Indoor and outdoor bowls in Brighton
The Preston Club Ltd was formed in 1908. It has facilities for bowls, indoors and outdoors, and two snooker tables. Some members play in competitive bowls and snooker matches against other clubs in well organised leagues. Indoors, there are also some domestic bowls leagues, organised by the men’s and ladies sections. One League is for teams made up of ladies and men.
The club organises a number of social events, usually on Friday evenings, most of which involve a meal of some description. The Club has approximately 700 members and are mostly interested in the opportunity to play bowls indoors during the winter. About 100 play outdoors during the summer. There are close to 150 club members who make varied use of the club’s facilities throughout the year. Junior members [under the age of 21] are welcome and pay a much reduced annual fee.
During the winter months, September to April, bowling on the indoor green takes place between the hours of 09.00 and 22.00. Members are given the opportunity to book rinks in advance. Alternatively, they may take up spare rinks on a “casual” basis. Each session lasts about two and a half hours. Members are asked to pay £3.50 for each session. Matches against visiting clubs last up to 4 hours and take place on Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 14.00. In addition, “Drives” which are open to members take place on Monday evenings [for men only], Tuesday evenings [priority is given to those who work during the day], Thursday afternoons and Sunday evenings. The Club is less busy during the summer as a result of fewer members bowling at the Club but the indoor green is available throughout the summer and some drives are arranged for our members (see notice board).
The Club currently provides coaching for people new to bowls over six sessions. Up to ten sessions are free. Thereafter each session costs £3.50. These start in October and January each year. They usually occur on Tuesday evenings at 16.30 and on Saturday mornings at 09.00 for those who work during the week and cannot make Tuesdays. After trying the game players may apply for membership. Coaching for improving one’s game is also available at no additional cost to members. The Club is fortunate to have the services of several well-qualified coaches.
The bar is open from 11.00 to 14.30 and 17.00 to 22.30 from Monday to Saturday. On Sunday it is open from 12.00 to 14.30 and again from 17.00 to 21.00. When it is warranted, the bar is also open during the afternoon between 14.30 and 17.00. A range of drinks is available at reasonable prices.
The kitchen is open throughout the year to provide members with refreshments, ranging from tea, coffee, cakes, sandwiches, snacks and all day breakfasts to a ‘proper’ lunch. When matches are played, it is usual to provide a two course meal for both teams and any guests for which each individual is asked to pay. These are taken after the match usually starting about 17.30. In addition, the club plays a number of matches on Saturday evenings against local outdoor clubs and these usually conclude with a fish and chip supper. All members are encouraged to play in these matches.
The snooker room is available for play whenever the Club is open. Should both tables be in use upon arrival, there is a simple procedure for booking tables.
Preston Bowls Club Brighton Ltd
189 Preston Rd
President: Patricia Pearce
Chairman: John Edwards
Vice Chairman: Geoff Clack
Building & Maintenance: D.Thorpe
Outdoor Garden: I.Ward
Green Steward: Ron Tomlin
Catering: J. Edwards & V. Michael
New Members : J. Bracey and L. Burns
500 Club, Social Activities, Catering : J. Edwards
Finance Committee: J. Wilmshurst, G.Clack & L. Burns.
Administrative Secretary: Nicky Salmon - Phone: 01273 540415 (0ption 1) - Email: email@example.com
Membership matters: Tracey Rolf - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer: John Wilmshurst - Phone: 01273 540415 (Option 4)
Caterer: Phone: 01273 540415 (Option 2)
Bar: Phone: 01273 540415 (Option 5)
Members Lounge: Phone: 01273 540415 (Option 6)
Bowls Club Secretaries
Indoor Men: David Woosnam
Indoor Ladies: Brenda Davies
Outdoor: Les Russell - 01273 888032
Indoor Men: Bert Gurr - Phone: 01273 685537
Indoor Ladies: Carolyne McCann - Phone 07837179988
Outdoor : Les Russell - 01273 888032
Men's Outdoor Captain: Tony Dade
Ladies' Outdoor Captain: No nomination
Men's Indoor Captain: Paul Thurston
Ladies' Indoor Captain: Jose Sharp
Web manager: Peter Moore
Circulation Manager: Gill Greenwood
Other Club Members give their time to Committee work and in organising the various activities. These volunteers make a great contribution to the smooth running of the Preston Club.
So you would like to bowl – where and how do you start?
The first thing to know is that the object is to deliver a bowl as close to the jack (the small white ball) as possible. You need to know that all bowls have a bias, that is, they “bend” during flight, and this is when skill comes in.
The Preston Bowls Club, opposite Preston Park in Brighton will welcome you if you wish to see lawn bowls (indoors) in action. Just contact Nicky, Club Administrator on 01273 540415 or contact the Club through the website and a friendly member will get back to you and, subject to rink availability will arrange a date and time for you to try out.
If on your first visit you wish to have a go, you may do so subject to rink availability. However, be sure to have a pair of flat-soled shoes, but you may play in your socks. The Club has bowls which may be borrowed. After your bowling session, you may wish to get a drink at our fully-stocked bar or have a meal at our restaurant which is open during the day.
Youngsters are also welcome to try out this very skilled game. The same applies to them in the first instance, flat-soled shoes. There are junior bowls too which may be borrowed at no cost.
Preston Club offers several beginners sessions a year, usually indoors and to find out when the next one is just contact the Administrator, or click here. The beginners sessions are free, but if ultimately you decide this is the game for you then pick up a leaflet in the foyer which will give you the relevant details for joining.
Beginners sessions are run indoors during the winter, and once you have completed the course and joined the club, there is opportunity to play outdoors in the summer season. Again, the Club Administrator can give you details, or contact the Club’s secretaries through the website and they will give you information you require.
Once you decide this is the game for you, you need to think about buying your own bowls and selecting the right clothing as there is a simple dress code for playing in sessions. Grey and white clothing can be purchased in local shops but smarter tailored dress may be obtained from dedicated bowls shops. The Club also sells an official Club shirt at a very reasonable rate.
As far as bowls are concerned, the most important thing to do is ‘try before you buy’. Borrow some different bowls and seek advice from an experienced club member, or visit a bowls shop where the staff there can help you choose. There is a travelling bowls shop which visits the Club regularly.
New bowls are expensive but there are second hand bowls available – see the Notice Board in the foyer.
When it comes to buying bowls, there are some things that you need to think about: