History of the Zippers Bowling Association


Zippers Bowling Association

Epsom Bowling Club received written confirmation that the Zipperís Bowling Association has officially announced that due to the lack of support the Association ceased to function on 31st December, 2015. The reason for the delay in notification of the closure was due to having to finalise the Accounts.

This message is written by Eric Brown

On behalf of the Zippers Bowling Association I express sincere appreciation for the help and support the Zipperís have received from Epsom Bowling Club. The total raised during the seven Charity Days over the years was £3,784.00 The last game played on 21st July 2013 raised £700.00. As I am also a member of the Epsom Bowling Club I feel I must personally thank all those people for helping make the events so successful. The generous financial support, donation of fantastic prizes for the large raffles, the special catering and the time and effort of so many individual members helped the Zipperís Bowling Association achieve its aims in providing much needed equipment specifically for coronary and cardiac units or
re-habilitation centres in hospitals around the country.

The Zippers Bowling Association began life as the idea of a bowler who had undergone invasive open-heart surgery.  In the Summer of 1995 he requested anyone of a like mind to contact him, and in December of that year sixteen interested bowlers attended the inaugural meeting at Leighton Buzzard Bowls Club.  All were looking for the same thing - a tangible way in which they could say "Thank you"  for being given a second chance.

The Association accepts invitations to play bowls wherever & whenever possible and averages about 20 matches a year both indoors and out across the country.  Clubs and Bowling Associations agree to host a charity game against the Zippers, with money being raised in a variety of ways.

Membership is over 230 and is restricted to bowlers, both ladies and men, who have undergone invasive heart surgery and who are members of recognised bowling clubs.  The term Zipper relates to the scar (akin to a zip fastener) left after surgery.  Members have had heart transplants, multiple by passes, new valves, stents and even pace makers installed.

As a result of these operations their life styles have vastly improved and in gratitude The Association  wish to raise funds for heart research and to contribute to local cardiac hospitals when they are appealing for funds to finance a special project or to help purchase specialised items of equipment.

Although not a recognised charity, all donations and money raised, together with any surplus from our annual subscriptions are donated to heart related charities and hospitals all of which are nominated annually by members.


The Association has raised over £200,000 since 1996.


By reading this article you will be aware of the existence and aims of The Zippers Bowling Association.  If you have the necessary 'qualifications' why not become a member?  On the face of it the Association may be the last 'club' you would ever want to join by choice.  If you do become a member you will be joining the ranks of the 'forever grateful'!


For more details about the Association or how to join, please contact:-

Our Membership Secretary

J R (Bob) Hope, 21 Icknield Close,

Bidford-on-Avon, Alcester,

Warwickshire B50 4BZ


Telephone: 01789 774546


Patron:  Tony Allcock MBE


Eric Brown with Staff Nurse, Patrick Steel,

& Breege Skeffington,

Senior Sister who are located in the

Coronary Care Unit.

These two front steer wheelchairs include oxygen and drip stands (total cost £1,326.96) were donated to the Coronary / Cardiac Unit at St. Georges Hospital, Tooting, South London, by the Zipperís B.A.




The Zipperís also purchased a Life Fitness -CSX Club Series Light Commercial Crosstrainer with Integrity Control (shown above) for the Re-Habilitation Unit at Epsom General Hospital at a cost of £3,100.00.


This piece of equipment is used together with other items to help bring patients back to various levels of health.


In 2006 Eric Brown, a Zipper from Epsom Bowling Club in Worple Road, Epsom, met with Sister Mary Gray in the Coronary Care Unit to ask if the Association could help in any way. (Eric spent eight weeks at St Helier's Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit having undergone triple by pass surgery.  With the help of specially trained staff he was able to regain fitness and start to re build his life following surgery).  It was suggested that the purchase of a Volumetric Pump would be of great assistance. Once set, the pump automatically feeds a drug to a patient over a period of time thereby freeing medical staff for other duties.
Eric had approached the unit because a number of his fellow bowlers had passed through their hands over a period of time - plus, Epsom is his local hospital.
The Associationís Committee had no hesitation in agreeing the funding of £2810 - at the time this was the largest single donation ever given by the Zippers Bowling Association.  Since then other generous donations have been received.

Last year (2005) the Association raised £7,500.  This was shared by four hospitals.
This is the Associationís members way of saying thank you for being given a second chance!