Friends v Bowls England

On August 10th bowls lovers from all over England met at Leamington for the Nationals and the first of our two games took place.

The game was played in a good spirit with Bowls England winning by 12 shots.

This was followed by an excellent meal at the Naval Club where a raffle was held which made a profit in excess of £500.

The winning rink for the Friends was Diane Lee, Graham Annetts, Janet Farnsworth and Pam Lambshead.

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

Friends v Worcester Bowls Club

The Friends and Worcester Bowls Club – still friends after the game

On Wednesday 2nd August  The Friends had the  honour to visit Worcester B.C. to help them celebrate their 150th Anniversary.

As the players arrived at the club the weather was not kind and it was drizzling with rain and not very warm.

After a nice lunch the teams took to the green carrying waterproofs but in the event these were not necessary and it turned into a very pleasant afternoon.

It was a very competitive and friendly match with close games across most rinks with the green playing well.  The Friends just shaded the final result but it was later agreed to call the match a draw as it ended 3 rinks each.

Sheila and Jan – the smiley ladies who provided us with a buffet lunch and supper

After another pleasant meal and with President Ian Hunt coping with the bar, Club Captain Arthur Jackson welcomed The Friends team and explained more about the celebrations that had already taken place. He introduced members of the club including wife Jan Jackson dealing with the catering and presented Rink winners with a towel celebrating the Anniversary.

In reply Friends Captain for the day Geoff Hunt confirmed the honour to bring a team for the celebration. It was a remarkable achievement 150 years, founded 1867, when Queen Victoria still had 34 yrs of her Reign outstanding.

He tried to imagine back to those days and all the old photographs we had seen of gentlemen wearing winged collars and bowler hats, But we had to remember that they were the champions of their day and their names were on the Winners Boards.

He reminisced that Worcester B.C were one of the 6 clubs who founded Worcestershire County Association in 1930 when the club was already 63 yrs old. The Inaugural Meeting had been held at Worcester B. C at this ground in the old pavilion which had been on the other side of the green.

He then explained a little about the history of The Friends and introduced the 5 Committee members at the game and that players had travelled from 11 different counties to be present.

He thanked the Catering and Bar for the Day and finally presented Captain Arthur with a framed Certificate celebrating the day.

Captain Arthur, Captain of the Day Geoff and President Ian

We all then departed for home after a very successful day, just as the rain began to fall.

Three old friends who insisted on having their picture taken and added to the report

Friends v Royston B.C.

On July 27th the players from Royston B.C and the Friends line up before the game

The Friends had been invited to Royston to celebrate the club’s 90th Anniversary combined with New Clubhouse and Green.  The clubhouse was to be envied with spacious changing rooms, a large well lit dining room with enough round tables to comfortably seat 6 rinks as well as many guests.   The kitchen was equally large and well equipped with a wide serving area.  The dining room was balanced at the opposite end by a good sized bar.  The clubhouse has been well designed and hopefully will be well used for the next 90 years.  Those who have been visitors in the past to Royston must have been pleased to see that they had retained the comfortable conservatory and viewing area overlooking the green.

After photographs, spider for the Captain’s Charity and introductions by Club Captain Don Sheriff and Friends’ Captain Marcia Dunstone the full game with trial ends etc commenced.  The green looked immaculate and bowled very well.  Too well for the home side and by the end the Friends were down on every rink.  Top rink for the Friends ie the rink with the least loss was Ray Keen, Sue Skerry, Maddie McConomy & Keith Thomas.  Top rink for the hosts was a tie between 2 rinks and decided by ends won.  Club Captain Don and Club President Keith were in the winning rink.  A donated bottle of whisky for the Spider was presented to Margaret Morris from Oxfordshire

Margaret, Eileen,Eunice and Yvonne. The ladies who made us the most wonderful buffet lunch and after match meal

Our devastating loss by 43 shots (94-137) was somewhat mollified by the excellent meals provided by our hosts before and after the game.

Royston has its fair share of good players both past and present. The Friend’s Captain Marcia  congratulated those players who had reached the National Finals this year and also their Junior International Rachel Tremlett who had just returned from a very successful win for England in the Junior Women’s International Series held in Londonderry/Derry.  The Friends not to be left out had 2 county finalists at Leamington with Diane Lee for Bedfordshire and Terri Keen for Buckinghamshire.

The formal proceedings ended with fines for various misdemeanours, the raffle and a short auction of a bottle of whisky, all in aid of the President’s Charity.

For this most enjoyable day The Friends had travelled from 11 counties as far afield as Yorkshire, Wiltshire and Kent and hopefully returned safely home

President Keith, Captain of the Day Marcia and Captain Don

Friends v Stevenage Town B.C.

Stevenage Town and the Friends line up before the start of the match

On Wednesday July 26th, the Friends from nine different counties, made their way to Stevenage Town B.C. to help celebrate their 75th Anniversary.

We were greeted by two lovely ladies, Nancy and Mabel, who kept us supplied with tea, coffee and biscuits throughout the day.  From the first arrival at 11.30 until the end of the proceedings at 6.30.

At 12.30 the buffet was declared open and the Friends filled their plates with quiche, salads, sandwiches and other delights.

After lunch we made our way onto the green to be officially welcomed by the club President Terry Stout.

Captain Keith Greenough and Captain of the Day Cyndy Lee read out the teams and play commenced.

Mike Cavill, who skipped the top rink, receiving the score card before the game.

The weather forecast was pretty horrid and we took all the wet weather gear on to the green with us.  Someone up there must like us because it was not too bad.  A couple of light showers which did not affect the game and the fun.

At ten ends it was a draw – but we played better in the second half and eventually won by 23 shots.  Well done to all.  The six rinks were very close and the final result could have gone either way.

After the match we sat down to a magnificent four course meal prepared and served by the same ladies who provided the buffet.  Ladies Captain Sue, her sister Vicky and daughter Leanne.

Leanne, Ladies Captain Sue and Vicky who did an amazing catering job

After the meal President Terry thanked us for coming and invited us to come back next year.  I hope we can as the Friends all had a fabulous time.  Wonderful company, great food and good competitive bowling with lots of laughter all round.  These days do not just happen.  A lot of time and trouble goes into arranging these celebration matches and the Friends really do appreciate it.

President Terry  being handed a memento of the day

There was a lovely final surprise when Captain Keith handed a generous donation to swell the Friends coffers.  Many thanks to Stevenage Town B.C. for this special day.

 

 

Friends v Alton Social B.C.

The brave teams line up for a photo in the rain

On Sunday 23rd July, on a damp Sunday lunchtime, the Friends team arrived to be greeted by a sumptuous buffet lunch prepared by the ladies of Alton Social B.C. in Hampshire. The club has recently re-located to a new green, clubhouse and car park and the match against the Friends was the first of two matches arranged to celebrate the opening of their new complex.

A smiling Hazel and her team of ladies who provided us with a magnificent buffet lunch

When the time came to start the match, the weather decided to intervene, and although we managed to complete the photographic evidence of our visit and carry out the pre match formalities under the shelter of a large umbrella, heavy rain forced a retreat into the clubhouse before the match could commence.

Graham, John and Gary bravely attempting to start the game

Fortunately, there is a six rink indoor club right next door to the outdoor green, where many of the Alton members play in the winter, and arrangements were swiftly completed for the match to be played on the indoor green. Although the score was quite close during the middle part of the game, home advantage told in the latter stages and Alton Social ran out victors by 15 shots. It was disappointing not to have the opportunity to play on the new outdoor green, but listening to the rain pounding down on the roof while we played indoors made even those who do not play bowls indoors grateful to be dry and warm rather than wet and bedraggled outside.

After the match we were treated to an excellent salad meal and dessert, and with honours fairly even in the raffle that followed, everyone set off for home feeling that bowls and new friendships made had been the winner rather than allowing the rain to spoil an excellent occasion.

Captain of the Day Graham Annetts presenting President Gary Johnson with a certificate to mark the happy occasion

Thanks are due to everyone at Alton Social who worked hard to entertain, feed and provide us with liquid refreshment, to Chawton Park Indoor Bowls Club for allowing us the use of their facilities and to the players who travelled from seven counties to represent the Friends.

 

 

Friends v Devizes B.C.

The 9 teams from the Friends and Devizes B.C. –  all friendly before the match

On Wednesday July 19th the members of Friends arrived from 9 different counties (including 96 year old Gordon Short from Devon).

We individually received a very warm and personal welcome from President Rosemary and other members of the Management.

President Rosemary Bradbury, Ladies Captain Sheila Greenwood and Mens Captain Dave Greenwood greeting the guests

Rosemary and Dave greet Ken Graham from Hampshire

Prior to starting the game we enjoyed a magnificent buffet luncheon in the spacious clubhouse, before going onto the two outdoor greens with 9 rinks, taking part in the latest Centenary match for Devizes

 

The ladies who provided us with a superb buffet lunch. Rachel, Sue and Patricia

The Centenary Committee have worked very hard over the past two years planning a series of events for 2017, entertaining Bowls England, The Chelsea Pensioners and the Ladies and Gents from Bowls Wiltshire to name but a few.

The Friends were pleased, proud and privileged to be invited to Devizes Bowls Club to conclude this year of achievement and celebration.

The Club has grown steadily over the years with extra rinks being added, with now two full sized 6 rink greens in operation, complimented by a superb clubhouse built in 1999. The facilities of the club would be the envy of many a club, with full use being made of them throughout the year with socials, short mat and charity events – what’s not to like!

At the half way stage the top green were looking strong with Devizes showing a score-line of 52:39, whereas on the bottom green, the Friends were in charge with a score of 48:23. There was intense rivalry between both greens throughout, with scouts from each green looking across to see what was going on in each other’s rinks. The game was clearly played in great spirits, judging by the noise being generated by all players, making it a game to remember for the enjoyment it gave.

As the game finished the Friends managed to keep two winning rinks on the top green but the bottom green triumphed with a win for the Friends on all four greens. The overall winner of the game for The Friends with a score of 31:6 was Maxeen Fletcher, Ken Graham, Graham Annetts & Mike Skerry.

The final score was a win for the Friends with 210:154.

Having had a super game, we retired to the club house to enjoy a delicious cooked meal prepared by the ladies, who had worked tirelessly, putting together the buffet and the after match meal, which were appreciated by all players. The bar staff were also greatly appreciated for all their hard work in supplying us with liquid refreshment.

Captain of the Day Graham Rogers presenting the certificate to Captain Sheila

Thank you Devizes for a delightful day and we hope your club continues to thrive for many years to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friends v Trowbridge Police

The Friends in a line up with the Trowbridge Police

On Tuesday July 18th the Friends, from 9 counties, journeyed to Holt Bowls Club to help the Trowbridge Police celebrate their 50th Anniversary.

We were warmly greeted by the Captain, Bill Liddle and Stuart Beard, the Secretary/Treasurer/General Factotum.   Very welcome teas, coffees and biscuits were available to all.  For those who fancied something stronger then Justin was on hand with a friendly smile to see to our needs.

The folks on their sticks arriving to play in this special game

The Captains, Bill Liddle and Adie Lloyd read out the teams to much cheering and jeering and the game commenced.

The laughter across the rinks was so loud that the people playing tennis complained that it was putting them off their strokes.  Good bowls were played by all but the Friends were just that bit luckier and we came away with a nice win.

It was very, very hot and humid but we played the full 21 ends.  Water was at the end of every rink to help us cool off.

Tilda, Pip, Margaret and Mary who made sure we were well fed

After the game we returned to the club house where the fans and air conditioner were working overtime to keep us cool.  After a superb buffet supper under the supervision of Pip and her team, Bill welcomed us all and told us about the history of the Trowbridge Police.  Adie replied and let them know the history of the Friends.  (Just look through our web site and see all the good we do and the fun we have whilst doing so).

He then presented Bill with a certificate to mark this special day and Bill presented Adie with a banner to do the same.

Bill then very kindly passed a generous donation, from the Trowbridge Police, to swell the Friends coffers.

Exchanging mementos with Captain Bill, President Ken Rendall and Adie

A wonderful day was had by all and we look forward to returning to Holt B.C. (if invited) in 2021 to help celebrate their 100th Anniversary).