Category Archives: 2021

Friends play Rugby Railway Bowls Club

What a fantastic welcome given to the Friends by this wonderful Club on Saturday 24th July 2021. 

24 “Friends” and 4 guests arrived at the venue from 10 different County associations,  and were awarded a magnificent buffet, before the game began.   

The mayor of Rugby came along to judge the club’s flowerpot display competition which was won by the Captain of the club, Vanessa, and very well deserved.  Thanks was given to all who entered as it brightened up the green surrounds, as indeed did the hanging baskets.

Marie & Tressa preparing the wonderful lunch

With lunch sitting comfortably, the game got underway, and not knowing quite how how the weather was going to behave we set off with one on the first two ends and a full game of 21 ends.

There was so much noise during the game I really thought that we were playing a Rugby game!  However, it was a very well contested game with the Friends winning 169 -89.



The after-match meal was served in the main clubhouse, and it rated as one of the best after-match meals I have ever had, and I’ve had quite a few over the years!! 

 President Bruce’s speech was excellent, and I presented the club with The Friends of English Bowling memento certificate.   

As captain for the day for The Friends, this is one I will always remember. 

John Thompson




Centenary Celebration Game for Aylesbury Town


The Teams out in the heat of the day… game on!

18th July 2021 :   The day has arrived for the ‘Friends’ to celebrate Aylesbury Town reaching their 100th Anniversary.  The sun was out, it was hot, the green looked lovely and the welcome was great, with Ann Payne, Match Secretary, at the gate providing us with all the information we required.   At the clubhouse we were met by current President and Captain Colin Perrottet.   The 24 Friends bowlers had come from 10 different counties to play including the current Bowls England President Paul Robson.   I think he came to suss out the green for when he returns with his Bowls England team.

The club is amongst a sports complex of tennis, cricket, squash and bowls and today we were the only sport competing, maybe it was too hot for the others.  The Sports Club oversees the clubs but each one is independent and looks after their own buildings and playing surfaces with the Sports Club helping with obtaining any grants etc.

A lovely buffet was provided before the start of the game and the bar was open.   Once Adie had organised the cards we went out and played a ‘spider’ which was won by a home team member.   Photos were next and then finally the game commenced.   Visitors first had to try and find some shade so that they could watch the game without being overcome with heatstroke.

Whist Trial ends were played the usual questions were asked amongst the players on each rink, how far have you come?, how long have you been at this club?   all answered with astonishment and laughter.

Phew… it certainly looks warm

The game then started and was going to be the full 21 ends in hot sunshine. Water was provided at the end of the rinks and of course the bar was still open.   The game score was very up and down throughout and a lot of laughter coming from all rinks.

An excellent game and finally we were able to get out of the sun … but it was still warm inside the clubhouse.   Some of the heat coming out of the kitchen where the ladies had cooked us a lovely meal of chicken in sauce, new potatoes and vegetables followed by trifle.

Speeches and presentations followed the meal, together with the score – Friends 126, Aylesbury 115  Only 11 shots in it over 6 rinks, very close.  Both clubs had top rinks.  The Friends were Margaret Malloch, Trish Scholey, Paul Robson and Mike Poole, and for Aylesbury Chris Hounslow, Jan Green, Dave Catton and Keith Stratfull.

Captains Colin and Mike

Of course the important presentation was the Framed Celebration Certificate for Aylesbury Town B.C. Centenary to Colin which bowlers will hope to see next time they bowl at this wonderful club.

Thanks was given to all those that had made it such a wonderful day the green keepers, the kitchen staff, the bar staff, the bowlers and other members who were assisting in the background.   

It was then time for everyone to make their way back home having met new and old faces playing the game of bowls.

Mike Bertrand


July 17th – Celebrations with Long Crendon BC

As I am no longer a member of the executive committee, I was delighted when Kath telephoned me and asked me if I would like to be Captain of the day at Long Crendon.   I did not hesitate to say yes please.   I had no idea that Arsenal were playing away to Rangers on July 17th.  Well someone has got to support Arsenal.  They drew  2 – 2.

Cyndy Lee

In good spirits the teams line up

On July 17th, 18 people from nine counties made their way to Long Crendon Bowls Club in Buckinghamshire.  We were delighted to join them, to help celebrate their centenary and the opening of their glorious new club house.

We were warmly greeted on arrival by the club President Adrian Smith and the club Captain Alan Quinell.   The boys behind the bar, Chris and Tony, the girls in the kitchen, Jo, Amanda and Pauline, were ready and waiting  to see to all our needs.  Watering and feeding.  The chairs and tables outside, plus large umbrellas to give lots of shade, were up and quickly filled by the arriving Friends.

The Captains – Cyndy & Alan

At 2pm, Captain Alan and Captain for the day Cyndy, greeted the members of both clubs and read out the team sheets.  


Who’s won the spider??

There was a spider before the game with a prize for both the nearest lady and gent.  The Friends won both….   the home team had their revenge when it came to raffle prizes!

A large container of iced water, together with lots of plastic mugs, was placed in the shade so that the teams could keep well hydrated.  Oh boy – did we need it.   The heat was intense and I hope that nobody suffered heat stroke.  I can understand being advised not to go out in the sun between 12 and 3pm.  I can also understand why in hot countries they start at 7am and are off the greens by 11am.  They also have large umbrellas at either end.  If global warming continues we might have to follow suit.

From the laughter emanating across the greens you could tell that everyone was enjoying themselves.   After the match the fun and laughter continued into the club house.  We were at tables of six and I must say that it was the first time I have been in a room with more than three people since Covid 19 arrived.  It is such a lovely large room that I felt quite safe.  Lots of open doors and Captain Alan, bless him, put a large fan in front of our table.

It was the dream of one of the members, Mike Evans to build the club house; he did the drawings and it is such a shame that he never got to see the wonderful job that the project manager, Frank Ashurst together with the club members made of his dream.  There is a lovely stained glass wall (which unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of) with a door leading to the back entrance.

Jo, Amanda & Pauline

The girls served us with our lovely salads and a choice of strawberry or chocolate and nuts ice cream cones.  What a perfect meal on such a hot day.  The chocolate one was super nice.

Using the Stuart Lake accounting method – we drew 10 all.  The score was Long Crendon 109 – The Friends 82. 

Captain Alan then gave all the Friends rather lovely golden pens.  Captain Cyndy then announced the winners of both teams.  Mick, Kevin and Sandy for Long Crendon.  Diane, Sue and Adie for the Friends.  When I gave out the cards I did point out that it was a loaded rink.  So nice to be proven right.  To much laughter, wooden spoons were given to the two losing teams.

A memento of the lovey day we had spent with new and old friends at Long Crendon was then presented to Captain Alan.  Hopefully we will see it on the wall next time we visit the club.  The Friends have requested an invite to the longest serving member, Mick’s 90th birthday in 18 months time. 

Thank you to all at Long Crendon for a truly lovely day.  I am sure the club will go from strength to strength.  A freehold site, a magnificent club house and more importantly – wonderful members. 

DBE Ladies Day – 4th July


The new DBE Ladies Pairs Competition supported by “ Friends of English Bowling” took place at Charlbury BC.  The setting was wonderful, and the club could not have been more helpful to make the event a huge success.

Jeanette Maisey & Khalila Hussain with the winners salver

Players from all sections were represented with the Final consisting of a player with a visual impairment, a player with learning difficulties and 2 players with physical disabilities – just proving how diverse and accessible our sport is.  The eventual winners were Jeanette Maisey & Khalila Hussain who received the winners Salver from Club President Dave Cooper, accompanied by Bowls England SVP Terri Keen and Anna Molony on behalf of The Friends of English Bowling.

Runners up: Georgia Tucker & Denise Rowland.

Friends play Cambridge Park BC

Thursday 1st July 2021

What a pleasure it was to arrive at Cambridge Park and be welcomed by our host, Dawn Slaughter and the other members of Cambridge Park,  including Middx County Administrator Jacquie Elkin.  We were there to celebrate their Centenary this year but it was more than that; it was a celebration of meeting old friends, of being out on the green again, even of remembering the “joys” of travelling somewhere new with an obstinate satnav!

The Friends had travelled from 8 Counties including Beds, Berks, Bucks, Herts, Hants, Somerset, Surrey & Wilts and enjoyed a buffet with a difference on arrival.   All the rolls and sandwiches were individually wrapped in little brown paper bags on appropriately labelled trays with bowls of tomatoes and crisps.  Very novel and kept the bread and fillings fresh and only touched by the caterers.  Great idea and fortunately with the good weather and plenty of space became an outdoor picnic.

The Club has a 4 rink indoor facility built in 1967 (?) with an excellent bar area and good sized dining room and kitchen.  The old club house on the other side of the green, also very large inside, is rented to the local Bridge Club.  The grounds were full of trees and birds and it was difficult to remember that a busy London suburbs was just a short distance away.


After the welcome by Dawn the game was commenced with six full rinks – quite a novelty at the moment! The green rolled well with a good pace and soon the scores were being added to both sides.  Rinks 1 & 6 were like book ends with the Friends up on Rink 1 and heavily down on Rink 6.  Those on the rinks between were variously for or against.  It was so lovely to hear the banter, the groans, the apologies and to see the faces of people enjoying a good game of bowls.

Yum .. Tuna Pasta Salad for dinner


Afterwards we sat down in tables of 6 as per the current rules with the rink skips on 2 tables.  We were provided with an excellent meal by their Caterers who catered very ably for all variations of tastes and allergies.  Afterwards Dawn introduced the National President Paul Robson as well as the County Presidents in attendance; Babs Salter for Wilts and Charlotte Emanuel for Surrey.  I introduced some of the Friend’s Exec and reciprocated her thanks to her band of helpers for making the day such a success.  It was good to see 2019 BE Senior Male Bowler of the Year, David Pitt, at the meal although he couldn’t play in the match.  After giving out Top rink prizes to both sides I presented Dawn with a framed Certificate to commemorate Cambridge Park’s Centenary Celebration with the Friends of English Bowling.

The Result:  4 winning rinks for FoEB and 2 for Cambridge Park but the match score was in their favour by THREE shots.  123 – 126.   However I think we took away the most prizes in the excellent raffle!    Winning rinks:  FoEB:  Sue Sayers, Carolyn Hunt, Paul Robson, Adie Lloyd    Cambs Park: Tricia Green, Scot Lumine, Gym Brown, Steve Gibson

Marcia presenting The Friends Certificate to Dawn


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

Marcia Dunstone