Meet our members
We asked a few of our members to describe their experience of joining, playing bowls and socialising at Banister Park.
Banister Park Bowling Club was a timely arrival for me! Having been a committed and active sportsman all my life, I was coming to the end of my direct participation in my two main sports of rowing and rugby. Not one to sit back in a passive role, I thought of taking up the game of bowls, since some of my friends were involved.
I had no idea what a great move joining Banister Park was to prove to be! Just to walk into the clubhouse for the first time was impressive enough. Everything was there, superb indoor and outdoor greens, a wonderful restaurant (I can vouch for the quality of the food!), a well-equipped bar, and a large function room.
That’s just part of the story. As a complete novice I received kind and sympathetic one to one coaching, this helping me to join the informal “roll ups”, these in turn allowing me to meet and make a host of new friends. There is no pressure, members can choose the level at which they would like to play, from the informal to the international!
Thoroughly enjoyable – the best move I ever made!
My husband John and I joined Banister Park 26 years ago and suddenly five years ago I was left on my own. Since then I have found the Club an absolute godsend. I know I can turn up at almost any time of the day and find friends here playing bowls. I can enjoy a meal, join in social events and last but not least go on the Club's organized tours and weekend breaks.
Malcolm & Brenda Andrews
Brenda and I joined Banister Park as indoor members when the club moved to its present home in 1989. We then both became outdooor members in 2007, bowling outdoor and indoors until 2013 when unfortunately I had to give up because of spinal problems.
For the last two years I have beeen a social member but have stayed involved with the bowling looking after the combi 4 team and serving on the selection committee.
We dine at the club on Tuesday where we enjoy Helen's lunch specials and of course the monthly Sunday lunches. We also engage in the numerous social events including the tours and some of the friendlies. Our daughters often say to us that Banister Park is our second home!
As a retired couple I think the main thing about belonging to Banister Park - apart from the bowls - is the friendship and good company which gives you the feeling of belonging. We often ask each other what we'd do without Banister Park!
I had been bowling outdoors for 4 years before I retired and moved to the Southampton area. I decided I wanted to play both indoor and outdoor bowls so looked for a club that offered both. I visited a few clubs including Banister Park, where I was impressed with the club’s facilities. After having some coaching which I really enjoyed, I decided to join the club.
I joined in the club's mixed & ladies' roll ups and then took part in some friendly matches against other clubs. These gave me the opportunity to find out how friendly everyone was and how encouraging they all were to new members. Since then I have been playing league indoor and out, playing some representative bowls with the help of some experienced players.
Bowling tours are also arranged at the club and are available to all members and are very popular.
Not only do I play bowls at the club, I enjoy meals at the restaurant and having a drink with friends I have made. I enjoy the social events, quizzes, bingo and in the upstairs hall with bar, we play skittles and curling.
I have really enjoyed my year's membership at Banister Park and look forward to many more years here.
A few years ago I suffered ill health and retired from work. After a couple of years I began to look for a way to start life anew. Thankfully I was introduced to bowls and Banister Park. In the year since I became a member I have met many new people, some of whom have become good friends. From being a widow, mainly staying indoors, I now bowl at least twice a week, in roll-ups, friendly and competitive matches. Other members and the coaches have been very encouraging in getting me to play in matches, but there is no pressure to do so if you just want to enjoy recreational bowling.I also enjoy many of the social activities on offer – skittles, quizzes, bingo and new-age kurling - as well as lunching in the restaurant. Bowls and Banister Park have changed my life for the better – good company and very friendly members. For anyone wondering whether to take up bowls and join Banister Park I would say come on, join us and have a new life.
Steve & Janet Whitehead
Janet and I have been members of Banister Park Bowling Club since it opened on the present site in Stoneham Lane 26 years ago. We have played at all levels of bowls, ie Club, District, County and National. The highlight of my bowling career so far was going to the National Finals Indoor and Outdoors and we enjoyed success by winning the over-60s Inter-County competition for Hampshire two years running. It has been a great 26 years; Banister Park is a fantastic bowls club and we have made some very good friends and had some wonderful times there.