Newsletter – August 2021

Aug 31, 2021 | Newsletter


 Welcome to the latest edition of our club newsletter, with more news about our club. 


We are delighted to say that, since our last newsletter, a further 6 new members have joined the club, bringing our total membership to 96.  The most recent new members are Bill Brewer (full-playing member) and Kay Comer, Petrene Rene, Marilyn Whiterow, Maria Cornell and Yin Man (all Associate members).  We hope that they will all enjoy their time at Oak Hill and that you will make them very welcome. 

 It is important to remember that our newer members are still learning the game.  We cannot possibly cover all the elements of the game of bowls in our initial coaching sessions, so we expect all club members to provide positive support and help, with due consideration, to these new members.

 A number of our members have been having health issues in recent weeks.  We send them our best wishes and hope that they will soon be fully recovered and enjoying full health.

 Forthcoming Events

Unfortunately we had to postpone a number of recent events – the Progressive Bowls afternoon because of the fun-fair in the park – and the Mixed Triples competition and Sponsors Afternoon because of the poor weather.

 However, we have managed to re-schedule the Mixed Triples competition for Saturday 14th August, with participants asked to be at the club no later than 10.15am.  This is making allowance for a potential difficulty in parking because of the fun run in the park.  It is still possible to enter this competition, so please add your name to the list on the competitions notice-board.  Entries can also be made for the Bob Sawyer Trophy on 30th August and the Aussie Pairs on 4th September, with entry sheets available on the competitions notice board.

 The Progressive Bowls afternoon will now be held on Thursday 9th September, hopefully followed by a full club-night supper.   Details are on the notice board near the toilets, so please put your name on the entry sheet.  The Sponsors Afternoon has been cancelled for this year, but we are planning to hold one next year, closer to the beginning of the season.

 The Acorn Trophy evening on Thursday 5th August was also rained off, so we hope to proceed with the planned evenings on the 19th August and 2nd September, and to include an additional evening on the 26th August, to make up for the postponed event.

 On Thursday 12th August, David Bowler and John Abson will hold another training event, aimed at highlighting the role of the Lead in a Bowls Team.  Although this is mainly aimed at some of our newer bowlers, all members will be welcome and we hope that this will help to improve the knowledge and enjoyment of the game for those who come along.  The session will start at 6pm and will be followed by a club-night supper (see below for more details).

 Jill Jordan is planning to organise a Fun League, mainly on Wednesday afternoons at 4pm starting on 25th August.  At the moment there are not many rules – just turn up on the 25th with £1, and make sure you have lots of fun!  Look out for more details on the notice board near the toilets.


Now that the Covid-related restrictions have been relaxed, we are able to resume “normal” club-night activities.  Jill Jordan is preparing a supper on the 12th August and you should put your name on the list on the notice-board next to the kitchen as soon as possible if you intend to come.  We also require other members to volunteer to prepare a club-night supper.  Please put your name on the relevant list or get together with other members to work jointly, so that our members can at last enjoy this important social side of the club.  Margaret and Mike Eccleston will be cooking on the 26th August, and Gloria Fligman on 23rd September, so there are lots of gaps for other volunteers.

 Club Shirts and Jackets

A few members have said they would like a further club shirt and / or jacket, so the committee has agreed that we will send off an order.  The minimum quantity for an order is 20 items, so we will be processing an order to provide the items already requested, and to enable us to hold a stock of the most common sizes of shirts and jackets.

 East Barnet School

Last year we had hoped to start a project with the pupils from East Barnet School, but our plans were thwarted by the Covid pandemic.  However, in a recent meeting with the Head of PE from the school, we have agreed that in 2022 we will provide instruction in the game of lawn bowls at the club as part of the school’s PE curriculum.  Two groups of year 11 students, up to a maximum of 24 pupils per session, will visit the club at 9.30am and 12noon on Fridays during the summer term.  The school will also support an initiative for us to start an after-school club for their pupils, and any other interested youngsters, for about 1 hour every Friday afternoon at the club.


Matters have progressed significantly in our plans to build a new 2-storey clubhouse on the site of the current building.  Tom, Gordon and John have held meetings with four potential architects / designers and received presentations from them all.  As a result the committee recently agreed with the proposal to proceed to the next stage with our preferred supplier, MGA Design & Build, based in Berkhamstead.  We initially met representatives from this company when they were completing an extension to the clubhouse at Stanmore Bowls Club.

 We have presented very preliminary plans for a new building to the committee and the next stage will be to ask MGA to produce plans and designs, based on a detailed specification that we have prepared.  Following this, we hope to be in a position to proceed to the pre-planning stage with Barnet Council and to start work, together with senior representatives from the Council, in preparing our submission for funding from major providers.

 We will keep you informed of future progress.

And finally, we include a message from Larissa, Ken Callingham’s daughter –

It’s just over 5 months since Ken passed away following his short illness with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) which he fought bravely. Understandably, it’s been a difficult time for us as a family especially due to his  sudden diagnosis last June and as Ken died just before his 77th Birthday. He is still greatly missed by us all and always will be.

We wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to all his friends who took the time to pay their respects and line the funeral route along Summers Lane. It was such a thoughtful and lovely gesture, especially with the respectful clapping as the hearse passed by, which meant so much to our family seeing how much he was thought of by so many of you. 

Ken would genuinely have been so overwhelmed, as he always used to say to us that ‘They’ll all forget about me when I’m gone’, but how wrong he was. 

A huge thank you also to those who attended the service either in person or virtually and for all the lovely messages, cards and donations we have received.

We are so pleased to let you know that over £1900 has been raised for Haematology Cancer Care (HCC), the UCLH Charity that supported Ken and our family throughout his short illness. Thank you to Oakhill Bowls Club and members who have contributed towards this fantastic amount which will directly help other Leukaemia patients.

Some of you may be aware that during Ken’s illness, he wrote over 30 poems and 2 of these were read during his funeral service. We have already spoken with HCC about publishing a selection of these with proceeds raising further funds to help HCC in the future. Ken was aware and agreed to this and copyrighted his poems to us, which will be his legacy to give back to the Charity that helped him and us so much. We will let you know once the book is published but would like to share one of his final poems with you his friends.

May god bless you all – take good care during these continuing difficult times.

With many thanks and much love,

from Ken Callingham’s family xx

Remember Always by Ken Callingham ©

If one day, our paths should part

You’ll all be here, within my heart

No matter where, my path may lead me

I’ll be here in spirit, for those who need me

And a prouder man could never be

To have been a part of this family

One that has love, coursing through its veins

And though apart, that love remains

A love so strong, from life transcends

Endures forever, and never ends.