Bolton Parks Veterans Amateur Bowling Association

Welcome to Bolton Parks Veterans Amateur Bowling Association website.

Membership, Aims and Objectives
Association Rules - to be updated
Teams Secretaries
Team Results Secretaries
Team Captains
Club / Team Treasurers
Club / Team Secretaries
Guide to Results Entry
Association Competitions 2020
Lancashire Competitions - 2019

Useful Links:
BCGBA Website
BCGBA - Latest Newsletter
BCGBA Registration Form
BCGBA Development Plan
CGB Federation
Safeguarding Website

League admin


Sponsored by BETFRED


Thank you to all who contacted Adele Warren with regards to the increase in permits - within days of canvasing Adele the Permit fee increase was restricted to £45. 

For the latest click the appropriate link on the AGM, information from Lancashire, information from the BCGBA threat of fines or suspension, information on Grants available, on Permits

Proposal to reduce the  age of bowlers allowed in the league at the AGM

The aims of the association are to encourage, promote and organise the game of Crown Green Bowls for Veterans playing on Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council Park Greens.

We currently run two sections, the 'A' Section has 15 teams, while the 'B' Section has 16 teams. We play on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons (plus some Wednesdays). Each team has twelve players.

We welcome anyone over the age of 60 years, male or female but you need to register for a team before playing a match and hold a current BCGBA number and a Bolton Parks permit.

Please click the post holder to contact the Chairman - Ken Holcroft;  the Results & Fixtures Secretary - Alan Hamer; League and Competitions Secretary & Website Manager - Clive Fenn If the links do not work for you, please use the following email address or Telephone: 07949 200 926.

Please look around the site and have a look at the different links on the left hand side. There are links to names and addresses of all Team Secretaries, Results Secretaries, to previous years' results under the achieve. There is a link to the guide to help your entry of results once the season starts. Links to BCGBA Newsletters, etc.




Date of Next Meeting and Minutes of Meetings

Malcolm Russell's Letter to Clubs and Teams - 11th March 2020

Latest on Bowling Permits - updated 7th March 2020

Merit Competitions 2019

Secretaries Shield 2019

BetFred Trophy 2019

Mixed Pairs 2019

Fraser Huyton Pairs Competition 2019

Bowling Permits go up

Start Time now 1.30pm

Bowl played out of turn

Date of Next Meeting and Minutes of Meetings

The AGM has been postponed until further notice. It is hoped we will be able to hold our AGM before the start of the season in March. Team Representatives will be contacted and this news item updated. 

The Executive Committee had an emergency meeting on the 31st August and agreed to cancel formally all League, Team Cup Competitions and all individual and pairs Competitions for the 2020 season. We have also cancelled our League meeting scheduled for 24th September and the 11th November presentation celebration so our next meeting will be our AGM on Thursday, 28th January 2021 at the Railway at 1.30pm.

Also at the meeting we agreed we would trial the rules intended to be trialled in 2020 in 2021. It was felt some clarification was required on some of the rules. Click here to see those rules.

Please be reminded that any proposals that are to be considered at the AGM should be sent to me (the League Secretary) by letter or email signed by two team secretaries / captains from different teams by 30th November. 

The following proposal was received from Daniel Fletcher of Darbishire Park 'B' and seconded by Tommy Chester the Darbisire C Secretary

"I propose that the age of The  Vets Bowlers be reduced to 55 years of age with the proviso that only 2 persons will be allowed for each team. If this is not successful I propose that the age of The Vets Bowlers be reduced to 57 with the proviso that only 2 persons will be allowed for each team." 

AGM – 28th January 2021 – at The Railway at 13:30 - cancelled due to Covid.

Minutes of previous meetings can be viewed by clicking the appropriate link below

AGM Minutes (Draft) - 30th January 2020

Secretary's Report on 2019

Treasurer's Income/Expenditure Balance Sheet and Reconciliation Report on 2019 

Proposal - 40 yard maximum length

Proposal from the Executive Committee to change the name of our Secretaries Meeting to League Meetings

Additional Papers following the AGM

Competitions Summary 2020

Trial Rules and Individual Handicaps for Competitions in 2020

 Handicaps for Team Competitions in 2020

The draws for the Harold Orrell Cup and Norman Little Memorial Trophy

Lancashire Report for Bolton AGMs

Earlier Meetings

Secretaries Meeting Minutes – 19th September 2019

Papers distributed at the Secretaries Meeting of 14th March 2019 

Trial Rule Changes for BPVABA Competitions in 2019 including Individual Handicaps 

AGM Minutes - 31st January 2019

Secretary's Report 2018

Treasurer's Report 2018 Annual Balance Sheet and Reconciliation Statement

Secretaries Meeting Minutes - 20th September 2018

Notes of Furum Meeting - 19th September 2018

Ken Holcroft's thoughts on Competitions

AGM Minutes - 25th January 2018

Secretaries Meeting Minutes - 21st September 2017

Secretaries Meeting Minutes - 9th March 2017

ASM Minutes - 12th January 2017

(Friday 11 September 2020)

Malcolm Russell's Letter to Clubs and Teams - 11th March 2020


Dear all,

Further to the recent bowling green savings proposals and subsequent consultation exercise I am writing to:

  • Explain the process to be followed following the consultation.
  • Put forward interim arrangements pending the final decision on the savings report.

Process to be followed following conversation

Following the consultation the results, and any proposed revisions to the original proposals, have to be reported to the Executive Member for Environmental Services Delivery in the Bowling Green Savings Post Consultation Report. This is expected to take place on Tuesday 14th April 2020.

You will probably be aware that as part of the Council’s annual budget process a decision was taken to make available £20,000 from the Public Health reserve to provide an opportunity to phase in the proposed increase to bowling green fees to £45 in the first year and £65 in the subsequent years, subject to the current consultation.

It is important to be aware that this does not mean that £45 will definitely be the fee for summer 2020, only that the option is available for the Executive Member to consider when the post consultation report is considered. However, The Executive Member has indicated that she is minded to use this option when the formal report is considered.

Interim arrangements pending the final decision on the savings report

The Council is very conscious that the 2020 bowling season begins on 1st April and that a final decision on the proposals will not have been taken at that time. As a result none of the proposals that involve changes to the available facilities (closure of 2nd greens at Kearsley Park and Westhoughton Central Park, or the closure of the social hut at Haslam Park) will take place pending the final decisions.

With regard to the fees & charges are unfortunately in the situation where we cannot confirm the fee. We would therefore suggest that clubs either:

i)             Collect and bank an initial permit contribution (perhaps £25) with further payment to be made once a decision is confirmed or,

ii)            Don’t collect any money yet pending a decision.

The Council will provide the usual permit number pro forma paperwork in the next few days but will not expect any information to be returned until after the final decision has been made, by a date to be agreed with the clubs.

Going forward, the Council would propose to continue to meet with clubs to discuss issues such as:

Common criteria for ‘regular’ and ‘occasional’ users

Common charging arrangements for ‘occasional’ users to support club funds

Options for a sustainable future for the Council’s bowling facilities

I will contact you again when we have further information regarding the savings proposals.


Malcolm Russell

Head of Service (Neighbourhood Services)

Directorate of Place

Ellesmere House

Mayor Street Depot

Ellesmere Street



Tel: 01204 334067

(Thursday 12 March 2020)

Latest on Bowling Permits - updated 7th March 2020


The Council have not yet made a final statement regarding the costs to be imposed for this season, but we have an assurance from Malcolm Russell that he will communicate direct with all clubs/teams as soon as he gets clearance from the Council's Executive Member dealing with this issue. Malcolm hopes that this will be done before the BPVABA League Meeting on 12th March, otherwise he will endeavour to get the information circulated the week after.

It is unfortunate that Executive Committee cannot get any further information from the Council at this time, but we will keep pressing Malcolm for a formal response.

Ken Holcroft, Chairman BPVABA, 6th March 2020


(Saturday 7 March 2020)

Merit Competitions 2019

The Merits are to be held at Westhoughton Central Park on Monday, 9th September. 30 bowlers are already registered but we would like more participants so eligible bowlers may enter on the day. To be eligible you must comply with Rule 2.4.5 below. If your name is highlighted in orange below you meet the criteria of Rule 2.4.5 and may take part - however only a maximum of two bolwers from one team may play in the competition. Bowlers not highlighted are already registered to play. If bowlers wish to enter on the day they are asked to attend at Westhoughton Central Park at 11:00.

2.4.5 On completion of all League Matches, the two (2) players who have the highest qualifying average in each team, in both Sections of the League, shall be eligible to play in the respective Merit Competitions. If a qualifying player is unable to take his place in the Competition, the player with the third best qualifying average from their team, shall be allowed to participate in their place. To be entitled to play in the Competition a player or substitute, shall not have missed more than six (6) matches in the season. In addition a player or substitute shall have played in three (3) of the last five (5) matches of the season.


Section A  
  1st Rep     2nd Rep 3rd Rep
Astley Bridge Park A     Mark Bradshaw     John Mort  
Astley Bridge Park B     E Gregson     Roy Schofield Paul Pover
Egerton Park A     Peter Hardman     Howard Boyd Dennis Wildman
Egerton Park B     Eric Haslam     Peter Crook  
Great Lever Park A     Fran Taylor     Rod Cuming  
Haslam Park     Keith Crook     No one else available  
Horwich Public Hall A     Ray Sale     Keith Andrews  
Horwich Public Hall B     No one else available     Trevor Hope  
Longsight A     Les Fishwick     No one else available  
Longsight B     Ian Holloway        
Moss Bank Park A     No one available     No one available  
Moss Bank Park B     Keith Brooks     Keith Clarkson  
Sunnyside Park     Tommy Harrington     Tommy Glover Neville Gregson
Tonge Park A     Mick Bailey     Mick Hilton  
Tonge Park B     E Hall     Anne Norris Terry Ratcliffe
Section B              
Astley Bridge Park C     David Barton     Malcolm Austin David Tadd
Breightmet     Alf Evans     C Parkinson Anne Booth
Darbishire Park B     Andy Cook     Keith Townsend Danny Fletcher
Darbishire Park C     Tom Chesters     Agnes Briggs Pete Roberts
Egerton Park C     Geoff Dunn     David Phillips Rita Dunn
Great Lever Park B     Albert Ashworth     Walt Callow  
Heywood Park     Peter McCawley     Jim Barton  
Longsight C     Kevin Pickervance     John Kay  
Merehall     Trevor Owen     John Patterson Joe Duker
Moss Bank Park C     Mary Southern     Sonia Forrest  
Moss Bank Park D     Eric Redford     Graham McGuiness  
Queens Park A     Howard Tilotson     Christine Dew  
Queens Park B     Derek Hill     John Kelly Norma Buckley
Westhoughton A     No one available     No one available  
Westhoughton B     Lynda Baker     No one else available  


(Saturday 7 September 2019)

Secretaries Shield 2019

The Secretaries Trophy was played at Haslam Park on 5th August. We had a dissapointing number of entries with only 12 participants.

The League Secretary thanked Eddie Thompson and members of the Haslam Park Club for hosting the competition.

The bowlers were in two halves with 'A' Section bowlers in one half and 'B' Section bowlers in the other half. The 'A' Section final was competed between Ron Spedding and Clive Fenn both of Great Lever Park 'A' team with Ron coming out on top 15 - 12. While the 'B' Section final was contested between Carol Pollitt from Egerton and David Dixon of Great Lever 'B' team with David coming out on top 15 - 9. The Final of the Secretaries Shield was then played between the two Great Lever Captains with David Dixon, the 'B' team captain coming out on top winning 15 - 13. Ron has the consolatory thought that he got to 15 chalks first and had he not had a handicap of -3 would have won. Congratulations to David and commiserations to Ron. The full draw and results can be found here.

Pictured from left to right - Clive Fenn, Ron Spedding, David Dixon (Champion) and Carol Pollitt.



(Wednesday 7 August 2019)

BetFred Trophy 2019

The BetFred preliminaries were held on two greens for the first time in 2019. The preliminaries were played at Sunnyside and Queens Park on 8th July. In total 37 entries were received but only 16 bowlers attended each of the two venues. As a consequence, all bowlers played one match to qualify for the Final 16 who were scheduled to play at Great Lever Park on 15th July.

The finals were played in good spirit with some excellent bowling being watched by bowlers and spectators on a glorious day. The competition was won by Kevan Lathom who beat Alan Foster in the final beating him 15 - 7. The full draw can be found here.

Thanks were expressed to the Committes of Great Lever Park, Sunnyside and Queens Park for hosting the final and preliminaries.

A photo will be posted in due course.

(Wednesday 17 July 2019)

Mixed Pairs 2019

The Mixed Pairs Competition was played at Derbishire Park on Monday, 10th June. The weather stayed fine all day despite the threat of bad weather which was thought the competition was played over two days. There was an excellent days bowling with the eventual winners Sonia Forrest and Les Fishwick who beat Sandra Doel and Clive Fenn in the final 15 - 9. Congratualtions to Sonia and Les and commiserations to Sandra and Clive. Ken Holcroft thanked the Committee at Darbishire Park for hosting the competition.  The draw and results can be found here. 

Mixed Pairs Finalists Clive Fenn, Sonia Forrest, Les Fishwick & Sandra  Doel

Email Sent to All Team Secretaries by Ken Holcroft on Saturday, 8th June 2019 @ 13.15

All Team Secretaries, copy to all Executive members

The number of female entries to this competition has dropped considerably this year and we really do not have enough potential pairs to require a qualifying round, and it is therefore proposed that the fixture scheduled for Monday,10th June will be the final of the competition,  playing for the actual trophies.

It is common knowledge that this particular competition attracts more male entrants than female and therefore some men inevitably have to be balloted out at the green, and this tends to cause upset for the male players who have travelled to the venue only to return home without playing. This year the situation is far worse than usual in that we have only 21 female entrants but 41male entrants, so  Clive and I, as acting Joint Competition Secretaries, have therefore decided that the only viable solutions to the problem are as follows:

1.   We have closed the entry list with immediate effect and cannot accept any further nominations for the competition, and

2.  We are concious of the concern that players have regarding attending the green only to be balloted out but with such an imbalance in the male/female entrants some balloting out will be inevitable. With this in mind we have drawn the lots for the sequence of players to be balloted out and ranked the order of male bowlers according to the attached list. All male bowlers can attend if they wish but bowlers lower down the list are more unlikely to be playing on Monday in the competition.  For example, if all 21 ladies attend the first 21 men listed will play, with pairings 12 - 21 playing in the preliminary round with pairings 1 - 11 getting byes to the second round (last 16). We believe that this is the only fair method to deal with the problem and, as this is now the final of the competition, the players balloted out may well wish to stay and support their team mates or friends who will be playing.

Could you please notify all of your players who have entered this competition, especially the male players, of the above comments and advise them that we really would appreciate them attending the green on Monday? Female players can be found here listed in no particular order but generally by teams.



(Saturday 8 June 2019)

Fraser Huyton Pairs Competition 2019

The green allocations for  preliminaries of the Fraser Huyton Pairs Competition can be found here. We are trialling a handicapping system to try and increase numbers participating. This year we have 48 spread across two greens - Egerton and Breightmet. The scheduled date for the preliminaries is Monday, 13th May with Friday, 17th May the reserve date. The scratchout time and start time is 11:30 for all of the BPVABA pairs and and singles competitions.

The preliminaries went well with a fantastic day for bowling matched by excellent play from most bowlers. The finalists of the Fraser Huyton Pairs Competition which is due to be played on Tonge Park on 20th May (with reserve date 24th May) with start and scratch out time 11:30 can be found here

The final of the Fraser Huyton Pairs was played at Tonge Park on 20th May. The final day draw can be found here. The green was in excellent condition and we had a full day of excellent bowling with the winners John Mort and Gordon Butler who beat Geoff Wilde and Ray Wood in the final 15 - 7.

Thanks to everyone at Tonge Park for hosting the final day. The home made almond tart was lovely.

(Saturday 11 May 2019)

Bowling Permits go up

Bowling Permits have gone up to £25

The following letters have been recieved from Malcolm Russell concerning the increase in cost of bowling permits. This apparently was a political decicision made last Monday by the Council and ratified on Friday when the opposition parties chose not to oppose the increase in fees. 

Email received 15th April at 10:51

Bowling Season Ticket Charge 2019

Dear Clive,

As discussed on the phone.

I am sorry if you were under the misapprehension that the fee would rise by just £1 for 2019, this was not information confirmed by the Council.

Unfortunately the Council is experiencing continuing difficult financial times and as part of the 2019/21 budget process a decision was taken to review income generation i.e. fees & charges. As a result a wide range of charges across the Department of Place are increasing by above inflation, many by more than the figure for bowling green permits.

We would suggest that the new fee still represents significant value for money at a cost of around £1 per week for the summer season for the use of the greens and associated facilities. 

I trust this information is of some assistance in communicating with your members.



Malcolm Russell

 Head of Service (Neighbourhood Services)

Directorate of Place



Email received 12th April timed 15:58

Bolton Council Bowling Greens - Permit charges 2019

Dear all, 

Please accept my apologies that the Council has not been able to advise you of the cost of a bowling permit for summer 2019 before now.

I can advise that the approved charge for 2019 is £25 per player. If Secretaries could now complete the form that we sent you, collect the fees and return the same to this office it would be much appreciated.


Malcolm Russell

Head of Service (Neighbourhood Services)

Directorate of Place  


(Monday 15 April 2019)

Start Time now 1.30pm

The start time and all associated timings were brought forward 30 minutes at the AGM on 31st January. The proposal had been proposed by Chris Barnes and seconded by Ken Crook. After a short discussion on the benefits of an earlier start the proposal to start at 1.30 pm was approved with 20 votes in favour and 8 votes against. More news from the AGM can be found here.

The re-drafted rule 2.1.18 is shown below.  

2.1.18 All League and Cup matches shall commence at 1.30pm and shall be completed that day, weather permitting. Practice will be allowed before the start of all league matches at the following times:

Home team 12.55pm to 1.10pm

Away team 1.10pm to 1.25pm.

The rules for practice shall be followed before the start of any rearranged matches



(Monday 4 February 2019)

Bowl played out of turn

We have had a number of instances when opponents have not allowed a bowler to resend a bowl after it was originally played out of turn. Rule 5.12 of the BCGBA states that "If a player delivers a bowl out of turn it must be returned to be played in its proper turn". This means should a player send their bowl inadvertently after setting a mark following the original block being sent off by their opponent - that player gets their bowl back.

Rule 5.13 covers the instance when a bowler delivers their opponent's bowl. In this instance the offending player forfeits their bowl and the bowl is returned to their opponent. The wording of the rule is "If a player, in turn, delivers a bowl of another player, it shall be returned to the proper owner to be played, the offender forfeiting a bowl." This means the bowl sent incorrectly is not replaced by the correct bowl - it is lost and removed from the end.

Please make sure you read the rules. The rules are printed in the Lancashire and BCGBA Official Handbooks. Your Club should have new copies of these handbooks annually.

(Wednesday 1 June 2016)