Wednesday 10th May : We arrived to a warm welcome, a warm drink and very enjoyable rolls.
The game for the afternoon would be six rinks, 21 ends with 3s up and trial ends. Although there had obviously been a heavy downfall during the morning it was dry as we commenced the game. There was the usual friendly banter and encouragement as the game progressed and the green bowled really well, with a good pace and manageable lines. However the clouds were building and getting blacker. Around the 14/15th end there were a few flashes of lightening but the accompanying thunder indicated the storm centre was still a few miles away but definitely getting closer. The decision to finish at 18 ends was thankfully received and most rinks managed to get finished and inside before the rain started again. Just one rink was poised with a draw on 17 ends so decided before the rain got too heavy to finish the game asap. (It was my rink and we finished slightly damp but with 1 shot win for FEB).
After an excellent meal provided by Margaret and her team, Club Chairman Malcolm Lochrie welcomed the Friends and our Chair, Kath and other Exec members and gave us a little of the history and current position of the club in his speech and at the end asked the club members to raise their glasses in a toast to the Friends of English Bowling (he got it right!).
I, in turn, thanked Malcolm for his welcoming speech and Captain Doug King and Secretary Steve Jennings and club members for their welcome to us all, congratulated them on a reaching their Centenary and wished them many more successful years.
I introduced our Exec including Kath (Chair), Match Secretary Adie, and Clive Handscombe; our Treasurer, as well as a past Chair, Geoff Hunt, who we were very pleased to see attending today. I introduced three past Presidents of Bowls England; Adie, Paul Robson and me; all are members of the Exec and playing today.
I was pleased to tell the Friends that although where some counties can’t boast any holders of the Certificate of Merit, Maulden have two! Steve Jennings and another member Ron Garner are holders of this prestigious award. Steve is also the green keeper so I thanked him and his team for a very playable green. I gave thanks also to the bar team headed by Ray, who kept us suitably refreshed all day.
I then gave some of the history of the founding of the Friends and the current benefits of being a member, both during the year and at the Championships. (I hope that at least one Maulden player I saw clutching a membership form will be joining our happy band. More will be welcome!)
We always say scores don’t matter but for the record: FEB – 122 & Maulden – 78.
Our Top Rink was Pat Geary (Beds), Jan Hunt (Northants), Maureen Peyton (Cambs) & skip David Brown (Herts). Maulden’s Top Rink was Annette Eversdem, R Garner, D Ruffett and skip P Hart.
I presented the Framed Certificate to Malcolm and then we too stood and raised our glasses in a toast to Maulden and wished them continued success.
On the way home I remembered that I hadn’t announced the counties in attendance thereby missing the opportunity for our players to cheer or “ooh arr” their county when announced. Again for the record we had players from 9 counties making up our team and they were; Beds, Cambs, Hants, Hereford, Herts, Kent, Northants, Oxford and Wiltshire.
Thank you to both the Friends for their support and to Maulden members for making it a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable day.