The green is now closed and the necessary autumn work has been completed. Plans are underway to start short mat on just one mat with a maximum of six people in attendance and more news will be given in due course.
We take this opportunity to wish all our members a safe and healthy winter and look forward to meeting you all for the resumption of bowling in our 50th anniversary year.

The finals of the two competitions arranged for this truncated season were played on Saturday with Michael Doorey eventually winning the Men’s Singles competition having been given a stern test by Robert Rowe with a final score of 21 – 17.
Both players were back in action for the Covid Triples final in what turned out to be an even closer game. After leading 14 – 6, Ray Lane, John Gardener and Michael Doorey needed an extra end to snatch a 16 – 15 win over Brian Cooper, Robert Rowe and Rob Doorey. Ray Lane was particularly pleased with the win as he, and wife Anne who was in attendance, were celebrating their 56th wedding anniversary.
The green will remain open for the next week before the autumn dressing is carried out the following week. The committee will be discussing the possibility of playing short mat bowls on just one mat during the winter months, and then we all hope and pray for a return to normality for our 50th anniverary celebrations next year.

Back in March the prospects of any bowls taking place at the Club looked very unlikely, but eventually restrictions were loosened and by mid June we were allowed back onto the green, albeit with play governed by new rules to prevent the spread of Covid 19.
Early responses from members to play was disappointing but after a couple of competitions were arranged interest grew and eventually about half of the membership took part and the finals will take place on Saturday 5th September starting at 2.00pm.
The first game will be the Men’s Singles which will be contested between Michael Doorey and the winner of Robert Rowe v Ian Bailey. This will be followed by the final of the Open Triples which will be contested by Ray Lane, John Gardener & Michael Doorey playing Brian Cooper, Robert Rowe & Rob Doorey.
Although the green hasn’t been used as much as in normal years it will still be necessary to carry out the normal autumn work to ensure it is in good condition for our 50th Anniversary year in 2021, and this work will take place during the week starting Monday 14th September.
Although we are still waiting for guidance from the Short Mat governing body, we are still hopeful that we will be able to open for play in late September, with probably one mat rather than two, in play and a restriction of six members at a time attending. These arrangements have to be confirmed and short mat members will be notified accordingly.

We are conscious that there may be many Marden/Staplehurst residents now working from home with perhaps more time to join in with local activities, and Bowls may be the leisure activity for you. If you have an interest in joining the Bowls Club please contact Brian Cooper, our Secretary, on 01622 744850 or 07801 595147.
In a normal year we provide one to one coaching and all equipment is available to borrow. We have a good social side with Quizes, Race Nights and Social evenings and there will additional events next year to celebrate our fifty years. Give Brian a call as he will be delighted to hear from you, or perhaps call into the Club on Saturday afternoon.


Posted 10th June 2020
It has been decided that the Club will open on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons beginning on Thursday 18th June, with Saturday opening for those who cannot make the afternoons if there is demand. The hours would be 2.30pm to 5.00pm, and three rinks would be available each day. If take-up is good, these hours/days may be extended.
The bowling conditions are as follows:


• You are no longer allowed to just turn up to bowl.
• You are able to book a rink up to ten days in advance.
• You will have the option of the three rinks available, dependent on what time you wish to bowl, but it will be allocated on a ‘first come first served’ basis.
• Rinks can be booked through Dick Comport on 01622 681441 or 07546 573352 or email;
• You are only able to book a maximum of 3 sessions in advance.
• One rink spacing will be adopted where only alternative rinks will be used at the same time. The session start times will be 2.30 Tuesday and Thursday. If there is a demand for bowling at other times, slots will be made available.
• Each session will last for 2 1/2 hours. If there is a demand for additional sessions there will be a 30 minute gap between each session. You are requested to arrive at the club no more than ten minutes before your game and leave the club as soon as soon as you have finished your session. Please ensure you close the doors and the gate (sanitizing handles) when you leave the club.
• A Maximum of four (4) members per rink (Singles or Pairs only) in order to achieve social distancing.
• There must be two mats at each end (we suggest 1 Blue and 1 Black whenever possible) ONLY THE LEADS OF EACH TEAM CAN EVER TOUCH THEIR DESIGNATED MAT.
• There will be a Jack at each end but JACKS SHALL NOT BE CAST but placed by foot by the skip in a position decided by the team/player having won the toss or won the last end.
• If scoring is required, then one Skip must keep a scorecard (available from the equipment shed)
• It is advisable that you bring your own antibacterial wipes so that you can clean the gate combination lock before entry, and wipe on exit.
• It is advisable to arrive in your bowling attire so you only need to change your shoes at the Club.
• When you arrived at the Club there will be a hand sanitizer for you to use adjacent to the Ladies changing room, but alternatively, you may wish to bring your own.
• The Green Fee box will be located in the equipment shed for you to leave your £1
• The first aid box will be located in the equipment shed.
• The green keeper will set the green and you must not deviate from the rink booked.
• Only jacks and mats will be permitted to be used, with sanitized mats to be used taken from the shed but left outside of the equipment shed after use. It is your responsibility to ensure the jacks you are using have been cleaned and antibacterial wipes will be in the equipment shed for this purpose. Please do not take it for granted that they have been cleaned before use.
• Score boards, pushers, ditch markers and any other equipment are not permitted to be used.
• All the facilities in the club including the changing rooms, bar and kitchen area, are closed and not to be used. No Club bowls will be available to use; you must use your own bowls and not touch your opponent’s bowls.
• You are permitted to use the disabled toilet if needed. This will be the only toilet in use and accessible via the exterior door. Please remember to wash your hands and sanitize. There will be antibacterial wipes for you to clean any surfaces you come in contact with. Please place used wipes in the bin provided and NOT down the toilet.
• You are not permitted to leave any items at the club.
• Social distancing measure (2 metres) and non-forming of groups MUST be strictly adhered too.
• Any visitors you may bring to the Club must strictly observe social distancing rules whilst on the premises.
• You must conform to the ruling on the number of players allowed on the rink at any one time, and in some instances their relationship/household to you.
• The only bins available will be for the used wipes and no other rubbish should be put in these bins. Players are requested to take any rubbish away with them.
• You should bring your own refreshments if you require any as none are available at the Club.
• Any member found not following these guidelines could be refused further roll ups.

Posted May 2020
Unfortunately activities at Marden Bowls Club, as at all sports club’s across the country and indeed the world, came to an abrupt end in mid March due to the Covid 19 pandemic. This meant that the Short Mat season could not be completed and has postponed the start of the outdoor season.
The Club again had a full list of league and friendly fixtures planned for the summer months and Kent were once again using Marden, with its excellent green and facilities, to play their Middleton Cup matches, but sadly now this is not possible as all National and County events have been cancelled for this year. We have three or four dedicated members who are maintaining the green during this difficult period, obviously observing government rules on social distancing and safe working practices, as it is vitally important that this work is done otherwise nature would take over and the green lost for future use.
Ironically our Open Day, which is often met with inclement weather, this year would have been on 25th April with temperatures in the 20’s, and we were all isolated in our gardens.
With recent government restrictions on lock down being lifted the Club have waited for advice from Bowls England and the KCBA regarding the possible opening of the green but have decided to remain closed for the immediate future but will review the situation when things improve.
Members have paid a small subscription and are supporting a fund raising activity so that sufficient funds are maintained for re-opening. If we cannot return this year then next year will be a double celebration when we return after the virus but more importantly 2021 Mark’s the 50th anniversary of the Club.
The Club are always seeking new members, so whilst you ponder on what you will do when the world returns to normality, why not consider joining a local club with one of the best greens in the area and good social facilities. You would be made very welcome. Contact Brian Cooper for more details.

Annual trip to Warners
Twelve members made the annual trip to Warners at Bembridge on the IOW to take part in their bowls tournament. Two teams reached the semi final in which they met and the rink of Robert Thew, Mick Pantony, Peter Collins and Robert Rowe came out winners 18-10 having been 10-0 down after three ends. They then won the afternoon final 13-5 to qualify for the Champion of Champions week at Hayling Island in October.

Our annual presentation dinner was held at the Weald of Kent Golf Club on 11th January and there were about sixty people in attendance for another enjoyable evening. During the meal each table was presented with a quiz paper prepared by Brian Wood and after the meal one person from each table was drawn to take home the table decoration prepared by Val Hoddinott.
Chairman Richard Comport welcomed members and guests to the dinner and President Mick Collins was able to join the party after the meal to carry out the presentations to competition winners of both the short mat and outdoor seasons. Jenny Taylor was presented with a voucher in appreciation of the work that she puts into running the bar and Mick Collins was awarded the Captains Cup in appreciation of his work to the club over many years.

Pictures of the event can be found in the Gallery section of this website.

We had our AGM last week and 33 members attended. You will find a list of the elected officers and other committee members under ‘Officers’ on this website. As you will see we have several new members on the committee. It was agreed that we split the responsibility of the Men’s Captain to ease the pressure on George. More on that at a later date.

A vote of thanks was taken for all the departing committee members for all their hard work in the past. 

Good news! Subs and green fees remain the same for 2020.

The summer season came to an end with the club finals taking place over the weekend in glorious autumn sunshine with the green looking and bowling well. The winners of the competition’s are shown and captioned below and we congratulate the winners and say hard luck to the runners up. Trophies will be presented at the Presentation Dinner in January
There was some support from other club members who made the time to watch the games and they were treated to a splendid buffet lunch on both days so our thanks go to those responsible for the arrangements and to Dave Soames for running the competition’s.

All in all its been a good season for the club with Peter Collins (New badge) Stewart Knight and Michael Doorey reaching the KCBA Triples quarter final and the club reaching the area final of the Nation 2 Fours competition.
In local competitions the club won the M&D League and the Friday A team defeated our B team in the final of the knock out competition whilst the C team gained promotion from division 3. In the M&D comps Robert Thew, Carol Collins and Norma Clements won the mixed triples.
Our AGM will be held in November and there are still vacancies on the committee nomination form posted in the clubhouse.
Back to the club finals for which you will find photographs of the winners in the Photo Gallery but the winners have been listed below

Men’s Singles: Robert Thew

Ladies Singles:  Norma Clements 

Over 65 Singles:  Dave Hoddinott

Ladies Pairs:  Dee Maxa & Carole Neve

Handicap Singles: Martin Mapp

Over 65 Pairs:  Peter Glanvill & George Packer

2 Wood Singles:  v Trevor Uys

Mixed Pairs:  Norma Clements & Robert Thew

Ladies Yardstick: Norma Clements

Men’s Pairs:  Malcolm Buller & Dennis Cooper

Maidstone & District Finals Day

At the Maidstone & District BA finals, hosted by Loose BC, Marden contested four finals with limited success. In the Men’s singles Robert Thew, who was the reigning champion, lost to Rob Martin of Bearsted. Going into the last end at 20-20 Robert was unlucky not to secure shot with his last wood in a game that was closely contested throughout.
In the over 60 pairs, Dennis Cooper and Mick Scott, again reigning champions, were unable to retain the title as they lost to last year’s beaten finalist Maurice Goldacre and Andy Tree of Bearsted.
In the Men’s pairs Dennis, this time partnered by Dave Hoddinott, lost by just one shot to Rob Martin and Robin Lunn of Bearsted.
Finally success came in the mixed triples when Robert Thew, Carol Collins and Norma Clements defeated Sheila and Dave Andrews and Brian Jakes of Ditton, but this game was not without incident as early in the game Carol aggravated an old arm injury and had to bowl most of the game left handed. After holding a good lead the Marden triple hung on to play the last end at 16-16 and managed to pick up three, one of which was drawn by Carol to loud applause, to win the match.
Thanks to Loose for hosting the finals which were played in ideal weather conditions and with good support.
Maidstone Association League Champions

Maidstone Triples League Finals
On Sunday 8th September both Marden A and Marden B are contesting the semi finals of the knock out competition.
The A team play Lenham B and the B team play Cranbrook with the games starting at 9.30 am at Maidstone BC.

On Friday 16th August we played our final M&D League fixture at home against reigning champions Maidstone with our opponents standing on top of the league and with 3.5 more points than us. With the game in doubt due to the terrible weather forecast it was imortant that for the sake of the league that it was actually played. Luckily enough the rain held off until just before the start time which made the green playable and the game was played to a 21 end conclusion. The final result was 6 points to Marden and 1 to Maidstone which puts Marden on 43 points and Maidstone on 40.5 points, so well done Marden and captain George on a successful season in this league.

On Saturday 3rd August we held our annual charity day at which about ninety people attended including about twenty club members and several of the Collins family as the day is run in memory of Dave Collins a former member of the bowls club. Anyone that wished to play bowls could do so and many were quite content to sit and watch and enjoy the food and drink that was available. There was a big raffle with special prizes donated by Homeleigh Timber Supplies, Rachel’s Flowers and the Copper distillery, with dozens of other prizes donated by members and friends. In total we raised close to £800 on the day but hopefully some profit from the bar can be put towards the fund.
Pictures are available in the photo gallery.

On Sunday 4th August our brilliant run in the national two fours competition came to an end when we played a very strong Sandwich team on a neutral green at Lenham. The game was eventually conceded at eighteen ends with Sandwich leading by over twenty shots, but this defeat should not detract from the achievement of winning our way through six rounds and overcoming some very strong clubs along the way. Feel proud Marden.

An update on recent matches at the club. On Friday evening all three triples league teams were away and the A team secured all six points at Townsend Hook to maintain their push for the 1st division title with a visit to table topping Bearsted to come this Friday. The B team visited Maidstone and picked up just two points from Maidstone A which leaves Marden at the wrong end of division 2. The C team however travelled to Penenden Heath with a much changed team but collected all six points which, with two games still to play, secured the 3rd division title, so we’ll done the C team.
On Sunday we had a Millenium league game at Bearsted and for some strange reason the captain had to find people to play as many regular players were not available, but we came close to winning the match but fell away at the end to loose by 5 shots and 2 points to 10 with just one of the four rinks winning. Special mention should be made of the players that are fairly unfamiliar with the artificial green as they coped very well.
On Monday we had our annual fixture with the Kent County Past Presidents BA led by their Chairman Geoff Chapman, and on a perfect afternoon for bowls and and on a nice green we had a most enjoyable game followed by an excellent meal prepared by our devoted ladies. It was great to see twenty eight Marden men make themselves available for this fixture which resulted in a 150-145 win to the club. Thank you men for your support and to the ladies for providing the after match meal and looking after our liquid requirements.
With a somewhat quiet week of fixtures members are reminded to keep up to date with club compeitions, before on Sunday when we face a strong Sandwich team in the area final of the national double rink competition with the game being played at Lenham at 10am. Members please support our team and with an afternoon friendly at Lenham in the afternoon why not travel early and add your support. Either bring your own lunch or I am sure there are some nice pub lunches in Lenham.

The rink of Rob Thew, John Gardener, Dave Hoddinott and Bob Didley finally made their exit out of the national over 55 rinks competition on a wet morning at West Wickham BC on Saturday 27th July. Having earned the right to represent division 3 in the county semi final of this competition they met a rink from VCD (Dartford) led by Steve Marrett and effectively seven shots dropped on the fourth end left them chasing the game in difficult conditions. Never the less they should be proud of their achievement, but after a week of hot dry weather they must regret having to start the game in the wet on a green that had become heavier due to heavy early morning rain.
VCD went on to compete the afternoon final against a very strong Bromley team.

Two very successful evenings for the club this week, 23rd and 24th July, when on Tuesday we travelled to Holmesdale for a good win in the Millennium knock out trophy and on Wednesday we travelled to West Wickham for the area semi final of the national double rink competition.
In the trophy match Dave Hoddinott won the singles, Tony Brooks tied the 2 wood singles, Martin Mapp and Bob Dibley won the pairs and Pete Collins Stewart Knight and Michael Doorey won the Triples. In the fours John Gardener, Dennis Cooper, Mick Scott and Mick Collins never had to complete their game but trailed by one shot when the match was conceded.
In the Double rink the game was reasonably close throughout but the hosts held the upper hand for most of the game. Eventually the rink of Tony Brooks, Mick Scott, Bob Dibley and Dave Hoddinott got back to loose by just two shots but the rink of Rob Thew, Pete and Mick Collins and Michael Doorey still had three ends to complete and at the time were level at 18-18 on their rink. By collecting 2, 1 and 1 on those three ends it ensured a two shot victory overall. On the very last end Marden were two down in the head before Doorey, with his last wood, converted it to a shot to Marden with the opposition skip unable to do anything about it. A memorable win. We now play Sandwich in the final for a rare chance to reach Leamington for the national finals.

Marden’s involvement in county competitions came to an end on 18th July when our triple of Peter Collins, Stewart Knight and Michael Doorey lost in the quarter final to a triple from VCD Bowls Club from Dartford. The game, played at Peninsula BC was close throughout although Marden held a small lead early on, but after slipping six shots behind they pulled back to go into the last end trailing by one but unfortunately were unable to secure that elusive shot to take the game to an extra end.
Certainly our team did not let themselves down as they played well throughout the game and LCD went onto win their afternoon semi final game to face Sandwich in what should be a very good final.

During the evening of 18th the club sponsors were invited to the club for an evening of bowls and were treated to refreshments. Employees of Homeleigh Timber Supplies, who kindly sponsor our shirts, took full advantage and enjoyed their bowling joined by club members. Obviously the hope is that one or two may follow Ray Niblock, a Homeleigh employee, in joining the bowls club.
The club takes this opportunity of thanking Homeleigh, Radfords and the Hop Press Printers for their continued support.

During the week 1st to 4th July Marden hosted the County Divisional Finals which attracted a good attendance on most evenings to see some very good bowling from players from clubs stretching from Sittingbourne down to Cranbrook. On Wednesday evening we had a triple of Peter Collins, Stewart knight and Michael Doorey involved when they played a triple from Borstal BC. With victory for the Marden triple Peter Collins qualified for his county badge after many years of trying. They now play in the county quarter final on Thursday 18th July at Peninsula BC.
On Thursday Rob Thew, John Gardener, Dave Hoddinott and Bob Dibley were involved in the over 55 fours and they defeated a rink from Sheerness St Georges, which now takes them into the county semi final at West Wickham on Saturday 27th July.
To end a busy week for the club in terms of green preparation and catering we hosted the last Middleton Cup group game when Kent faced Berkshire in a must win game to take them into the quarter final, and congratulations to Kent on their victory.


Team Tournament Sunday 30th June

The tournament was won by a team from Rye (Annette Bull) with 7 points with a shot on there last end. There were five other teams in with a shout and it was so close that the points and shot difference for the next 2 teams were identical, so ends won had to be taken into consideration. The team that came second were Marion Cooper from Petts Wood and just third was Kevin Edwards from Borstal (last years winners). It was really pleasing that the winning teams have supported us for many years and Annette was shocked that they had won.
The club wishes to thank David Wells for organising the event and to the ladies who worked hard in the kitchen all day to provide lunches and to the members who donated cakes and scones to sell throughout the day.
With good organisation, hard work and donations from a few members we raised much needed funds to help pay for the upkeep of the club. Well done.

The committee would like to thank Ken and Peter Collins for all their work on the hanging baskets and the flower tubs they are going to be a fantastic show.