Category Archives: 2017

Friends v Royston B.C.

On July 27th the players from Royston B.C and the Friends line up before the game

The Friends had been invited to Royston to celebrate the club’s 90th Anniversary combined with New Clubhouse and Green.  The clubhouse was to be envied with spacious changing rooms, a large well lit dining room with enough round tables to comfortably seat 6 rinks as well as many guests.   The kitchen was equally large and well equipped with a wide serving area.  The dining room was balanced at the opposite end by a good sized bar.  The clubhouse has been well designed and hopefully will be well used for the next 90 years.  Those who have been visitors in the past to Royston must have been pleased to see that they had retained the comfortable conservatory and viewing area overlooking the green.

After photographs, spider for the Captain’s Charity and introductions by Club Captain Don Sheriff and Friends’ Captain Marcia Dunstone the full game with trial ends etc commenced.  The green looked immaculate and bowled very well.  Too well for the home side and by the end the Friends were down on every rink.  Top rink for the Friends ie the rink with the least loss was Ray Keen, Sue Skerry, Maddie McConomy & Keith Thomas.  Top rink for the hosts was a tie between 2 rinks and decided by ends won.  Club Captain Don and Club President Keith were in the winning rink.  A donated bottle of whisky for the Spider was presented to Margaret Morris from Oxfordshire

Margaret, Eileen,Eunice and Yvonne. The ladies who made us the most wonderful buffet lunch and after match meal

Our devastating loss by 43 shots (94-137) was somewhat mollified by the excellent meals provided by our hosts before and after the game.

Royston has its fair share of good players both past and present. The Friend’s Captain Marcia  congratulated those players who had reached the National Finals this year and also their Junior International Rachel Tremlett who had just returned from a very successful win for England in the Junior Women’s International Series held in Londonderry/Derry.  The Friends not to be left out had 2 county finalists at Leamington with Diane Lee for Bedfordshire and Terri Keen for Buckinghamshire.

The formal proceedings ended with fines for various misdemeanours, the raffle and a short auction of a bottle of whisky, all in aid of the President’s Charity.

For this most enjoyable day The Friends had travelled from 11 counties as far afield as Yorkshire, Wiltshire and Kent and hopefully returned safely home

President Keith, Captain of the Day Marcia and Captain Don

Friends v Stevenage Town B.C.

Stevenage Town and the Friends line up before the start of the match

On Wednesday July 26th, the Friends from nine different counties, made their way to Stevenage Town B.C. to help celebrate their 75th Anniversary.

We were greeted by two lovely ladies, Nancy and Mabel, who kept us supplied with tea, coffee and biscuits throughout the day.  From the first arrival at 11.30 until the end of the proceedings at 6.30.

At 12.30 the buffet was declared open and the Friends filled their plates with quiche, salads, sandwiches and other delights.

After lunch we made our way onto the green to be officially welcomed by the club President Terry Stout.

Captain Keith Greenough and Captain of the Day Cyndy Lee read out the teams and play commenced.

Mike Cavill, who skipped the top rink, receiving the score card before the game.

The weather forecast was pretty horrid and we took all the wet weather gear on to the green with us.  Someone up there must like us because it was not too bad.  A couple of light showers which did not affect the game and the fun.

At ten ends it was a draw – but we played better in the second half and eventually won by 23 shots.  Well done to all.  The six rinks were very close and the final result could have gone either way.

After the match we sat down to a magnificent four course meal prepared and served by the same ladies who provided the buffet.  Ladies Captain Sue, her sister Vicky and daughter Leanne.

Leanne, Ladies Captain Sue and Vicky who did an amazing catering job

After the meal President Terry thanked us for coming and invited us to come back next year.  I hope we can as the Friends all had a fabulous time.  Wonderful company, great food and good competitive bowling with lots of laughter all round.  These days do not just happen.  A lot of time and trouble goes into arranging these celebration matches and the Friends really do appreciate it.

President Terry  being handed a memento of the day

There was a lovely final surprise when Captain Keith handed a generous donation to swell the Friends coffers.  Many thanks to Stevenage Town B.C. for this special day.



Friends v Alton Social B.C.

The brave teams line up for a photo in the rain

On Sunday 23rd July, on a damp Sunday lunchtime, the Friends team arrived to be greeted by a sumptuous buffet lunch prepared by the ladies of Alton Social B.C. in Hampshire. The club has recently re-located to a new green, clubhouse and car park and the match against the Friends was the first of two matches arranged to celebrate the opening of their new complex.

A smiling Hazel and her team of ladies who provided us with a magnificent buffet lunch

When the time came to start the match, the weather decided to intervene, and although we managed to complete the photographic evidence of our visit and carry out the pre match formalities under the shelter of a large umbrella, heavy rain forced a retreat into the clubhouse before the match could commence.

Graham, John and Gary bravely attempting to start the game

Fortunately, there is a six rink indoor club right next door to the outdoor green, where many of the Alton members play in the winter, and arrangements were swiftly completed for the match to be played on the indoor green. Although the score was quite close during the middle part of the game, home advantage told in the latter stages and Alton Social ran out victors by 15 shots. It was disappointing not to have the opportunity to play on the new outdoor green, but listening to the rain pounding down on the roof while we played indoors made even those who do not play bowls indoors grateful to be dry and warm rather than wet and bedraggled outside.

After the match we were treated to an excellent salad meal and dessert, and with honours fairly even in the raffle that followed, everyone set off for home feeling that bowls and new friendships made had been the winner rather than allowing the rain to spoil an excellent occasion.

Captain of the Day Graham Annetts presenting President Gary Johnson with a certificate to mark the happy occasion

Thanks are due to everyone at Alton Social who worked hard to entertain, feed and provide us with liquid refreshment, to Chawton Park Indoor Bowls Club for allowing us the use of their facilities and to the players who travelled from seven counties to represent the Friends.



Friends v Devizes B.C.

The 9 teams from the Friends and Devizes B.C. –  all friendly before the match

On Wednesday July 19th the members of Friends arrived from 9 different counties (including 96 year old Gordon Short from Devon).

We individually received a very warm and personal welcome from President Rosemary and other members of the Management.

President Rosemary Bradbury, Ladies Captain Sheila Greenwood and Mens Captain Dave Greenwood greeting the guests

Rosemary and Dave greet Ken Graham from Hampshire

Prior to starting the game we enjoyed a magnificent buffet luncheon in the spacious clubhouse, before going onto the two outdoor greens with 9 rinks, taking part in the latest Centenary match for Devizes


The ladies who provided us with a superb buffet lunch. Rachel, Sue and Patricia

The Centenary Committee have worked very hard over the past two years planning a series of events for 2017, entertaining Bowls England, The Chelsea Pensioners and the Ladies and Gents from Bowls Wiltshire to name but a few.

The Friends were pleased, proud and privileged to be invited to Devizes Bowls Club to conclude this year of achievement and celebration.

The Club has grown steadily over the years with extra rinks being added, with now two full sized 6 rink greens in operation, complimented by a superb clubhouse built in 1999. The facilities of the club would be the envy of many a club, with full use being made of them throughout the year with socials, short mat and charity events – what’s not to like!

At the half way stage the top green were looking strong with Devizes showing a score-line of 52:39, whereas on the bottom green, the Friends were in charge with a score of 48:23. There was intense rivalry between both greens throughout, with scouts from each green looking across to see what was going on in each other’s rinks. The game was clearly played in great spirits, judging by the noise being generated by all players, making it a game to remember for the enjoyment it gave.

As the game finished the Friends managed to keep two winning rinks on the top green but the bottom green triumphed with a win for the Friends on all four greens. The overall winner of the game for The Friends with a score of 31:6 was Maxeen Fletcher, Ken Graham, Graham Annetts & Mike Skerry.

The final score was a win for the Friends with 210:154.

Having had a super game, we retired to the club house to enjoy a delicious cooked meal prepared by the ladies, who had worked tirelessly, putting together the buffet and the after match meal, which were appreciated by all players. The bar staff were also greatly appreciated for all their hard work in supplying us with liquid refreshment.

Captain of the Day Graham Rogers presenting the certificate to Captain Sheila

Thank you Devizes for a delightful day and we hope your club continues to thrive for many years to come.








Friends v Trowbridge Police

The Friends in a line up with the Trowbridge Police

On Tuesday July 18th the Friends, from 9 counties, journeyed to Holt Bowls Club to help the Trowbridge Police celebrate their 50th Anniversary.

We were warmly greeted by the Captain, Bill Liddle and Stuart Beard, the Secretary/Treasurer/General Factotum.   Very welcome teas, coffees and biscuits were available to all.  For those who fancied something stronger then Justin was on hand with a friendly smile to see to our needs.

The folks on their sticks arriving to play in this special game

The Captains, Bill Liddle and Adie Lloyd read out the teams to much cheering and jeering and the game commenced.

The laughter across the rinks was so loud that the people playing tennis complained that it was putting them off their strokes.  Good bowls were played by all but the Friends were just that bit luckier and we came away with a nice win.

It was very, very hot and humid but we played the full 21 ends.  Water was at the end of every rink to help us cool off.

Tilda, Pip, Margaret and Mary who made sure we were well fed

After the game we returned to the club house where the fans and air conditioner were working overtime to keep us cool.  After a superb buffet supper under the supervision of Pip and her team, Bill welcomed us all and told us about the history of the Trowbridge Police.  Adie replied and let them know the history of the Friends.  (Just look through our web site and see all the good we do and the fun we have whilst doing so).

He then presented Bill with a certificate to mark this special day and Bill presented Adie with a banner to do the same.

Bill then very kindly passed a generous donation, from the Trowbridge Police, to swell the Friends coffers.

Exchanging mementos with Captain Bill, President Ken Rendall and Adie

A wonderful day was had by all and we look forward to returning to Holt B.C. (if invited) in 2021 to help celebrate their 100th Anniversary).


Friends v South Warwickshire B.A.


The Friends and South Warwickshire B.A. line up before the match

On Sunday July 9th Friends from 9 counties arrived at the Avon Bowling Club to play The South Warwickshire Bowling Association (S.W.B.A.). With an address of Swans Nest Lane and situated adjacent to The River Avon, the setting was perfect.

It was a special day for Peter Vale-Humphreys, the President of the S.W.B.A. as Avon was his own club, where he had been a stalwart for many years.

We were greeted with copious amounts of coffee and tea, together with a super buffet lunch before the game started.

The sun was shining and the game duly started after Web-Master Cyndy Lee managed to organise the ensemble for the traditional photograph.

Handing over the green

The match was played in a traditional and most enjoyable way but The Friends were struggling to match their opponents with a score line of 49:64, at 10 ends, but “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”, so we did!

With the benefit of some delicious cold refreshments at rink side at this stage the Friends dug in.

During the game, members of the public took the opportunity to come in and watch, taking timeout from the high level of activities along the River Avon.

We were also regaled with a selection of music from passing boats, music from the nearby bandstand, which with the banter of the green, it gave us the perfect setting for a game of bowls on a warm summer’s day.

Enjoying the boat races whilst eating our lunch

By 15 ends the gap deficit had been reduced to 9 shots, with the two end rinks battling it out for top rink honours, but alas, rink six with Linda Newby, Carolyn Hunt, Mike Salter and Chris Smith prevailed with an impressive score of 31:8,thereby helping the Friends to win 128:103 overall.

The important ladies in the kitchen

The ladies of Avon deserve a special mention for producing a superb after match meal and with the benefit of a much needed bar, refreshments kept the banter and enjoyment going a bit longer.

As always many new friendships were made and renewed and with the prospect of returning to Avon in 2024 to celebrate their centenary, it is a fixture to look forward to.

Thank you for a perfect day.

Captain of the Day handing Peter a memento of the perfect  day













Friends v Holloway Hill B.C.

On Wednesday 21st June, Friends from seven counties descended on Holloway Hill Bowling Club for a five rink match played in delightful surroundings. We were welcomed by Club President Barry, and Captain of the Day Roland and unlimited cups of tea or coffee or cold drinks from the bar. Following the regulation photo-call, organised by Web-Master Cyndy, the match got under way. The weather, although beautifully sunny, proved a major challenge with the temperature around 32 degrees. Plentiful supplies of cold water were available, but a drink and shade break after 10 ends was for many the highlight of the afternoon!

President Barry sensibly relaxing in the shade whilst we all sweltered in the heat

The match was played in excellent spirit, with the Friends prevailing on all 5 rinks, and the rink of Margaret Morris, Joy Burton, Terry Foote and Andy Hunt were narrowly top rink thanks to a 3 on the last end. From the general banter which could be heard all over the green, everyone had an entertaining afternoon, with the Holloway Hill team more than playing their part.

The hot ladies in the very hot kitchen

The ladies of Holloway Hill deserve a special mention for producing a delicious hot meal in sweltering conditions to round off a very enjoyable day for everyone even though the Friends success on the green continued during the excellent raffle which followed the meal and short speeches by both Captains,

Captain of the Day Graham presenting Captain Roland with a memento of the day

Friends v Gildredge Park B.C.

The Friends visited Gildredge Park B.C. in Eastbourne on 20th June to assist them celebrate the Club Runner Up of the Year 2016 award.

The quiet before the match

After a very nice lunch provided by the Ladies of the Club the Friends played a very competitive match against their hosts.

The lovely ladies who provided us with a smashing lunch

It was an extremely hot day with the temperature nearing 30 degrees, with the local Ladies providing continuous water supplies.

With a break at halfway for tea and biscuits Club Captain Henry welcomed the Friends and thanked them for the honour of the visit to celebrate their award.

He noted the very friendly atmosphere during the game and confirmed that the Friends had been the winners.

A Club Officer then detailed the Club History and that it was their Centenary Year in 2020.

He explained the Club commitment to the Handicapped including blind and deaf players and how after a great membership drive they had secured an incredible 111 new members some of them playing in the match.

Friends Captain of the day Geoff Hunt replied that it was a great pleasure to bring a Friends team to the Club to celebrate their award and the wonderful achievement of the Club as they had to compete with clubs from around the country.

He then gave a brief resume of the history and purpose of the Friends and that we pass around £35,000 each year to Bowls England in support. Geoff said players had come from far and wide to the match and 11 Counties were represented. He then introduced the 5 Committee members who were playing.

Finally he presented Captain Henry with the handsome trophy awarded to the Club Runner Up of the Year 2016.

It had been a very successful and a very hot day.