We usually bowl on the last Sunday every month, but please check the table for exceptions.
We meet in the bar from 30 minutes before bowling time.
We're relaxed about booking. It helps if you let us know you're coming, but if you decide at the last moment that's not usually a problem.
However, for some events booking is required so please check the details below.
|Saturday 15th, 8pm
Bowling Bears At Winter Wonderland
This has been cancelled - please click the link above for more information.
|Sunday 16th, 1pm
Bowling Bears Christmas Lunch
|All Star Lanes, Bayswater|
|Sunday 30th, 5pm - Bowling
Last session before the break!!!
|Queens Ice & Bowl|
|Bowling at Queens
Ice & Bowl costs us £10 for two games including shoe hire.
Future dates will be posted here and also circulated to the e-mail distribution list and on Facebook.
Ten pin bowling is a very beary sport so, to avoid confusion do come over and say hello when you see one of us in a Bowling Bears T shirt.
Sometimes I organise other stuff. In the past I have organised:
- Tour of BBC TV centre
- Tour of Broadcasting House
- Tour of Fullers' Chiswick Brewery
- Joan Rivers at The Udderbelly
Currently in planning:
- Joan Rivers at The Royal Albert Hall (October 2012)
If you have any suggestions for future trips or would like me to re-run one of the events I have already done please let me know.
So What's It Like Bowling With The Bears?
Meeting In The Bar
We meet in the bar first so that we can have a drink and meet each other. Men usually arrive anytime between 4:30pm and 5pm. We're not a large group, but if you prefer meeting people in small numbers arrive close on 4:30pm and you'll be introduced to everybody as they arrive.
This is also the time when I collect the money (£10 each for two games including shoes) and plan who will be bowling in which lane. I check who has bowled before and who hasn't so that I can arrange for the regulars to bowl before the newcomers then they can be shown how to bowl if they haven't bowled before.
I try to make it so that we start fairly punctually at 5pm to be fair on everyone, but if you arrive a little late we may still be able to add you into the first game or if not then we can add you to the second.
So at 5pm I will leave you all in the bar while I go and pay up and find out which lanes we have been allocated. Then I will come back and let you all know. We'll all go across to the lanes together and I can watch over your coats and bags while you go to the reception desk to get your shoes. They will take your shoes in exchange so you might want to slip them off while you are waiting to be served.
When you come back to the lanes you will want to decide what weight of ball to play with. You will probably want to pick up a few balls to see which weight you feel comfortable with although you will also want to check you feel comfortable with the finger holes too as the heavier balls tend to have larger holes.
If you want to come and watch you will be very welcome. If you haven't been before you might feel more comfortable doing this as you can get a feel for how we are as a group without committing yourself to playing.
If you do come and watch then please do come and join us.
Each game consists of ten rounds and we take it in turn to bowl. Each time it's your turn you have two attempts at knocking the pins (or skittles) down. If you knock them all down in one throw it's called a "strike" and you walk back with a smile on your face to a round of applause. If you take two throws to knock them down this is called a "spare". Most likely there will be some pins still standing after the second throw.
You get points for how many pins you knock down. If you knock down all ten in one throw (a "strike") you get double points for the next two throws. If you knock all the pins down, but it takes two throws (a "spare") then you get double points for the next throw only.
The scoring is all done by computer which makes it much easier.
After Bowling On To The Pub
After we have played our two games I will invite everyone to come with us to the King's Arms and we say goodbye to those who can't come with us.
It is difficult to predict when we will finish bowling until we know how many there are of us and how many lanes we will be playing on. Note also that Queens Ice & Bowl is below street level so mobile phones don't work there.
We walk up to Queensway tube and take the Central Line to Oxford Circus where we walk along Great Marlborough Street to get to the Kings Arms. I can send a text message to anyone who plans to join us at the pub to let them know when we are setting off, but I plan to also tweet on Twitter as that is an easier way to let more people know.
At The Kings Arms
It only takes about 15 minutes to get to the Kings Arms and we usually have just one drink. We meet up with anyone who couldn't make it to the bowling alley and decide where to eat - it's a Sunday evening so most of us don't want to make it too late a night.
Sundays are also karaoke night at the Kings Arms so it gets very crowded and loud if we were to stay after that starts.
Off In To Soho To Eat
Usually we set off with an open mind and see what everyone feels like eating and what restaurant catches our eye. If you'd like to suggest somewhere particular do say so. We usually walk down Wardour Street, but there are probably many good restaurants in neighbouring streets we haven't looked at yet.
When we leave the restaurant we go our separate ways in small groups to the different tube stations (or pubs). By this time most of us have been together for a few hours and, being Bowling Bears, we usually hug one another as we say goodbye.
I do hope you will come with us some time soon.