Category Archives: 2018

The Friends v Cambridge Park B.C.

Cambridge Park B.C. and their guests line up with the Friends before the match

What a lovely day yesterday at Cambridge Park. The Friends from ten Counties had travelled to play in the match and received a very warm welcome from captain Norman and President Nadine – too warm for some!

It was particularly pleasing for Jane and I to meet so many of our old clubmates. Thanks to FEB for asking me to be çaptain of the day.

Kim with her three helpers who fed us so well

Brilliant atmosphere throughout the game which we managed to lose by 9 shots 92 – 101.
Green bowled very well, on rink 5 anyway with Margaret Morris, Alan Parish helping Jane Taylor and I get top rink.
Top rink for Cambridge Park was Bernard Chapman, Coral Canard, Nadine Mullins and Jean Staples.

Nice to see so many of the club’s top players in a mistake week friendly.

Jane (don’t take my photo), who looked after our thirsty needs all day. Before and long after the match.

Captain Maurice presenting Captain Norman with a certificate to commemorate the day

The Friends v Ashford B.C.

Ashford, their guest teams and the Friends smile for the camera

Another sunny and hot day to enjoy.  We arrived at Ashford to be greeted by President Marion Bushnell and a banquet layout for our lunch.  Thank you it was all very much appreciatedby all the Friends.  Some had travelled some distances to Ashford from 12 Counties namely; Beds, Berks, Bucks, Essex, Hampshire, Herts., Kent, Northants, Oxon, Somerset, Surrey and Wiltshire.  Once refreshed and with the arrival of the club bowlers we made our way to the green. Bowls were grabbed from around the rinks to make a very large and colourful 100, and then we all posed behind them for the cameras.  Rinks were announced and before the start of the game we spread around the green, one foot in the ditch for the charity spider in aid of Diabetes UK.  The winner was the Ashford Club Champion, Colin Staples, whose father before him had been Club Champion (now it gets spooky) and his father before him had been a Founder Member and yes you’ve guessed it, had also been Club Champion.  This wasn’t the first time he’d won the spider either – he’d achieved that at the Bowls England game too.  Granddad must have been guiding the bowl!

President Marion and Captain of the Day Marcia Dunstone, share a joke on the green

















Two clubs, Egham & Staines had provided a guest rink each and they played in their club colours.  Staines bowling club are looking forward to their 100th Anniversary next year so an invite to the Friends for a match may well be on its way.

After the downpours of the weekend even the home players were struggling to get up the green.  President Marion had decided on a game starting with trial ends and then playing 18 ends.  There was the usual banter and joking across the green typical of our games.  It’s nice to get the win but it’s really all about enjoying the day and leaving your hosts feeling that all their efforts have been worthwhile.

The wonderful ladies who worked so hard and also played in the match

Marion disappeared after 10 ends to supervise the meal preparation and we continued with her replacement to a well deserved draw.   The results were 2 wins and a draw to us and 3 wins and a draw to Ashford.  President Marion claimed the win from that score line but I did point out if we adopted MC or JT scoring she had to give us another 10 points for the overall score so the Friends actually claimed the win.  Marion gave a very good resume of the Club’s history reading out snippets from a book produced for their 50th Anniversary.  The Club Champion turned out to be Marion’s cousin and her mother and aunt had both been County bowlers in their time.  Over the years the Club had provided 5 or 6 Middlesex Presidents including Marion, who subsequently went on to be National President in 2003 and has been the Sponsor of the Women’s Junior Pairs since 2004. It had been a splendid day for all of us, ending with lots of raffle prizes and a journey home.  Not so for our host.  Marion and partner Carole, after being on their feet all day, were going to the green to play a District Pairs…. Totally barmy!
ps. They won 20-15 and finished in the dark.

Captain of the Day Marcia presenting a memento of the day to President Marion

Match Result was FEB 106 and Ashford 97.
Staines four was their top rink and ours was Gordon Newman, Cyndy Lee, Michael Morris and Mick Skerry.


Marcia Dunstone

The Friends v Bradwell B.C.

The teams from Bradwell B.C. and the Friends

On Sunday July 29th, Friends from nine counties, including Somerset and the Isle of Wight descended on Bradwell Bowls Club to help them celebrate their 40th Anniversary.

The celebration cake which tasted delicious

We were greeted with cups of tea or coffee and a sumptuous buffet supplied by the President Bob Borg and the lady in charge of catering for the day, Cheryl.  Also available was the bar which was manned all day by D.J.

D.J. – who tended the bar from 11.30 until 19.30 to make sure we were well watered

The weather forecast was not very promising with a 60% chance of precipitation.  Delighted to say that we only had a few very light showers which did not spoil the game.  In fact if was lovely bowling out of the oppressive heat that we have been having lately.

After the formal greeting by President Bob (who then left the green to continue peeling the potatoes) a group photo was taken and then a spider took place, the proceeds of which went to the Moles.

President Bob Borg and Captain Dave greet the Friends on the green

The game then took place.  There was lots of laughter across the green and good and bad bowls played by all.  Unfortunately for the Friends we had more bad than good and Bradwell beat us by 14 shots.

Back in the clubhouse we were served with a magnificent hot, home made meal, including home made coconut cheese cake for dessert.

The raffle then took place and there were lots of super prizes won by members of both clubs.  The proceeds of which went to the clubs charity which this year is Starlight.

Captain Dave then made a short speech and told us a little about the club and how it started.  He also introduced us to one of the founding members.

Captain Cyndy then replied and told everyone a little about the Friends.  Top rink prizes were then presented to both sides and also to the losers.

Captain of the Day Cyndy Lee presents Captain Dave Hardway with a moment of the happy day

These days do not just happen and a lot of work and planning goes into them.  Thank you Bradwell, to the catering ladies (and Bob) to the bar man, a special big thank you to the green keeper Paul and to all your members for making this such a special day.

At the end of the day Cheryl has a well earned glass of wine together with Charmain


The Friends v Oakley B.C.

Friends v Oakley B.C. 17/07/2018.

The team from Oakley B.C. together with the Friends

After the recent prolonged spell of hot, dry weather, it was almost a relief to drive up the leafy lanes to the stunning Hampshire location that is Oakley Bowls Club in pleasant but cloudy conditions!

The match against the Friends was arranged to help the club members celebrate their 40th Anniversary, and we were greeted by a splendid new pair of iron gates at the entrance to the club, the installation of which had been completed the day before we arrived! We were greeted by Vice President Lesley, and Club Captain Barry, and several founder members of this thriving club.

Oakley’s hospitality was well known to those members of the Friends who had been fortunate enough to play there on a previous occasion, and we were greeted by a tasty buffet lunch before the game. The strawberry sponge and fruit cake deserve a mention!

Captains of the Day, Lesley Allard and Graham Annetts greeting the teams

On a very green green, considering the recent dry spell, the match got under way with Oakley members resplendent in their new club shirts. One Friends rink racing into a 12 – nil lead before reality set in and they found themselves level at 17 all, eventually winning the rink by one shot. Another rink found themselves stuck on 4 shots for ten ends, with the well-known cry of “he’s only gone and drawn it” noticeably absent until “he” did on the very last end to increase the score to 6! Despite this set back, the remaining five Friends rinks managed to win by the number of shots required to cover those lost on our other rink, and the match ended in an honourable draw at 117 shots each.

Sandra Lee, aided and abetted by Hazel Solomon and Christine Williams, who provided us with a wonderful buffet lunch and excellent after match meal

The lovely Martin Smith, who gave up his game of bowls in order serve behind the bar all day

Everyone seemed to enjoy the afternoon, and there was much animated chatter as we all repaired to the nearby social club for the after match meal of salmon salad and home made apple pie, custard and cream which was enthusiastically received.

An idyllic place to play bowls, with very friendly hosts and lovely food. Thank you Oakley for making us welcome, for all the hard work which members put in to make the day a resounding success we hope to come back for another celebration in the future.

Vice President Lesley accepting the certificate from Captain of the Day Graham


The Friends v Maidstone B.C.

Maidstone B.C. line up with the Friends for the customery photo

Thursday July 12th was the last day of the Friends tour to North Kent, where we were delighted to be invited to play at Maidstone B.C.

Besides hosting a match with the Friends, they had a fixture at nearby Westborough in the morning and following our game they were playing in the local Millenium Cup League, so it was all hands to the pump!

The club provided us with a magnificent buffet on arrival with Ladies Chairman Diane, covering several jobs on the day, along with Mandy, Pat & Arthur who all worked tirelessly throughout the day culminating in a delicious after match meal.

Ladies Chairman Diane Lefevre with the Captains of the Day. Graham Rogers and Tony Jarrett, formally
welcomes the Friends to Maidstone B.C.


















The green was in very good condition, despite the very dry weather and the garden surroundings were a great credit to all those who worked on them.

After a slightly shaky start the Friends rallied to produce a score-line of 60:50 at 10 ends but were pegged back to 89:87 at 15 ends, so the game was in the balance. However, in the end the Friends came through to win 131:120, with the top rink coming from Maureen Aitken, David Wederell, Tony Taylor and Marcia Dunstone who put in a card of 28:15.

Maidstone’s top rink was Gay Morgan, Vic McCormick, Bob Copper and Gordon Gully who had a great game of 23:14.

Arthur with his harem of cooks and helpers. Including Mandy, Diane and Pat (who also helped behind the bar)

The Friends were represented by players from 11 different counties and we were also very grateful to Tony Petts, Brenda Green and Maureen Aitken for helping us as we were a few players short on the day.

Gordon – looked after the bar all day – with a bit of help

Captain Tony of Maidstone proudly represented the club and made sure our needs were well catered for both on and off the rink.

Captain of the Day Graham presenting Captain of the Day Tony with a memento of our visit

A very big thank you to all the officers and members of Maidstone who gave us a memorable day at their club and brought to a conclusion a great three-day tour of North Kent.



The Friends v Kemsley Bowls Club


Kemsley BC and the Friends line up before the match

An emphatic win by the Friends playing with representatives from 10 Counties against a club with less than 40 members.  Ok, well done Friends! – but that said the win was irrelevant.  The hospitality from the club, the friendships forged during the game and the banter across the rinks said everything about Friends celebratory matches.

While the players were still asleep in their respective hotel beds our hosts were busy preparing for the day ahead, some as early as 5 am………yes really!

Chris, the wonderful lady in charge of the catering, with her daughter and Tracey – two of the many ladies who helped her look after us so well

Kemsley be very proud of yourselves, we threw vegetarians, coeliacs and other difficult diets at you but you came up trumps with a super lunch, tea and biscuits at ten ends followed by a lovely tea with everyone catered for.  Thank you so much for that and the lovely green to play on (thank you Peter).

The players search for their woods after the spider won by John Thompson

You have reached 90 years with some difficult times in the past, including arson in 2002 and some major landmarks including Rodney Clark as County President in 2015.

President Rodney Clark welcomes Captain of the Day Marcia Dunstone and the Friends to the club whilst Captain Percy Bootes looks on

For the records, Friends won 139-96 with all rinks winning.  Top rink for the Friends was Graham Searle, Shirley Wederell, Sue Skerry and skip Terry James.  Kemsley best rink was Bill Whitehead, Jean Russell, Ron Hedgecock and skip Percy Bootes.

President Rodney accepting the memento commemorating the clubs
90 glorious years

The day ended with both sides wanting to return for the Centenary in ten years time.  A great day!  Thank you Kemsley.

The Friends v Peninsula B.C.

Members of the Peninsula B.C. line up with the Friends before the match

In the first of three matches in North Kent the Friends were royally entertained at Peninsula BC in Hoo,  just outside the city of Rochester.

The lovely ladies who made us so welcome with cups of tea, bacon and sausage butties and scrummy cakes

We had been invited last year to visit the club to celebrate the opening of their new clubhouse being provided by the building contractors developing a new housing complex around the green.  Sadly due to problems experienced by the contractors on the site the club still awaits its new clubhouse but it is coming later this year.

Captain Brian Trill welcomes Captain of the day David Wederell

It was initially a dry cloudy day and quite fresh out on the Hoo peninsula but as the day went on the sun returned and we enjoyed the game on a sunny humid afternoon.  PBC Captain of the day was Brian Trill who is Kent’s SVP and we offer him our best wishes for his 2019 presidency of the County.

After the spider – the rush to find the woods and to see if you have won

We enjoyed a good game on a very dry and fast running green.  The Friends best rink was Adie lloyd’s including Maddie McConomy, Cyndy Lee and John Thompson.  The Friends won by 54 shots but that is not important.

Captain of the Day David Wederell presenting a memento of the happy day

The important girls in the kitchen who provided us with a great supper and the the most amazing deserts

The winner was bowls and many new friends were made.  Once again a very big thank you for a great start to our tour of North Kent.  We all look forward to visiting you again in the near future to see your new clubhouse which should be up and running for the 2019 season.












The Friends v Ilminster B.C.

The Friends and Ilminster B.C. all friendly before the match

On Sunday June 24th,  Friends from eight counties converged on the Somerset town of Ilminster to help the local bowls club celebrate being runners-up in the 2017 Bowls England Club of the Year Awards.

We found a thriving club with excellent facilities, plenty of car parking and very friendly members. After an excellent buffet lunch, served in the modern air conditioned clubhouse (all powered by solar panels on the roof!), and the mandatory photo call, the match got under way.

The Captains of the Day, Kevin Hamilton and Graham Annetts, greeting the teams

















In brilliant sunshine, some competitive bowls were played on a green which, like many up and down the country, had been affected by the lengthy spell of dry weather. Judging by the banter heard across the green, most people enjoyed themselves, with Ilminster gaining the upper hand on four of the rinks. Although the Captain of the Day managed to create a draw with some creative accounting, in reality Ilminster ran out winners by 133 shots to 104.

Everyone was pleased to retreat to the cool of the clubhouse for an enjoyable meal, after which the Club Chairman Kevin received a glass plaque commemorating our visit.

A close up of the award

Chairman Kevin receiving the well deserved memento of the day

Lovely weather, good food, a competitive game and several raffle prizes for members of the Friends team. What better way to spend a summer afternoon?