Newsletter – March 2023

Mar 12, 2023 | Newsletter

With the beginning of a new season imminent, here is an update of news about your club and the exciting things ahead, together with information about the decisions made by the club committee.


This newsletter will be sent out together with the subscription forms for the new season.  With the increase in general costs over the last year we have decided to raise the annual cost of the subscription for full-playing members from £160 to £170 for the whole summer and we hope that you will agree that this is still very good value for money.  The cost of the Associate membership will be increased to £85.  The cost for Junior members and Social members is retained at £25.  The subscription covers the cost of bowling for the entire season with no extra cost, except where refreshments are served at the end of a match.

 We are pleased to hear of some new members who are likely to join Oak Hill.  Please encourage your friends, or fellow experienced bowlers, to come along and join us.  We will be organising a number of “Open Days” at the beginning of the season, with coaching available on most Saturday mornings.  We will also be providing coaching on alternate Thursday evenings throughout the season.

 Dates for the Season Start

Key dates for the start of the season are –

  • Saturday 15th April, from 10am – “spring cleaning” the clubhouse – helpers welcome
  • Saturday 22nd April, 10am – green opens and “beginning of season” coffee morning
  • Saturday 29th April, 2pm for a 2.30pm start – Captains’ Day.

Details of these and the full list of fixtures for the season will be available in the fixtures booklet which will be available at the coffee morning on the 22nd April.


The club has purchased new sets of lockers for both the ladies’ and men’s changing rooms.  The new lockers are larger than the previous lockers, providing about 50% extra capacity for members to store their bowls and other equipment.  The new lockers have been “allocated” to existing bowling members, with a list of the lockers on the notice board in the respective changing room.  There are ample lockers for other members who wish to store equipment, and for new members.  If you would like a locker and have not yet been given one, please see John Abson, Kay Comer or Barry Brennan.

 The new lockers have a green door, corresponding with the club colours, and most members who have seen them have said how smart they are.  We would ask that members do not apply stickers or name tags to the locker doors themselves.  Please refer to the list on the notice board if you are unsure which locker has been allocated to you.  The key for “allocated” lockers has been left in the locker door, so you can store your equipment in the locker then take the key.  A spare key for each locker is kept in the key store in the bar store.

East Barnet School

You will be aware that we were finally able to start our new project with pupils from East Barnet school last year, when we gave tuition to a group of their year-10 students for a few weeks.  This was very well received, so much so that this year we will be extending the tuition for the whole summer term, starting on Friday 28th April.  We will again be providing tuition to a group of year-10 students, with the pupils arriving at Oak Hill about 10.30am each Friday morning.  We were very grateful last year for a number of members who helped with this tuition and would again ask for members who are willing to help to contact either David Bowler or John Abson.  The tuition will last 45 minutes each Friday morning, finishing at about 11.15am.

 We are also extremely excited about the prospect of working with East Barnet school in a totally new initiative.  We were contacted a few weeks ago by the PE staff at the school.  They had been offered the opportunity to apply for government funding towards purchasing new sports equipment for the school.  The equipment is to be used to support after-school sports activities, to be organised together with local sports clubs, with the eventual aim of also providing sports facilities for members of the local community.

 We were asked by the head of PE at the school to help with putting an application together for them to provide short-mat bowling facilities in their sports hall during the autumn and winter terms, i.e. from September to April.  They have submitted an application for funding to provide 4 short-mat carpets, together with the necessary other equipment.  This includes some sets of bowls, but we have indicated that we could also provide the school with some sets of our “coaching” bowls from September to April.

 We have just heard that the school’s first-stage application (for the equipment) has been successful, so the next stage (probably after Easter) will be for them to apply for funding towards paying for coaches from Oak Hill to help run their project.  We have not yet discussed the full implications for our club, but it is possible that the short-mat facilities may well be made available for our club members to use. 

 Assuming the applications are successful the project will start in September 2023.  This is an exciting opportunity for further collaboration between our club and the school, could hopefully help with increasing our junior membership, and will provide further evidence of the club working in the local community.  This can also help us in seeking financial support for our project to build a new club-house.


At a recent meeting the committee reviewed the cost of refreshments provided by the club.  It was decided to retain the costs for most of the refreshments at last year’s level – tea / coffee and biscuits £1, post-match tea and biscuits £1.50, post-match suppers £4. 

However, because of the recent increase in the costs of food, the price of club-night meals will be increased by £1 – to £7 for a general meal and £8 for the monthly barbecue.


Since the club’s AGM at the beginning of December we have moved forward in our plans to build a new club-house.  Jason Laurence has been asked to produce some plans for a formal planning application to Barnet Council.  As a first stage Jason arranged for staff from Maltby Associates to carry out a survey of the club site, so we now have a very detailed plan of the club site and the surrounding area.

 Jason has started to produce further plans, starting with a draft layout of a new club-house which will fit the site.  We will then hold meetings with a structural engineer to review the structure of the new clubhouse, before seeking the approval of representatives from Barnet’s Parks and Open Spaces division and then proceeding with more formal plans.  We hope that we will be in a position to present plans to our club members at some stage during the coming season.

 Our discussions over the plans for the proposed club-house have raised a key question which we need to resolve before proceeding much further.  This is the legal status of the club.  Our club is currently a Community Amateur Sports Club, which gives us certain benefits.  However, it has been suggested that we look into applying to become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation.  We will be seeking financial and legal professional help to consider these options.  If you know of any members who have knowledge or experience in these areas, or can recommend someone who can help us, please contact a member of the club-house working group – Gordon Greenfield, Tom Hobden, Vinod Thakrar or John Abson.

 Once we are closer to submitting the plans for formal approval from Barnet Council, we will need to raise funds towards the cost of the building.  Firstly, this will entail our working with Barnet Council to apply for major funding towards the building costs from various organisations, including Sports England and the London Marathon Charitable Trust.  We will also be looking to raise funds through our members and the local community, so we would be delighted to hear from any member who has experience in the fund-raising area.

 Open League and Sponsorship

Plans are well advanced for us to continue with our very popular Open League on Tuesday mornings throughout the season.  16 teams have submitted applications to join the league, so we have planned a full schedule for every team to play each week, using the green laid out in 8 rinks.  The green will be laid out in 6 rinks on all other days and for all matches other than the Open League.

 A number of last year’s sponsors have agreed to support the Open League financially, so we are hopeful that the prize money this year will show an increase on previous years.  We are indebted to the local companies who provide financial support for the club and would ask members to support these companies wherever possible.  Indeed, Mantlestates, one of our most loyal supporters, have promised that whenever a club member is able to refer to the company their house for sale, or refer someone else to Mantlestates, the company will pay £500 to Oak Hill if the referral leads to a successful sale.

 Maintenance Working Group

A small group of members have been meeting regularly, mainly on Thursday mornings, to carry out maintenance work and repairs on the fabric of the clubhouse and the green surrounds.  We are very grateful for the work these members have been doing.

 We have also reserved Saturday 15th April, a week before the pre-season coffee morning, for members to complete a “spring clean” of the club-house itself.  Please come along, any time after 10am, to help with this.

 Club Competitions

The entry form for club competitions is being sent out together with this newsletter and the subscription forms.  Please note that the finals weekend for club competitions has been brought forward to the 2nd / 3rd September, so as not to clash with the Jewish New Year.  All entry forms for club competitions should be given, or sent to David Conway by 15th May.  The draws for the competitions will be made on or before the 25th May.


The club web-site is being updated.  The main change is that the club’s fixtures will be listed in two formats – the chronological list as shown in the club’s printed fixture card – and a new format, where the key fixtures are listed according to category.  This format is to enable members to view the dates for a particular league or type of fixture, e.g. all the dates for friendly matches, Vets league matches.  Certain categories will not be included in this listing, e.g. club Monday afternoon league, Tuesday morning Open League, Thursday club-nights.

 We will still be producing the printed fixture cards as before, and these will be available at the coffee morning on Saturday 22nd April.

 Finchley & North London Competitions

This association will be running a full complement of competitions for both men and ladies.  The closing date for entries is 1st May, so if you wish to enter please put your name on the sheets in the changing rooms by 29th April at the latest, or let David Bowler or John Abson know which competitions you wish to enter.  The nominations sheet will be taken down on Captains’ Day, so please add your entries before then.


Janice Ford will be producing a schedule for preparing the food to be served at club-nights for the whole season.  We start on 4th May with the popular barbecue.  The schedule is listed on the main notice board next to the kitchen.  Again, please put your name on the list if you wish to come along to the upcoming club-nights.  Janice is always keen to hear from aspiring “Masterchefs” who would like to help with preparing the food on Thursday nights.

 Because of the increased cost of food, the price for a “normal” club-night meal has been raised to £7 per person.  The charge for the barbecue evening is £8, and the fish and chips meals will be charged at cost. 

 Bonus Ball, 100 Club

We are very grateful to Gloria Fligman who has organised these raffle competitions for the club over many years.  She has decided to “retire” from this, but we are pleased to say that Kay Comer has agreed to take over the running of the raffle competitions for the club.  The Bonus Ball is a weekly draw while the winners of the 100 Club draw are announced at the end of each month.  Please see Kay if you would like to have numbers allocated in these draws, or complete the relevant part of the club subscription form.

 Cribbage and Bridge Groups

The cribbage and bridge groups have continued to meet during the autumn and winter, as have the group of members who play board and card games on a Wednesday afternoon.  A team from the cribbage group plays in a local league on Monday evenings.  They are enjoying a successful season, at present sitting in second place in the league, with a game in hand on the top team.  We wish them all the best for the remainder of their matches.

 Sad News

We are very sad to report that Kassie, the lady who helped in the kitchen for our Open League on Tuesday mornings, passed away recently.  Kassie first came to the club a number of years ago when her grand-daughter, Lauren Kidd, joined the club as a Junior member after coming to Oak Hill with the children from Danegrove school.  Kassie started helping in the kitchen the year after and has been a regular helper ever since.  We will miss her and send our condolences to her family in their loss.


With every best wish for a happy, healthy and successful season of bowling.