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Club History


Batchwood Hall Bowling Club came into existence in 1966 as a result of the compulsory purchase of land occupied by the Conservative and Unionist Club in Waddington Road where you will now see the Drovers Way multi-storey car park and the Marks & Spencer delivery bay. The men's bowling facilities there were known as the Conservative and Unionist Club and the ladies' as Spencer Park Ladies.

 As part of the negotiations the Council agreed to build a Green and Clubhouse at Batchwood Hall on land that was then an old orchard. At first 3 rinks were for the Club, and 3 for the public and the Council were to have an employee to issue tickets to the public.  No doubt due to cost this arrangement did not last and the duty was soon passed to club members.  Later the council allowed the club use of four rinks and more recently this was increased to five, with dispensation to use all 6 on pre-agreed special occasions.  

Originally we were not a mixed club, but one with lady and men members, each with its own committee, separate matches and accounts, and conduct of its own affairs. There was also a Management Committee on which both sections were represented to conduct matters of concern to both sections, liaison with the council and its leisure services, and arranging social events such as Charity Days, Opening Day, Annual Dinner Dance, and mixed matches, played normally on a Sunday.

Over the years, cooperation between the Ladies' and Men's Sections has steadily improved and at the AGM on 22nd February 2000 it was agreed that the finances of the two sections would be merged under the Club Hon Treasurer,  so we are now effectively one mixed Club.   Now  the weekend friendly matches against other clubs are all mixed, but a small number of ladies only or men only midweek games have been retained. On Monday nights there is a mixed social roll up with supper. The Herts Bowls and St Albans & District Association leagues and competitions remain single sex, except for a Mixed Fours run by SADBA.

 In December 2005 a clubhouse extension began to comprising new toilets (including disabled facilities), a modern kitchen and a larger social area.  Unfortunately, there was an arson attack following the 2011 London riots.  Our clubhouse was burnt to the ground causing extensive damage to the green as well, as the adjacent Tennis and Golf centre.  Some youths were arrested at the time but, despite being in the area, it could not be proved they were responsible.

After various meetings with the council and leisure connections it was agreed that the green be dug up and replaced including the drainage system and ditch surrounds. A new pavilion was also approved but relocated to a new position beside the green. Work on the green and ditch began in 2012 and although the ditch and surrounds were of first class construction the newly laid lawn was not! The consequence was that in August the turf was removed the surface re-dug, levelled and finally seeded. Meanwhile the club house design and the location were agreed and sent for planning permission. These were approved and completion promised for May 1st, however, the plans were late in being sent to the building firm and the completion date was moved to July 31st.  A portacabin was provided for our immediate use until the pavilion was ready, which was a make-do situation. We were fortunate in not losing any members over it.

Now the green is excellent to play on and should provide many years of competitive playing. The spacious club house is much admired by visiting bowlers.

 The year of 2016 was our 50th anniversary and many celebrations were planned.  As well as   ‘Bowls England’, ‘Hertfordshire County’ matches and ‘St Albans & District’, we played a celebratory match against The Royal Hospital, namely ‘The Chelsea Pensioners’. It was a very proud moment. In all the matches we were lucky with the weather as the sun shone brightly on all occasions.  2016 was definitely a year to remember.  We are also enjoyed the return match with the Chelsea Pensioners, playing at their ‘barracks’. We had a splendid time and were treated most royally finishing off by dining in their great hall.

The club has attracted some competitive members in recent years, as well as those new to the sport.  We are aim to increase our membership and the committee works hard to achieve this.

 Here’s looking forward to the future.