By Steven Walker

BARRY Central Bowling Club was formed in 1909 and was situated at Central Park next to the town hall (King Square), playing there until the 80s on a green which was considered to be one of the best in South Wales.

BCBC was then transferred to Gladstone Park (by Memo Hall) and we are a thriving local bowling club, where you can join and enjoy a game of social bowls with competitive club and area competitions comprising, The Munro Cup; Cardiff and District Municipal League fixtures plus others.

Our normal season runs from Mid April to Mid Sept, but due to Covid-19 we are open this year for social bowls only on Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat afternoons 12 noon to 4pm but later if we are busy, come to entrance gate to obtain a time and date to play.

The clubhouse has been newly decorated inside and out including new bar facilities, hygiene rated kitchen, ladies, gents toilets, changing rooms with lockers and is available for hire (celebrations, wakes, business meetings), etc. at competitive rates. Our well trimmed borders and bowling green, give a first class ambience to all.

We currently have over 20+ male members who regularly play in our Wednesday / Saturday fixtures and we have just enrolled our first junior player (currently taking A levels). We are looking for new members, young and old to come and enjoy the bowling game which helps you to keep fit. Tuition available from registered coaches (DBS checked).

BCBC is also looking to re-establish a ladies team if we can get 20+ to join and who would like to play on Tuesday and Thursday's they would have their own facilities.

The Atlantic Rim Competition was played in South Wales (2019) and we hosted a number of world teams (including Israel, Zimbabwe) which used our green for practice matches.

The advice they gave our players enabled Barry Central to have one of its best bowling seasons, being semi-finalists in the Hugh Meddins Cup and the Alan Martin Trophy and just pipped at the post for promotion, which we are going for again next season 2021, so other teams look out!.

During this Covid pandemic, BCBC have instigated signage displayed on our entrance gates and have reopened an old locker door entrance to facilitate the use of hand sanitisers, paper towels, this allows us to have 2 players (keeping social distancing 2m) to change and proceed directly onto green and play a game of bowls (only 1 player to place the jack and mats) and bowls cleaned and jacks sanitised (written instructions displayed in club) after playing.

With the total loss of funding from Vale Council, BCBC is now undertaking the promotion and development of sponsorship banners from local companies and we are proud to announce that we have a couple on display at present from NSW Accident Repair and WestQuay Estates and Lettings, these can be viewed on our internal ground safety railing.

BCBC has had to temporarily stop this promotion due to Covid but will be restarting it soon and have more banners displayed from local businesses next season. A lease of 25 years is at present being finalised with the Vale Council.

To raise extra funds BCBC will be offering a banner design and print service to other bowling clubs in Wales by using the experience and skills of one of our members, info will be sent out via emails later in the year, and we hope that all other clubs will be able to play bowls in 2021 if we can get rid of this awful Covid-19.

Keep safe and be happy, regards Barry Central Bowling Club where members are happy and enjoy bowls.