Sandy Town Bowling Club – About Us
Sandy Town Bowling Club was founded in 1974 and is based at the bowling green at the rear of Sandy Village Hall in Central Bedfordshire.
Around 1970, Sandy embarked on a town expansion scheme with the then Greater London Council. As part of that scheme it was necessary to increase the amount of public open space for recreational purposes and the Sunderland Road recreation ground was created. Sandy Town Council, quite out of the blue, decided to provide a bowling green on this playing field.
At this time and, this may be hard to believe, there was no direct access to the site. The present access road off Engayne Avenue had not been built, neither had the Village Hall. Vehicular access was via Sunderland Road and a drive across the playing field!!
So Sandy Town Council had commissioned the provision of the green, from memory the cost was around £10,000, which was not inconsiderable some 40 years back. No water supply had been provided, the Town Council had no manpower or equipment to maintain it, and the first summer was hot and dry so the grass all died! The green was relaid and Bob Chapman came along and volunteered to look after the green. He and his brothers were instrumental in forming the bowls club.
A meeting of all interested people was held at The Red Lion Public House and was well attended – suffice to say, a committee was formed and a £1 founder member fee was collected to set the club up. Many of those who attended that meeting are still alive and from memory can be named as:-
Bim Chapman and Joan Chapman, Ray Addison, Mick Reynolds, Ray Swinnerton, Gwen Field. Those who have passed away include Cecil Chapman, Gwen Pitts, Ray Field, Reg Chapman, Bob & Mavis Chapman.
A lease agreement between the Town Council and club was drawn up for the Town Council to provide machinery and materials and for bowls club members to maintain the green. The Sandy Village Hall now used as the ‘home’ of Sandy Town Bowling Club was not then in existence and refreshments were taken in The Banks Pavilion which is now a three way storage facility nearby. The Bowling Green remains open to the general public to hire rinks for casual use, by arrangement with officers of the club. Coaching normally takes place on a Tuesday afternoon at around 2.00pm, and under the supervision of an experienced bowler. Why not come down? At present there are around 50 playing members of Sandy Town Bowling Club and the green is considered to be one of the best in the county. The club membership is open to all ages and genders.
The men’s section play in the Beds County League on Wednesday evenings and East Beds Bowls League on Monday evenings. There are also friendly matches at the weekend. The ladies section also plays in the East Beds Ladies Bowls League on Tuesday evenings and have their own friendly matches. An increasing trend is for mixed men and ladies games both on midweek dates and at weekends. Both men’s and ladies teams are entered into national and county competitions – individuals and groups also enter all county competitions with the aim of getting to the national finals. A wide range of trophies are competed for in the club competitions.
On a sad note, in 2016 we lost Mary Beddall – a very dear lady member of the club. Quite a character who will be sorely missed by all. Our condolences go out to her son, Robert and all the family. Also, the sad loss of a popular bowler, Mike Cassidy, who joined the Club in 2014 – he did much to support the Greens Committee and was always on hand. Our condolences to Rita and the family.
Mick Reynolds, Club Captain, Sandy Town Bowling Club – September 2016