Recent History

We moved into our new premises in April 2021 even though there were still some unfinished areas. Our old premises had been demolished to make way for new homes.

Our priority then, in addition to getting our equipment out of storage and furnishing the clubhouse was to offer taster sessions to the residents. There had been some resentment from local park users about the loss of general recreational space. We wanted to reassure them that we could become an integral part of the park. We hosted meetings of the ‘Friends of Victoria Park’ in our new pavilion and tried where possible to support their annual Park event. Our bowling membership increased from around 40 when we moved in to about 70 for our second season (2022) and around 75 last season.

Our focus is to introduce bowling to the local community and to encourage bowling for those with disabilities. We have 2 wheelchairs & 6 walking sticks which can be used on our new all-weather bowling surface. We are registered with Disability Bowls England. We have already hosted one match against DBE team. For the general public, we offer taster sessions in summer on Friday evenings & Sunday mornings and duringwinter on Wednesday & Sunday mornings as well as at lunchtimes on Sundays. Many of our new members are from residents who have not bowled before. Bowlers from other clubs are also made welcome in winter when their own greens are closed. We endeavour to make them feel at home while they are with us.

We have a link with the local charity Emmaus. We gave taster sessions to a group of their companions. They have since taken out 4 corporate & 2 individual memberships. We have a stand at their Summer and Christmas fairs and several of our members went on a guided tour of their facilities. We also hope to foster similar links with the groups based in EasthillPark. More-over we offer ‘Bowls Bash’ social evenings to family & employers’ groups, encouraging children to take part if accompanied by an adult. We hope in the future to have facilities & safeguarding in place to develop a junior section.

Last 2023 we were winners of the Brighton & Hove Men’s league, the Ladies League and the Hove Mixed league. Our men’s triples-team were the Sussex Champions and went on to represent Sussex Bowls at the annual national championships in Leamington Spa.

We have expanded so quickly and yet our mainly elderly membership has managed the administrative task of becoming an incorporated company; is negotiating a long-term lease for the pavilion and organised & developed our new bowling facilities. It has been very time demanding for many. But the members have been very supportive and have appeared to enjoy the various initiatives and challenges. We look forward to having more bowling success whilst focusing on the promotion of bowling for the community. 

Marion Whitney (President), February 2024