Category Archives: 2017

Friends v Weobley B.C.

The Friends and the Weobley B.C. members enjoying the game

As we arrived at Weobley it started to rain.  The club members were out on the green, clearing leaves from the ditches, after heavy overnight rain and high winds.

This did not deter from the warm welcome we received from President Judy and Captain Tony.  Tea and coffee with an excellent buffet lunch, was also there for all to enjoy.

When we came out to play the game, the sun was shining and so it remained throughout the game.

I am sure from the noise coming from the rinks that everyone was enjoying themselves.

The Friends were successful by a few shots.

When we retired to the club house we had a wonderful roast meal and also a piece of the 70th Anniversary cake.

The beautiful celebration cake

Adie helping to cut the cake












Well done Weobley for being such excellent hosts.  the Friends wish you every success for the future.

Club President Judy receiving a memento of the day




Friends v Bowls England at Broadway B.C.

Friends of English Bowling v Bowls England. Tuesday September 12th 2017. 

The Annual ‘Friends’ v Bowls England Match (Captained by President Viv), took place on a sunny autumnal day at Broadway Bowling Club situated in the beautiful Cotswold Village after which the club is named. 

I believe this club is unique as it is the only club to my knowledge which is approached by driving through a Hunt  stables before arriving at the club car park! The scenery surrounding the green leaves visitors under no illusion that the Cotswolds is one of England’s prized  jewels. 

The club, approaching its centenary in 2019,  warmly welcomed everyone and it was clear from the outset that the green would be a joy to play on; and it was! The ‘Friends’ won the match by three shots and once again retained  the perpetual ‘Ian Woodcock Memorial’ Claret Jug. 

Several non playing visitors enjoyed the shops and tourist attractions of this quintessential village and I suspect that they  were several £’s lighter on their return to the bowling club!

Our hosts entertained us all  to a much welcomed snack lunch on arrival and afterwards served a super three course hot meal for the assembled company. 

The day was a most enjoyable one and I was delighted to Captain ‘The Friends ‘ at Broadway which is where I once lived and was once a club member some 20 years ago. During this short period I enjoyed several games with my late Father on this beautiful green and where a BBC documentary was filmed after I won  the World Singles for the first time. 

Everyone enjoyed their day in Broadway and the friendly match and the fabulous atmosphere which prevailed  is indicative of what our sport is all about! 

Tony Allcock MBE 

Friends v Watlington Bowls Club

Watlington B.C. and the Friends line up before the game

On Thursday September 7th The Friends from nine counties travelled to Oxfordshire to play at Watlington B.C. to help them celebrate 80 glorious years.

The weather looked a bit grim but luckily the rain stayed away.

Margaret and George

Wendy and Gail









Margaret and George were on hand to see to our thirsty needs and Wendy and Gail looked after our appetites. We were greeted on arrival with cups of tea and shortly afterwards the delicious buffet lunch was served.  Gail having carefully catered for all us difficult people.  Thank you Gail – it was really appreciated.

President Bob Gilkes met us all at the door as we arrived and made us very welcome and thanked us all for coming to join in the festivities.

It was wonderful to see Bob and his wife Nina up and about after their horrific car accident and we wish them a speedy recovery and hope to see Bob back on the green shortly.  It was also lovely to see all the family pulling together to make this a very happy event.  Gail taking over from Nina and doing the catering on this occasion.

Steve, Gail, Nina and Bob- the Gilkes family

At 1.20 we left the club and went on to the green where Bob made a welcome speech and then handed the green over to Captain David Byers and Adie to read out the cards.

Captain David Byers, Adie and Bob sharing a laugh before calling the teams

And that is how the afternoon carried on with lots of laughter across the six rinks.  It was a close game but unfortunately The Friends lost by 12 shots.  Age being no barrier to winning.  Ron 90, Henry 89 and Gerry 87 being three of the men in the Watlington team.  The green played very well so our thanks go to Henry Franklin for doing such a splendid job.

Following the game a meal was served in the club house and then Bob gave an amusing speech which had us all laughing.  It was Henry’s 89th birthday and we all sang Happy Birthday to him.  Playing against him was Neil Fletcher from the friends who was also celebrating a birthday (but not his 89th).

Adie then replied and told the gathering a little bit about The Friends and all the fun we have whilst contributing to the sport we all love.

Captain of the Day Adie presenting President Bob with a memento of the the day

Top rink prizes were then given out and then the raffle took place.  A bit of a mix up to start as someone had not programmed the machine and it only went up to ten.  This became apparent after four goes and then it was rectified amid lots more laughter.

We all had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed our day helping the club celebrate their 80th Anniversary.  Thank you once again for inviting us.




Friends v Chandos Park B.C.

Chandos Park Bowls Club line up with the Friends before the game

It was a pleasure to be invited to Chandos Park BC in Buckingham to celebrate their 50th Anniversary.  The Friends travelling from 7 Counties (including Beds, Berks, Bucks, Herts, Lincs, Northants, & Wilts) were warmly welcomed with a lavish buffet prepared by Club members; Carolyn, Anne & Jan, with Cheryl serving refreshments from the bar.

Jan, Carolyn and Anne who gave up their day of bowling to look after us all

We were welcomed onto the green by Chairman Andy Hunt and the game commenced.  The dark rain clouds dispersed somewhat and we played the match in comfortable temperatures although not troubled by the sun!

Throughout the majority of the game the home side were well in the lead however in the last few ends the Friends staged a late run and managed to scrape a 1 shot win.  When the scores were announced in the after meal speeches there was a buzz around the room as players claimed their own particularly good shot as the reason for the win!  Top rinks were awarded for both sides and by co-incidence the cards showed identical scores of 22-17.  Adie Lloyd, Sue Moodey, Ray Keen and Phil Havord for the Friends and John Castle, Nick Aldren, Cyndy Lee & a ringer by the name of Michael Jennings for the home side.  Everyone was thanked for their contribution towards a successful day.  Match Officer Marcia Dunstone presented a Framed Certificate to Andy in commemoration of the occasion.  Bucks County President and club member Margaret Langley Roberts had plied us with tickets and proceedings ended with the Raffle being drawn.

Captain of the Day Marcia presenting Captain Andy with a memento of the day

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

Friends v Hagbourne Bowls Club

The teams from Hagbourne Bowls Club and the Friends line up before the game

On Tuesday September 5th, players from twelve counties drove down to play at Hagbourne Bowls Club.

Martin serving Trish from the Friends with a welcome drink

Captain Paul greeted us and then went off to ferry players and bowls bags from the village hall to the green.

The wonderful ladies in the kitchen – Hazel, Helen and Sarah

The buffet table was groaning under the weight of all the food.  This was due to the above ladies.  The cakes were absolutely delicious.  It all looked so good that Ray Keen on arrival could not wait for lunch to be called but dug in filling up his plate.

After feeding our faces we all went out onto the green where Captain Paul officially greeted us.

Captain Paul waiting for the players to arrive so that he can call out the teams

The green, thanks to Paul and his helpers, looked very good.  It was a little heavy to start with but soon speeded up after a few ends.

The weather was quite nice to start with, sunshine and a little cloud and everyone was in their shirt sleeves – shortly afterwards the big black clouds arrived and the rain came down.  A mad rush was made to grab the wet weather gear but by the time we all came back onto the rink it had stopped.  Typical English Summer day.

Laughter could be heard over the six rinks and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.  Despite losing on four rinks – we still had fun.

After the match – we lost – heavily, we had a delicious three course supper.

Paul then thanked us all for coming to help celebrate the club’s 80th Anniversary and informed us that his father and grandfather were founder members.  He has only been a member for 40 years.

Captain of the Day Cyndy then thanked the club for inviting us and awarded prizes to the winning rinks from each side.  She also handed out wooden spoons to the losing Friends team.

These days do not just happen and a great deal of organization goes into them.  So thank you Hagbourne for giving us a lovely day to remember.

Captain of The Day Cyndy presenting a memento of the day to President Hazel

Friends v Bowls England Select Team

Following the Friends AGM on Thursday 31st August held in the Naval Club  at  Leamington  Spa we all moved across to the bowling greens.

The weather looked a little uncertain at the start but settled down to be a very pleasant and warm afternoon.

We had been allocated greens C and D for the annual game against a team from B.E. and it turned into a very competitive and friendly match many playing against colleagues from their own County.

The Rinks representing B.E. were dominant on C green while the Friends held the upper hand on D green so the overall result was in doubt throughout.

When the match finished we picked up our bowls bags and wound our way back to the Naval Club for what was a sumptuous buffet meal.

As the Friends were the ‘ home team ‘ this year Captain of the Day Geoff Hunt addressed the gathering on behalf of both teams.

He thanked Lynn on behalf of the Naval Club and all the catering staff for the wonderful meal and on behalf of President Viv for the presentation of the Flag.

He confirmed how popular this match always is and how everyone finds it a most enjoyable and friendly game to play.

Geoff then confirmed how close the result of the match had been, 477 shots had been scored overall in the game with the Friends 235 to 242 by B.E  a difference of only 7 shots.

He felt that it would be fair to claim a draw as B.E. had won on C green 103 – 131 and Friends on D green 132 – 111.

President  Viv  and Geoff then presented highest winning rink prizes to both B.E. and Friends rinks from both greens.

After President Viv had given permission for the Flag Bearer to retrieve the Flag the evening came to an end.

It had been a long but very pleasant and enjoyable day.



Friends v President’s Ladies Team

On August 10th bowls lovers from all over England met at Leamington for the Nationals and the first of our two games took place.

The game was played in a good spirit with Bowls England winning by 12 shots.

This was followed by an excellent meal at the Naval Club where a raffle was held which made a profit in excess of £500.

The winning rink for the Friends was Diane Lee, Graham Annetts, Janet Farnsworth and Pam Lambshead.

Friends v Worcester Bowls Club

The Friends and Worcester Bowls Club – still friends after the game

On Wednesday 2nd August  The Friends had the  honour to visit Worcester B.C. to help them celebrate their 150th Anniversary.

As the players arrived at the club the weather was not kind and it was drizzling with rain and not very warm.

After a nice lunch the teams took to the green carrying waterproofs but in the event these were not necessary and it turned into a very pleasant afternoon.

It was a very competitive and friendly match with close games across most rinks with the green playing well.  The Friends just shaded the final result but it was later agreed to call the match a draw as it ended 3 rinks each.

Sheila and Jan – the smiley ladies who provided us with a buffet lunch and supper

After another pleasant meal and with President Ian Hunt coping with the bar, Club Captain Arthur Jackson welcomed The Friends team and explained more about the celebrations that had already taken place. He introduced members of the club including wife Jan Jackson dealing with the catering and presented Rink winners with a towel celebrating the Anniversary.

In reply Friends Captain for the day Geoff Hunt confirmed the honour to bring a team for the celebration. It was a remarkable achievement 150 years, founded 1867, when Queen Victoria still had 34 yrs of her Reign outstanding.

He tried to imagine back to those days and all the old photographs we had seen of gentlemen wearing winged collars and bowler hats, But we had to remember that they were the champions of their day and their names were on the Winners Boards.

He reminisced that Worcester B.C were one of the 6 clubs who founded Worcestershire County Association in 1930 when the club was already 63 yrs old. The Inaugural Meeting had been held at Worcester B. C at this ground in the old pavilion which had been on the other side of the green.

He then explained a little about the history of The Friends and introduced the 5 Committee members at the game and that players had travelled from 11 different counties to be present.

He thanked the Catering and Bar for the Day and finally presented Captain Arthur with a framed Certificate celebrating the day.

Captain Arthur, Captain of the Day Geoff and President Ian

We all then departed for home after a very successful day, just as the rain began to fall.

Three old friends who insisted on having their picture taken and added to the report