The club was formed in 1974 and it’s first home was the car park of Cobbetts Restaurant (now Reggina’s) in Botley Square. Eventually it was decided it was time to move as by all accounts throwing metal boules amongst some very expensive motor cars was a bit nerve wracking at times!
In 1981 the club members laid the purpose built terrain in Botley Recreation Ground, with the floodlights following a year later. This terrain served the club very well with its infamous hole catching out a number of visiting opponents. Unfortunately, the tarmacing of the adjacent car park caused rainwater to run-off onto the terrain causing flooding and it became suitable only for sailing model boats for long periods in the winter! This, coupled with a lack of toilet facilities and anywhere to provide hospitality for visiting teams, led to the club taking the difficult decision to uproot from Botley and move to Burridge. The then chairman of the Sports and Social Club, John Bevis, kindly helped us take over an area of land adjacent to the cricket pitch.
Work began on building the new terrain at Burridge in 1996. Since its opening in that year the ‘bus shelter’, paved area and fencing have all been added. The terrain was also extended in 2002 to 43m x 15m. It was strung to give 16 pistes, varying in width from 2.5m to 3m, all with scoreboards. The original floodlights were replaced in 2008 at a cost of £2000 and are probably amongst the best in the region. Further improvements were made in March 2010 thanks to an HIWCF grant. The sleepers were all replaced, disabled access improved, the ‘bus shelter’ upgraded and a new boules club sign made.
Additional improvements were started in November 2011 with repairs to the fencing and completed in February 2012 with the addition of two extra floodlights at the car park end. This gives better lighting to the extended part of the terrain and also allows the lights to be turned off from the car park making it safer for all. In June 2013, 3.5 tons of 3mm to dust limestone were purchased and spread on the top 6 terrains.
In August 2015 work began on an additional 9m x 15m terrain. This was used for the first time for the Poppy Appeal Open Doubles in November of that year. January 2016 saw the addition of two extra floodlights to illuminate this area as well as lighting under the ‘bus shelter’. This new terrain was to be the first step in achieving a long term aim for an indoor terrain for use in the winter months.
In April 2018, the surface was removed from the top 3 terrains and replaced by 6mm limestone with the aim of creating a different surface suitable for practicing lobbing. This proved to be a bit too deep and some of this topping has since been removed and spread across the terrain extension.
In February 2019, thanks to funding from Closewood, the floodlights were upgraded to LEDs.
Some more pictures of the terrain construction in 1996 through to 2019 can be found here Terrain
For a variety of reasons, it was decided in 2019 to drop the idea of a terrain cover. It was decided that the money raised should be used for general improvements that would benefit all members throughout the year.
The first of these improvements were carried out in August/September 2020 with the wooden fencing surrounding the terrain completely replaced and metal fencing installed in front of the gas cylinder. The Cobbetts Boules Club sign was also replaced. Improvements 2020
In March 2022 the paving slab pathway was extended to the far end of the terrain. A big thank you to Paul and Jimmy Bone for carrying out the this work.
In November 2022 work started by Paul Bone on the long list of proposed improvements. The shelter was extended to the end of the hedge. To enable this, the hedge had to be drastically cut back so that the steel work for the shelter could be installed in line with the old shelter. As a result, new fencing had to be erected in front of the now bare hedge! Boards were also placed along the whole length of the fence to prevent boules and cochonnets going under and cricket balls coming through in the other direction. The line of the sleepers was also straightened and many rotten sleepers were replaced. The very top terrain was also covered in much larger stones for practicing lobbing. Two extra floodlights were also added to the existing poles to light the three end terrains . Additional lighting was installed under the new shelter and the existing florescent lights in the old part of the shelter replaced with LEDs
Terrain Improvements November 2022
Paul carried out more work in the spring of 2023. This work included:
- burying the lighting cable and at the same time installing extra drainage
- replacing the non-slip strips with something more permanent
- paving the entrance to the terrain
- Moving the fencing at the top end to be in line with hedge so that an extra strip could be laid for the permanent installation of the shooting mat.
- Jim Ireland also built and supplied a number of benches.
Remaining work includes:
Making final adjustments to the shooting strip and to the shelter roof.
Straightening and resetting the floodlight pole in the bottom corner of the terrain and cutting back the overhanging trees.
June 2023 saw the entrance way from the main road into the club resurfaced. A great improvement!