Swindon Bats
Swindon Bats

Swindon Bats Sports & Social Club for Visually Impaired People

10 Pin Match v Zurich Community Trust

20th September 2018

Wow, What a Match!

It was with great anticipation that, on 20 September 2018, a team from Swindon Bats met with a team from the Zurich Community Trust to play tenpin bowling.  We arrived between 6.30 and 6.45 pm ready to change shoes, get drinks and select balls for the match.

The fun began at around 7 pm with game one of two being played.  There was lots of excitement as strikes and spares were bowled.  During frames 4, 5, 6 and 7 the Zurich team were required to wear simulation glasses so that they were able to get a feel for what bowling with various eye conditions is like. 

After a short interval to refill glasses, game 2 began with more excitement and plenty of banter.  More strikes and spares were bowled and the final score was Swindon Bats 6, Zurich Community Trust 2.  Trophies were presented to the highest scorer of each team – Andrew for Zurich Community Trust who scored 132, and Shaun for Swindon Bats who scored 176.  Congratulations to both.

Thank you to Ollie and his team for organising this very successful event – a very good time was had by all.

Click here for the photographic evidence!


David Bindon

David Bindon on Ridgeway Night Walk in 2005 David Bindon on Ridgeway Night Walk in 2005

On Wednesday, 29 August 2018, members attended the funeral of one of our dearest friends and volunteer, David Bindon, who sadly passed away on 2 August having been ill for some time.


David was a Pin Spotter for our bowlers for several years and was always fun to have around.  He joked about the fact that he often lost when bowling against visually impaired people. 

David was happy to help with anything and designed and built two guide rails for the use of our bowlers.  These guide rails help totally blind bowlers to line up accurately before taking their shot.

David will be sadly missed by all who knew him – rest in peace David, we’ll never forget you.


NBTBA Winter Trios 2018/2019 - Fixtures Announced

The NBTA Winter Trios teams and fixtures have been announced.

Click here for full details


We've done it again!

One of our teams playing in the National Blind Tenpin Bowling Association's Summer Doubles competition has made it through to the finals.

Bats Strikers (Georgia, Stuart and Russ) will take part in the national finals on Saturday, 10 November 2018 in Wigan, and we hope they will be successful.

Good luck guys, but, most of all, enjoy the weekend.

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Tom Ferguson Memorial Competition 2018-19

Tom was a jolly Scotsman who could always put a smile on our faces. He enjoyed tenpin bowling and was very disappointed when he had to give it up in 2015. He was a very popular member of Swindon Bats.

The competition for 2018-19 started on 6th June with a new handicapping system.  The handicaps are recalculated every week resulting in a closer competition.

Click here for the Rules and League Table

Tenpin Match Against the Volunteers of Swindon Talking News

On Thursday, 17 May, Swindon Bats played a tenpin bowling match against the volunteers of Swindon Talking News (affectionately known as Stan).  We met at around 6.45 pm and began play at 7. 

Frames 1, 2 and 3 were played with strikes and spares being scored.  The Stan volunteers were then encouraged to wear simulation glasses for frames 4, 5, 6 and 7.  Why do sighted players always seem to play better when wearing these glasses?!  Then it was back to normal for frames 8, 9 and 10. 

Game 1 was won by Stan volunteers and, after a short break, game 2 began.  There was a lot of cheering when strikes and spares were scored and, again, the volunteers wore the simulation glasses for frames 4, 5, 6 and 7.

The match ended with Stan volunteers winning by 5 games to 3.  The highest scorer for Stan volunteers was Ash who scored 185.  The highest scorer for Swindon Bats was Shaun who scored 152.

Well done everyone and thanks to Stan volunteers for a very pleasant evening.

   Click here for photographs

Success at the NBTBA Winter Trios Finals 2017-18!

We had two teams in the National Blind Tenpin Bowling Association’s Winter Trios competition for 2017/18 – Bats Strikers (Shaun, Stuart, Russ and Tom) and Bats Angels (Tracey, Andrea, Georgia, Diana and Sue).

The competition consisted of 11 matches which were played at our home bowling alley (Swindon Tenpin) every fortnight between October 2017 and March 2018. 

It was with great delight that, when the final results were announced, Bats Angels discovered they had made it through to the competition finals which were to take place on 12 May 2018 in Wigan.  The girls were very excited about the prospect of playing in the finals though only four players are allowed to play.  Andrea graciously accepted that, as she had played the least number of games, she would remain behind in Swindon.

After much planning and completing of forms, it was soon time to travel to Wigan on 11 May.  After arriving at the Britannia Wigan Hotel the team enjoyed a meal at the Charnley Arms, attended the NBTBA Annual General Meeting, and met other teams who would also take part in the finals.  Then it was an early-ish night ready for the fun to begin the following morning.

Everyone awoke bright and early on finals day to have breakfast before boarding the coach which was provided to take them to the bowling alley.  Play began at 11 am and Bats Angels’ first game was against the Sunderland Spinners.  Other teams our Angels played against were: Kursaal Flyers (Southend); Pin Doctors (Maidenhead); and Underdogs (Airdrie).  As two teams were unable to attend the finals, the Angels played one game against no one.  The final game (game 6) was a play-off round.

There was a break of 30 minutes for lunch when the teams enjoyed some much-needed refreshments.  The action began again at around 2 pm when the final 3 games were played.  The coach was boarded again at 4.30 to take us all back to the hotel for a much needed rest before dinner.

Dinner was at 7 pm when there was a lot of chatter and some anticipation of the presentations.  The presentations began at around 9 pm with trophies being awarded for the team knock-out and singles knock-out competitions.  The winners were: Underdogs (Airdrie) for the team knock-out; and Kyle Hall (Beacon Barbarians, Wolverhampton) for the singles knock-out.

Next came the results for the day.

First up was the person with the highest average score plus handicap.  This went to Tendai Noel of the Sunderland Spinners.

Then came the announcements and trophy presentations for the finals competition.  We waited with bated breath for our team to be called out.  They announced the 10th position, then 9th, followed by 8th, 7th, 6th and 5th.  Then came the announcement that Bats Angels were in 4th place so we all went up to receive our ‘finalist’ trophies.  Pictures were taken and then came the announcements for the top 3 teams.  They were:


3rd: Footmarks from Lewisham

2nd: BAVIP from Basingstoke

1st: Sunderland Spinners from Sunderland


After the presentations were over, there was much celebrating going on in the bar.  Then it was up for breakfast on Sunday before travelling home.

Good luck to our teams – Bats Strikers (Georgia, Stuart and Russ), Fruit Bats (Tracey, Andrea and Shaun), and Bats Blinders (Diana, Tom, and Sue) – in the summer doubles competition.  Here’s hoping we all get through to the finals!

   Click here for photographs

NBTBA Summer Doubles 2018

Summer is coming and the NBTBA Doubles competition will soon be starting with our first match being played on 25 April.

  Click here for the full details

Skittles v Rotary 26th March 2018

We recently played another skittles match with our friends at the Wootton Bassett Rotary Club.  Play got started at around 7.30 pm and two hands of skittles were played before a break for something to eat.  At this stage, the score was level with an equal number of skittles having been knocked down by both teams.

After sandwiches and chips had been eaten, play resumed and another two hands were played.  The final score showed Swindon Bats were the winners by 11 points. 

Well done everyone and thank you to all at the Wootton Bassett Rotary Club for organising this event.  We will challenge you to a tenpin bowling match some time in the autumn.

Click here for the photographic evidence!

Tony Martin Bowling Challenge

This event took place on Thursday, 30 November 2017 when 6 teams comprising of members of the Zurich Community Trust, Capita and Open Works got together for a tenpin bowling competition in memory of Tony Martin.  Each team comprised 5 players from the above organisations plus one player from Swindon Bats. 

Players began to arrive at approximately 6.30pm meeting in the bar for a drink and a chat prior to the bowling commencing.  Once players had changed their shoes and chosen their balls, the fun began.

The first game was played with all our sighted friends being asked to wear simulation glasses of various eye conditions during frames 4, 5, 6 and 7.  It is always interesting that lots of spares and strikes are scored during these frames.

After the first game, there was a short interval so that players could obtain more drinks before game two began.  As with the first game, simulation glasses were worn for frames 4, 5, 6 and 7.  Some players were even brave enough to try wearing a blindfold simulating someone who sees nothing at all.  They also had a go at guiding a visually impaired bowler up to take their turn.

Once the bowling was over and scores collected and calculated, trophies were presented to the winning team as well as to the highest scoring male and female players.  The teams that took part were:

ZCT1:                     Siobhan, Jade, Franki, Rachel, Debbie.

ZCT 2:                    Lewis, Marie, Sarah, Jackie, Debbie.

ZCT3:                     Carla, Pam, David, Shannon, Mark.

OW:                       Lisa, Shaun, Catriona, Darren, Gemma.

CAPITA:                 Mandy, Dave, Maggie, Chloe, Vicki.

ZURICH/Mix:        Dave, Dan, Neil, Alex, Emily.

Bats:                      Georgia (ZCT1), Sue (ZCT2), Diana (ZCT3), Russ (OW), Glynn (Capita), and Jane (Zurich/Mix).


And the winners were!!

Team Competition


Highest Scoring Female


Highest Scoring Male



Well done to all the winners – let’s do it all again next year!

Click here for photos

Tenpin Match With Members of DNO Consulting & Thames Water

On Thursday, 19 October 2017 we welcomed employees of DNO Consulting and Thames Water to a match at Swindon Tenpin.  Four employees/spouses of DNOC and four from Thames Water got together to form a team against eight of our own members. 

Once we were all signed in and bowling shoes acquired, the fun began.  During frames 4, 5, 6 and 7, sighted players were asked to wear simulation glasses to give them some idea of what living with particular eye conditions is like. 

The first game ended with Swindon Bats winning by 2.5 games to 1.5.  On one lane the score ended even with Sue and Diana scoring 199 and Colin and Heather also scoring 199. 

There then followed a short break after which game 2 was played.  After much laughter, and lots of strikes and spares scored on both sides, the match ended with Swindon Bats winning by 5.5  to 2.5.  Well done to John who scored highest for DNOC/Thames Water and to Shaun for scoring highest for Swindon Bats.

Thank you to all who took part in this fun evening, with special thanks to Sharon, Mandy, Mark and Lee from Thames Water who agreed to play at short notice.

The teams were:

DNO Consulting/Thames Water: Colin, Heather, John, Susan, Sharon, Mandy, Mark and Lee.

Swindon Bats:    Tracey, Georgia, Glynn, Pete, Diana, Sue, Shaun and Russ.

Click here for photos

Memorial to Tony Martin

Some of our members paid their respects at the memorial service of a dear friend and supporter, Tony Martin, on Monday, 16 October at the Supermarine Sports & Social Club.  This service was an excellent memorial of Tony’s life as a son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, friend and supporter of many charities in the local area and beyond. 

Tony was carried into the service to one of his favourite songs – Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.  There were tributes given by family and friends and his favourite poems were read too.  Two hymns (Abide With Me and Jerusalem) were sung and a favourite Cold Play song was played giving some time for reflection.  At the end of the service, Tony was carried out to the theme tune of Doctor Who.  Close friends and family then went to a short service at the crematorium.

Tony and his team at Zurich Community Trust have been great supporters of Swindon Bats for many years – he will be very much missed by us all.

RIP Tony.

Zurich Match – 7th September 2017

On Thursday evening, 7 September, we played the 3rd match of the year against friends of the Zurich Community Trust.  I have it on good authority that only one member of the Zurich team actually works for Zurich with 4 of their players being employed by Thames Water. 

As usual, the match began at 7 pm and the opposition used simulation glasses on frames 4, 5 6 and 7 of each game.  Neil and Pat managed to score strikes whilst wearing a blindfold- how did that happen?! 

After a lot of banter, and strikes and spares being scored on both sides, the match ended in a win for Zurich, 5 games to 3. 

Highest score for the Zurich team was 132 scored by Maggie.  Highest score for the Swindon Bats team was 139 scored by both Shaun and Stuart.  The teams were:

Zurich:  Nick, Harriet, Tracey, Morgan, Neil, Pat, Maggie and Vili

Bats:      Diana, Sue, Tracey, Andrea, Georgia, Glynn, Shaun and Stuart

Click here for photos

Sue Mead Wins National Singles Knock-Out Competition!

Congratulations to Sue who won her final game against David Evans of Morcambe 434 to 402.

Click here to see Sue receiving her trophy.


It's getting so crowded here that we have had to start an archive page.

Re-live highlights from our history!

Click here to visit the page.



A 'Useful Links' page has been added to our site.  Click here to visit the page.

Monday Club

The Monday Club meets once a fortnight for chat, a cuppa and fun and games. Dates for 2018 can be found on our activities page.



Free membership to the Registered Blind or Visually Impaired.


Sighted Volunteers Needed!


At present the club only has two sighted volunteers to help as Pin Spotters when we play tenpin bowling. Pin Spotters tell us what pins we have knocked down and which ones remain standing. They also help with finding balls and putting them away again. They may also be required to guide someone who does not see well enough to find their way around. If you are available for a few hours on Wednesday afternoons and would like to help and make new friends, please contact us.



Swindon Bats are just like you,
The only difference is what we view,
We’re men & women with different levels of sight,
Anything from an impairment to dark as night,
We often meet for coffee go on outings and trips,
Learn about new technology and share useful tips,
We have a wide range of ages from 18 to mature,
Using guide dog’s white canes to sticks and more,
But the best thing of all is we Tenpin Bowl every week,
In a national blind league True as we speak,
We’ve been National Champions more than once come 2nd and 3rd too,
We often win medals, and cups well we’ve won a few,
We bowl against local companies like Zurich and Nationwide,
Capita Lloyds Bank and others besides,
It’s all for fun to show how life still goes on,
Despite our disability when God’s mould went wrong,
So if life sometimes seems tough unfair and unkind,
Pick up a Bowling Ball as it works for the Blind.

Good Luck!

The Blind Poet

Simon B



Last Updated: 22nd September 2018

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