Shipton Bowls Club. 

An update for all members following a recent committee meeting.

Ladies League.

The ladies league will take place following a different format and all matches will be played as triples, the first match for Shipton is Tuesday 18th May, the match is against R.I.Ladies and is a home fixture. 

Mens League and PCL. 

There will be no mens league this season and at the time of the committee meeting PCL fixtures had been arranged, however since the meeting the committee of the PCL have decided to cancel the league this season.

 Tockwith League.

No Tockwith league this season.

Coaching. Sean Daly and Bett Thompson have agreed to carry out some coaching sessions, these sessions are open to any members of the club. Two dates have been agreed they are Sunday 25th April at 2pm and Friday 30th April 2pm. 

Club Competitions.

The committee agreed Club competitions will take place, these will be singles, pairs and triples, the format and dates will be arranged dependant on the number of members taking part.  This is an excellent way to get club members socialising and also raise funds for the club.  Posters for the club competitions will be in the club house.

Super 7s.

Shipton will once again take part in this competition and it would be nice to see members supporting this event.  Anyone interested please contact Nathan Gallagher


Subscriptions will be voluntary for member not playing competative bowls, however please be aware that anyone who wishes to bowl socially must pay.  The clubs insurance only covers members, so anyone not paying subs will not be allowed to bowl.  As I am sure you are all aware John Backhouse managed to secure a grant for the club last season and whilst this was good for the club it will not last forever, I think we are all aware of the cost of maintaining the green and clubhouses.  All subscriptions to be paid to John Backhouse, cash or bank transfer, anyone wishing to pay by bank transfer please contact John.

Shipton Bowls Club 2020 AGM (in lieu of official meeting)

A very warm welcome to all our members and hope you are all keeping safe. 

Shipton Bowls Club held a Committee Meeting on Friday 9th October 2020 to discuss the season past and to plan a way forward.  It was agreed by the committee that due to the current covid restrictions no official A.G.M could be held this season.  It was agreed that in place of the official meeting, reports would be sent out to all members and these would act as a replacement.



Well certainly not the year we expected with no league or competition bowling allowed.

You will see from John's reports below the amount of hard work undertaken at the club, not only in maintaining the green but also work carried out on the changing room area.  I’m sure you would all wish to join me in thanking John Backhouse, John Goodaker, Kevin Fort, Simon Wilson and Nathan Gallagher for all the hard work they have carried out over the summer.  Thank you also to Alan Theakstone for his help with the hedge as we would not have been able to do it without him.  As ever a big thank you to Tony Abbot for maintaining the website and auditing the clubs accounts.

Once the restrictions were relaxed and social bowling could take place the club put in force a set of rules following the government guidelines which allowed members to social bowl.  We were able to hold a pairs competition, I think we must have picked the hottest day of the year, but we had a total of ten pairs taking part and it was a good day, which I hope everyone enjoyed.  As a result of this day it was identified how some coaching would help members of the club and Sean Daly and Bett Thompson held a session for the newer members which was well received and proved very successful.  It has been agreed that Sean and Bett will volunteer to hold future sessions for any club member/s at the start of next season (should next season go ahead). 

Obviously at this current time no-one knows what is going to happen and how the next year will pan out in relation to our sport.  As a committee we will strive to keep you all informed and as always, if there is anything the committee can do to help members, please do not hesitate to contact us.  Obviously the A.G.M meeting is important to give all members a say and I can report that the current officials and committee are willing to continue in their current roles next year.  However, any members can nominate who wish to stand for any position within the club and we are open for any proposals to be put forward.  If any nominations or proposals are received we will attempt to set up maybe a zoom meeting with all members to discuss and vote on any issues.  The quorum for an AGM is 25% membership and the voting will be by a simple majority.  At this time it was agreed the subscriptions would stay the same for the following year.  Clubhouse and greens, John has put together a report below on the work carried out on the changing rooms and the greens.  Coaching, Sean Daley and Bett Thompson have agreed to carry out some coaching sessions for any new  and/or current members of the club who wish to attend.  John went into detail re correspondence he had received from Shipton parish council, one issue was grass cuttings being dumped outside the green along the bordering farm’s hedge!  But it has been agreed that in future we will compost the grass cuttings.  Any hedge trimmings we will coordinate with Alan Theakstone to remove.  Vets. Louis Blackburn has agreed to carry on running the Vets league.



A challenging and worrying year with no official League, County or National bowling taking 

place and therefore no much needed income coming into the club.  We held an emergency 

committee meeting in March 2020 to discuss the early onset of Covid-19 and what this could

mean for the finances and the future of the bowls club.  I estimated that we had just enough 

funding in the accounts from last year to pay our council, water & electricity liabilities for the

year and then all funds would be exhausted!!  The committee therefore decided to write to all members to ask for your support.  Thank you very much to the majority of members who still kindly paid their yearly subscriptions even though the country was in lockdown and for the generous donations from some on top.  However, they say every cloud has a silver lining and ours came in the guise of Government subsidies for small businesses.  Hambleton DC wrote on 25th March 2020 to state that our heavily discounted (due to CASC status) National non domestic rates for 2020/2021 of £261.12 were being fully discounted to zero payable - a huge relief.  Then another letter followed from Hambleton DC wrote on 27th March 2020 to state that small businesses with a rateable value up to £15K per year could apply for a one-off business grant.  I applied on-line on 1st April 2020 and low and behold £10,000.00 was deposited into our bank account on 8th April 2020 - astonishing how quick the whole process took.  This was an absolute lifesaver for our Bowls club financially and I’m sure that you’ll agree that it should keep us fully functional for the foreseeable future.  You will see from the Income & Expenditure yearly account that our only other income besides the Grant & subscriptions/donations was a club open pairs competition & raffle.  The result was an overall loss of £2,150.00 on income compared with last year - huge!!  Looking at the expenditure for the year we spent roughly £1,350 less than the previous year, mainly due to strict controls on spending for essentials only & a huge saving on numerous machinery repairs/servicing which were undertaken by the greenkeepers at cost only (from a ring fenced donation) which otherwise would have resulted in Invoices running into four figures.  Green maintenance was lower but some of this was due to pre buying products in advance from last year's budget.  The remaining expenditure was roughly on par with the previous year except for Rates (Council & Water) where we were granted a full rebate & Miscellaneous Expenses which related to the purchase of a new batch of club stickers (£35) and the advance payment of our peppercorn rent to the parish council for the next ten years (£10).  However, one sting in the tail was a late quarterly water bill (due to Covid & delayed meter readings) which will appear in next year’s accounts for water usage from June - September amounting to roughly £320 (remember the heatwave from late Spring until early August!!).  Many thanks again to Tony Abbot for his expert & professional auditing of the clubs accounts as at 30th September 2020 and his continued upkeep & maintenance of the fantastic Bowls Club web pages, which are maintained through his own personal cost.



Year end preparations for putting the green to bed for winter began in September 2019.  Kevin Fort, John Goodaker and myself worked tirelessly to prepare the green for winter concentrating on repairing the centre of playing rinks 1 - 6 up and down from the clubhouse towards the railway.  Hollow tining was conducted on all rinks and the cores were collected and stored in one of the bays beside the machine shed.  A new ryegrass blend (instead of the usual fescue & bent variety) from Rigby Taylor was trialled.  It was brushed into the cores and turf before total covering with top dressing and then a winter slow release fertiliser was applied a week or so later.  The results were impressive regarding new growth and it was a pity that the green could not be used this bowling season to see how the new hardy/well looking grass would have bowled.  Lockdown began at the end of March 2020 but outdoor maintenance was allowed to continue via Government guidelines & the need to socially distance (no problem on a green which is 1,600sq mtrs).  Unfortunately Kevin was forced into full lockdown at home but luckily Simon Wilson was able to stand in during parts of his furlough period from work.  Cutting was kept to a minimum during the spring & summer months to relieve the green of stress and give the new growth a chance to mature - there was no competitive bowling at the club & only health related social bowling allowed.  John, Simon and myself decided to put our extra time to good use and week commencing 20th April 2020 we began renovation work on the changing rooms (complete exterior & indoor viewing area) plus the gents toilet windows & door.  This was almost complete by 7th May 2020 (awaiting another tin of identical exterior paint but the mixer machine was broken at The Range & still is!!).  All the outdoor benches were lovingly restored to former glories mainly by John & he was resilient with the drilling work undertaken on the short mat woods which were used to brilliant effect in restoring the sprinkler system to full working order.  This was extensively used from late May to the end of July during the heatwave to save the playing surface.  We all worked on the Ransome lawnmower which was completely overhauled & serviced (Simon turned into a little horticultural mechanic with his clutch maintenance work) saving the club at least £1K in Invoices and we now have 2 fully functional mowers in operation once again.  The ends of all the rinks were repaired at the front of the clubhouse in June 2020 by hollow tining, overseeding and top dressing & this was repeated on the railway ends during early August 2020.  The green has been regularly sprayed with liquid fertilizer, seaweed extract & wetting agent - it looks in good condition.  Due to holidays our year end preparations started again towards the end of September 2020 - unfortunately Simon was back at work but I have been able to call on Nathan Gallagher from the village for help in between his shift patterns at work.  I only ordered 40 bags of top dressing (usually around 100 ordered) as we’ve decided to recycle the hollow tines extracted last back end and during this season to mix with the dressing and then sieve to give a more enriched usable product.  Repair work has now been completed this week (19th October 2020) overseeding between rinks 1 & 2, 2 & 3, 5 & 6 and 4 & 5 over the last 3 weeks.  The initial repair work between 1 & 2 is clearly visible already and the grass looks very healthy and highly promising with the enriched dressing!!  There are still a number of jobs left to do which we have highlighted but unfortunately we haven’t had the time or manpower to complete as yet - unfortunately I realise there aren’t many members who are physically able to help us.

The main projects going forward are:

The hedge!!  We are struggling for a solution here.  Historically we have used a local man who used to flail the exterior with his tractor and hedge cutter but the outside & top have not been cut for over 5 years now.  He has been contacted by Alan Theakstone, one of our club’s original stakeholders from the village, but he is not interested in currently doing this work.  Betty’s relative is a tree surgeon etc. but the manual cost for expert chainsaw work and removal was £1,500.  The alternative would be for club volunteers to work with the help of Alan Theakstone who is willing to provide tools and a tractor & trailer for removal. 

STOP PRESS:  Alan has built a mobile platform to work from and Kevin, Alan, Nathan & I started work on 27th October and it was completed on 9th November. (2 weeks of slog for Kevin & Alan who were the master cutters up top!!).

The ditches.  Simon has acquired some new rubber filling for the ditches (more than 1.5 tons) which will be better quality regarding green maintenance (previous filling was easy for birds to forage and scatter along the edges of the green) & provide more cushioning for the woods.  We therefore need to clear out all the old filling & replace!!  When the old filling is removed all the backing boards need repainting and then securing where they are loose. 

The wooden (roofing) batons on top of the banks are rotten and breaking away.  We have made enquiries & gained an estimate of the cost with Howarth timber.  It will require all the replacement batons to be drilled at the exact points with reference to the rink markings and then finished off with a weatherproof grey paint before refitting.

The horse chestnut tree on our south border against Blacker’s farm boundary needs urgent trimming.  It is growing wild over the top of our hedge (depositing blossom, fungal disease, conkers and leaves on the banks and playing surface).  I have contacted the Parish Council for a resolution (as it belongs to them and not Blacker’s farm) and it is being discussed at the PC meeting on 13th October 2020.  I await their response.  Our grass cuttings have also been a bone of contention with the PC over the years so at a recent committee meeting we have decided to recycle them in our bays at the side of the machine shed. 

STOP PRESS: We all undertook this work on 14th November & Alan has disposed of all the cuttings.

Master Greenkeeper and Enforcer lol (you ask the workers!!). 

In the absence of any nominations or proposals from the members we will accept the AGM documents as approved and we will elect the club officials & committee en bloc for the coming season.



Now that we are in the new year it is time to look forward to the outdoor bowls season.  Shipton bowls club has struggled over recent years to turn out teams in the five leagues we take part in and despite this we are still winning titles and trophies.  This year we are appealing to anyone that has not tried outdoor bowls before to give it a go at our Club.  We are looking for bowlers of all levels new or experienced, both male and female.


Leagues we are involved in are the Men’s Evening League (Four Rinks) and the Men’s Veterans League (One Rink), both of which are run by the York Amateur Bowling Association, the Ladies Evening League (Two Rinks), the Private Clubs League (Mixed Triples – Three Rinks) and finally the Tockwith League (Mixed Fours – Three Rinks).


This year we are breaking with tradition and our Membership Fee will be £30 plus £2 per game.


If you are interested and/or require further details please contact anyone shown on the website.

A Beautiful Game Needs Reviving


You may ask what Shipton Bowls Club can offer in today’s climate of virtual reality and armchair participation?  Well we have a lovely club with good facilities and an excellent green, in beautiful surroundings, with friendly members.  We have members with the expertise to encourage and coach newcomers to the game of Flat Green Lawn Bowls.  There is the opportunity to play at any level you wish, be it socially, bowling in the varying ability leagues, or progressing to County and even National level.  The game is your oyster!

The future of the game of bowls and the existence of this type of facility within the village community is in your hands.  It is YOUR Club in YOUR community, the present committee and members are merely custodians of the present era.  The game is a game that all the family can play and at whatever level you choose to try.  It is on your doorstep and provides a gentle overall exercise in fresh air.  Give it a try and even if you do not take to the game itself assistance is always welcomed and helps to form part of a vibrant community.

Age is no barrier and you do not have to be super fit to play.  Who knows the game of bowls could be for you but you will not know until you give it a try.  New members are required at all levels to keep this facility going and any help you can give will be greatly appreciated.  If you have any questions why not give our Club Treasurer, John Backhouse a ring on 07786087098.




                                                                                             PRESIDENT                                                                                                           Bet Thompson

                                                                                            VICE PRESIDENT                                                                                                John Backhouse

                                                                                            CHAIRMAN                                                                                                           Simon Wilson

                                                                                            VICE CHAIRMAN                                                                                               Bet Thompson

                                                                                           HON SECRETARY                                                                                               Shirley Hallgate

                                                                                           HON TREASURER                                                                                               John Backhouse

                                                                                          HON AUDITOR                                                                                                     Tony Abbot

                                                                                         CLUB CAPTAIN                                                                                                      Judy Abel

                                                                                         CLUB VICE CAPTAIN                                                                                          Simon Wilson

                                                                                         COMMITTEE MEMBER                                                                                     Louis Blackburn



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