Category Archives: 2019

Friends v. Lockswood

Lockswood Bowls Club Special Celebratory Match

Lockswood and Friends ready for the match

We had a grey day weather-wise, but a far from grey day welcome.  Lockswood B C is a friendly club with an all-weather green,  in the south of Hampshire.  No excuses for not being up with your woods.

Greetings on the Green

We had a lovely welcome and a fresh, plentiful buffet lunch laid out for us.  Time arrived for the match and a big black spider, who, in this case, was not mobile having not ate his batteries,  was sat upon the jack.  After the spider it was bowls in the ditches time  for those not used to the surface, but our team soon settled down to a hard fought, enjoyable game.
What was this ? An oven breaking down?  Was there going to be a disaster?  No of course not.  Our after match meal was just going to take a little longer to come.   Good excuse to have the  speeches, presentations and raffle first.



President Pat Newman accepting Friend’s Certificate

The club’s president, Pat, welcomed us and presented top rink prizes and gave a present to our captain of the day Adie, who responded, thanking the club and giving out Kath’s preserves for top rink prizes.  Pat also donated the spider money to the Friends.  Thank you very much.

Well, was the meal worth waiting for?  It certainly was. The main course was hot and delicious chicken breast casserole with fresh vegetables,  followed by blackberry and apple crumble and ice-cream.   Then cheese and biscuits, and then coffee, tea and mints.   First class –  well done ladies indeed –  turning a near disaster into such a success.

Thank you  to all the club members who gave us such a great day for our last match of the year, and letting us win by 4 shots.  We hope you have a successful winter season.  Thank you to all our members, who supported us in this match and in all the other matches played this year, giving us such an enjoyable year  we shall all remember.

Thank you to the match reporters and photographers and our web master Carolyn.
We look forward to next year and to seeing you all again.

Kath Lloyd

Friends v. Bowls England President’s Team


A Happy Line-Up

Today the President of Bowls England, Hazel Marke, played her last outdoor game of the season against The Friends of English Bowling at her own club, Alton Social.  They were playing for the ‘Ian Woodcock Trophy’ a lovely glass claret jug, which was won last year by Bowls England.

Hazel passing over the coveted Trophy to Kay


As Hazel said at the start of her year she was looking for sun, fun and friendship all of which were in evidence today.  Overall the Friends won on four rinks but as usual Hazel tried to make it a draw without success with the Friends winning 133-114 with the top rink being Sue Sayers, Babs Salter, Mike Morris and Mike Skerry.

We are all now looking forward to the 2020 season.

Kay Kerley
Captain of the Day



Some snapshots of the day:


Friends v. Gerrards Cross

Gerrards Cross line up with Friends

Friday 6th September:  The third match of the Friends visit to Buckinghamshire was at Gerrards Cross Bowls Club.

We were welcomed to the club by Kirk Smith, the President and Alan Price, the Captain.  Kirk is the son of Eric Smith, one of the gentlemen who conceived the idea of a group of bowlers financially supporting bowls in England, and he assured me that his late father would have thoroughly approved of the wonderful organisation the Friends has now become. It was a pleasure to meet Mary, Kirk’s mum, who was one of the team of ladies who provided us with a delightful buffet lunch and after match meal.

With Cyndy Lee present, we were all organised for the pre match photo, and prepared to commence the game in cool, blustery but thankfully dry, conditions. The green was in splendid condition and proved to be very much to the Friend’s taste, with the result a resounding win by 129 shots to 80.  Mike Skerry again skipped the highest winning rink, aided by Sandra Smale, John Timms and Jenny Ralph.  Mike lives 2 miles from the Gerrards Cross club, so local knowledge may well have assisted his team to victory!  Despite the scoreline, the Gerrards Cross members were excellent company, and if the noise from rink 1 reflected the enjoyment across the green, everyone had a great time.

Following the game, we enjoyed an excellent meal and more banter in the clubhouse.

In his speech, Kirk Smith told everyone all about the start of “The Friends”, and introduced two Gerrards Cross members who were among the first to support the Friends when the organisation was formed in 2005. His excellent speech enabled the Friend’s Captain of the Day to quietly cross out most of the notes he had made for his speech, as, one by one, Kirk covered most of what he had planned to say!

Having thanked everyone at Gerrards Cross for their excellent hospitality and presented the highest winning rinks from both teams with a little liquid refreshment and those who fared less well with a small token of encouragement, he wished everyone a safe journey home, with some of us having rather further to travel than Sue and Mike Skerry!

Graham Annetts
Captain of the Day



Friends v. Marlow

Marlow and Friends, ready for the off

Thursday 5th September saw the Friends arrive at Marlow Bowls Club to help them celebrate their 100 years of existence …. no founder members were present.

The club President Don Isaacs met us all with many of their members, and we were all made to feel so welcome and provided with a light lunch.

The game starting at 1.30 using six of the seven rinks.   A very competitive game ensued with great enjoyment but I feel Marlow members tried too hard beating, the Friend 129 – 97, winning on four rinks to the Friends two.

The Highest winning rink from the Friends was Val Botting, Richard Pearce, Leslie Taylor and skipped by Roger Button – all received a Lollypop and some wine.   What a great day!

John Thompson
Captain of the Day

Friends v. Iver Heath

All Friends : Iver Heath BC v FoEB

Wednesday 4th September   –    Helpful Husband: “Now take care, the entrance comes up really quickly along this road I always seem to go past it and have to turn round”..    yes we missed it and had to turn round!   Once parked we were welcomed into the Iver Heath club and enjoyed the buffet prepared for us by the club members.  Thanks Betty, Kate, Sue, Lyn and Sylvia for lunch and for the after match meal, all delicious and home made too.

We were welcomed on to the green by Club President and Captain Danny Davies and then started our game in the warm sunshine.  A bit blowy so the bowls didn’t always do what was expected, well that’s my excuse.  However the green had a very good pace and is obviously well looked after by Chris Robbins and the green team.   Lovely too to see all the hanging baskets and flower beds around the clubhouse.   I enjoyed playing with my team of Barbara Battom, Allan Sayers and Ray Keen versus Danny’s team skipped by Sue Skerry, a fellow Friend.  However a disastrous last few ends by us gave them the win and by co-incidence the difference of 5 was reflected in the overall score.  118 to the Friends and 123 to Iver Heath  –  a win for our hosts.

  • Top rink for Iver Heath was Carole Fox, Terry Knowles, Rod Evans and Mike Skerry.
  • Top rink for Friends was Maxine Fletcher, Carol Daines, Philip Havord and Martin Salter.

Thank you to Keith & Terry, club members who looked after our liquid refreshment;  Keith Hawes – as well as being a great barman,  is also the Bucks County President this year.

A surprise for Val’s special day!


Before we started the after meal formalities trays of fizz suddenly appeared plus a super cake.  A Special birthday surprise for Valerie White – whatever number was on the cake Val we don’t be-lieve it.   Husband Michael had everything organised for us to celebrate the occasion with her.  Well done Michael, it was a lovely surprise for us all as well, and you must have brownie points that will last for years!


Marcia & Club President Danny Davis



This was followed by the usual toasts and speeches on both sides plus little bit about the Friends by me. An extra special day and maybe we may have a couple of new Friends from Iver Heath next year, though we can’t promise cake and fizz every time!

Marcia Dunstone
Captain of the Day

Friends v. BE Select Team – 29th August

On Thursday 29th August more than 100 Members of the Friends gathered at Leamington Spa,  many attended the AGM – and then on to play in the annual match against the BE team.

Although rain was expected it turned out to be a sunny, but windy, afternoon.  The match is always very competitive against friends and colleagues on both teams.   5 rinks played on Green C and 5 on Green D.  As usual with these games, there was much laughter, although the game was not put in jeopardy.

The players returned to the Irish Club for the after-match meal, just in time for a pre-dinner drink.

Following the meal B.E. President Hazel and Friends Captain of the day Geoff Hunt addressed the players and guests.  President Hazel gave the result of the match which gave the Friends team a win on 9 rinks and a draw on 1 rink,  and an overall win by 101 shots.    Captain Geoff in reply confirmed that he was surprised at the result as it had seemed so competitive through the afternoon with many rinks very close.   He thanked former Naval Officer Senior Vice President Paul for organizing the seating arrangements into rinks with the use of his Bosuns Whistle, and asked whether it would be used again next year.?

President Hazel and Captain Geoff presented gifts to the Highest Winning rinks for each team.  They thanked the Irish Club for the meal and all the arrangements to end a very successful and enjoyable day.

The Top Table

Friends at Leamington v. BE Mixed Team


FoEB line up with their BE opponents

Friends v BE, Leamington 08/08/19

When you hear cries of “which green are we on”, or “what time are we starting”,  you know that members of the Friends are assembling at Leamington for the first of two games against the Bowls England President’s team held annually during the National Championships.

The first of these games took place on the 8th of August in warm, sunny conditions. Ten rinks of Friends enjoyed the opportunity of playing on B and C greens once the day’s schedule for the championships had been completed. Good humour was much in evidence and a number of us gave performances which underlined why we were not competing in the National Finals.  Although the BE team claimed victory by three shots, the Friends Captain of the day responded by declaring the match a draw, as both sides were successful on five rinks!

As is now customary, after the game everyone gathered at the Irish Club for an enjoyable meal, which included a delicious trifle for dessert. Grateful thanks to everyone who gave generous support to the raffle, and congratulations to those who won prizes, especially the gentleman who acquired a ladyshave!

With a second match to come later in the Championships, the Friends have the opportunity to turn the tables on the opposition and win!


photographs kindly provided by Allen Simms


Friends v. Stevenage Town BC

Stevenage Pre-match Line-up: of course it won’t rain!

Wednesday 31st July,  the Friends arrived at Stevenage Town BC on a very overcast day to celebrate the clubhouse being recently re cladded – and very fine it looked as well.

We were met by the Club President Graham Morris and Captain Keith Greenough and several of the club members who provided us with a light lunch.

Battle commenced at 1.30 all six rinks were poised and ready to go, keeping a watchful eye on the weather. We shouldn’t have worried as it stayed dry and reasonably warm for the whole afternoon.  The was much banter and laughter on the green. The game ended with a win for the Friends.

The rink of Barbara Carter, Alan Parish, Jenny Ralph and the match officer John Thompson took the highest winning rink honours for the Friends, with Eddie Cooper, Alan North, Will Taylor and President Graham Morris for Stevenage Town Bowls Club.   The final score was 125 – 111 winning on 5 rinks. What a great days bowling.

The club was thanked for all their hospitality and a wonderful day of bowls

Stevenage Captain Keith Greenough, FoEB Captain John Thompson, Club President Graham Morris