SiP 16 – Clarence Bowls Club

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Clarence Bowls Club

Formed in 1907, Clarence Bowling Club is situated just off the seafront in Clarence Park Weston-super Mare. Membership from the clubs inception rose rapidly, and in 1926 Clarence Ladies Bowling Club was formed, followed in 1965 by Wessex Ladies Bowling Club. At the moment total membership is approximately 200. 

With a superb modern pavilion, three outside greens, an indoor rink, short mat facilities and a thriving social club plus new outdoor petanque area set in the picturesque Clarence Park the three clubs are the envy of many clubs in Somerset. 

In 2011, Tony Mannion was elected as the secretary of Clarence Men’s Bowling club and set about the task of discussing amalgamation with the Ladies Clubs – a very bold move when one considers a major change after over 100 years of individuality. To quote Tony, “The Bowling Clubs in the UK like many sports have been struggling to not only retain members but also to increase membership. We have been fortunate with our aggressive recruitment campaigns to maintain our numbers and I felt that amalgamation was a natural progression to ensure the wonderful sport of Lawn Green Bowls continued at Clarence Park for the next 100 years”. 

In April of 2017, assisted by current President Mike Scoins, Clarence Men’s Bowling club amalgamated with Clarence Ladies; the main criteria is to establish and consolidate the coming together of the two clubs and prepare for an exciting future.  

The next five years will be a crucial time for many clubs with the aging population these changes will be beneficial to male and female bowlers alike under the one umbrella encouraging a new regime to pull together and encourage a younger generation to enjoy Bowling. 

Clarence Bowling Club is a real community club with the new petanque area. They also play hosts to the Visually Impaired tournament and are very proud to have in their membership Bob Rossiter who represents England also David Stott who is the National Visually Impaired Manager. David is also the club coach together with Roger Burrough; coaching is encouraged whether people just want to play for fun or enjoy the competitive Somerset League and Cup competitions. 

The in-house club competitions are very well supported encouraging comradeship and a wonderful bonding exercise. The Club Monday Paxton games which raises money for charities are also very well supported and emphasises the human nature of club members. 

The future is looking very bright for Clarence Bowling Club with the new regime and positive attitude for the future. Jo Mannion the Clarence Ladies President said, “The attitude around the club is very positive; our Celebration Dinner in June to celebrate the amalgamation was excellent, we had representatives from Somerset Bowling Association who applauded our changes. 

Past President Reg Flicker said, “With Tony at the helm, initially to ensure a smooth first couple of years transition Clarence Bowling Club is in good hands and can look forward to the future with confidence. A warm welcome awaits male and female new members at Clarence”.

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