Category Archives: 2018

Friends & Midland County BA at Wolvey BC, Leic

Friends with Midland County BA

The Teams: centre l-r President of Wolvey BC Michael, President of Midland Counties, Aubrey, and Friends Captain of the Day, Cyndy

On Thursday September 13th players from twelve counties made their way to Wolvey to play the final game of the season. Among them, the Bowls England Presidential team consisting of Bill Smith, Hazel Marke and Paul Robson.   This was against Midland Counties which consists of seven counties.  It was also their last game of the season so both teams were keen to finish on a win.

At 12.30 the girls in the kitchen were ready to make rolls, or sausage rolls plus salad to order, at a pound a time. They were kept pretty busy by the hungry arrivals who were expecting a buffet lunch.

Foreen & Dorothy

Doreen & Dorothy who made the lunch

Bob & John

Bob assisting John at the bar







The President of the club, Michael welcomed President Aubrey Brookhouse and Captain of the day Cyndy Lee to his club and then handed the green over for the match.

When we started the game the sun was shining and it was feeling very warm. Shirt sleeves and sun hats to start. After about eight ends the sun vanished and the wind started and it began to feel rather chilly. Sun hats removed and fleeces now worn. There were a few hardy souls who managed without the extra layer.  The green played beautifully, a lovely pace. Tim, the green keeper, had done a very good job. He was cutting it as we arrived.

Laughter could be heard across the six rinks and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. Some more than others.

After the match we had a fish and chip supper with mushy peas.  This was followed by excellent trifles – one large bowl for each table.  They were so good that Chris Smith went round each table trying to scrounge any leftovers.

Speeches were made by the two captains and top rink prizes given.  Final scores were given – 140 for the Midland Counties and 99 for the Friends.  But using Stuart Lakes method of counting:-  1+4+0 = 5.  So five for Midland Counties.  9+9 = 18.  So eighteen for the Friends.  A great win for the Friends to finish the year.


Cyndy Lee presenting Certificate to Midland Counties President Aubrey Brookhouse

Finally a very big THANK YOU to our governor Adie Lloyd and his wife Kath for arranging all the matches and the teams.  They do a wonderful job which usually includes having to find replacements at very late notice.  We are all looking forward to seeing what has been arranged for 2019.

Top rink for the Friends 34 -18.  Adie Lloyd, Cyndy Lee, Peter Lee and Mike Skerry
Top rink for Midland Counties 30 -9.  Len Hale, John Rice, Lou Kirton and Chris Smith

Friends v Irchester BC

Friends v Irchester

Pre game lineup – The Friends with Irchester BC (The Romans) 10 September 2018

On Monday 10th September ‘The Friends’ visited Irchester BC in Northants for a match to celebrate the Club’s 30th Anniversary.

On arrival the Friends players had the opportunity to have a cup of tea or coffee and the earlier arrivals, the chance to sit and chat with their colleagues.   The club then provided a very enjoyable lunch.

After a team photo and Spider the Club President welcomed all the players on to the green.  The weather was bright and dry, if a little chilly, and a very enjoyable match followed.  The hosts won on 4 rinks, but on the two outside rinks the ‘Friends’ were the overwhelming winners and in consequence won the match 122 – 107.

The teams all enjoyed a lovely meal, provided by Pam, Janet and Sue and helpers Alison and Gill.

Club President Denis then related a brief history of the club, and Captain Peter thanked the Friends for their visit and extended his thanks to the lady caterers and Andy the barman.   Their highest winning ring was duly awarded.

In reply Friends captain of the day Geoff Hunt confirmed the great pleasure it was to visit, particularly for him as this was the club he joined when he first moved to the County.  He went on to say that the visit was merged with sadness as former Club Chairman George Willmott had organized the event last year before he sadly passed away.

Geoff then gave details about the Friends history and purpose since they were founded in 2005, and the funds they raise, and introduced the 6 Committee Members playing that day in the match, and explaining that players had come from around the Country to play in the match.

He thanked the Caterers and Bar Staff and finally presented Captain Peter with a framed Certificate to commemorate the visit.

Friends Captain of the day Geoff with Irchester Captain Peter Gunn

A raffle was then held with an impressive list of prizes, all organized by Brenice widow of George Willmott.

A special mention for Derek who looks after the green’s surrounding gardens.  The flowers were beautiful and a treat to behold.  A very enjoyable visit, and one hopefully to be remembered by ‘The Romans’.





Friends v BE President – 11 September 2018

Goodwood BC lineup

The Friends line up with BE President Bill, and his intrepid team

The Friends v BE Select Team, Goodwood. 11/09/2018

 A big day for the Friends and for Bowls England President Bill Smith with his Select side.  We gathered at Bill’s Leicestershire club,  Goodwood,  to play the annual match between the Friends and Bowls England for the Ian Woodcock Claret Jug.  We all arrived a bit daunted because of the wet weather, but first settled in for a ploughman’s lunch.

Cometh the match, cometh the weather; a wet green – but dry weather.  Why were we worried?  We tried our hardest, but the President’s team was too strong for us. However, we won the laughter stakes. 

We retired to our after-match meal, which was gammon steak followed by an individual fresh cream sponge cake each.  Delicious.  Our captain, our match secretary, Adie Lloyd thanked the club for making us all so welcome,   especially for the good food and the good green.  He then presented the Claret Jug and a personalised Friend’s framed certificate to Bill.  

Presentation of Claret Jug

Adie presenting Bill with the coveted Ian Woodcock Claret Jug

 Finally Deepak Tanna, Goodwood ‘s president wished us all a safe journey home and looked forward to us visiting the club again.  Deepak is standing for the position of Bowls England President 2022.  We wish him well.



Friends v West End BC, Woking

Friends & West End BC  –  Thursday 6th September 2018

Adie & Kath had asked us to arrive early to meet them but miscalculation on journey time, and forgetting that no lunch was planned at this game, meant that we arrived so early we caused some surprise to Ian who was setting up the greens.   Club Captain Trevor Lofty arrived shortly after, as did Colleen the club caterer for the day so very soon we had coffee, tea and a bacon butty.  West End bowlers are rightly pleased with the extension to their clubhouse.  With valuable advice from their local Councillor and Mayor, West End had sought and gained financial assistance in various forms including a £100,000 grant from the London Marathon and grants or loans from local businesses and Bowls England.  The club now has sufficient room for 6 rinks and guests to sit comfortably after matches, and provides space for a local Yoga club to meet during the week.  They also use the club all year round and have 2 short mats for winter play.

Players from both sides arrived in time for the obligatory photographs and after our welcome by Club Captain Trevor we were soon on the green.  Trial ends, 3s up and the 21 ends planned, plus a heavier green than some were used to, meant that the break at 10 ends for tea and cake was very welcome.

Having sat out in the warm sunshine before the game, the clouds started to build and the temperature dropped quite distinctly.  Fortunately all rinks had finished and players were inside enjoying the meal before the very heavy downpour started.  It was a very enjoyable meal, provided by Colleen and Val.  Liquid refreshments were  served by Peter and John at the bar.

Chef Colleen & Val

Chef Colleen (right) & Val

After the meal we were welcomed again by the Club Captain who expressed some surprise that Friends had travelled from so many counties and indeed one couple for over 100 miles to play in their match.  (We had players from 8 Counties namely Berks, Bucks, Hampshire, Herts., Kent, Oxon, Surrey and Wiltshire)  Although many of their members hadn’t heard of the Friends before, the match had arisen from a chance meeting by Adie with a club member whilst out in the Algarve last year.  A meeting Trevor was very pleased had resulted in this game.

Peter & John

Peter & John – the smiling bar men

Following their toast  I responded with thanks to all concerned and congratulated in their absence, Mark Jones and Mark Dunne who had reached the Final of the National Pairs losing to a Somerset duo.  Also congratulating two club members Val and Peter (mentioned earlier) who are tying the knot later in the month.  I shared details about the Friends; the various advantages of being a member and about our annual donation to BE that they use to back many competitions and to help young bowlers, as well as our continued support of Disability Bowls.   Perhaps in the future we will be welcoming some of  their players as new Friends.

Cpt Trevor & President Steve with Marcia

Captain Trevor Lofty, Marcia & President Steve Brierly

Match Result :   FEB 146 , West End 88
West End top rink :  B Shambrook R Dixon, B Bryant & M Humphrey
Friends top rink :  Maddy McConomy, Cyndy Lee, Paul Robson & Stewart Wright

 Marcia Dunstone
Captain for the day

Friends v Bowls England Select


Friends v BE 30-8-18

Friends v Bowls England Select

Following the Friend’s AGM on Thursday 30th August – this year held in The Irish Club for the first time – we all moved across to the hallowed greens.

With the weather warm and sunny, everyone looked forward to their game. Greens C and D were allocated for the event, and we played on 11 of the rinks. There was great camaraderie on the green, with of course both sides wanting the victory.  All too soon, we were packing bowls away and making our way to The Irish Club for a good meal, and a good gossip.

As The Friends were the ‘away team’ this year, BE President Bill Smith presided over the occasion as host; the Irish Club were thanked for their hospitality and concurred by Geoff Hunt in his response as the Friends’ Captain of the day. Having kept us all in suspense, Geoff disclosed the scores – victory went to The Friends 211-185. A magnificent day.

Leamington Lunches 2

The second luncheon at Leamington took place on August 14th and was as enjoyable as the first.  The people behind these happy occasions are:-

Tony and Penny from Bowls England, who helped to make everything run smoothly

Head chef Richard and his catering team

President Bill welcomes the Friends to the luncheon

Enjoying the lunch on Tuesday 14th August are 50 members of the Friends

The Friends v Bowls England

48 players from ‘the Friends’ played against a  team from Bowls England last
week.  The game was played on a lovely evening on Greens B and C.  This was
followed by a sit down buffet for 120 in the Irish Club just over the river
from the greens.  This was the first function they had done and was
excellent.  On Green B ‘The Friends’ won but on C Green, Bowls England won,
but on each green 3 rinks won and then the overall result was a draw.  After
the buffet there was a raffle in aid of Disability Bowls.

Leamington Lunches 1

On Tuesday August 7th on a very hot and sunny day; the first of the four ‘Buffet Lunches’ with the Presidential Team took place in the hospitality tent.

The Friends had no idea what to expect as we had all been used to going to the Naval Club (which has now closed).

If you have not been to lunch yet, then you are in for a very big surprise.   From the moment  you are greeted at the door by two members of the Friends (one acting as bouncer and one to sign you in).  You are then offered a drink and you meet the members of the Presidential Team.  On this occasion it was President Bill and JVP Paul in attendance.

You then have a chance to circulate and catch up with old friends – or new ones – in the ‘gardens’ outside the tent, where there are  plenty of tables, chairs and umbrellas, or you could sit down, drink in hand and watch the excellent bowling on A green, if you just wanted to chill out for half an hour.

At 12.30 everyone is called in for lunch.

What a lovely surprise – there are tables of four laid up with red cloths, flowers and place settings, with seats for all.   We were expecting to see the finger buffet laid out and tables and chairs to sit on (if you were lucky enough to find one).


We were then treated to an excellent 5 star meal.  lots of choices and some yummy deserts.  Most of us having seconds – and some thirds. The wine was flowing and  the lovely Tony (not Allcock) was rushing round filling up the glasses before they could get emptied.

Congratulations to Richard and his team for doing such a superb catering job.  Some of you might remember Richard from the Naval Club as he was the chef the first year we used it. (I knew he looked familiar).

Congratulations must go to Penny and Bowls England for doing us proud.  It was a challenge for them and they faced it head on and did a wonderful job.  Everyone wondered how it was going to work out and all I can say is if you did not get a ticket to one of the lunches then try and score one on the black market.

Bowls England does have one very big problem – 350 members and only four dates for the lunches.