Could this 'addictive' game be your new summer hobby?

Mistley Parish Councillor Ruth Frost takes a well-aimed shot

Mistley Parish Councillor Ruth Frost takes a well-aimed shot - Credit: Charlotte Howell

Members of Mistley Parish Council tried their hand at a "strangely addictive" game last weekend in the bank holiday sunshine, in a bid to raise the profile of their bowls club.

Located off the banks of the River Stour, the Mistley Bowls Club was established over 90 years ago and sits in the newly recognised Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The parish council decided to hold a friendly match against the seasoned players on Sunday, May 29 —  coinciding with Bowls England's 2021 National Open Weekend — to encourage more people to try their hand at the sport.

Mistley Parish Council’s newly-formed bowls team

Mistley Parish Council’s newly-formed bowls team - Credit: Charlotte Howell

Council chair Charlotte Howell said: "Bowls, once you have understood the aim of the game, some of the jargon and a few inside tips, is strangely addictive and one can understand its longstanding popularity across the country. 

"Although most of the parish councillors were complete novices, thanks to generous help and advice from their hosts the councillors were soon able to work with the bias of the bowls to direct them towards the jack and to feel a sense of elation when a well-aimed ball knocked an opponent's ball out of the way."

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The bowls club boasts impressive facilities including a lounge area, kitchen, well-stocked bar and a snooker room, along with framed photographs, awards and memorabilia from its long and distinguished history. 

Six-year-old Ted shows his support for Mistley Parish Council

Six-year-old Ted shows his support for Mistley Parish Council - Credit: Charlotte Howell

There is a very sociable element to the game and clubs throughout the area play in both friendly and competitive matches and leagues.  

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Though they lost the day against the more experienced bowls players, the parish councillors were clamouring for a re-match by the end and promised to return.

Mistley and Manningtree Bowls Club is currently welcoming those interested in becoming new members.  For further information please contact the club's president Margaret Arthey on 07709 613711 or

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