Latest news MidGlos Member News

Newsletter Issue 31

Good morning,

Graham Griffiths

Following the death of Graham Griffiths and, due to the restrictions of Covid19, numbers are very much restricted at funerals.

If you would like to donate to Leukaemia research in his memory, please make your cheques payable to Leukaemia UK and either post it to the club, drop it in on a Monday or Thursday morning or post by hand into the box outside the club at any time.

Club news

The blinds for the new louvre windows have now been ordered and will be fitted shortly. Huge thanks to Shirley Cromie who very generously donated sufficient money to cover the cost and the fitting (courtesy of our “handymen”, Graham Whiting and Howard). Thank you, Shirley. Much appreciated. So, when that’s completed, we’re good to go!!! Just a small barrier of the Tier 2 restrictions.

Tier 2 restrictions update

However, Howard has gone one step further and written to Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Sport, Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Culture, Digital Media and Sport, Alex Chalk M.P. and Evan Davis, journalist and presenter of P.M. on Radio 4 and the out spoken journalist Allison Pearson.

Other people, such as Mark Harper, M.P. for the Forest of Dean have also been targeted. Whether all this will have the effect we would like is questionable but nothing will happen if we don’t try!

Howard’s letter to the Department of Sport:

Dear Minister for Sport,


Space: stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings)

When meeting people you do not live with, it is important to do so outdoors where possible, or to make sure that any indoor venue has good ventilation (for example by opening windows so that fresh air can enter).

A seemingly clear requirement by the government for keeping people Covid Safe, except you are not being consistent in your application of this rule.

In indoor bowling there is a current imposition of a very unfair and illogical government interpretation of your national SPACE rule. If you adhered to the national requirements we would not be facing the mental, physical and financial problems we are at the moment.

Currently, in Tier 2 indoor bowls clubs, we can bowl as two people from two separate households or with people from the same household / support bubble, plus supervised under-18 and disabled players have no restrictions i.e. they could play with eight people on the rink.

After the first lockdown we made all the changes necessary to become Covid Secure and were passed as such by our local environment authority. Since then, in the second lockdown, we initiated a fresh air source system into the club. By all measures we have met the demands of the national requirements of SPACE and yet you have prevented our national organizing body (EIBA) from allowing tier 2 clubs to resume as before the second lockdown. In effect you have kept our club closed!

The mental and physical negative impact on our 315+ membership is horrendous and on a national scale it must be appalling. What makes it worse is that having met all the national requirements of SPACE you have chosen to ignore those supposedly national rules and impose a variation that penalises us heavily. This is simply not fair since you are being inconsistent and illogical.

As December 16th approaches you have the opportunity to correct this current unfair and illogical government interpretation of your SPACE rules.

I implore you to please reconsider your current directive to the EIBA and recognise the national SPACE requirements that would allow Tier 2 indoor bowling clubs to once again provide the mental and exercise benefits to all our members, as we did in a Covid Secure way before the second lockdown.

On behalf of my members, and indeed all tier 2 club members, please remove this unfair inconsistency as soon as possible.

Stay safe

Howard Watkin-Jones

Chairman MidGlos IBC                                                             

7th December 2020

The above letter has been sent to the two target Minister MPs to both their constituency and Department e-mail addresses. Additionally, a copy has been sent to Matt Hancock MP (Secretary of State for Health) but here it could only go to a departmental e-mail address not direct to the man it is targeted towards. Once you start to scratch the surface it is amazing to discover the technological maze that is in place to prevent the public actually talking to the people they elect!

Oh, one last thing; all automated responses from the Ministers that indicated my e-mails had been received, all told me it might be twenty days before I actually heard anything more. If I had not heard anything after twenty days then please try again!!

However, the good news is that our local MPs are more forthcoming. The following e-mail was received from Alex Chalk yesterday evening in response to my contacting him for help.

Dear Howard,

Many thanks for your powerful email which I have read with care. John is kind to have given me such a write-up and I will do my best to help!

Life is for living, not just existing, and I’m very conscious of the role of indoor bowls in Cheltenham in providing exercise and social contact. As your email demonstrates, indoor bowls clubs have also implemented robust (and indeed costly) plans to protect players in line with Government guidance.

I would be happy to speak to the Secretary of State to make representations on your behalf.

You will understand that I cannot make any promises as to the outcome, but I did want to write to reassure you that your representations have been heard and I will act on them. 

Best wishes,


Needless to say, I have thanked Alex and wished him well with his efforts on our behalf. So, fingers crossed.

Despite what I said earlier, somebody is listening to us and appears to be on our side. Watch this space.

Keep smiling,


Linda Watkin-Jones.

Director (PR & Marketing)

5 replies on “Newsletter Issue 31”

Thank you for all the efforts you are making in trying to get us back playing the sport we all enjoy and the relationships / friends we miss.

Well done Howard and Linda – you are both doing a great job in dealing with our problems and keeping us all so well informed, sincere THANK YOU

All the effort you have put in is very much appreciated by us all,let’s hope for some positive news soon .Let commence prevail for the welfare of everyone at the club.

I’m stuck at home after the stroke in my leg, and have failed the eye test few days ago, so I am stuck for months now.
I am impressed with the efforts being made to try to get us open again, and particularly with the strenuous efforts being made
All I can do is wish you the best of luck

Both Sue and I wish to extend our gratitude and praise for the work Linda and Howard are doing in keeping our hopes up in their efforts to get the club back in full operation. Thank you both.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.