Runwell Bowls Club - History
A 3 rink green was built by the former Runwell Hospital in about 1959 for use by patients as a
therapeutic tool. However, that green was built on in 1964/65 and the present 6 rink green was
constructed in its place for use by both patients and hospital staff. Runwell Hospital Bowls Club was
then founded in 1968.
However, when ‘care in the community’ was introduced the patients and staff gradually moved out of
the hospital and staff houses and the green was left for use by the few staff who remained. Membership
of the bowls club was then extended to non- hospital people, but all bowls club members are required to
be fully paid-up members of Runwell Hospital Staff Social Club. The bowls club grew to have a total of
about 100 members (35 ladies and 65 men) and numbers have remained at roughly this level since
In more recent years facilities at the green have been considerably enhanced and improved during the
close season, all the necessary work being undertaken by our maintenance team.
1996/97 New men’s changing room installed, leaving the ladies to take over the men’s former
1999/2000 Tea room and a toilet block, both former site huts, purchased, installed and completely
refurbished by our members
2000/01 Green ditches completely refurbished and lined with wooden shuttering. New automatic
green-watering system installed.
2001/02 Tea room doubled in size and front and sides clad in white upvc. Patio repaved
2002/03 Cladding of tea room and toilet block in white upvc completed. Decking installed between
tea room and toilet block.
2003/04 Captains’ Lodge constructed and used to display all information on league, district
county matches, club competitions etc.
2004/05 Major work on replacing some old fencing. Ramp to ladies’ changing room constructed.
2005/06 Major work on replacing more old fencing. Repairs to footpath round the green.
The team continues to meet during the close season for all the usual maintenance work on buildings,
fencing, seating benches etc. A new entrance gate was built and installed during 2013/14.
All the old Runwell Hospital buildings have now been demolished by the Homes & Communities Agency
and new housing is due to be built on the footprint of the demolished buildings in the near future
However, the bowls green and all the other sporting facilities will remain in use at the Runwell
site. Ownership of the sports area will pass to Chelmsford City Council who will then lease the site to
Runwell Hospital Staff Social Club