Local residents in Coulsden, Croydon were delighted to see the Marlpit Lane Bowling Green being well used recently when the Friends of the Bowling Green hosted an ‘away day’ for the South Eastern Team of the Rugby Football Union. Their area manager hoped that bowling might prove to be an enjoyable activity for her team, as everyone could get involved, even those with old rugby injuries.
The Friends were especially grateful to coaches from the Old Coulsdon Bowls Club, who kindly volunteered to give the rugby group some basic instructions and a demonstration before they embarked on a knock out tournament. Rugby players are obviously very competitive because the tournament became quite tense and exciting.
In her letter of thanks to the Friends the area manager said “All the coaches, volunteers and supporters really added to the experience and the team enjoyed every last minute of their first bowling taster! I really appreciate the volunteer commitment that went into making this happen.”
The Friends hope to increase regular use of the bowling green next season thanks to the enormous amount of help they are receiving from Veolia Environmental Services. When people in Croydon hear the name Veolia they probably associate it with recycling and waste collection. It is certainly true that as a result of their contract with Veolia, Croydon Council now recycles 45% of the Borough’s waste and has drastically reduced the amount it sends to land fill; all great news for the environment.
But the Friends of Marlpit Lane Bowling Green have an additional reason to be grateful to Veolia, because they are improving the Bowling Pavilion as part of their community volunteering project. Veolia have very generously offered to renovate the Pavilion, which was in a poor state of repair. They are supplying the materials and labour required to make good and redecorate the Pavilion both internally and externally. This is super news, as next season volunteers from the Friends Group will be able to open the Pavilion on a regular basis to issue tickets and equipment to bowlers. They hope to bring the Bowling Green back into regular use by encouraging lots of people, including young people such as Scouts, Guides and College Students to take up bowling; as the Rugby Team found, bowling is a really enjoyable pastime.