This newsletter will be a shorter version than normal, but in these difficult times, it is good to have some positive news to report. Given the recent slight relaxation by the government of their Covid-19 guidelines in England we are planning to re-open the club for play with effect from 1st June. More details are given below.
We are also very pleased to announce the launch of our new website at the usual address – oakhillbc.co.uk. This will be launched within the next few days and, by the time you read this, may well have gone live. Again, more details are given below.
Club Re-Opening – 1st of June
We plan to re-open the club for bowling with effect from 1st June. The recent relaxation by the government allows for any one person to meet one other person from a different household for the purposes of sharing exercise, as long as the social distancing rules (2 metres apart) are observed. This would enable members to play a singles game of bowls.
Bowls England have issued guidelines as to how this can proceed safely and we have sought further clarification from them. Given this clarification, we are happy that we can allow up to 12 members to play singles, on 6 rinks, at the same time. In order to protect our members and observe the government’s social distancing guidelines, we will be issuing a separate note giving details of how this bowling will work, and the rules that we expect our members to observe.
Of course, the government might change their guidance at any time. However, we are proceeding on the basis of the current rules and, indeed, hope that these may be further relaxed so that we may be able to play games of pairs in the future. While social distancing has to be observed we do not see any possibility of playing triples or rinks in the foreseeable future, so we will be cancelling all friendly fixtures for the remainder of this season.
With this newsletter we are sending a Subscription form to all our members. In March, when we knew that we would be unlikely to open at the normal time, we said that we would base subscriptions for this year on a pro rata basis, depending on when we were able to resume bowling. We therefore propose to ask members to pay a subscription based on 4/5 of the normal annual subscription, since we have been unable to bowl in May, but plan to arrange as full a programme as the rules permit in June, July, August and September.
We appreciate that some members may not wish to resume play in June. However, the club’s expenditure for this season is likely to remain very similar to that for a normal season, so we would ask that members bear this in mind when renewing their membership. A number of members have already paid their normal full subscription for the year and for this we are very grateful.
While social distancing rules continue to be observed, it is unlikely that we will be able to arrange any social events. For the time being the bar and kitchen will not be open. In these circumstances we will not be charging a subscription to our social members. However, any donations to the club would be very welcome.
If the guidelines are relaxed further we may be able to organise a number of other activities. The government has said they will review their guidelines on 1st June and then on 4th July. We will therefore be keeping the situation under review in the hope that we may be able to arrange other activities, including a limited number of club competitions and special events including pairs bowling.
Much work has been continuing in the last few months in developing a new web-site for the club and this is now ready to go live. The site can be accessed through the same domain name – oakhillbc.co.uk.
There are a number of major changes to the site. One of the key aspects is to make the site more easily useable on a range of different technology – personal computers, laptops, tablets, IPADs and mobile phones. A major aim is to make the site more attractive, not only to our existing members, but also to prospective new members and to businesses, who may wish to provide valuable sponsorship to the club and to make use of our facilities.
The site now incorporates much more information. It includes details of the club constitution, our safeguarding procedures, and also a complete list of all the previous winners of our club’s competitions. For our members, there is a separate members’ page, giving contact details for other members. This page is password protected and details of how members can access this information will be sent out separately.
Lease and Extension Plans
We continue to have discussions with Barnet Council about the club’s lease. We have also made some progress with the council and others about our possible plans to extend our clubhouse. In the current climate, when many workers are having to work from home, progress is inevitably slower than we would hope, but we will endeavour to keep you informed of future events as they develop.
We are happy to be able to report some positive news after the recent months which have been frustrating and difficult for us all. We sincerely hope that you have managed to keep safe and well, and that we will be able to meet again shortly.