December 2020 Newsletter

Tuesday, 1st December 2020


You will all be aware that from the 2nd December Cumbria has been placed in Tier 2 by the Government with all that entails.  I have no doubt that the restrictions imposed by Tier 2 will be in place well into the new year. Which means the club is in limbo until there is an ease in the current restrictions. Normally at this time of year social activities are well to the fore and it is a shame we cannot all get together to enjoy these activities. 

New Treasurer

As you all know Mary Dodd has come forward to replace Steve Griffiths as our Treasurer. She has been co-opted onto the Management Committee initially until the next AGM when her nomination will hopefully be confirmed. Steve has produced the 2019/20 accounts for presentation to the AGM.  They are currently being audited. Mary has settled well into the role and seems to be enjoying it!!

Management Committee Meetings

The recent lockdown restrictions and the new Tier 2 restrictions effective from the 2nd December prohibit meetings taking place as people are not allowed to meet with anyone they do not live with, whether at home or in a public place. This has meant that the Management Committee have not been able to meet for a while although the committee members are in regular touch should any decisions need to be taken. Virtual meetings were tried during the previous lockdown but proved to be unpopular and we have agreed not to try them again. 

Annual General Meeting (AGM)

It will not be possible to hold our AGM in the foreseeable future for the reasons outlined above.  Nevertheless it is important that nominations papers for the officer positions on the Management Committee be made available to the membership in case there is anyone interested in being nominated for one of those positions. These are Chairperson, President, Vice-President, Secretary,

Treasurer, Green Manager, Match Secretary, and Facilities Manager. These positions are open to both Men and Lady members.  The current post holders have all indicated they are willing to continue in their roles in 2021 but should any other member(s) be interested they should add their name to the list (together with the names of the proposer and seconder) and return it to the Secretary. The closing date for additional nominations is Sunday 17th January 2021. 


Currently membership stands at 65 (37 men and 28 Ladies), a net decrease of 14 since a year ago. This is a significant loss to the club and steps are being taken in partnership with the Bowls Development Alliance to step up recruitment, with an Open Family Fun Day planned for next May. Apart from committee members we will need volunteers to help out on the day so please bear this in mind.

Financial Matters

There has been very little income generated since the last newsletter was sent out in September, mostly rent income from the Short Mat BC. We were very fortunate to qualify for a leisure grant (£10k) from Carlisle City Council which has covered the cost of the ditch refurbishment on the Bower side of the green (£5,316) and the remainder of the £10k will cover the loss of income from subscriptions in 2021 (£3,900). There is no indication yet as to when the Bower can re-open or when coffee mornings and social activities can resume. There will therefore be no income coming into the club so a tight rein will have to be kept on spending, possibly for the whole of 2021. Recently we were advised by Active Cumbria that additional funding may be available for bowls clubs and the Treasurer has put in an application to Carlisle City Council for Local Restrictions Support Grant. Should we be successful we might get a further £1,300 grant. Fingers crossed!

Lockers/Changing Rooms

The lockers have been removed from the changing rooms and disposed of. Alan Smith has raised some money by selling them at auction. Now we have got rid of the lockers we need to decide what improvements should be made to both changing rooms. If anyone has any suggestions please come forward.

Tidying-Up outside the Bower

A big thank you to Chris Brader and Rob Tapper for their sterling work looking after the green which for this time of year has never looked better. A big thank you also to the current owners of the flower tubs who have been down to tidy them up. In the last newsletter I referred those tubs around the boundary fence along the Plains Road. which were donated to the club by the late Derek Wrigley after his wife died. Derek died in 2012 and left in his will £1,000 to be used solely for the upkeep of those tubs. A separate bank account was opened in order to keep this money for that specific purpose and the balance currently stands at over £900. In all probability most of the current membership will be unaware of the existence of this money. We would therefore like a member to come forward to be responsible for the upkeep of the tubs and for the funds in the bank account (which are NOT part of the club's accounts).

Ties & Blazer Badges

We are currently holding a large stock of club ties and also a number of blazer badges. Nowadays both seem to be a thing of the past. However, if anyone is interested in purchasing a club tie or blazer badge please get in touch with me. Ties are selling at £9 and blazer badges £10.

Wetheral Short Mat BC (WSMBC)

WSMBC started their indoor season in the Bower on Tuesday the 6th October. They were holding 6 weekly sessions until Carlisle went into Tier 2 at which point they had to discontinue the sessions until further notice. Obviously another blow to Wetheral BC as rental income is lost.

Honours Boards

Bill Candeland has put up another large board at the end of the Bower and I shall eventually arrange to have things brought up to date. However, concerning the newer boards over the Men's changing room, we need someone to be responsible for keeping them up to date. Steve Griffiths used to do this and has given me the information someone will require to carry out this task. Any volunteer(s)?

County Competitions 2021

Entry forms for Men's County Competitions have been received if anyone is interested?  Entries will only be accepted when forwarded through Club Secretaries with the required entry fees, cheques payable to “Cumbria Bowling Association. The County's deadline for entries is 1st February 2021 so I would need entries returned to me by the 17th January. Ladies should contact Ruth Hewetson in respect of entering Ladies County Competitions. 

Safeguarding Officer

Shirley White has agreed to take up this post. Anyone who feels they are at risk, from harm or abuse, should contact Shirley.

Club Website

David White has agreed to take up this post. Anyone who wishes to contribute to the website should contact David.


Chris Brader and Geoff Hall are to take up the level 1 Coaching Course.

Bower Door

A locksmith came recently and carried out some adjustments to the main door into the Bower. Please remember when locking the door to lift up the door handle before turning the key!

That is all for now folks!  Enjoy your Christmas & New Year celebrations.

John Sibley

01228 513180 or by email:

Update from John Sibley 29th January 2021

You will recall I set a deadline of Sunday 17th January for receipt of nominations for the Management Committee posts. Other than the current postholders there were no additional nominations. The composition of the Management Committee in 2021 is therefore:

  • Chair:  Geoff Hall
  • President:  Pat Backhouse
  • Vice-President: Ruth Hewetson
  • Secretary:  John Sibley
  • Treasurer:  Mary Dodd
  • Green Manager:  Chris Brader
  • Match Secretary:  Alan Smith
  • Facilities Manager: Bill Candeland
  • Bar/Social Events:  Ruth Hewetson
  • The 3 Representatives from the Ladies Sub-Committee are: Pat Backhouse, Ruth Hewetson, Lesley Hewson.

Skips for 2021

Again I set a deadline of Sunday 17th January for receipt of nominations for the role of Skip. There was only one additional nomination (Mike Scott) to those who acted as skips in 2020. The skips for 2021 are therefore:

Men                                                                    Ladies

Dennis Barker                                                     Judith Clifford
Geoff Hall                                                            Hazel Jefferson
Ron W Lloyd                                                        Ann Smith
John Proctor                                                        Carol Smith
Mike Scott                                            
John Sibley
Alan Smith

Opening Arrangements for Season 2021

With the Covid restrictions imposed currently we will not be able to hold our traditional Opening Day (lunch, photographs, spider, roll-up, etc) which would have been held on Sunday 18th April. However, restrictions permitting consider the 2021 season open with effect from that date. It seems very likely that we will have to continue the arrangements we put in place last summer but actual decisions on playing will depend on developments over the next 2/3 months. You will be kept informed as to when the club is open for play and the guidance you will need to follow (probably much the same as last summer). We are extremely grateful to Chris Brader and Rob Tapper for their continuous work on the green. However there is always a considerable amount of preparation work which needs to be done outside before any season starts and male volunteers would be most welcome. Certainly the boundary fence is in need of painting with a preservative, the outside seating requires painting, pressure washing of flagstones, weeding & application of weedkiller, just to mention a few of the tasks. Again, we would be entirely dependent on the relaxation of Covid restrictions. 

Financial Assistance

The club has been extremely fortunate to receive government grant funding made available to leisure & sport businesses. We applied through Carlisle City Council for both Closed Business Lockdown Payments and Local Restrictions Support Grant and have been successful to the extent that to date we have received £18,707. This will certainly help the club get back on its feet. 

2021 Subscriptions

Just a reminder that anyone who paid their subscription in 2020 will NOT have to do so in 2021.