Sunday July 17th
On what was the hottest day of the year so far, and after a most enjoyable lunch prepared by our hosts, 6 rinks of The Friends were welcomed onto the green by President Robin Gordon to join the Purley Bury team in celebration of their 70th Anniversary. (We were actually greeted as The Friends of Bowls England – a common misnomer!)
After the teams were called out and the group photograph taken all the players spread around the green for the Spider. The jack was hiding under the biggest “spider” I’ve ever seen, giving the shudders to those arachnophobes present. Lesley Summersgill from Hampshire managed to get her bowl under the spider alongside the jack and was happy to receive a bottle of whisky from the President during his address later. Thank you PBBC for very generously donating the Spider collection to FoEB.
Many of us found the green a bit tricky mainly because the club made 7 rinks to rest Rink 2 and also because it was quite a fast green for those more used to the wet slow greens of late. However we acquitted ourselves very well and the result was 2 winning, 2 drawn and 2 losing rinks for each side. The President very kindly called it a draw during his speech but the actual score was 119 shots for our hosts and a very close 114 shots for The Friends, so a 5 shot win for our hosts.
After the game and before the speeches and raffle all the players and guests sat down to a most enjoyable 3 course meal and liquid refreshment prepared or served by some of the club members. During his speech President Robin welcomed us again and expressed some amazement that 12 counties were represented in The Friends team, many having travelled a long distance to play.
He was also very grateful for the generosity of everyone in support of the large raffle. In response I thanked the club for their hospitality during the day and the Club Captain Paul Harland for the note book and pen given to all players. I introduced the FoEB committee members present as well as those BE Past Presidents, Honorary Members and 2 Certificate of Merit holders playing in our team, and also named the 12 counties represented – it gets a cheer or two! Before closing I awarded top rink prizes for both sides. (FoEB top rink was Colin Dunstone, Diane Lee, Jessie Clark and Paul Robson) and concluded by presenting President Robin with a framed Certificate to commemorate our visit.