Francis Drake Bowls Club

Have a go, coached, on one of our Open Days

Have a go, coached, on one of our Open Days

Our ladies about to take on the best of the rest

Our ladies about to take on the best of the rest

Latest News & Upcoming Events



Do you want to...





Come and join us for our special events at the start of the new season

         OPEN DAY AND FAMILY FUN DAY - FREE                    11am - 4pm BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY 7TH MAY

Taster sessions

Fun games - Bowls Football, Target Bowls, Ditch the Duck

Join members for a Roll-up or challenge your friends/family

Refreshments available

Home made Cake Stall 

Just come along with flat soled shoes (eg trainers)

Lots more photos HERE



2-4.30PM Tues 8th Thurs10th Tues 15th Thurs 17th MAY*

Group sessions led by Club coaches

All equipment provided

Pre-booking advisable

*Other dates available by arrangement

SPECIAL OFFER IF YOU ATTEND ANY OF THE ABOVE- 20% discount on this year's membership (currently £50)


New Season approaches - Dates for the diary - Come and Join us


The Green

Work has continued on and around the green through the winter and the 'patch' which was returfed last year has bedded in well - we look forward to being able to bowl on the full green.

Competitive bowling - we have a record number of entries in for both individual and team events at both County and National level.

Friendly and League matches - have been arranged and details can be found on the 'fixtures' page. There may yet be a few minor changes so keep checking.

Social/casual bowling will continue and we look forward to welcoming both new bowlers and those returning to bowls.


10.30am Saturday 21st April - Club opening, 

 Pre-season meeting and Registration - ALL WELCOME

Monday (BH) 7th May - OPEN DAY - further details to follow




Club members celebrate - Christmas and another successful season


Members and friends enjoy a Christmas get together at the Clarendon Hotel Blackheath. More photos here

The season is over and the green closed but members come together for social events and a few indoor matches, with many also bowling as members of Lewisham Indoor Bowls Club through the winter.

The club also celebrates another very positive season. Notable events included winning the following

  •  Francis Chappell Trophy
  • 'Hospitals' Trophies - Men's Singles, Men's pairs and Ladies Triples
  • Beckenham, Bromley and District Bowling Association Trophies - Men's Singles and Triples League
  • Lewisham and District League Shield (3rd consecutive year)
  • 2nd member qualifying for Kent Badge


Ted the Glendale green keeper will keep working on the green through the winter and is pleased to report that the new patch of turf where the subsidence was repaired has taken well and the whole green will be in use next season.

The club welcomes new members and casual bowlers. If you would like further information about bowling outdoors from next April or indoors before then please contact us - it doesn't matter if you have never bowled before and all equipment and coaching is available if required.


BB&DBA 70th Finals brings more success for Francis Drake

The Beckenham, Bromley and District Bowling Association is now 70 years old! It provides opportunities for all members of 23 affiliated clubs to bowl together in matches against other clubs and Associations.

Affiliated clubs compete in singles, pairs, triples and fours formats against one another through the season.

This year the seven finals were again played simultaneously at HSBC.

As last year's club championship winner, David Singer represented FDBC in the Men's Singles - Champion of Champions - and in the final beat his opponent Les Walker from South Hill Wood.

The club's other finalists played in the Triples League Competition. They are: (l to r) Jeanette Singer, Michael Singer, Rob Warne, Stan Auger, Dave Fricker and Ron Phillips, In front is David Singer who won the singles trophy.

Francis Drake Bowls played two triples in the final against Ladywell Bowls Club.  

The scores from the two triples were added together. While one triple had a tough battle but managed to hang on to lose by only one shot, the other had a slow start but then pulled away and led convincingly. 

The result was a win for Francis Drake by six shots over the two teams.

After the games, 98 players and spectators enjoyed a roast dinner and presentation ceremony.

Well done everyone who competed in all the rounds and a special thank you again to members who came to support.


Success x 3 for Francis Drake B.C. at the 'Hospital' Finals

This season the club had more entries to the 'Hospitals' than ever before. The 'Hospitals' are a complete collection of Bowls Competitions across both sexes, and mixed, and also across singles, pairs triples and fours between bowlers from the local area. All proceeds go to the Bromley Hospital Amenities Fund used to support small local health related concerns.

Francis Drake reached the Finals in:-

Men's Singles - Rob Warnes

Men's Pairs - Rob Warnes and David Singer

Ladies Triples - Sylvia Lacey, Sue Hastings and Jill Bonner (Jeanette Singer substituted for Jill in the Final as she was unable to play).

Francis Drake won all three!

Rob played a completely focused and excellent game to dominate and win by a comfortable margin.

Rob and David continued this in the afternoon and, not at all phased by the rain bowled on until their opponents conceded after 16 of the 21 ends available.

The Ladies Triples game was a close run thing throughout and after the required 18 ends the score was 15-15. The coin was tossed, Francis Drake won the toss and took the mat (to the surprise of some!), with two bowls left it was a measure for shot. Jeanette drew the shot and her opposing skip was unable to beat it. A third win for Francis Drake. The tremendous support from 9 other members of the club on what ended up a very wet day undoubtedly played it's part.


Club Finals 2017

Finals weekend was officially opened by the Mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock. To start the event all present participated in a 'Spider' raising over £70 for the Mayor's charity - The Lavender Trust which supports younger women affected by breast cancer.

11 members played in the various competitions over the 2 days with other members acting as markers, umpires and laying on refreshments which were enjoyed by players and spectators.

David Singer continued his successful season by once again winning the men's Championship. There were some hard fought battles on the green and some very close calls including one end in the 100-Up competition (also known as the 4-3-2-1)where the two closest shots could not be split even by the umpire!

Full details of all winners and runners-up with some great shots of the day appear in the gallery - grateful thanks to our 'in-house photographer' Keith Ward. 


Brockley: Then&Now unveiling

At the invitation of the Brockley Society, several members of FDBC attended the unveiling of the Brockley: Then&Now photo by Lewisham Mayor, Sir Steve Bullock on 4 August at the Lewisham Civic Centre. 

This was followed by a short film about the preparation and execution of the photo taken on Hilly fields on 19 July 2015.   

(L) Clare Cowen, Chair of Brockley Society and Sir Steve Bullock

(R) Captain Ron Phillips finds FDBC members in the photograph

(L to R) Jeanette & Mick Singer, Captain Ron Phillips, Sylvia Anderson, Beryl Phillips, Frances & Keith Ward




David Singer has become the second player in 2 years to earn his Kent Badge. Despite working full time David went all out to get his badge this year after coming so close last season. He reached the Divisional Semi-Finals of the County Competitions in the pairs (with Ken Shooter), triples (with Ken and Rob Warnes) and the unbadged Singles. However it was in the main Singles Competition open to both badged and unbadged players that he won the Divisional Final to qualify for his Kent badge.





 3rd Francis Chappell Bowls Tournament won by the home team!


Players, organisers, dignatories and guests before the start

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Francis Chappell and Sons, this event has now become firmly established in the club's calendar. Eight  clubs took part, some previous competitors and some new faces. The Francis Drake Team of Rob Warnes, David Singer and Ken Shooter took the Trophy, with neighbouring club Forest Hill coming second, despite previously winning clubs Orpington Excelsior and Gonville, again taking part. After presenting the trophy, Emma Sparre-Slater, Regional Training Officer for Dignity Funerals, accompanied by four of her colleagues, joined some club members on the green for an enjoyable roll-up to end a superb day.




OPEN DAY - Local people braved the inclement weather to attend the Open Day on May 1.

Needless to say, it being a Bank Holiday, rain stopped play for a short period when the refreshments and cake stall came into its own.

As usual visitors of all ages were surprised to find how much they enjoyed the experience and many were planning to return.

Some have already taken up the offer of four introductory sessions, are joining in club roll-ups  and will soon be ready for their first friendly match.




The Will Smith Trophy tournament, a one-day knock-out competition for club members (men and ladies competing equally) has been running for 26 years. This year it was a repeat of the 2015 Final with David Singer again beating his mother Jeanette to take the trophy once again.



Some 18 representatives from Lewisham Council and Glendale, the company which looked after the parks and gardens for the council, returned to play another early evening friendly game against club members.

The result was an "honourable" draw!

The club members are grateful for the continued maintenance of the green and especially this year for the repair to the area of subsidence in front of the club house. Passers-by will notice that this area is being left longer the new grass to become established.




Club President, Jill Bonner, invited ladies from local clubs to come for a friendly round-robin competition followed by afternoon tea. The matches were good fun but the tea - served by some of the male club members - was just amazing!  

 ...and more events and matches just around the corner!

Interested in bowling casually or competitively? Or just want to find out more? Then get in touch, we would love to hear from you.


Another successful year for Francis Drake Bowls Club + What next

Francis Drake Bowls Club has enjoyed another very successful season. Internally there have been a variety of events, both bowling and social, including celebrating significant birthdays with members Arthur and Beryl.

The Captain's charity has been well supported and £200 will be sent to help young people with dementia.

The marquee has again given good service and has now been put to bed.

A survey has been undertaken of the green and Glendale will work during the winter months to level an area which has dropped because of subsidence near the club house. This work should be completed by the start of the next season

This year more members have entered external competitions than ever before in the life of the club resulting in some notable successes:

  • Two teams of four men travelled to Canterbury to participate in the Kent Patron's Open Competition and finished 7th and 20th out of 42 clubs from all around Kent which took part.
  • Runners up in the 'hospital' triples
  • Winners of the Men's Open Triples competition at Bethlem
  • Maintained our position in the middle of division three of the Ladies North-West Kent League
  • Winners of the BB&DBA (Beckenham and Bromley District Bowling Association) Triple League competition
  • Runner up in the Kent Ladies Singles competition
  • Represented Kent at the National Championships in Leamington Spa
  • Winners of the Lewisham and District League for the second year running.

NB. There is a space available for another local club to join this league next season

What Next?

Many members will be bowling indoors at Lewisham Indoor Bowls Club, Lower Sydenham, to continue casual and/or competitive bowling and maintain social contact with others. Francis Drake Bowls Club has a number of fixtures against indoor bowls Clubs (see fixtures).

If you would like further information regarding indoor bowling this winter or bowling at Francis Drake Bowls Club next spring please contact us. Equipment and coaching are available.


Two teams compete at Canterbury

Eight men formed two teams and joined 24 other teams from around Kent to compete in the annual Kent Patron's Charity Day at Canterbury. After 4 games played throughout the day in a 'Round Robin' format Team A finished a respectable 7th. Team B finished in 20th place. All concerned agreed it was an enjoyable day and are keen to return again next year.

NB Forthcoming events

  • Club open for casual bowling and coaching 10.30am Bank Holiday Sunday 28th August
  • Club Finals 3rd and 4th September


Success Story

Ladies Captain Jeanette Singer has become the first member of the club, in its 110 year history, to play at the National Championships.

Jeanette (left) achieved this prestigious honour by winning Division One and the semi-finals of the Kent County ladies singles. At the same time she also became the first member to win her County badge.

Jeanette will play at the famous Leamington Spa greens on Friday August 12th.

We wish her all the very best as she continues to raise the profile of the club at the highest level.


Bowling keeps you young - Arthur is 90!

Lifetime member Arthur G celebrates his 90th birthday with friends and fellow bowlers at the club.

The club is still without a permanent clubhouse but the marquee held another successful event. The club did Arthur proud with a special Roll-up instead of a knees up!

Congratulations Arthur from all your many friends at Francis Drake Bowls Club


Club charity day supports Young Dementia UK

The club's annual charity day raised £147 for Young Dementia UK (with more promised).

Dementia tends to be associated with the older person but it has been estimated that 42,325 of the 850,000 people in the UK with dementia are between 30 and 65 years of age.  

All participants had to wear something orange, the charity's brand colour,or pay a fine!

The afternoon kicked off with the traditional 'Spider' contest won by Dave H. (see gallery video for explanation of this).

After four ends it was a case of rain stopped play!' but an early tea break accompanied by home made cakes (thank you to the ladies who supplied these) saved the day.

By the time the table-load of raffle prizes donated by participants had been claimed the sun came out and the competition resumed.

The day was saved again by 'senior' player Rex (far left in the picture above) who kept bowling all afternoon to cover for young David S who was held up at work. Well done Rex! The runners up were the 'glamorous girls' team of Sylvie and Jill but the winning pair on the day were...

...Arty (left) and Captain Ron seen here with president Jill.




Four  members of the Kent County Coaching Team and the two  club coaches, Jeanette and Ron, led by Rob Hope ran an excellent Skills Day at the Club. Francis Drake members were joined by bowlers from Ladywell and Southwark Park bowls clubs for an informative and enjoyable day. All participants had a session on each of the 5 Rinks which covered video analysis, a delivery clinic, exercises to improve consistency, 'head reading' and measuring. Once again Francis Drake members attending brought a plate of food with them  and everyone enjoyed the wonderful buffet lunch provided.

No-one was deterred by the few spots of rain and the day finished in warm sunshine with everyone going away with their individual ideas about what they can do to improve their game and full of praise for the Coaching Team.

 Please go to the gallery for more photographs from the 'Skills day'


Charity pairs competition in aid of The Lewisham Foodbank.

On Sunday members and friends of Francis Drake Bowls Club raised £180 and donated a good collection of food and toiletries for the Lewisham Foodbank. Thank you to all who donated.

 The afternoon started with the Spider Competition (see gallery) won by Carol. This was followed by the Pairs Competition - for which everyone had to wear something green (thus the Crocodile head!) This saw a few surprise outcomes during individual games, and a few needle matches as well. The overall winners were Bryn McNeill and Rob Warnes. Congratulations to them!

Others came to watch and/or assist with the organisation and the food. The pairs competition was followed by the raffle and then during the barbecue, expertly cooked by Sylvia Lacey and granddaughter Rebecca, everyone had a chance to catch up with all the news.

Well Done Everyone!



The Bothy.

A new lease of life for the members of Francis Drake BC.
It was looking extremely grim when Lewisham Council informed us that our club house had been condemned because of subsidence and root encroachment into the drains. Then came the bad news that we would not be able to use it for the foreseeable future.
Now it was time to think how we could continue as a club.
The rescue came in the form of the Bothy, a brick building just along the path beyond the quiet garden, which had previously been used by the park keeper as a store and rest area. Negotiations have given us sole use and we have washed, scrubbed, painted and also installed a kitchen area to make a comfortable place for visiting teams to enjoy traditional refreshments.


'Red' Charity Day raises £142 for London Air Ambulance


25 members (all wearing something red) took part in an exciting pairs competition. Each pair played 4 short games of 5 ends with 3 bowls each. Amazingly after 240 bowls had been rolled the result was a tie! After consideration of shots conceded Ken and Maria (who both only started bowling last summer) were pushed into second place by Arty and Stan - CONGRATULATIONS to them.

Most importantly £142 was raised for London Air Ambulance service - the Capital's 4th emergency service and funded entirely by voluntary contributions. This has been added to other monies raised by David Singer who is cycling from London to Paris in August - his total is now over £1500. 


Francis Drake Bowls Club

Francis Drake Bowls Club is situated in the beautiful setting of Hilly Fields in Brockley, South London.

We are a friendly, successful club and we always welcome new members and guests.

On Tuesday and Thursday from 2pm until about 5.30pm we have a roll up session where members play casual games with teams selected on the day and practice their skills.

On Wednesday evenings (from 6pm) and Sunday mornings (from 10.30am) we have more casual sessions which non-members are welcome to join in. Fee is £3 per session which includes loan of shoes and bowls if required.

Please note under fives are not allowed  on the green and under 16s must be supervised by a responsible adult at all times

If you are a visiting bowls player or just fancy trying the game please come and visit us. Coaching and purposeful practice sessions can be pre-arranged with the club coaches at no additional charge..

All of the above are dependent on club matches/events and the English weather!

Contact details can be found here.

Register HERE for our FREE Newsletters.

Members of FDBC can update email preferences here

The latest Newsletter (No.9 Apr '18) is HERE


View News Archive