2020 has been something of a difficult time for all of us. No explanation of the effects of the virus is needed since it is at the forefront of everything we do and dominates the media. It certainly scuppered the plans of Lyndhurst. However, we made the best of a bad job and, despite everything had three-quarters of a season. Members were able to enjoy competitive and social bowling, all within our club, and the consensus was 100% favourable.
Our management committee scrutinised the Government Guidelines and advice from Bowls England and came up with an operating system which incorporated social distancing, track and trace and how and when to self-isolate. David Thompson created signage and directional notices that enabled it to run smoothly. It appears that it succeeded since the season closed with the playing members generally unscathed.
There was no league bowling or national competitions so we introduced internal singles, pairs and triples competitions which were really well received by members. In some cases entry was oversubscribed. Our traditional jumbles sessions were still played and the competition was fierce when Toblerones were at stake. The enjoyment and humour were a tremendous lift in rough times. 2020 was a baptism of fire for club captain, Fred Dunlop, but he did a sterling job encouraging participation.
The junior section had an excellent year with new faces learning the game. We definitely have some up and coming stars for the future. We owe a debt of gratitude to the club coaches that made this possible. The conduct of the juniors and parents deserves a mention since our procedures and protocols were adhered to making it a successful season all round. We are currently seventeen strong and want to see this number increase in 2021.
Sadly, our social events and coffee mornings were not to be. These are an integral part of our club success, not to mention an important income stream for us. However, Pat Johnson and Linda Dodsworth already have their entertainment programme for 2021 ready to be launched as soon as the all clear is given. The Local History nights and Ballroom Dancing lessons were also sorely missed and we hope to kick-start them again when we are allowed.
Club and Grounds improvements
As always we try to improve our club facilities to enhance the Lyndhurst experience. New doors to the gents locker room and a new door to Durham Road have been installed. New windows for the gents locker room have been ordered and will be fitted in January. We expect to replace the safety rails at the club entrance and on the garden stairs before next season starts.
The early damage to the green last season has been remedied and a professional turf maintenance company has treated and top-dressed the green in readiness for the coming season. Our club gardening team put in a tremendous amount of work to cover the entire green with suspended netting to keep birds, particularly crows, away. This project was masterminded by Peter Edwards and the finished result is excellent. We can look forward to a top-class green in 2021.
Finance and Management
The management team have been unable to hold our normal monthly meetings and communication was restricted to telephone and email. Consequently, information to members was also restricted. Of course, this was unavoidable. We presently are not allowed to hold our AGM but will do so at the earliest possible opportunity. Throughout this time our treasurer, Eileen Matthews, has maintained her vice-like grip on our finances and control of costs. This has paid dividends since we are in a solid financial situation. Eileen deserves a huge, “well done” from us all. We can look forward to 2021 confidently. When our accounts are finalised all full members will be given full details.
The coming 2021 Season
As a thank you to members for support in 2020, when it was thought that we might not play a single end, the management committee has decided to reduce full membership subscriptions to £80 for one year only. We hope to increase our membership accordingly. We have our bowling plans in place to cover every eventuality and April will see us on the green once again.
Best wishes to all for a safe and Happy New Year!