One of our members experiences on joining our club
Northampton Whyte Melville Bowling Club
Written by Ross Thompson What it felt like joining Whyte Melville. Your fear / apprehensions / experience.
I had often seen a banner on Moulton Way each year advertising open days for Whyte Melville Bowling Club. Having now semi-retired I thought it may be good to join a club of some sort, preferably something that would get me out and some exercise. (Bowling may not seem energetic but I can assure you that walking up and down the rink some 15-20 times in a match and bowling is tiring, you walk something like half a mile during a match). I digress; I went round to an ‘Open Day’ and was welcomed by some club members and one of the club coaches.
They explained the basics of the game and the rudiments of “the Green” etiquette so we could start. Then to the Pavilion to get some bowls (‘woods’). There are a number of woods available to new comers to try, so you do not have to get the kit straight away. When you do want to buy your first ‘[email protected] there are plenty of reasonable second-hand ones available online and sometimes within the club. .
So we now have the basic information and ventured to the green with the coach and had 1 to 1 tuition for the rest of the session. I returned the following week and received more tuition from both the coach and senior club members. This continued for several weeks then I decided to join the club.
After several weeks practicing with ‘rollups’ I was encouraged to start playing in some of the Club match teams. Some teams are picked on ability, others anyone can play if selected for the Team’s, This is great as you really get into the tactics of the game, the learning of the considerable differences between the roles of the various team members from Lead to Skip, drawing, back bowls and touchers etc. The intricacies of a Team of 4, Triples, Pairs, Australian pairs and Singles all with their different rules. This is soon picked up when you are playing in matches and competitions.
I did find that various bowls etiquettes and procedures were still a mystery and when playing in teams against other clubs and internally it was assumed that you knew the details. If you asked people were only too pleased to help, but there was reluctance as you did not want to ask a “silly question”.
The club members were welcoming, but it still took a while to get to know everyone and to become one of the ‘club’, not that it was anyone’s fault.
During the winter months there was very little contact with the club so I started a club newsletter with information, jokes and quizzes to keep members informed throughout the year. I also wrote in conjunction with the club Secretary a ‘Welcome information booklet’ to answer a lot of the above questions and fill new members in on the etiquette and procedures.
Over the past 3 years I have got very involved with the club becoming part of the ‘Green Team’ working on the maintenance of the green and surrounds, improving the facilities and becoming a Committee member. You can get as involved as much or as little as you want, it is up to you.
These are my experiences on joining the club as a non-bowler
Secretary: Pat Bodily
Find Northampton Whyte Melville Bowling Club
Fernie Fields Sports & Social Club, Moulton Way, Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN3 7BD