Category Archives: Friends Match Reports

Henlow Park BC – Game 13

Sunday 19th June
Henlow Park Bowls Club

Happy Henlow

Arriving at Henlow several bowlers from Bedfordshire had already played at other clubs in a local Bedfordshire Competition, so they were fully warmed up.  We were disappointed to learn that their President would not be in attendance as he and his wife had both caught Covid (it’s still about).  It was also a big disappointment for Bob Hirst, as he had been waiting 2 years for this game.  We were all looking forward to seeing him serving the drinks as he is now known as ‘Bob behind the Bar’.

As Bob their President was absent, as was their captain, it was Graham Jakes who took the responsibility of Captain of the Day for Henlow Park.  The game was played under a cloudy sky but there was plenty of laughter and chat across the rinks, as there always is at these games, and it stayed dry although it turned a little chilly towards the end of the game.

After the game we enjoyed a buffet style meal and cakes, proved by the lady members of the club, which included a lot of home baking.  It was all very nice and not much was left at the end.  There was also a home-baked celebration cake which I was invited to cut, and all bowlers were invited to take a slice home with them.

It was then time for speeches and we had players from 10 counties at this game including two BE Past Presidents.  The result of the game was 131 – 109 to Henlow Park.

The Friends’ top rink :  Barbara Carter (Bedfordshire), Sue Sayers (Herts), Jackie Bryant (Bedfordshire), Mike Bertrand (Bedfordshire)

Henlow Park’s top:  Brian Reynolds, Una Watts, Ian Bigley, Chris Hunt

A memento from FoEB presented to Captain Graham

Our memento Certificate was presented to Acting Captain Graham Jakes, and thanks given to all the catering staff, bar staff, and of course the green staff for a very good green to bowl on, and all other members who had helped to make it a great day.

Mike Bertrand
Captain for the Day
Friends of English Bowling

Potton BC – Game 12

Saturday 18th June   Potton Bowls Club

The weather wasn’t looking good when we arrived at Potton BC, but we were warmly greeted and provided with an excellent buffet, including cake.  It was a wonder we could still manage to bowl!

We began the game in drizzling rain, unfortunately, which lasted for the first 10 ends, however the sun eventually did make an attempt to appear.   The green was excellent, and a great game played, with a positive result for Friends.

It’s a good job we had worked up an appetite, as all sat down to a wonderful spread of chicken and chips, followed by a delicious dessert.  There was much laughter as players shared their anecdotes, and Mike Poole, the Friends captain of the day, and Gordon McCann, Potton’s Captain, gave their thanks and acknowledged all those who had contributed to making the day a success.   

The top rinks were awarded on both sides:   
Potton’s team –  D Butt, A White, L Wilson/Paul Mallock, Gordon McCann
Friends’ team  –  Lesley Summersgill, Lesley Brown, Allan Hunt, John Thompson.

Finally, Mike Poole, our Captain of the day, presented Captain Gordon McCann with a memento certificate to remember our visit. 

A great day, enjoyed by all.

Market Overton BC – Game 11

12th June 2022   The Friends of English Bowling v Market Overton BC

The teams all ready to play

The day started with a fresh breeze, but the Sun came out and it was a glorious afternoon.

We received a warm welcome on arrival and were treated to a wonderful meal after the match and given sustenance from the well-stocked bar.

The match, on four rinks, was played in the usual good spirit and after 21 ends we ended up on top with a close 87 – 72 win.

The top winning rink for the friends was Rink 2 with a score of 30 -16.  Lead – Lesley Summersgill, No 2 – Sue Skerry, No 3 – Trevor Dean, Skip – Adie Lloyd

The top winning rink for Market Overton was Rink 3 with a score of 26 – 11.  Lead – Bruce Acock, No 2 – Jeannine Hutton, No 3 – Johnny Abbott, Skip – Liz Dyer

Market Overton’s captain, who skipped for rink 3,  gave the excuse of being “sporting” by allowing the opposition to win!!.

The winner in the end was the game of bowls and everyone seemed to enjoy the day.

Clive Handscombe
Captain of the day

Oakham BC – Game 10

Saturday 11th June  –  Oakham Bowls Club

Oakham and Friends’ players looking forward to their game

The journey began in full sun, but approaching Rutland Water, and Oakham Bowls Club,  clouds were in abundance.  Fortunately the clouds produced only a few spots during the game and most of the time we played in sunshine, as it should be for an outside sport in Summer!

We were welcomed with tea and biscuits and introduced to Rutland’s Vice President Graham Cole and Captain Alan Jones.  Alan remembered the Friends visiting back in 2010 for their Centenary year.

When you see a bowl of sweets at the end of each rink you know that Pat Geary is playing

The game started with 3 rinks shooting off into a lead that reached 41 – 13 at 10 ends and a fourth rink also in front.  After that Oakham started to get back into the game which finished 105 – 110 win for Oakham with Friends winning on two rinks only.   We were all ready for the after match meal.

It was then time for speeches and I was able to tell them a little bit about the Friends achievements and our purpose in bowls.  We had players from 11 counties at this game,  including 5 from the Friends Committee and BE Immediate Past President Paul Robson.




The top rink for Friends :Barbara Battam  (Cambs), Richard Peyton (Cambs), Paul Robson (Hampshire), Jenny Ralph (Bedfordshire).  The Top rink from Oakham: Derek Bury, Mike Shalder, Gail Robertson, Denis Smith

You may notice that there is one missing face in the photos.  Richard Somerton was top rink Captain in the last three games but today he was highest losing rink.  I am sure he will be trying to get back on top in his next game.

I presented the Certificate of our visit to Graham and Alan and thanked all the catering staff, bar staff, green staff for a very good green to bowl on and all other members who had helped to make it a great day.

Finally all players stood and gave a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ to Mike Skerry a ‘Friend’ who was another year older although not as old as the club.

Mike Bertrand

Thrapston BC – Game 9

Sunday 5th June   Thrapston Bowls Club

The journey up was a little wet and we wondered if we would be able to play at all; fortunately, it stopped, and we were able to play a full game.   We were here today to acknowledge one of Thrapston long-standing members, Terry James – he didn’t have a clue that’s why we were there.

all ready to play

The game was very close all the way through with only a couple of shots in it, but the final win went to Thrapston 113-95.  

Rink 1 was 1 up going into to the last end and dropped 3.  19-21
Rink 2 was 2 down going into the last end and picked up 1.  15-16 The rink skipped by Marcia made a tremendous come back as at 16 ends they were 7-16 down.
Rinks 3 level going into the last end and dropped 2.  18-20
Rink 4 were 6 down on the 20th end and dropped 3 on the last end. 13-22
Rink 5 were 6 down going into the last end and picked up 1 on the last end 15-20
Rink 6 were well up 14-7 until they dropped 7 shots on the last 3 ends15-14.  This was our only winning rink well done Keith Thomas, David Rutt, Trish Scholey and skip Richard Somerton.

Terry James

We came off the green to a lovely tea of Fish and Chips.  Terry James was overcome with emotion when I told the gathering that he was the reason we were all there.  Terry started bowling in his twenties, and he is now 88 years old and still bowling.  He was an International trialist 3 times, won 3 National titles. His county honours are outstanding he won the County Fours for the first time in 1975, and out of 23 County Competitions he has only lost 5.  Terry has also won many club titles.  It was great to see him on the green bowling today.

Thanks to the Thrapston Committee and members for a lovely afternoon and special thanks to the greenkeepers, the green bowled well.

Jenny Ralph






Abington BC – Game 8

Saturday 4th June   Abington Bowls Club

Weatherwise when we turned up at this club in Northampton, it did not look good.  It was trying to rain, and the sky was thick with clouds.  However, we were made very welcome, and a buffet was prepared for our arrival.

prepared for a wet game

The game started on time and after 6 ends the weather had improved.  At 10 ends we went inside for tea and cake with the score 44-47 down but winning on three rinks.  Out we went again to continue the game, which ended with a win to Abington 123- 107, but Friends still managed a win on three rinks.

There was plenty of banter and laughter from all rinks and I felt everyone was enjoying themselves.

Richard Somerton’s rink came in at 10 ends 14-4 up, but only won by 6 shots at the finish – thanks to 5 shots on the last end.  John Thompson‘s rink had only been 7-13 down at 10 ends but ended up 15-33 down.  I think there must have been something in the tea.

By the time we were sat with our after-match dinner the sun was shining.

Speeches were made by Abington’s Saturday Captain, Phil Reeve, their President Jonathan Brown, and myself, producing more laughter and hilarity.

Finally it was time to leave, with some players looking forward to returning later in the season with Bowls England.

Michael Bertrand

Buntingford BC – Game 7

Thursday 2nd June   Buntingford Bowls Club

Playing at Buntingford to celebrate their Century was the Friends’ third game of the week in Hertfordshire and Buntingford’s first of their many celebration games this year.  We, apparently, were the “guinea pigs”!  In my opinion it was right first time and there is nothing to fix!

Parking is always a problem for the Buntingford club but a team wearing high viz jackets soon had us parked as we arrived, they included Matthew one of their youngest members whose jacket was almost touching the ground.  A very pleasant Lunch was available and fortunately I found someone to share the very generous plate of GF sandwiches provided for me. 

The teams line up for the photo opportunity

We were warmly welcomed by President Mark Plume, rinks were announced, and after a Spider the game commenced.  The weight was a bit of a challenge for me but fortunately the rest of my team were more than capable, and we eventually came out with a win.  Other rinks also started off slowly but apart from one rink they also finished up with a win.  Top Rink for the Friends was Doris Wellstead, Ann Perry, Peter Cottee and Richard Somerton.  Buntingford’s Winning rink was Howard, Paul J, Zony & Brian B (apologies for not getting full names).

When not concentrating on the game there was the pleasant distraction of the Topiary; hedges have been transformed into the seven dwarfs and other figures.  My speculation on which club members had modelled for Adam & Eve with the Serpent was fortunately cut short when it was my turn to play!  The members are invited to “adopt a dwarf” and then care for its pruning and maintenance.  The beautiful roses and clever Topiary are a special and lasting memory of our visit to Buntingford. 

An excellent 3 course after match meal was provided by Roxy and her team and Zony the Bar Manager’s team of Ray Watkins & Greg Amos kept everyone suitably hydrated throughout the day.  The Loyal Toast proposed by Club Captain Debbie Mark was heartily endorsed by everyone on this special day; the Platinum Anniversary for our Patron, The Queen.

The two captains – Marcia and Mark

Mark welcomed our Chair, Kath and BE Immediate Past President Paul, as well as PP Adie in his speech and mentioned that one of our players was a past member.  Spencer Kerley and his wife Kay, first started playing nearly 30 years ago at Buntingford.  Spencer had already checked that his name was still on the boards in the men’s changing room!  Mark went on to give a very interesting short History of the club. 
I introduced other Exec members in attendance and gave some information about Friends for the home side.  Players from 10 counties made up our team and each county name was appropriately cheered when announced. (Beds, The Royal County of Berks, Cambs , Cornwall, Hants, Herts, Kent, Norfolk, Oxon and Wilts.).    I was delighted to accept a gift of a bowling themed paperweight (already front and centre in my collection) and to receive the History of the Club written and compiled by Mark and in turn I presented him with the Framed Certificate marking our visit.

We ended with the Raffle and some of us wondered if any tickets other than the visitors’ table had been put in the tub.

Thank you to both the Friends for their support and to Buntingford members for making it a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable day in the sunshine.

Marcia Dunstone

Hoddesdon BC – Game 6

Wednesday 1st June  –  Hoddesdon (Rosehill) Bowls Club

On a sunny cloudy day we gathered at Hoddesdon Bowls Club, just in Greater London, at the top of a small hill going into large trees and houses being built.  Where are they not building houses nowadays?

As usual we were all hungry when we arrived; it is something to do with not preparing the food yourself, so we took advantage of fresh sandwiches on sale with plenty of tea and coffee.

Are we on tour?” Well sort of.  We are around the area to celebrate a hundredth anniversary of another club.

Did we come by coach?”  No we came by car, sometimes sharing, sometimes stopping in the area or only coming for the day.  The same or different people each day.  All with one thought in their mind, which is to  have a good day out with old friends and make new friends.

Action on the Green

The laughter and rivalry on green was as required and it did not rain.  The home team were very friendly to the Friends and we won the match.  We had a lovely hot meal after on really hot plates(a treat) – definitely not a lot left over.  Lemon tart and blueberries for afters, very nice.

Captain Ray welcomed us to the club and thanked his members for their hard work on a special day.  Our Captain of the Day, Adie, thanked the club secretary, the members in the kitchen for preparing such appetizing food, the barmen and the green keepers who we  cannot manage without.  Top rink prizes of home made preserves were awarded and photos taken.

Thank you Hoddesdon (Rosehill) Bowls Club for a Grand Day out.  Did we hear that you would like us to come again? If so, we have achieved our goal to pass on our enjoyment of friends and bowls to a deserving club.