Category Archives: National Championship Events

Henlow Park BC – Game 13

Sunday 19th June
Henlow Park Bowls Club

Happy Henlow

Arriving at Henlow several bowlers from Bedfordshire had already played at other clubs in a local Bedfordshire Competition, so they were fully warmed up.  We were disappointed to learn that their President would not be in attendance as he and his wife had both caught Covid (it’s still about).  It was also a big disappointment for Bob Hirst, as he had been waiting 2 years for this game.  We were all looking forward to seeing him serving the drinks as he is now known as ‘Bob behind the Bar’.

As Bob their President was absent, as was their captain, it was Graham Jakes who took the responsibility of Captain of the Day for Henlow Park.  The game was played under a cloudy sky but there was plenty of laughter and chat across the rinks, as there always is at these games, and it stayed dry although it turned a little chilly towards the end of the game.

After the game we enjoyed a buffet style meal and cakes, proved by the lady members of the club, which included a lot of home baking.  It was all very nice and not much was left at the end.  There was also a home-baked celebration cake which I was invited to cut, and all bowlers were invited to take a slice home with them.

It was then time for speeches and we had players from 10 counties at this game including two BE Past Presidents.  The result of the game was 131 – 109 to Henlow Park.

The Friends’ top rink :  Barbara Carter (Bedfordshire), Sue Sayers (Herts), Jackie Bryant (Bedfordshire), Mike Bertrand (Bedfordshire)

Henlow Park’s top:  Brian Reynolds, Una Watts, Ian Bigley, Chris Hunt

A memento from FoEB presented to Captain Graham

Our memento Certificate was presented to Acting Captain Graham Jakes, and thanks given to all the catering staff, bar staff, and of course the green staff for a very good green to bowl on, and all other members who had helped to make it a great day.

Mike Bertrand
Captain for the Day
Friends of English Bowling

Market Overton BC – Game 11

12th June 2022   The Friends of English Bowling v Market Overton BC

The teams all ready to play

The day started with a fresh breeze, but the Sun came out and it was a glorious afternoon.

We received a warm welcome on arrival and were treated to a wonderful meal after the match and given sustenance from the well-stocked bar.

The match, on four rinks, was played in the usual good spirit and after 21 ends we ended up on top with a close 87 – 72 win.

The top winning rink for the friends was Rink 2 with a score of 30 -16.  Lead – Lesley Summersgill, No 2 – Sue Skerry, No 3 – Trevor Dean, Skip – Adie Lloyd

The top winning rink for Market Overton was Rink 3 with a score of 26 – 11.  Lead – Bruce Acock, No 2 – Jeannine Hutton, No 3 – Johnny Abbott, Skip – Liz Dyer

Market Overton’s captain, who skipped for rink 3,  gave the excuse of being “sporting” by allowing the opposition to win!!.

The winner in the end was the game of bowls and everyone seemed to enjoy the day.

Clive Handscombe
Captain of the day

Oakham BC – Game 10

Saturday 11th June  –  Oakham Bowls Club

Oakham and Friends’ players looking forward to their game

The journey began in full sun, but approaching Rutland Water, and Oakham Bowls Club,  clouds were in abundance.  Fortunately the clouds produced only a few spots during the game and most of the time we played in sunshine, as it should be for an outside sport in Summer!

We were welcomed with tea and biscuits and introduced to Rutland’s Vice President Graham Cole and Captain Alan Jones.  Alan remembered the Friends visiting back in 2010 for their Centenary year.

When you see a bowl of sweets at the end of each rink you know that Pat Geary is playing

The game started with 3 rinks shooting off into a lead that reached 41 – 13 at 10 ends and a fourth rink also in front.  After that Oakham started to get back into the game which finished 105 – 110 win for Oakham with Friends winning on two rinks only.   We were all ready for the after match meal.

It was then time for speeches and I was able to tell them a little bit about the Friends achievements and our purpose in bowls.  We had players from 11 counties at this game,  including 5 from the Friends Committee and BE Immediate Past President Paul Robson.




The top rink for Friends :Barbara Battam  (Cambs), Richard Peyton (Cambs), Paul Robson (Hampshire), Jenny Ralph (Bedfordshire).  The Top rink from Oakham: Derek Bury, Mike Shalder, Gail Robertson, Denis Smith

You may notice that there is one missing face in the photos.  Richard Somerton was top rink Captain in the last three games but today he was highest losing rink.  I am sure he will be trying to get back on top in his next game.

I presented the Certificate of our visit to Graham and Alan and thanked all the catering staff, bar staff, green staff for a very good green to bowl on and all other members who had helped to make it a great day.

Finally all players stood and gave a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ to Mike Skerry a ‘Friend’ who was another year older although not as old as the club.

Mike Bertrand

Bere Alston BC – Game 4

Thursday 19th May  at  Bere Alston Bowling Club

The teams line up in the sunshine

After a couple of wet days playing in Devon in the final game of the week, The Friends’ team were relieved to play in the sunshine at Bere Alston, a club with only 30 playing members with excellent clubhouse and facilities. 

We were greeted at lunchtime with very nice sandwich’s, sausage rolls, and a selection of Home made Cakes (yummy yummy).

With a good green and ideal playing conditions we managed a good win 3 rinks to 1 rink. 82 shots to 54 shots.  Top rink went to Maddie McConomy, Alan Horwell, Ian Whelpton and Neil Fletcher.

The Friend’s team were represented by 10 different counties –  a great turnout considering we were just one mile from the Cornish border.  A nice meal was prepared afterwards by Ivor, Jean, June, and Mike volunteer club members doing their first catering duties.  Well done to you all I am sure you will be requested again and again.


Bill Smith presenting Captain Jim Horrell with a memento of the day


All good things have to come to an end and after a lot of chatter and excellent hospitality by our host’s,  Captain of the Day Bill Smith presented host Club Captain Jim Horrell with a framed certificate to mark the occasion.

A great day making new friends and catching up with old ones.

Bill Smith

Leamington Highlights 2019

Friends of English Bowling support many of the National Championships held at Leamington …    take a look at some of the valiant winners this year.    All the photographs below are kindly provided by Bob Saunders Photography


Surrey have retained the Johns Trophy after defeating Wiltshire in a repeat of the final from 12 months ago.

Surrey ladies celebrate their victory



Devon have secured their fourth Middleton Cup victory in five years after defeating Kent in the Final at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa this afternoon.

Good Work Devon !

In a repeat of the 2016 and 2017 finals, Devon defeated Kent, who haven’t won the title since 1993 – despite appearing in five finals since their success against Cumbria 26 years ago.



Congratulations to Devon’s Sophie and Sam Tolchard who won the Bowls England National Family Pairs competition, supported by the Friends of English Bowling.

The brother and sister duo from Kings BC defeated Northamptonshire brothers William and Jamie Walker (Northampton West End BC) in the final at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa.



Berkshire’s Peter Warne, Michael Blizzard, Bob Harris and Trevor Broad from Thatcham secured the Men’s National Senior Fours title, supported by the Friends of English Bowling.

Congratulations – Berkshire’s Senior Fours

They defeated Worcestershire’s Paul Kitchen, Richard Payne, Wayne White and Grant Burgess, from Chester Road in the final at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa.



Sophie Tolchard & Donna Rock


A thrilling victory for  Sophie Tolchard, in the  Womens Two Wood Singles at the National Championships in Royal Leamington Spa.









The Lincolnshire Team with The Walker Cup

Lincolnshire won the Walker Cup, after defeating Northamptonshire.  It is their third success in the competition, adding to previous victories in 1976 and 2000.



Buckinghamshire’s Dave Labrum and Malc Drage have retained the Mens National Senior Pairs Competition.  The 2017 champions defeated Herefordshire’s Martin Smith and Mark Atkins 22-15.

Buckinghamshire’s Malc Drage & Dave Labrum





Devon’s Sam Tolchard won Men’s National Champion of Champions Competition.   Sam defeated Middlesex’s David Pitt to claim the prestigious title for the second time – having previously secured the crown back in 2007.







Bedfordshire’s Dawn Grisley, Maz Fisher, Jenny Ralph and Jackie Bryant, from Potton BC, won the Women’s National Senior Fours Championship.  They defeated Sussex’s Rachel Mackriell, Mary Bray, Julia Fordham and Denise Hodd (Polegrove BC), Friday 23rd August.



Warwickshire won the Balcomb Trophy, to win the inter-county double rink crown, supported by the Friends of English Bowling, for the first time since 2014.  They defeated Essex, the 2017 winners, in a high quality final of the event that went down to the very last bowl of the match.



Neil Farnish in celebration mode

Buckinghamshire’s Neil Farnish won the Bowls England Men’s Senior Singles Competition, supported by the Friends of English Bowling.  He defeated Devon’s Stuart Evans in a thrilling final  25th August.

Farnish and Evans both progressed to the final after comprehensive victories in their semi-finals against Norfolk’s Peter Wilkinson and Somerset’s William Anderson respectively.



Wiltshire’s Lucy Smith and Mike Titcombe won the Bowls England National Mixed Pairs Competition.

The duo from Westlecot BC defeated Kent’s Sara Trotter and Dave Mason in the final.  Smith and Titcombe never looked back after winning eight of the opening 10 ends to surge into a 13-3 lead, eventually securing the title 24-8


A triumphant cheer from the Kings BC team – photo by Allen Simms


MENS TWO WOODS – 28th August

Herefordshire’s Shaun Jones has won the Men’s National Two-Wood Singles Championship, supported by the Friends of English Bowling.

The Ross-on-Wye BC bowler defeated Kent’s Tom Bishop, representing Bromley BC.    Congratulations Shaun!





A great day for the Northants Team

Northamptonshire have secured the Amy Rose Bowl for the first time after defeating Somerset.  It’s Northamptonshire’s first appearance in the final of the competition, which started in 2000, reaching that stage with victories over Lincolnshire Lionesses and a remarkable extra end defeat of Devon Belles.

In the final, Northamptonshire dominated from the start against rinks skipped by the experienced Laura Holden and Stef Branfield, securing a comprehensive 34-15 victory.



Surrey’s Harry Cushen, Jamie Tindall, Jon Wilson and Charlie Souter have won the 2019 White Rose Trophy.  They defeated Northamptonshire’s Danny Walker, Kieran Rollings, Nathan Betts and Connor Cinato.

The Surrey Swifts recorded earlier wins over Northumberland Geordie Boys and Northamptonshire Saints on their way to securing the title, with the Northamptonshire Cobblers defeating Hampshire Hogs and Wiltshire Moonrakers to reach the final.



The joyful team from Camberley BC

Surrey’s Camberley BC have won the 2019 Tony Allcock Trophy, supported by the Friends of English Bowling, defeating Box BC from Wiltshire 42-36.

Box were in control in the opening stages of the match with Nick Grenfell’s rink leading 15-2, before a remarkable run in the second half of the contest by Camberley’s David McCallum’s quartet to ensure a 21-21 draw.

It is the second time that Surrey has enjoyed success in the Tony Allcock Trophy after Supreme BC secured the inaugural event in 2011.


The triumphant ladies from Kings BC, Devon   –  photo provided by Allen Simms

Devon’s Kings BC have retained the Women’s Top Club title, after defeating Baldock Town from Hertfordshire in the final.

Sophie Tolchard sent Kings on their way with a 21-19 victory in the singles, recovering from a 3-16 deficit against Devon Cooper.  The senior international duo of Emma Cooper and Natalie Chestney also overhauled an early 3-12 scoreline in the pairs discipline to record a 23-13 success, whilst the Devonians also enjoyed victory in the triples for a 3-1 win.  Kings reached the final with a 3-1 victory over Buckinghamshire’s Gerrards Cross BC, while Baldock Town defeated three-time champions Wigton BC from Cumbria in the last four.

Baldock were competing in the final for the first time since 2003, whilst Kings enjoyed their third success in the event.



A triumphant cheer from the Kings BC team  –  photo provided by Allen Simms

Devon’s Kings BC won the Men’s Top Club title for the fourth successive year.  They defeated Buckinghamshire’s Gerrards Cross BC 4-1 in the final at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa.

Kings comprehensively defeated Bedfordshire’s Sandy Conservative BC, whilst Gerrards Cross reached the final for the first time since 2005 after securing a narrow victory over Huntingdonshire’s Warboys.

LEAMINGTON 2018 – page 2

Kings BC from Devon became the undisputed number one in England after winning the Men’s and Women’s National Top Club Competitions at Leamington on Sunday 16th September 2018

Kings BC Top Club Winners 2018

All together now ! Kings Bowling Club – Winners of both the Men’s & Ladies Top Club 2018


Amy Rose Bowl 2018

Congratulations Wiltshire who secured maiden Amy Rose Bowl Triumph

Tony Allcock Trophy 2018

Banbury Central secure the Tony Allcock Trophy – many congratulations

White Rose Trophy

Northamptonshire – pround winners of the White Rose Trophy

Andrew Broad of Cornwall is the Champion of Champions. Congratulations

Lancashire – the winners of the Balcomb Trophy

Edward Morris of Essex – the winner of the Two-Wood Singles

Gordon Williams from Suffolk the proud winner of the Senior Singles

Denise and Martin Butchers from the Isle of Wight – the winners of the Mixed Pairs

LEAMINGTON 2018 – page 1

Once again it is time for the Nationals at Leamington Spa.  Apart from the first aid tent we also support quite a few of the competitions.  Bob Saunders is good enough to let me choose the pictures I want to put on the site, for which I am very grateful.

Always in attendance is Martin, our onsite Medical Team and this year he has the lovely Sally to assist.  Hopefully they will not be needed and can have a restful few weeks.

On the first weekend the Middleton Cup and the John’s Trophy take place and Geoff Hunt (the Chairman of Friends) and his lovely wife Jan presented the cheques to the winners.


Leicestershire – the winners of the Middleton Cup who beat Devon in the finals

The Ladies from Surrey have once again won the John’s Trophy

The Family Pairs was won by father and son, Mark and Andrew Smith




The winners of the Senior 4s. Royal Wootton Bassett. It was so nice to see them win as earlier in the year the Friends had joined them to celebrate 90 glorious years.

Amy Gowshall – the winner of the National Two Wood championship

Paul Comley and Colin Whitehead from Oxfordshire. Winners of the Senior Pairs

Sussex – the winners of the Walker Cup


National Championships 2017

The following are the National Championship competitions that we support at Leamington Spa.

My grateful thanks go to Bob Saunders for all the photographs supplied for this section of the WebSite.

Devon – once again – winners of the Middleton Cup with their President and Team Manager

The Ladies from Kent – winners of the Johns Trophy

Match Secretary Adie and Treasurer Kath presenting Tom and John McGuinness with the Family Pairs trophy

From Hampshire the winners of the Senior Pairs – Lesley Johnson and Margaret Holden

Jenny Dawson – winner of the Senior Singles with Jan Hunt, representing the Friends

2 Wood Singles Championship won by Jamie-Lee Winch from Leicestershire and the runner up Sophie Tolchard from Devon

The Senior Pairs – David Labrum and Malc Drage from Buckinghamshire with the winners trophy

The winners of the Walker Cup – Somerset with their proud President

The Herefordshire men won the Fours

Glenn Williams of Hertfordshire being presented with the cheque and cup for winning the Champion of Champion

Winners of the Mixed Pairs, newly weds Amy and Andy Walters from Worcestershire

Winners of the Balcomb Trophy – Essex

Senior Singles winner Norman Coad of Cornwall with Cyndy Lee representing Friends and I.P. President of Bowls England Michael Jennings from Cornwall

Winner of the Two Wood singles – Sam Watts of Oxfordshire with Graham Rogers of the Friends

Tony and Eileen Taylor from the Friends with Bolton Bowls Club – winners of the Tony Allcock 2 x 4s Trophy

Devon – winners of the Amy Rose

Devon – winners of the White Rose

The very proud Devon President with his winning girls, boys and team managers

My thanks to Alistair for the following two photos – your job is quite safe Bob

Wigton B.C. in Cumbria win the Top Club once again

Kings B.C. in Devon win the Top Club title once again