The team from Fordham with the Friends
On Wednesday May 23rd the ‘Friends’ set off from as far away as Somerset for our first game of the year against Fordham B.C. in Cambridgeshire. Ten counties were represented. Also present were three past England Presidents, as well as the current Senior Vice President.
On arrival we were greeted by the ladies in the kitchen with a very welcome cup of tea.
Some of us then went outside in the sunshine and watched Malcolm (Jack of all trades) having a fight with the flag pole. He did win in the end and both flags flew over the green.
After a buffet lunch we exited the lovely clubhouse and were warmly welcomed on the green (which looked magnificent and played very well) by the Chairman of the club and Captain of the Day, Tony Carlton.
Lots of laughter filled the green and the scores went up and down – but, sad to say, in the end we lost by 12 shots.
After a delicious supper the winning rinks were announced and prizes awarded. John Thompson, Captain of the Day for the ‘Friends’ made a very amusing speech and at great expense gave his winners a lolly-pop each (appropriated from Little Chef) and a bag of jelly babies (to keep up their strength for the game tomorrow).
John then presented the club with a certificate to commemorate our visit.
Our grateful thanks go to Fordham B.C. and all its members for a most enjoyable day. We hope you had as much fun as we did.
These days do not just happen – a lot of planning goes into them. So once again a big thank-you.
President Monica toasting the visitors
We had the pleasure of meeting the President of the club Mrs Monica Nelson. This lovely lady has been President since 2010 and is 97 years young. Monica has been told that we all expect an invitation to her 100th birthday bash.
Monday 28th July 2014
Friends from many counties met at Thame BC as part of their 90th Anniversary Celebrations this year.
After a pleasant lunch prepared by club members, Captain of the Day, Marcia Pearce and the FoEB team were warmly welcomed on the green by Club President Hazel Westcott and Men’s Captain Vic Brooks.
Once the teams were announced the players made their way to the rinks and introduced themselves. It wasn’t long before the usual banter between bowlers started and sounds of laughter heard. Both sides seemed to be enjoying themselves and the scores for both on all 6 rinks were very close. However as the game progressed the Friends started to get ahead on 2 rinks and in spite of a spirited comeback by Thame bowlers on the Captains’ rink the Friends side skipped by Martin Salter kept ahead. Not by enough however to get Top Rink. This was awarded to Graham Rogers from Berks, Carolyn Hunt, Ray Keen (Bucks County President) & skipped by Kay Kerley (2004 EWBA President). The result of the match was a win for the Friends (135-102).
After a few spats of rain before the game started the threatening clouds retreated and the sun appeared through the clouds. After the end of the game we adjourned to the 22nd End. Adie & Kath Lloyd arrived to cheers before a most enjoyable meal was served by the club members.
Men’s Captain kept us amused with his speech as well as sharing their plans for the future. He gave a gift to each of the FoEB players as a memento of the day. Marcia responded with thanks to all the club for their hospitality, gave top rink prizes for both sides and small gifts to the kitchen workers, followed by a presentation to Captain Vic of a Framed Certificate from FoEB as a reminder of our visit. We look forward to being invited again when they get their new clubhouse..
Friends v. Thame – the two teams celebrating 90 years of bowling
The ladies who fed us so well
Friends enjoying their lunch at Thame
The bar staff at work
Wednesday 23rd July 2014
The day started as it meant to continue, very hot, a few clouds and high humidity. We were met by a very nice gentleman in the car park who showed us where to leave the cars. He had spent the morning preparing the green, which looked and played beautifully.
We were greeted with cups of tea on arrival. Very welcome when you have travelled a long way. There were players from eleven counties playing for the Friends.
We had an excellent buffet lunch prepared by Janet and her helpers. Including some wonderful, home-made, cup-cakes.
Norman (the greenkeeper and car park attendant) was now dressed in his blazer and chain of office as the club President. He handed over the green and then rushed off and changed as he was to become our sub (one of our players did not show). A man of many talents.
The game was full of fun and laughter could be heard on all the rinks. We played a full game and when it finished we were all ready to go inside for a sit down and a cooling off.
We sat down to a five star meal, once again prepared by Janet and her helpers. Presents were exchanged, top rinks given prizes and amusing speeches given by both sides.
So ended a wonderful day, celebrating the centenary of the Buckinghamshire Bowls Association, with lovely people at a superb venue, which was greatly enjoyed by all. What a shame we lost by 5 shots.
Tuesday 24th June 2014
The ‘Leicester Mercury’ reported on 9th July 2014, ‘Barlestone celebrated their 25th
anniversary with a match against the Friends of Bowls England, captained by Tony Allcock.
Former indoor and outdoor world bowls champion Allcock, from Thurmaston, captained a
team of mixed men and women. The visitors won by three shots in a close game.’
It was an honour to Captain the Friends and to play my opening match of the season (after 8
months) on this occasion. The club had just celebrated its 25th anniversary and as I had left
Leicestershire before the club was formed I had never visited before. There was however, a
quirky experience – although I had never been to Barlestone Club, I had actually played on the
green before!!! The turf was from the former St Margaret’s BC in Leicester and removed in
1968. A former club where both my Mother and Father along with their son, a curly haired
blonde teenager had played many matches!
The sun shone, the club were fantastic in their hospitality and to win the prize for the highest
winning rink was a bonus (thank you the other three players in the rink for doing this!!!)
12th June 2014
We had a wonderful day at BTBC. The weather was first class and also the hospitality we received from the Members.
Tom Matthews from Essex did not arrive, but telephoned to say he was stuck on the M11 in 9 miles of traffic caused by a bus that was gutted by fire. As he did not clear the jam until after our match had started he abandoned his journey to Biggleswade. Fortunately the Club’s President Jean Cooper was free to play for us and slipped into my rink as three and I moved to skip.
An excellent luncheon was provided for all the visitors and a three course after match meal. The contractor maintained green was good and ran well. The Friends won by 16 shots – 127 for 111 against. Pens were presented to the 24 BBC players.
After the meal, Jean Cooper the BTBC President presented the history of the Club following which Dave Perryman covered the match result. I then thanked the Club for inviting ‘The Friends’, explained that I was also celebrating my 60th anniversary of starting my working life in Biggleswade. I gave my memories of Biggleswade in 1954 when I started my Banking career at Lloyds Bank Biggleswade and my mother and father’s involvement in Bedfordshire bowls.
A Draw followed with the proceeds going to the local hospice.
Tuesday 3rd June 2014
at North Wilts B.C.
Friends travelled to North Wilts B.C. for a match to celebrate the Wiltshire County 100th Anniversary.
After a very nice lunch a friendly and competitive match was played on a day mixing sunshine and drizzle with the Friends eventually winning a close match.
County President Dave Richards welcomed all the Friends and presented them with an 100th Anniversary booklet on the history of the County. He then presented a 100th Anniversary plaque to the captain of the Friends.
Friends Captain of the day Geoff Hunt thanked the President and the Club for their generous hospitality and congratulated the caterers for a wonderful meal. He then related two separate versions of ‘ The Moonrakers Story ‘ which he had taken from the Wiltshire History of the County.
He related that the match was unique in that there was a Wiltshire man President of Bowls England and the match was being played at his own club to celebrate the Wiltshire Centenary. He later presented the Anniversary plaque to President Adie Lloyd to hang in the club.
Thursday 19th September 2013
Both teams made their way to Kidlington on a wet cold day. Summer seemed to have deserted us. Kidlington Bowls Club made us all welcome with a set ham salad lunch provided by the Vice presidents.
All the players went out in warm and waterproof kit to find the afternoon slowly turning into a sunny day and a pleasure to be bowling. Some say it was a draw, because each side won three rinks, but the Friends had more shots so we counted it as a win.
The club produced a roast beef meal, followed by chocolate gateau and cheese and biscuits after the match. No chance of going home hungry. Adie Lloyd and John O’Shea gave short speeches and gave out presents, and a raffle concluded a day of celebration for the Oxfordshire VP’s Fiftieth Anniversary. Best wishes for the next fifty years.
Thank you Kidlington BC for the use of your club and your hard work.
This was the Friends last match of the season. Thank you everybody for your support and your infectious enjoyment. Winter well.