Under the UK government's initial easing of the Covid-19 lockdown, bowls clubs in England are now permitted to re-open - but with restrictions on usage, handling of equipment, etc. The national governing body, Bowls England, have published a document outlining the procedures all clubs will need to put in place during this first phase of reopening. Please have a read by clicking this link.

So, members are now allowed to bowl on our green again, providing they book a session in advance. You can do so via this online form: https://bit.ly/2XobQI1. Please contact club secretary Peter Milburn if you have any issues with this.

Peter has also made a video (or 'Covideo') outlining the basic instructions that all bowlers will have to adhere to: https://bit.ly/36gRR1U.

Video transcript:

Abington Bowling Club is reopening to social bowls, under a new order of restriction, and within government and Bowls England guidelines. All members who wish to play may enter the premises through the main gate, after booking a session through the club secretary.

On entering, please close all gates behind you. Mats and jacks will be set out on every other rink, or as required. Members may sit on benches to get ready as long as 2 metres (6 feet 7 inches) apart.

Each player has a mat and a jack for their use. If playing with another person from outside your household, please DO NOT handle their mat or jack.

Set the jack – with feet if possible, although as it is your own jack, you may handle if preferred. Make sure you alternate setting mats and jacks each end, so you are only handling your own mat/jack.

When changing over, always make sure you are at least 2m apart.

You may sit and take a rest break, especially to keep your fluid intake up [please note, you will have to bring your own food/drink as the bar remains off limits].

There will be access to the men's and disabled toilets [due to its location in the middle of the clubhouse, the women's toilet will have to remain closed]. One at a time, obviously.

Once you have completed your session, please leave all equipment at the end of your particular rink. We have supplied anti-bacterial gel for any member’s use, after any toilet use, and before leaving the premises. All equipment used, and any surfaces/handles/etc. will then be cleaned and dried, minimising any risk.

Remember, if bowling with those from your own household, then the social distancing rules do not apply. But please note, bowling with someone from outside your household is restricted to one person [and the same applies from their POV - so in those instances, no more than two individuals are allowed on a rink]. A household cannot invite anyone to join them on their rink.

If a member has been asked by a doctor to self-isolate, they should not play until that restriction is lifted. Any member who books to play should be fit and well i.e. NO temperature or persistent cough.

A full copy of the guidelines is stationed at the inner gate.

Please remember, if no member playing has the virus, it CANNOT be caught. The measures introduced are there to protect each other from the chance that a member has Covid-19, but are not displaying any symptoms. It is therefore incumbent on all players to follow the rules, to minimise any risk.

And please – enjoy your bowls! Keep Well and Safe.

Peter Milburn, secretary of Abington Bowling Club


Meanwhile, for attendees of Chris Nightingale's regular exercise classes, she is continuing to offer these via Facebook Live streaming. Please contact her via her page Pilatesnorthampton or her new email address Bodyinbalancenorthampton@gmail.com.
Pilates Online Courses
Wednesdays - 9:15am - £5.50 per session
Strength and Balance Classes - Otago for Older Adults
Mondays - 2pm - £5.00 per session
Get Up and Go - Gentle Aerobics
£5.00 per session

ABOUT US: Abington Bowling Club is one of Northampton's sporting institutions. Based just south of Abington Park, we are in close proximity to the Old Northamptonians Sports Ground. Just a short way east of the town centre. We provide a competitive but welcoming environment for anyone who fancies taking up outdoor flat green bowls, the most popular form of bowls, and the most inclusive of all sports.

We also boast one of the biggest and most furbished clubhouses in the region, complete with lounge area, dining room and boardroom. We offer usage of any of these to interested parties. Click on 'Hire our Facilities' above to see what we can provide.




THESE ARE unprecedented times. Yesterday, Saturday 18th April, was scheduled to be Our Day, the traditional opening of Abington Bowling Club for a new season. A new decade.

By now, you don't need a reminder as to why, for the first time in our club's near-century of existence, that had to be cancelled, nor why all bowling is off the agenda for the foreseeable future. But it doesn't mean activity has entirely ceased.

Bowlers have been contacting each other online to keep spirits up from a distance. Particular mention should go to former secretary Chris Beck, who has been busy contacting and monitoring our most vulnerable members.

Meanwhile, current secretary Peter Milburn has conducted the 100 Club prize draw behind closed doors. Since being founded in 2012, this has been Abington's curtain-raising event. Results are below. As to whether anything else of the 2020 season can be salvaged, all we can do is wait for the authorities to declare it safe to resume.

In the meantime all readers are encouraged to follow the government guidelines on lockdown and distancing. Please remain indoors unless it's absolutely necessary. One link that may be helpful in passing the time is Bowls England's new YouTube channel. This includes exercise sessions that can be performed with your woods, and a podcast interview series called 'The Extra End'.

Until we are able to meet and bowl again, best wishes and good health to all.

100 Club Draw Winners

Video of the draw being conducted - https://bit.ly/2xEKG6I

£200 grand prize:
  • 26 - Peter Boulden
£100 each:
  • 21 - Mick Taylor
  • 18 - Bill Shelton
  • 99 - Debbie Bradshaw
£75 each:
  • 14 - Alan Mann
  • 8 - Lynn Smith
  • 41 - Dave Vernon
£50 each:
  • 30 - Trevor Aston
  • 16 - Bill Roberts
  • 58 - Diana Brown
The draw board

Some pictures courtesy of:

Click on images for full quality