The first sign of summer has traditionally been thought of a swallow sighting - although bowling clubs returning to outdoor greens could well be another.

Three of the clubs in the district are gearing up for a new year with curtain-raiser matches and open days for the public to try the sport.

Herts Advertiser: Alan Charron bowls the first wood at Townsend. Picture: TOWNSEND BOWLSAlan Charron bowls the first wood at Townsend. Picture: TOWNSEND BOWLS (Image: Townsend Bowls Club)

Townsend's first game was between the midweek captain's select and the weekend captain's troops, which the midweek squad led by Ian Forster taking an 83-64 success.

The top rinks went to Les Perkins and Sandra White and Jane Dixon, Gordon Clapworthy and Peter Thomson.

The honour of the first bowl of the season though went to Alan Charran. 

He started bowling in 1967 and 56 years later his glittering career has included national honours as well as almost two decades in Hertfordshire's Middleton Cup team.

He has also finished runner-up in the last two editions of the district pairs, a competition he first won 45 years ago.

The Waverley Road club in St Albans will open their doors on Saturday between 10am and 4pm.

All equipment and refreshments will be provided with the only requirement being flat-soled shoes like trainers.

Anyone unable to make the open day can ring 01727 852361 to make separate arrangements.

Herts Advertiser: Harpenden are holding two open days. Picture: HARPENDEN BOWLING CLUBHarpenden are holding two open days. Picture: HARPENDEN BOWLING CLUB (Image: Harpenden Bowling Club)

Harpenden Bowling Club have two open days planned.

The first of them is on Sunday, April 30 between 2pm and 5pm, while the second is on Tuesday, May 2, between 5pm and 7.30pm.

The green at Spenser Road is hidden behind houses, much to the surprise of many new visitors.

Again, all equipment is supplied with flat-soled trainers the only requirement.

Last season proved an exceptional year for attracting new members and the club is looking forward to continuing this trend by greeting new faces and helping them get started in the sport.

For details on where to find the club, approximately 80 yards from Milton Road, and to find out about the open days, go to

Any queries can be emailed to the club secretary at

Herts Advertiser: Batchwood Bowls Club on day one of the 2023 season. Picture: BATCWOOD BCBatchwood Bowls Club on day one of the 2023 season. Picture: BATCWOOD BC (Image: Batchwood Bowls Club)

Batchwood Bowls Club started their new season with the help of the mayor of St Albans, Geoff Harrison.

He was watched bowling the first wood by 30 club members at their green next to Batchwood Golf and Sports Centre.

They have four open days for the public to try out bowls, split over two weekends.

The first of them is on Saturday and Sunday while the next session is on May 20 and 21, all starting at 2pm.

Jackie Kenealy, secretary of the club that has been running since 1966, said: "We are a really friendly club with a mixture of abilities from the very competitive, who play for St Albans district and the county, to those who enjoy the game at their own leisure.

"We would love people to come along to the upcoming events to see where they fit in."

To find out more information about becoming a member, email