Francis Drake Bowls Club

Winners of the Lewisham and District League 2015.

Winners of the Lewisham and District League 2015.

Members and guests ready to enjoy bowling in the sun

Members and guests ready to enjoy bowling in the sun

Latest News & Upcoming Events


Presentation Day

Presentation Day photos are now in the Gallery here

(More info. will follow in due course)


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


2nd Francis Chappell Open Triples Tournament a roaring success!

Following the success of last year's inaugural tournament to mark the 175th anniversary of Francis Chappell and Sons the company again sponsored this event at Francis Drake Bowls Club. Eight local teams competed for the trophy which was won last year by Orpington Excelsior.


There was much laughter as well as serious concentration throughout the five games in the round robin stage. The final was between Southwark Park and Gonville.

Mr Ian Mutch. funeral director from the local Lewisham branch of Francis Chappell & Sons, presented the trophy to the winners, the team from Gonville.

Francis Drake Captain Ron Phillips thanked Francis Chappell & Sons for their generous sponsorship of this event and for the delicious refreshments which were enjoyed by all.


Staff and friends from  Francis Chappell enjoyed watching the games and took the opportunity to quiz umpire/adjudicator Mick, president Jill and other Francis Drake members about the game of bowls. The day finished, as last year, with them joining club members on the green for an informal coaching/roll-up session.

Some of the staff from Francis Chappell were bowling for the first time while others were building on what they learned last year.

Rumour has it they are working up to entering a team!

Everyone agreed it had been a marvellous day and look forward to next year as this becomes an annual event.

See the gallery for more photos of the day.

NB There will be no regular casual bowling on Wednesday 13th July because of other club events and holidays.

The club still welcomes inquiries from anyone wishing to bowl casually or join. Please contact us to arrange a mutually convenient time to come along.


Potter Shield 2016: Fricker bowls a double!

Another lovely day at Francis Drake with some good bowls and, as usual, one or two surprise results along the way.

The BBQ was great as well, thanks Charlotte.

Congratulations to Dave Fricker (right) who won the Potter Shield. He is seen here being presented with the trophy by Club Captain Ron Phillips. Dave will add this shield to the Will Smith Trophy he won at the start of the season. It was no walkover. To win he had to knock out current club champion, Captain Ron and the three Singers, Mick, Jeanette and Dave! 

Mark (left) and Arthur (right) were the finalists in the Plate competition. Dennis (centre) was the marker and our thanks to all who marked on the day. Congratulations to Mark for winning but also well done to Arthur, the runner-up who will be 90 in a few weeks time. Ask Arthur, bowling keeps you young!

Please note President's Day has been postponed until Sunday 31st July.

NB There will be no regular casual bowling on Wednesday 13th July because of other club events and holidays.

The club still welcomes inquiries from anyone wishing to bowl casually or join the club. Please contact us to arrange a mutually convenient time to come along.


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.



Annual away fixture at New Romney BC

A good number of our members joined with Ladywell BC for the annual away fixture at New Romney.

After a pleasant, if damp, lunch stop at Dymchurch the coach arrived at our destination just as the rain stopped.

No one knows what arrangement Captain Ron made with the gods of weather but whatever it was it worked and it stayed fine all afternoon before pouring once more just after the last wood was bowled.

FDBC had an enjoyable afternoon, beating their hosts by a narrow margin, followed by a very welcome and convivial tea in the clubhouse.

Our thanks go to all who organised the trip and we look forward to next year.

Captain Ron making his after tea speech.

Captain Ron giving his after tea speech.




Over 70 local people tried bowls during the club's open day on Bank Holiday Monday and/or the other free sessions held that week. At times the green has been almost full to capacity and some unexpected natural talent among all age groups has been revealed! Some have already joined as members or returned for 'casual' sessions.                      

 At the end of the week members competed fiercely in the annual Will Smith one day knock-out competition. Ken Shooter knocked out previous holder David Singer but could not hold his form against Dave Fricker who went on to knock out Captain Ron the current Club Champion to take the Trophy for the 3rd time (but the first time for 20 years!). Newly elected Club President Jill Bonner presented the Trophy.


2 days later another annual event followed with Members playing a friendly match against a combined team from Lewisham Council Parks and Open Spaces and Glendale Services, who maintain the bowls green - an opportunity for the Club to say thank you.

Check out our gallery to see further photos of these events and the fixture pages for forthcoming events


KCPBA Patrons Cup Tournament at Canterbury.

FDBC entered two teams into the KCPBA Patrons Cup Tournament at Canterbury bowls club. 24 team took part. Francis Drake BC team one Mick, Tony, Dave, and Ron came a respectable fourth place, four games played, won three and drew one but still didn't make the top three, hard luck boys but very well done


 Francis Drake BC team two Bryn, Stan, Ken, and Dennis

 It was the first time at Canterbury for Bryn, Ken and Dennis. Well played lads.


Francis Chappell & sons 175 year service Celebrations.

Mr Anthony Driver, the regional manager of Dignity Caring Funeral Services. With the two teams ready to start the final. 

The Day. Sunday 28th July
The Occasion Francis Chappell & Sons Celebration of 175 years Service
The Venue Francis Drake Bowls Club
The Tournament One Day Open Mixed Triples

Six Bowls clubs took part in this bowls match, the first of its kind for our club.
It was very competitive with all the teams wanting to win this trophy
Orpington Excelsior winning 4 out of 5 of their games went straight into the final
Captain Ron was the adjudicator
Three other teams Francis Drake 1, Francis Drake 2, and Beckenham Bromley & District Bowls Association all won three out 5 of their games
BB&DBA went to the final on shot difference.
And what a final our very own Sue Hastings played in the BB&DBA team along with Estelle Cox, Mike Porter
Orpington Excelsior winning team - Eunice Pain, Andy and Jean Bush.
Captain Ron FDBC thanked the clubs that took part the members for the hard work in preparing and hosting the day, Glendale for having the green in great condition and Francis Chappell & Sons for their generous sponsorship.
Lets hope that this will become the first of many.

see gallery for more photos from the day.



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.

Most Monday evenings we run a fun league where every player puts £1 in the pot and the winning team share the takings between them.

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.

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