Friends v. Oxfordshire BA President’s Select Team

Captains Carolyn Hunt & Michael Morris lining up with their teams before the game

A lovely Thursday afternoon (11th July) shared with Michael Morris, President of Oxfordshire Bowls Association, and his select team, playing on the splendid green of Banbury Borough BC in the picturesque People’s Park in Banbury.   Parking can sometimes be an issue, but today we were welcomed into reserved parking by Gerald, who would also be playing later!

Busy Barman Tommy

Michael was at the clubhouse to welcome the Friends arriving from 11  different counties.  We were spoilt with a generous buffet lunch and  Tommy was kept busy behind the bar.    Weather-wise, it was very muggy with a few threatening clouds that came to nothing.   It was a tight game with both sides winning 3 rinks apiece, but the final score gave Friends the win with just 3 shots –   105-102

The highest winning rinks for both sides were duly awarded  –  for the President’s side: Margaret Morris, Gerald Fountain (the multi tasking car park attendant), Maureen Osborne and President Michael 23-14.  For the Friends:  Val Botting, Tony Strudwick, Joan Parfitt and Adie Lloyd  20-9.



The Wonderful Kitchen Team (l-r) Roger, Jimmy, Malcolm, Carol, Jane, Adrienne, Ton

Thank you to Carol & Malcolm and wonderful team for providing not only our magnificent lunch, but a wonderful dinner of shepherds pie and all the trimmings, followed by jam roly-poly & custard – then cheese and biscuits!  Oh dear, our waistlines were visibly expanding.

The Friends Captain for the day, Carolyn Hunt, brought the days formalities to a close by presenting a certificate to President Michael to serve as a reminder of our lovely day together…. a brilliant day of bowling, meeting old,  and making new friends!


FOEB Carolyn & Oxfordshire BA President, Michael

Friends v. Bloxham BC – 10 July

Bloxham BC & Friends on a beautiful summer day

On Wednesday July 10th Friends from 7 counties arrived at the Bloxham Bowling Club to play the wonderful game of bowls.  The club is set in the small village of Bloxham, near Banbury in a most delightful setting, with facilities many clubs would die for.  The four-rink green was in a very tranquil setting, which greatly enhanced the day for us all.

Captain Alan Miles & President Roy Billington – multitasking behind the bar.

We were greeted with copious amounts of coffee, tea and biscuits together with a super buffet lunch before the game started.  The sun was shining and the game duly started after Web-Master Carolyn Hunt managed to organise the ensemble for the traditional photograph.
The match was played in a traditional and most enjoyable way, with a most welcome break at 10 ends for cold refreshments, served on the patio area, overlooking the green.   At this stage Bloxham were slightly behind by 19 shots, but with the benefit of some delicious cold refreshments they dug in to halve the deficit by the 21st end.  The Friends produced a top rink with Graham Searle, Val White, John Thompson & skip Andy Hunt.   Rink 4 for Bloxham, with Bob, Linda, Rob and Dave produced the best result for our hosts.

Diane, Sue, Anne & Ros – the kitchen dream team

President Roy accepting Certificate from Captain for the Day, Graham Rogers










The ladies of Bloxham deserve a special mention for producing a superb after match meal and with the benefit of a much-needed bar, refreshments kept the banter and enjoyment going a bit longer.   As always, many new friendships were made and renewed, which is what this game is all about.

To all the members of Bloxham, thank you for a perfect day.

Peacehaven & Telscombe BC – Celebrating BE Runner-Up Club of the Year 2018


Peacehaven & Telscombe BC with Friends 30th June 2019

Friends gathered together to celebrate this club’s achievement as The Bowls England Runner- up Club of the Year 2018, on a bright sunny day on the Sussex coast.  We turned off the coastal road away from the white cliffs down to a sports park, where the club members were ready to welcome us.

We soon learnt that we were also celebrating the life and achievements of Philip Armstrong, who had initiated and worked hard for the club’s entry into this Bowls England competition, and who had passed away last month.

After a buffet lunch, photographs and a minute’s silence in memory of Philip, our game of bowls began… that is battle, laughter, good/bad woods commenced, and friendships were made.  Friends were pipped at the post and just lost by four shots. Well done the club.

We had a ploughman’s supper after the match followed by scones with jam and cream, cupcakes, coffee sponges, chocolate cakes and more.   Some of our eyes are bigger than our………..!

Terry, the club’s men’s captain, rose to say a few words saying how much they had looked forward to this day and what an enjoyable day they had all had.  Margaret, Philip’s wife, thanked all the helpers, all whom had donated a large number of raffle prizes and all who had given food and made cakes.

Kath replied on behalf of the Friends saying that we were delighted to help with the celebrations and that these special days did not happen by themselves without the hard work of the members and we were very grateful for all their efforts.  She then awarded the top rink on each side prizes, homemade preserves again.  And last, but not least, the Friends ‘ special commemorative glass plaque was presented to Margaret on the Club’s behalf.

Margaret Armstrong proudly holding the commemorative glass plaque awarded to the Club

Thank you very much Peacehaven & Telscombe Bowls Club for a most enjoyable day.  Good luck in all you do.  Thank you Friends today represented from eleven counties, for your support for our last Club Runner-up of the Year celebration.   We will miss these occasions.

Friends v. Amesbury BC

FoEB v Amesbury BC –
Sunday June 23rd 2019

We started with muggy and overcast day in Amesbury and that was how it stayed – just a few spots late in the game but over before it started.   Once found, there was plenty of parking at the bowls club and a very pleasant small park, or large garden of the old house, to play bowls in.  All complemented by a large clubhouse with sensible sized changing rooms and an office for the Match Officers to write and exchange the cards in (that was a first for me!).

Club President Peter Harding along with Captains Harry Noyles and Janice Bull welcomed the Friends, their own players and all guests onto the green.  Amesbury players and visitors then joined the Friends and guests in a Minute’s Silence in memory of our very dear Friend Tony Taylor of Cambridgeshire who had passed away earlier in the day.

After the group photographs were taken, and the order of play and rink announcements were over we commenced.  As always with the Friends’ games there was plenty of banter and laughter on the rinks and the odd groan when a shot didn’t come off.  Complements to Amesbury Green Team – it was a lovely playing surface and our rink ran as true as any I’ve played on this year.  The rest of my rink must have agreed with me as we came out Top Rink, thank you David Hamilton, Maureen Peyton & Dennis Taylor, dream team!

We completed the 21 ends without getting damp and took our places at the tables for a sumptuous meal. More Complements! this time to Julie and her team (Dave, Julie2, Tina, Pat & Lynn) for both an excellent buffet lunch and a really delicious roast dinner.  I don’t know how the visitors managed it all as I saw them stuffing cake with tea/coffee during the afternoon while we were playing!  Our liquid refreshment was ably provided by Terry & Mike.

President Peter gave an excellent speech.  He had a good knowledge of the Friends of English Bowling (correct!) and gave us a brief overview of their club and successes this year including qualifiers for Leamington.  He invited us to join them in 2025 for a joint celebration for their century and our 20 years.  Stand behind me in the queue folks.  I followed with the usual appreciations and complements on their club and successes.  We had 16 Counties represented and I introduced some of our players and guests including BE SVP Paul Robson and partner Leslie,  and FEB Executives Kath & Adie Lloyd.  John Southern of Bedfordshire a past Amesbury club member and Wilts County President in 2017 was also playing for the Friends.  I added to Peter’s information about the Friends accentuating the positives of being a member and I hope we will soon be joined by some Amesbury members.

Presentation – Marcia & President Peter Harding

The Friends and Amesbury both had 3 winning rinks however the final Score in our favour was 124-100. Top Rink prizes to both sides were handed out and the Amesbury top rink was Vanessa McCormack, Jim Hassard, Barry Guyer and Jim Ford, and I concluded by presenting President Peter with a framed Certificate to commemorate our visit.

Marcia Dunstone
Captain of the Day
FoEB Hon Secretary

Friends v. Bowls Wiltshire

Bowls Wiltshire v Friends of English Bowling – 22nd June 2019

The second game of our Wiltshire mini tour was played at Salisbury B.C.   Following coffee and tea for the earliest arrivals, a buffet lunch was provided before the match, which was to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the formation of the unified Bowls Wiltshire.

Although there was some confusion over the start time (not among the Friends), the match finally got under way in brilliant sunshine – perfect conditions for a most enjoyable game.  Three winning rinks each made for claims of a drawn match but the Friends had to be content with coming second, the score being 112-128.  The Captain of the Day, Graham Annetts, presented the top rinks from both sides some summer liquid refreshment, along with small tokens of encouragement for those who fared less well.

Thirteen counties were represented in the Friends team and several Wiltshire members of the Friends played for the opposition. (Cards marked for the second day running!)


Four of the hard working kitchen team: thanks to Sandra, Di, Nancy, Rosie, Anne, Frank & Valerie

A tasty meal, provided by the ladies of the Salisbury Club (thank you ladies) followed and the Friends managed a narrow win in the raffle which completed the day’s proceedings.

It was a great pleasure for the Salisbury Club (who have five members of the Friends amongst their number), to welcome the Friends and Bowls Wiltshire to their club, and a most enjoyable day was had by everyone.   Thanks to Maddie for taking the pictures, and to all the Friends for coming to our club.


Friends v. Downton BC

Downton BC with Friends, looking forward to the game

Downton Bowling Club is the most southern Bowling Club in Wiltshire in beautiful countryside, and where we started our Wiltshire long weekend on Friday 21st June.

Teas and coffees were provided for our players and visitors arriving from eleven different counties, and at 12.30 pm we were treated to a buffet in the bar.  After eating too much (again) we went out to play our match in warm sunny weather…but what was this? some of our members playing for Downton!   (mark their cards)  We are all Friends or friends so no matter.   Anyway we won and so no stewards’ enquiry.

Hard working team : Jenny, Ann, Rosemary, Janet & Barbara


Sandy is busy behind the bar – thank you Sandy!

We sat down in the big room by the bar for our after-match meal,  delicious cottage pie, fruit & ice cream, followed by a generous selection of cheese and biscuits.  Lovely.  Neil Gillespie, Downton ‘s Captain of the day (Bowls Wiltshire Treasurer), made us very welcome.  He mentioned how nice it was for Downton members to meet present and past Bowling Officials from round the country.  Adie Lloyd, our Captain of the day, thanked the Downton members and the Friends for making such an enjoyable day.  He presented top rink prizes to both sides, Kath’s preserves again;   finally ending with a generously prized raffle.

Captains of the Day -Neil Gillespie and Adie Lloyd (presentation of Certificate)

Thank you Downton, thank you ladies for the excellent food, thank you to all the helpers. The day was special.

Friends v. Market Overton 12th June

Market Overton BC and Friends – looking forward to a game without rain

This is like a home from home for some of the Friends’ members.

We were warmly greeted, in dry weather (!), with coffees, teas and biscuits.  What a lovely club this is; a good size clubhouse, a cosy bar and a green which is improving each year, all tucked away in a picturesque village in Leicestershire.

Annette Oliver, Pam Edwards & Ann Cusdin – our hard working caterers!

There was a very ample cheese and pate ploughman’s lunch and soup for us at midday and after we went out to play, in dry weather(!).  “ Play until it rains” was the order of the day and despite the very heavy rain for days, the green played well and we achieved 18 ends in dry weather(!).




Rain clouds ? What rain clouds ?


Our hosts were kind and we won, which was nice after playing indoors in Lincolnshire twice and losing. Tony Allcock was our Captain of the Day and we all celebrated his birthday, his OBE, his civil partnership and his election to Chair of the Kennel Club.  Congratulations Tony.   He thanked the club and all the volunteers, who, he said, could never be thanked enough in any club and he also thanked the Friends, who have taken the association above and beyond his hopes and expectations in 2005.




Hard working and multi-tasking Jeannie Hutton with bar man Sid Forbes

Adie Lloyd presented the club with the Friends’ framed certificate as a memento of our visit.  Thank you, President and Captain Mike, and Annette and all your helpers for a lovely day.  It is right that you cannot thank people enough for their hard work.

We all want to come again and hope to help celebrate your 75th anniversary next year, playing in DRY weather(!).

Adie presenting President Mike Parkes with Certificate

Friends v. Hykeham BC 11th June

Hykeham & Friends standing proud before the game on blue ‘turf’

Another day of torrential rain in Lincolnshire and our game at Hykeham BC was in jeopardy, however with his magic touch Adie Lloyd cleverly negotiated with Lincoln & District Indoor Bowling Club and for the second day running The Friends played their game in the dry!    We were initially met at Hykeham’s clubhouse and were welcomed with a warm drink before we moved on to the indoor venue.   Whilst the Friends’ performance improved from yesterday, we were still out-manoeuvred by Hykeham our hosts,  who had a convincing win, captained by Ernie Broughton.

The Kitchen Team (l-r) June, Jenny, Helena, Toby, Sue & Sandra. Thank you !

It was still raining as we made our way back to their clubhouse after the game, but the fellowship as always after a game was second to none, and we tucked into our tea provided by June, Jenny, Helena, Toby, Sue and Sandra.

Hykeham’s Captain Ernie Broughton





The Chairman of the club, John Wilcock addressed the players, warmly welcoming Friends of English Bowling and apologising for the dreadful weather we were experiencing in Lincolnshire!  Adie Lloyd, our Captain of the day, in his reply thanked the club for their hospitality and was pleased to congratulate Hykeham’s highest rink –  Billy Cook, Nick Daniels, John Scholey & Jeff Barlow.



Adie presenting Chairman John with a reminder of our day together

Adie went on to present John with a framed certificate in celebration of our day together.

It was still raining when we all left the clubhouse…..  we really must come back and see Lincolnshire in the sunshine!