Shropshire Star

Bowls boom goes on as county flocks to greens

The post-pandemic bounce in the number of new bowls teams joining Shropshire leagues is continuing.


Five applications to join the Wem League were accepted at its AGM, when there was more good news as president John Lewis announced that Browns of Wem Ltd had agreed to continue their sponsorship of the league for the 2024 season.

But there was a tinge of sadness, secretary Graham Hughes explaining: “Barry Jennings had resigned as chairman and it was recorded that the league thanked him for his many years of service.”

Following a couple of disciplinary issues last year, Hughes added “The league has adopted a code of conduct for all players, a copy of which has been incorporated into the league rules. Five new teams – Bowring, Monkmoor B, Dorrington, Whittington and Pontesbury C – had applied to join the league and their applications were accepted unanimously. David Charles of Pontesbury Bowling Club was elected as chairman, I continue as secretary and Mike Spencer as treasurer – Mike now being the only member to have served the league since its start (in 1995).”

Charles is the former chairman of Shrewsbury Indoor Bowls Club and Hughes explained how the new teams will be accommodated after the annual meeting at Greenfields BC in Shrewsbury.

“Bowring will be placed in division two – they were relegated from division one at the end of 2022 season and were not part of the league in 2023. The other four new teams will be in division four, giving us three divisions of 11 teams with 10 in division one as, to date, we have had no withdrawals from the league.”

The main promoter of open bowls competitions in Shropshire is delighted to have been proved wrong.

Rob Burroughs has filled his two main early-season comps – the £5,600 Coors Meole Brace Open and the new £2,650 Edgmond Open, which have their finals days over the weekend of April 6-7.

“The Edgmond and Meole opens are now full so thank you to everyone who has entered,” said Wellington-based Burroughs. “After not filling the Meole last season I wasn’t sure if a comp with 256 spaces was viable now – but you’ve proved that wrong thankfully!”

Burroughs wants all entry fees paid by the end of February – and has reserves on standby if they are not – adding: “I will release the fields for each qualifying session at the start of March, all being well.”

The Meole Open is a long established Champion of Champions qualifier with a £1,00 first prize while the winner at Edgmond is now guaranteed to receive £500.

The rush of Shropshire bowls clubs holding their annual meetings continues tonight.

That’s when Bridgnorth have their AGM in the clubhouse at 7.30pm, eager to recruit new member to keep their full complement of teams in leagues going this coming season.

Local rivals Broseley then hold their AGM on Friday in the Social Club (7.30pm).