to Florida with an option to enter the U.S. Open that was taking place in Clearwater.

From the Guinness Book of Bowls Records:

“Barrie Swannie of Surrey, England pulled off perhaps the most surprising victory in 1982. With only six days experience of the Rubico surface of the Clearwater BC, Swannie defeated Kenny Degenhardt, the current US National pairs champion, 21-14 in the final having disposed of Dick Folkins on the previous day”.

Dick Folkins held more championship honours than any other US bowler. He won almost  every national and international match that he entered, and in most cases won them a number of times. Dick won 14 individual U.S Open titles & Gold in the World Bowls Triples of 1972.

Bowls International magazine reported the success briefly in the December 1982 issue followed by the full coverage in January 1983 when Barry appeared on the front cover.

From the book, Croydon Bowling Club

1749-1999 A History:

“The White Horse Whiskey League was a regular event in which CBC usually did fairly well. The whiskey was referred to on several occasions for use before or after the AGM. One such in 1982 when B Swannie won the Singles and the whisky would be drunk after the AGM”

In 1985 he won the last Greater London Council (GLC) Open Singles and was runner-up in the Mixed Pairs with Eileen Vigor.

Barry has won all the outdoor competitions at Croydon between 1975 and 1999, some more than once with the exception of the Championship Singles in which he has lost the final three times.

Both Bowls England Chief Executive Tony Allcock OBE – now the Chairman of the Kennel Club and Barry were invited to attend the opening of the Vilamoura Bowls Club in southern Portugal that was established in 1993.

Unfortunately, “the best bowls greens in the Algarve” closed on the 31st October 2016.

From Croydon BC Chairman’s report Wed 25th January 1995:

“On your behalf I have congratulated Barry Swannie on becoming the inaugural manager of the Surrey Middleton Cup Team, a three-year appointment with increasing responsibilities another honour for Barry and the Croydon Club”. He managed the team for 5 years achieving 2 Qtr. finals and 1 semi-final places.

Barry was made an Honorary Vice President of SCBA in 2000.

Indoor achievements include: National Mixed Fours Runners-up: National Men’s Pairs Qtr. Final: National Mixed Pairs Qtr. Final with Muriel Kelly:

He played No.3 in the Surrey Liberty Trophy team for a short spell until someone let the selectors know that he had “suffered a heart attack” which was of course was untrue.

Croydon Open 4s Winner in 1986.

From the Croydon Advertiser: “The total entries, restricted to 128 teams, attracted first-class teams from Surrey, Middlesex, Sussex and Kent. Barry skipped in all of the above.

The winning team from left to right: John Gale, Ken Ward, Cliff Southon and Barry Swannie. After being 10-0 down after 4 ends, they beat Malcolm Orr, Dave Clark, Dave Kearns and Gary Little by 17-15.

So, to end. In 2019, at the foot of the steps to the Outdoor greens, Barry watched as Linda Webb approached.

His intentions were honourable and as she neared, he asked her if she would partner him in the Mixed Pairs Competition to which Linda replied:

“But I don’t know you”……


Barry now looks forward to winning ways once again………… so watch out!!!

Fellow Bowlers and Friends of CB&SC Ltd

These are extraordinarily difficult times for many of us and my condolences go especially to those who may have lost a loved one over the past few months. Who knows what our new ‘normal’ will look like in future years but rest assured we will all, in some way, pay for this pandemic.

I was really looking forward to the honour and privilege of carrying out the duties of Outdoor Captain this year but that is not be.

Should Croydon Bowling & Sports Club be allowed to open 100% before the end of the season and there is time for celebration, you will all be invited to the party.

Stay alert – Control the Virus – Save Lives 

Barry Swannie

Social Section

We hope this pandemic will have ceased by September – in anticipation of that the following events have been planned :



9th – 14th   Bowls Tour South Somerset
18th        7.30                       quiz
20th        11.00-15.00        Tabletop sale
27th        13.00                   Sunday Lunch (with our   new caterer)
29th        Theatre Trip       Hairspray


8th           10.00                    Breakfast with Sam
23rd        7.30                       Race Night
30th        7.30                       Lee Rivers & Band

Behind the Scenes

Whilst the Club has been closed for 8 weeks the work hasn’t stopped!  The Greens still have to be mowed, watered, fed etc. and Steve has been working hard doing that.

Many emails and lots of thought has gone into the safety of you all in order to open up as soon possible – it doesn’t just happen!!! But we hope we are now there.

 In the office – post still has to be collected and answered, bills paid, records kept up to date etc. – thank you those members who have given their time to do all this and more. A lot of this work has been done from home.

All the members of the Board, have worked tirelessly to keep the Club going. John Hilton has been working really hard and managed to plough through the paperwork necessary to obtain a government grant for us. Thanks John.

On your return you will notice we have had a new security system installed and new secure doors fitted to the equipment shed used by Steve.

As you can see from the above timetable the Social section has also been busy re-booking and organising events for next year. We have a full diary booked going forward and are looking forward to welcoming our new Catering Manager, Sam.

As always, there really are too many people to thank, but you know who you are and we are grateful. If I have missed anyone out I apologise!

Yvonne Russell


Although the club is currently closed the admin is still being processed and the 200 Club is still available.

Check your certificate, is it still current and eligible for the draw prizes?

If you need to renew your certificates or if you would like to purchase one or more please print the form below and send with your cheque made out to Croydon Bowling & Sports Club Ltd and post to:

Tina Welsh, 25A Arkwright Road, South Croydon, CR2 0LN.




You have a chance of winning up to £2,400 in 12 months with the Croydon Bowling & Sports Club 200 Monthly Draw. For £15 you receive a certificate with 12 draw numbers. All 12 numbers are entered into each of the next 12 draws. As all your numbers are entered each month you have a chance of winning all three prizes.

There is no limit to how many certificates you can hold – the more entries you have, the more chances of winning.

You can buy certificates at any time so there is no need to wait until they expire. Put this application form and cheque in an envelope addressed to Tina Welsh and post it to:  25A Arkwright Road,  South Croydon CR2 0LN

This draw is open to members of all sections of Croydon Bowling & Sports Club and all the profits go to the club.

You Have To Be in it To Win It

I would like…… (number) of certificates at £15 each to enable me to enter the CB&SC 200 Club monthly draw

I enclose cheque made payable to CROYDON BOWLING & SPORTS CLUB Ltd for


Your Name (BLOCK CAPITALS)………………………………………Tel.No……………………….……….



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