Francis Drake Bowls Club

Francis Drake Bowls Club

Welcome to Francis Drake Bowls Club.

Affiliated to Bowls England and Kent County Bowling association.

Casual or experienced bowlers and new members most welcome. Qualified EBCS coaching available, equipment including bowls and regulation bowling shoes supplied.

During the outdoor season (which runs from late April to early October ) the club has regular casual roll ups, friendly
and league matches with mixed male & female teams, Kent competitions & individual club championships. See fixtures for more details.

This is a council owned facility and the grounds are maintained by Glendale. The club is run by the members headed by a small committee and in line with the club's constitution. The green has set opening times dependent on club fixtures, the English weather and the availability of a key holding member but can also be used at other times when a key holding member is available.

 "It has often been said that, standing on the top of Hilly Fields on a windy day, one may inhale the sea breezes which flow in a direct course through the hills from the south coast. It may account for the prevailing idea that Brockley is the healthiest spot in the whole of London..." - The Brockley News, Friday 20th August 1920.

HistoryFrancs Drake historic players

c. 2000 BC
Egyptians roll balls or other rounded objects

c. 100 BC
Infidels stoned to death

c. 60 BC
Game of boccie spread to ancient Greece & Rome

c. 43 AD
Boccie spreads into NW Europe

1299
First known bowls rink built in Southampton

1350
Bowls banned in England by Edward III

1455
Ban lifted by Henry VI

c.1500
Henry VIII bans the game again and although largely ignored, was in force until 1845

1581
Francis Drake knighted in Deptford but couldn't be bothered wandering up to Hilly Fields for a game of bowls as neither the park nor rink existed at that time

1896
Hilly Fields Park opens

1903
English Bowling Association formed by W.G. Grace
W.G. Grace - founder of the English Bowling Association

1906
Bowls rink opened on Hilly Fields

c.1932
Five years old Arthur Guidotti peers through gate and vows to play bowls one day

1956
Club celebrates 50th Jubilee Year

1989-90
Don Thurnell & Len Bridges begin to create the special FDBC spirit that remains to this day
Don Thurnell Len Bridges

2002
Maestro Patrick Strain joins FDBC, raising the standard of competitive bowling to new brilliance
Pat Strain

2006
FDBC Centenary is celebrated and 75 years after thinking about it, Mr Guidotti finally joins the club...

2009
Mick Singer takes over as Team Captain as Billy Jenkins steps down, and promptly leads FDBC to their first ever John Collyer League Championship victory!

2010
After 104 years of watering by hose and hand, our green finally gets an automated watering system, with grateful thanks to the Mayor's Fund.

Francis Drake Bowls Club historic players     

Mick also introduced the FDBC shirt in 2010, and here he models the first club shirt.

2014

Ron Phillips becomes Team Captain

Ron Phillips

...and FDBC were victorious in the BBDBA home and away triples league 2014

2015

Another great year for Ron: he led FDBC to victory, winning the Lewisham and District League 2015 and also became the club champion for 2015