Category Archives: Friends Match Reports

Belated Celebrations at Lockswood BC

Friends v Lockswood BC celebrating their ( delayed from 2020) 30th Anniversary.

The teams were welcomed to the green by club President Walter on a pleasant September afternoon. Those Friends who had visited Lockswood before were aware that the carpeted surface presented an interesting challenge and they were not disappointed!

The Friends have not been victorious on previous visits, and, although we were slightly ahead for much of the game, a late surge saw our hosts again sneak home by five shots, 116-111, extending their winning run over the Friends to three.


the obligatory pre-match line up

Welcome by Club President Walter, Hampshire President Neil Fletcher & Graham Annetts, Captain of the day for Friends

Heroes of the day were Sue Skerry, Margaret Annetts, Paul Robson and Clive Handscombe, who received a small reward for their efforts in winning 26-6.

Those who were the least successful received a much needed Boost chocolate bar to encourage them!

most important – Peter the Barman

After the match we were treated to an excellent meal in the clubhouse and the Friends gained revenge by comprehensively winning the raffle, one Friends household gaining both a tub of Heroes and one of Celebrations ready for the journey home.

Lockswood did us proud and I am sure everyone had an enjoyable afternoon.

Graham Annetts

Bishops Stortford BC hosts Hertfordshire Bowls Centenary Game

Thursday 29th July

The teams line up pre-match. There’s a few clouds lurking… fingers crossed

Bishops Stortford Bowls Club hosted the game on behalf of Hertfordshire Bowls centenary; we were given a warm welcome at the entrance by Dave Chandler, President of Bishops Stortford Bowls Club.  A lot of our players had never been to the new Bishops Stortford Bowls Club which opened in 2007, and were in awe of their facilities which includes an all-weather green.  Hertfordshire Bowls hold their County Finals here.

Deb and David serving behind the bar who will be celebrating their Golden Wedding on 31st July

The afternoon started with a superb buffet and of course the bar was open, I was surprised after that lunch that anyone was able to bowls.

Hertfordshire Bowls had many of their Past Presidents playing, going back to the year 2004.  Unfortunately the presence of Don Knight was missing as his car broke down en route, he was President in 1999.  Mike Poole and Graham Marriner were playing for Hertfordshire and both of these esteemed gentlemen are holders of the Certificate of Merit.


The Friends of English Bowling had players from 11 Counties playing and this included Marcia Dunstone a Past President of Bowls England and Hertfordshire Bowls, plus Adie Lloyd a Past President of Bowls England.

President of Herts, Terry Barker welcoming Jenny Ralph

Hertfordshire President Terry Barker welcomed us onto the green and the game commenced.  I don’t know what they put in our lunch but our rinks struggled against a very strong Hertfordshire team.  We had a top rink of  Dawn Grisley, Eileen Taylor, Peter Cottee and Mike Bertrand who won by 1 shot, we  had a rink that drew – they were the highest winning rink with 3 ends to go and then lost the plot!  the players were Maddie McConomy, Richard Peyton, myself and skip Mike Skerry.  The overall score was 93-140.  Listening to the banter and comradeship on the rinks, I know everyone enjoyed their game.

Hilary, far right, & her trusty helpers







Thank you Hilary Chandler (Past President of Hertfordshire) and her band of helpers for a wonderful meal after the game.

The all-important presentation of the Friends memento certificate.

After the formal speeches and top rink prizes that were handed out by Terry and Jenny, Graham Searle got his fine book out; not only did he fine the Hertfordshire players he included some from the Friends, the money raised was for the Presidents  charity.

At the end of the proceedings Terry donated a large bottle of Brandy for auction which raised £165 also for the Presidents charity; you will never guess who won the Brandy… lets just say Terry won’t have to supply a bottle for the next auction.


Elvis, serenading the ladies

A lot of you missed the final ending to a brilliant day when Don Fox (alias Elvis Presley) sang to 4 of our lady players on the veranda.

Thank you everyone for a wonderful day which was enjoyed by everyone.

Jenny Ralph






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

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