Author Archives: Carolyn Hunt

Friends play Rugby Railway Bowls Club

What a fantastic welcome given to the Friends by this wonderful Club on Saturday 24th July 2021. 

24 “Friends” and 4 guests arrived at the venue from 10 different County associations,  and were awarded a magnificent buffet, before the game began.   

The mayor of Rugby came along to judge the club’s flowerpot display competition which was won by the Captain of the club, Vanessa, and very well deserved.  Thanks was given to all who entered as it brightened up the green surrounds, as indeed did the hanging baskets.

Marie & Tressa preparing the wonderful lunch

With lunch sitting comfortably, the game got underway, and not knowing quite how how the weather was going to behave we set off with one on the first two ends and a full game of 21 ends.

There was so much noise during the game I really thought that we were playing a Rugby game!  However, it was a very well contested game with the Friends winning 169 -89.



The after-match meal was served in the main clubhouse, and it rated as one of the best after-match meals I have ever had, and I’ve had quite a few over the years!! 

 President Bruce’s speech was excellent, and I presented the club with The Friends of English Bowling memento certificate.   

As captain for the day for The Friends, this is one I will always remember. 

John Thompson




Centenary Celebration Game for Aylesbury Town


The Teams out in the heat of the day… game on!

18th July 2021 :   The day has arrived for the ‘Friends’ to celebrate Aylesbury Town reaching their 100th Anniversary.  The sun was out, it was hot, the green looked lovely and the welcome was great, with Ann Payne, Match Secretary, at the gate providing us with all the information we required.   At the clubhouse we were met by current President and Captain Colin Perrottet.   The 24 Friends bowlers had come from 10 different counties to play including the current Bowls England President Paul Robson.   I think he came to suss out the green for when he returns with his Bowls England team.

The club is amongst a sports complex of tennis, cricket, squash and bowls and today we were the only sport competing, maybe it was too hot for the others.  The Sports Club oversees the clubs but each one is independent and looks after their own buildings and playing surfaces with the Sports Club helping with obtaining any grants etc.

A lovely buffet was provided before the start of the game and the bar was open.   Once Adie had organised the cards we went out and played a ‘spider’ which was won by a home team member.   Photos were next and then finally the game commenced.   Visitors first had to try and find some shade so that they could watch the game without being overcome with heatstroke.

Whist Trial ends were played the usual questions were asked amongst the players on each rink, how far have you come?, how long have you been at this club?   all answered with astonishment and laughter.

Phew… it certainly looks warm

The game then started and was going to be the full 21 ends in hot sunshine. Water was provided at the end of the rinks and of course the bar was still open.   The game score was very up and down throughout and a lot of laughter coming from all rinks.

An excellent game and finally we were able to get out of the sun … but it was still warm inside the clubhouse.   Some of the heat coming out of the kitchen where the ladies had cooked us a lovely meal of chicken in sauce, new potatoes and vegetables followed by trifle.

Speeches and presentations followed the meal, together with the score – Friends 126, Aylesbury 115  Only 11 shots in it over 6 rinks, very close.  Both clubs had top rinks.  The Friends were Margaret Malloch, Trish Scholey, Paul Robson and Mike Poole, and for Aylesbury Chris Hounslow, Jan Green, Dave Catton and Keith Stratfull.

Captains Colin and Mike

Of course the important presentation was the Framed Celebration Certificate for Aylesbury Town B.C. Centenary to Colin which bowlers will hope to see next time they bowl at this wonderful club.

Thanks was given to all those that had made it such a wonderful day the green keepers, the kitchen staff, the bar staff, the bowlers and other members who were assisting in the background.   

It was then time for everyone to make their way back home having met new and old faces playing the game of bowls.

Mike Bertrand


July 17th – Celebrations with Long Crendon BC

As I am no longer a member of the executive committee, I was delighted when Kath telephoned me and asked me if I would like to be Captain of the day at Long Crendon.   I did not hesitate to say yes please.   I had no idea that Arsenal were playing away to Rangers on July 17th.  Well someone has got to support Arsenal.  They drew  2 – 2.

Cyndy Lee

In good spirits the teams line up

On July 17th, 18 people from nine counties made their way to Long Crendon Bowls Club in Buckinghamshire.  We were delighted to join them, to help celebrate their centenary and the opening of their glorious new club house.

We were warmly greeted on arrival by the club President Adrian Smith and the club Captain Alan Quinell.   The boys behind the bar, Chris and Tony, the girls in the kitchen, Jo, Amanda and Pauline, were ready and waiting  to see to all our needs.  Watering and feeding.  The chairs and tables outside, plus large umbrellas to give lots of shade, were up and quickly filled by the arriving Friends.

The Captains – Cyndy & Alan

At 2pm, Captain Alan and Captain for the day Cyndy, greeted the members of both clubs and read out the team sheets.  


Who’s won the spider??

There was a spider before the game with a prize for both the nearest lady and gent.  The Friends won both….   the home team had their revenge when it came to raffle prizes!

A large container of iced water, together with lots of plastic mugs, was placed in the shade so that the teams could keep well hydrated.  Oh boy – did we need it.   The heat was intense and I hope that nobody suffered heat stroke.  I can understand being advised not to go out in the sun between 12 and 3pm.  I can also understand why in hot countries they start at 7am and are off the greens by 11am.  They also have large umbrellas at either end.  If global warming continues we might have to follow suit.

From the laughter emanating across the greens you could tell that everyone was enjoying themselves.   After the match the fun and laughter continued into the club house.  We were at tables of six and I must say that it was the first time I have been in a room with more than three people since Covid 19 arrived.  It is such a lovely large room that I felt quite safe.  Lots of open doors and Captain Alan, bless him, put a large fan in front of our table.

It was the dream of one of the members, Mike Evans to build the club house; he did the drawings and it is such a shame that he never got to see the wonderful job that the project manager, Frank Ashurst together with the club members made of his dream.  There is a lovely stained glass wall (which unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of) with a door leading to the back entrance.

Jo, Amanda & Pauline

The girls served us with our lovely salads and a choice of strawberry or chocolate and nuts ice cream cones.  What a perfect meal on such a hot day.  The chocolate one was super nice.

Using the Stuart Lake accounting method – we drew 10 all.  The score was Long Crendon 109 – The Friends 82. 

Captain Alan then gave all the Friends rather lovely golden pens.  Captain Cyndy then announced the winners of both teams.  Mick, Kevin and Sandy for Long Crendon.  Diane, Sue and Adie for the Friends.  When I gave out the cards I did point out that it was a loaded rink.  So nice to be proven right.  To much laughter, wooden spoons were given to the two losing teams.

A memento of the lovey day we had spent with new and old friends at Long Crendon was then presented to Captain Alan.  Hopefully we will see it on the wall next time we visit the club.  The Friends have requested an invite to the longest serving member, Mick’s 90th birthday in 18 months time. 

Thank you to all at Long Crendon for a truly lovely day.  I am sure the club will go from strength to strength.  A freehold site, a magnificent club house and more importantly – wonderful members. 

DBE Ladies Day – 4th July


The new DBE Ladies Pairs Competition supported by “ Friends of English Bowling” took place at Charlbury BC.  The setting was wonderful, and the club could not have been more helpful to make the event a huge success.

Jeanette Maisey & Khalila Hussain with the winners salver

Players from all sections were represented with the Final consisting of a player with a visual impairment, a player with learning difficulties and 2 players with physical disabilities – just proving how diverse and accessible our sport is.  The eventual winners were Jeanette Maisey & Khalila Hussain who received the winners Salver from Club President Dave Cooper, accompanied by Bowls England SVP Terri Keen and Anna Molony on behalf of The Friends of English Bowling.

Runners up: Georgia Tucker & Denise Rowland.

Friends play Cambridge Park BC

Thursday 1st July 2021

What a pleasure it was to arrive at Cambridge Park and be welcomed by our host, Dawn Slaughter and the other members of Cambridge Park,  including Middx County Administrator Jacquie Elkin.  We were there to celebrate their Centenary this year but it was more than that; it was a celebration of meeting old friends, of being out on the green again, even of remembering the “joys” of travelling somewhere new with an obstinate satnav!

The Friends had travelled from 8 Counties including Beds, Berks, Bucks, Herts, Hants, Somerset, Surrey & Wilts and enjoyed a buffet with a difference on arrival.   All the rolls and sandwiches were individually wrapped in little brown paper bags on appropriately labelled trays with bowls of tomatoes and crisps.  Very novel and kept the bread and fillings fresh and only touched by the caterers.  Great idea and fortunately with the good weather and plenty of space became an outdoor picnic.

The Club has a 4 rink indoor facility built in 1967 (?) with an excellent bar area and good sized dining room and kitchen.  The old club house on the other side of the green, also very large inside, is rented to the local Bridge Club.  The grounds were full of trees and birds and it was difficult to remember that a busy London suburbs was just a short distance away.


After the welcome by Dawn the game was commenced with six full rinks – quite a novelty at the moment! The green rolled well with a good pace and soon the scores were being added to both sides.  Rinks 1 & 6 were like book ends with the Friends up on Rink 1 and heavily down on Rink 6.  Those on the rinks between were variously for or against.  It was so lovely to hear the banter, the groans, the apologies and to see the faces of people enjoying a good game of bowls.

Yum .. Tuna Pasta Salad for dinner


Afterwards we sat down in tables of 6 as per the current rules with the rink skips on 2 tables.  We were provided with an excellent meal by their Caterers who catered very ably for all variations of tastes and allergies.  Afterwards Dawn introduced the National President Paul Robson as well as the County Presidents in attendance; Babs Salter for Wilts and Charlotte Emanuel for Surrey.  I introduced some of the Friend’s Exec and reciprocated her thanks to her band of helpers for making the day such a success.  It was good to see 2019 BE Senior Male Bowler of the Year, David Pitt, at the meal although he couldn’t play in the match.  After giving out Top rink prizes to both sides I presented Dawn with a framed Certificate to commemorate Cambridge Park’s Centenary Celebration with the Friends of English Bowling.

The Result:  4 winning rinks for FoEB and 2 for Cambridge Park but the match score was in their favour by THREE shots.  123 – 126.   However I think we took away the most prizes in the excellent raffle!    Winning rinks:  FoEB:  Sue Sayers, Carolyn Hunt, Paul Robson, Adie Lloyd    Cambs Park: Tricia Green, Scot Lumine, Gym Brown, Steve Gibson

Marcia presenting The Friends Certificate to Dawn


Thank you to both the Friends for their support and to Cambridge Park members for making it a thoroughly enjoyable day.

Marcia Dunstone

Leamington Highlights 2019

Friends of English Bowling support many of the National Championships held at Leamington …    take a look at some of the valiant winners this year.    All the photographs below are kindly provided by Bob Saunders Photography


Surrey have retained the Johns Trophy after defeating Wiltshire in a repeat of the final from 12 months ago.

Surrey ladies celebrate their victory



Devon have secured their fourth Middleton Cup victory in five years after defeating Kent in the Final at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa this afternoon.

Good Work Devon !

In a repeat of the 2016 and 2017 finals, Devon defeated Kent, who haven’t won the title since 1993 – despite appearing in five finals since their success against Cumbria 26 years ago.



Congratulations to Devon’s Sophie and Sam Tolchard who won the Bowls England National Family Pairs competition, supported by the Friends of English Bowling.

The brother and sister duo from Kings BC defeated Northamptonshire brothers William and Jamie Walker (Northampton West End BC) in the final at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa.



Berkshire’s Peter Warne, Michael Blizzard, Bob Harris and Trevor Broad from Thatcham secured the Men’s National Senior Fours title, supported by the Friends of English Bowling.

Congratulations – Berkshire’s Senior Fours

They defeated Worcestershire’s Paul Kitchen, Richard Payne, Wayne White and Grant Burgess, from Chester Road in the final at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa.



Sophie Tolchard & Donna Rock


A thrilling victory for  Sophie Tolchard, in the  Womens Two Wood Singles at the National Championships in Royal Leamington Spa.









The Lincolnshire Team with The Walker Cup

Lincolnshire won the Walker Cup, after defeating Northamptonshire.  It is their third success in the competition, adding to previous victories in 1976 and 2000.



Buckinghamshire’s Dave Labrum and Malc Drage have retained the Mens National Senior Pairs Competition.  The 2017 champions defeated Herefordshire’s Martin Smith and Mark Atkins 22-15.

Buckinghamshire’s Malc Drage & Dave Labrum





Devon’s Sam Tolchard won Men’s National Champion of Champions Competition.   Sam defeated Middlesex’s David Pitt to claim the prestigious title for the second time – having previously secured the crown back in 2007.







Bedfordshire’s Dawn Grisley, Maz Fisher, Jenny Ralph and Jackie Bryant, from Potton BC, won the Women’s National Senior Fours Championship.  They defeated Sussex’s Rachel Mackriell, Mary Bray, Julia Fordham and Denise Hodd (Polegrove BC), Friday 23rd August.



Warwickshire won the Balcomb Trophy, to win the inter-county double rink crown, supported by the Friends of English Bowling, for the first time since 2014.  They defeated Essex, the 2017 winners, in a high quality final of the event that went down to the very last bowl of the match.



Neil Farnish in celebration mode

Buckinghamshire’s Neil Farnish won the Bowls England Men’s Senior Singles Competition, supported by the Friends of English Bowling.  He defeated Devon’s Stuart Evans in a thrilling final  25th August.

Farnish and Evans both progressed to the final after comprehensive victories in their semi-finals against Norfolk’s Peter Wilkinson and Somerset’s William Anderson respectively.



Wiltshire’s Lucy Smith and Mike Titcombe won the Bowls England National Mixed Pairs Competition.

The duo from Westlecot BC defeated Kent’s Sara Trotter and Dave Mason in the final.  Smith and Titcombe never looked back after winning eight of the opening 10 ends to surge into a 13-3 lead, eventually securing the title 24-8


A triumphant cheer from the Kings BC team – photo by Allen Simms


MENS TWO WOODS – 28th August

Herefordshire’s Shaun Jones has won the Men’s National Two-Wood Singles Championship, supported by the Friends of English Bowling.

The Ross-on-Wye BC bowler defeated Kent’s Tom Bishop, representing Bromley BC.    Congratulations Shaun!





A great day for the Northants Team

Northamptonshire have secured the Amy Rose Bowl for the first time after defeating Somerset.  It’s Northamptonshire’s first appearance in the final of the competition, which started in 2000, reaching that stage with victories over Lincolnshire Lionesses and a remarkable extra end defeat of Devon Belles.

In the final, Northamptonshire dominated from the start against rinks skipped by the experienced Laura Holden and Stef Branfield, securing a comprehensive 34-15 victory.



Surrey’s Harry Cushen, Jamie Tindall, Jon Wilson and Charlie Souter have won the 2019 White Rose Trophy.  They defeated Northamptonshire’s Danny Walker, Kieran Rollings, Nathan Betts and Connor Cinato.

The Surrey Swifts recorded earlier wins over Northumberland Geordie Boys and Northamptonshire Saints on their way to securing the title, with the Northamptonshire Cobblers defeating Hampshire Hogs and Wiltshire Moonrakers to reach the final.



The joyful team from Camberley BC

Surrey’s Camberley BC have won the 2019 Tony Allcock Trophy, supported by the Friends of English Bowling, defeating Box BC from Wiltshire 42-36.

Box were in control in the opening stages of the match with Nick Grenfell’s rink leading 15-2, before a remarkable run in the second half of the contest by Camberley’s David McCallum’s quartet to ensure a 21-21 draw.

It is the second time that Surrey has enjoyed success in the Tony Allcock Trophy after Supreme BC secured the inaugural event in 2011.


The triumphant ladies from Kings BC, Devon   –  photo provided by Allen Simms

Devon’s Kings BC have retained the Women’s Top Club title, after defeating Baldock Town from Hertfordshire in the final.

Sophie Tolchard sent Kings on their way with a 21-19 victory in the singles, recovering from a 3-16 deficit against Devon Cooper.  The senior international duo of Emma Cooper and Natalie Chestney also overhauled an early 3-12 scoreline in the pairs discipline to record a 23-13 success, whilst the Devonians also enjoyed victory in the triples for a 3-1 win.  Kings reached the final with a 3-1 victory over Buckinghamshire’s Gerrards Cross BC, while Baldock Town defeated three-time champions Wigton BC from Cumbria in the last four.

Baldock were competing in the final for the first time since 2003, whilst Kings enjoyed their third success in the event.



A triumphant cheer from the Kings BC team  –  photo provided by Allen Simms

Devon’s Kings BC won the Men’s Top Club title for the fourth successive year.  They defeated Buckinghamshire’s Gerrards Cross BC 4-1 in the final at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa.

Kings comprehensively defeated Bedfordshire’s Sandy Conservative BC, whilst Gerrards Cross reached the final for the first time since 2005 after securing a narrow victory over Huntingdonshire’s Warboys.

Friends v. Lockswood

Lockswood Bowls Club Special Celebratory Match

Lockswood and Friends ready for the match

We had a grey day weather-wise, but a far from grey day welcome.  Lockswood B C is a friendly club with an all-weather green,  in the south of Hampshire.  No excuses for not being up with your woods.

Greetings on the Green

We had a lovely welcome and a fresh, plentiful buffet lunch laid out for us.  Time arrived for the match and a big black spider, who, in this case, was not mobile having not ate his batteries,  was sat upon the jack.  After the spider it was bowls in the ditches time  for those not used to the surface, but our team soon settled down to a hard fought, enjoyable game.
What was this ? An oven breaking down?  Was there going to be a disaster?  No of course not.  Our after match meal was just going to take a little longer to come.   Good excuse to have the  speeches, presentations and raffle first.



President Pat Newman accepting Friend’s Certificate

The club’s president, Pat, welcomed us and presented top rink prizes and gave a present to our captain of the day Adie, who responded, thanking the club and giving out Kath’s preserves for top rink prizes.  Pat also donated the spider money to the Friends.  Thank you very much.

Well, was the meal worth waiting for?  It certainly was. The main course was hot and delicious chicken breast casserole with fresh vegetables,  followed by blackberry and apple crumble and ice-cream.   Then cheese and biscuits, and then coffee, tea and mints.   First class –  well done ladies indeed –  turning a near disaster into such a success.

Thank you  to all the club members who gave us such a great day for our last match of the year, and letting us win by 4 shots.  We hope you have a successful winter season.  Thank you to all our members, who supported us in this match and in all the other matches played this year, giving us such an enjoyable year  we shall all remember.

Thank you to the match reporters and photographers and our web master Carolyn.
We look forward to next year and to seeing you all again.

Kath Lloyd

Friends v. Bowls England President’s Team


A Happy Line-Up

Today the President of Bowls England, Hazel Marke, played her last outdoor game of the season against The Friends of English Bowling at her own club, Alton Social.  They were playing for the ‘Ian Woodcock Trophy’ a lovely glass claret jug, which was won last year by Bowls England.

Hazel passing over the coveted Trophy to Kay


As Hazel said at the start of her year she was looking for sun, fun and friendship all of which were in evidence today.  Overall the Friends won on four rinks but as usual Hazel tried to make it a draw without success with the Friends winning 133-114 with the top rink being Sue Sayers, Babs Salter, Mike Morris and Mike Skerry.

We are all now looking forward to the 2020 season.

Kay Kerley
Captain of the Day



Some snapshots of the day: