Friends play Staines BC 21st May 2019

Staines BC and Friends line up for the pre-match photo-call

Today we commenced our programme of matches for the 2019 season.   On a wonderful sunny day we were royally entertained by our hosts Staines Bowls Club who are celebrating their Centenary this year.

It was a great afternoon of bowling enjoyed by all, and played in a competitive spirit, but in the relaxed social atmosphere that is a hallmark of these celebratory matches, with many new friends being made. The score was irrelevant although FOEB scored a few more than our hosts.  The best performing rink for Staines was Jane Billins, Alan Little, Roy Holdaway and captain Eric Moore who were playing against our Chairman’s rink.  FOEB’s best rink was Graham Searle, Pauline Biddlecombe, Jan Hunt and Spencer Kerley.  FOEB Captain for the day David Wederell congratulated the club on its historic milestone and wished them a happy and successful season, and a bright future so we could all come back in 2044 for the 125th!

Friends & Midland County BA at Wolvey BC, Leic

Friends with Midland County BA

The Teams: centre l-r President of Wolvey BC Michael, President of Midland Counties, Aubrey, and Friends Captain of the Day, Cyndy

On Thursday September 13th players from twelve counties made their way to Wolvey to play the final game of the season. Among them, the Bowls England Presidential team consisting of Bill Smith, Hazel Marke and Paul Robson.   This was against Midland Counties which consists of seven counties.  It was also their last game of the season so both teams were keen to finish on a win.

At 12.30 the girls in the kitchen were ready to make rolls, or sausage rolls plus salad to order, at a pound a time. They were kept pretty busy by the hungry arrivals who were expecting a buffet lunch.

Foreen & Dorothy

Doreen & Dorothy who made the lunch

Bob & John

Bob assisting John at the bar







The President of the club, Michael welcomed President Aubrey Brookhouse and Captain of the day Cyndy Lee to his club and then handed the green over for the match.

When we started the game the sun was shining and it was feeling very warm. Shirt sleeves and sun hats to start. After about eight ends the sun vanished and the wind started and it began to feel rather chilly. Sun hats removed and fleeces now worn. There were a few hardy souls who managed without the extra layer.  The green played beautifully, a lovely pace. Tim, the green keeper, had done a very good job. He was cutting it as we arrived.

Laughter could be heard across the six rinks and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. Some more than others.

After the match we had a fish and chip supper with mushy peas.  This was followed by excellent trifles – one large bowl for each table.  They were so good that Chris Smith went round each table trying to scrounge any leftovers.

Speeches were made by the two captains and top rink prizes given.  Final scores were given – 140 for the Midland Counties and 99 for the Friends.  But using Stuart Lakes method of counting:-  1+4+0 = 5.  So five for Midland Counties.  9+9 = 18.  So eighteen for the Friends.  A great win for the Friends to finish the year.


Cyndy Lee presenting Certificate to Midland Counties President Aubrey Brookhouse

Finally a very big THANK YOU to our governor Adie Lloyd and his wife Kath for arranging all the matches and the teams.  They do a wonderful job which usually includes having to find replacements at very late notice.  We are all looking forward to seeing what has been arranged for 2019.

Top rink for the Friends 34 -18.  Adie Lloyd, Cyndy Lee, Peter Lee and Mike Skerry
Top rink for Midland Counties 30 -9.  Len Hale, John Rice, Lou Kirton and Chris Smith

Friends v Irchester BC

Friends v Irchester

Pre game lineup – The Friends with Irchester BC (The Romans) 10 September 2018

On Monday 10th September ‘The Friends’ visited Irchester BC in Northants for a match to celebrate the Club’s 30th Anniversary.

On arrival the Friends players had the opportunity to have a cup of tea or coffee and the earlier arrivals, the chance to sit and chat with their colleagues.   The club then provided a very enjoyable lunch.

After a team photo and Spider the Club President welcomed all the players on to the green.  The weather was bright and dry, if a little chilly, and a very enjoyable match followed.  The hosts won on 4 rinks, but on the two outside rinks the ‘Friends’ were the overwhelming winners and in consequence won the match 122 – 107.

The teams all enjoyed a lovely meal, provided by Pam, Janet and Sue and helpers Alison and Gill.

Club President Denis then related a brief history of the club, and Captain Peter thanked the Friends for their visit and extended his thanks to the lady caterers and Andy the barman.   Their highest winning ring was duly awarded.

In reply Friends captain of the day Geoff Hunt confirmed the great pleasure it was to visit, particularly for him as this was the club he joined when he first moved to the County.  He went on to say that the visit was merged with sadness as former Club Chairman George Willmott had organized the event last year before he sadly passed away.

Geoff then gave details about the Friends history and purpose since they were founded in 2005, and the funds they raise, and introduced the 6 Committee Members playing that day in the match, and explaining that players had come from around the Country to play in the match.

He thanked the Caterers and Bar Staff and finally presented Captain Peter with a framed Certificate to commemorate the visit.

Friends Captain of the day Geoff with Irchester Captain Peter Gunn

A raffle was then held with an impressive list of prizes, all organized by Brenice widow of George Willmott.

A special mention for Derek who looks after the green’s surrounding gardens.  The flowers were beautiful and a treat to behold.  A very enjoyable visit, and one hopefully to be remembered by ‘The Romans’.





Friends v BE President – 11 September 2018

Goodwood BC lineup

The Friends line up with BE President Bill, and his intrepid team

The Friends v BE Select Team, Goodwood. 11/09/2018

 A big day for the Friends and for Bowls England President Bill Smith with his Select side.  We gathered at Bill’s Leicestershire club,  Goodwood,  to play the annual match between the Friends and Bowls England for the Ian Woodcock Claret Jug.  We all arrived a bit daunted because of the wet weather, but first settled in for a ploughman’s lunch.

Cometh the match, cometh the weather; a wet green – but dry weather.  Why were we worried?  We tried our hardest, but the President’s team was too strong for us. However, we won the laughter stakes. 

We retired to our after-match meal, which was gammon steak followed by an individual fresh cream sponge cake each.  Delicious.  Our captain, our match secretary, Adie Lloyd thanked the club for making us all so welcome,   especially for the good food and the good green.  He then presented the Claret Jug and a personalised Friend’s framed certificate to Bill.  

Presentation of Claret Jug

Adie presenting Bill with the coveted Ian Woodcock Claret Jug

 Finally Deepak Tanna, Goodwood ‘s president wished us all a safe journey home and looked forward to us visiting the club again.  Deepak is standing for the position of Bowls England President 2022.  We wish him well.



Friends v West End BC, Woking

Friends & West End BC  –  Thursday 6th September 2018

Adie & Kath had asked us to arrive early to meet them but miscalculation on journey time, and forgetting that no lunch was planned at this game, meant that we arrived so early we caused some surprise to Ian who was setting up the greens.   Club Captain Trevor Lofty arrived shortly after, as did Colleen the club caterer for the day so very soon we had coffee, tea and a bacon butty.  West End bowlers are rightly pleased with the extension to their clubhouse.  With valuable advice from their local Councillor and Mayor, West End had sought and gained financial assistance in various forms including a £100,000 grant from the London Marathon and grants or loans from local businesses and Bowls England.  The club now has sufficient room for 6 rinks and guests to sit comfortably after matches, and provides space for a local Yoga club to meet during the week.  They also use the club all year round and have 2 short mats for winter play.

Players from both sides arrived in time for the obligatory photographs and after our welcome by Club Captain Trevor we were soon on the green.  Trial ends, 3s up and the 21 ends planned, plus a heavier green than some were used to, meant that the break at 10 ends for tea and cake was very welcome.

Having sat out in the warm sunshine before the game, the clouds started to build and the temperature dropped quite distinctly.  Fortunately all rinks had finished and players were inside enjoying the meal before the very heavy downpour started.  It was a very enjoyable meal, provided by Colleen and Val.  Liquid refreshments were  served by Peter and John at the bar.

Chef Colleen & Val

Chef Colleen (right) & Val

After the meal we were welcomed again by the Club Captain who expressed some surprise that Friends had travelled from so many counties and indeed one couple for over 100 miles to play in their match.  (We had players from 8 Counties namely Berks, Bucks, Hampshire, Herts., Kent, Oxon, Surrey and Wiltshire)  Although many of their members hadn’t heard of the Friends before, the match had arisen from a chance meeting by Adie with a club member whilst out in the Algarve last year.  A meeting Trevor was very pleased had resulted in this game.

Peter & John

Peter & John – the smiling bar men

Following their toast  I responded with thanks to all concerned and congratulated in their absence, Mark Jones and Mark Dunne who had reached the Final of the National Pairs losing to a Somerset duo.  Also congratulating two club members Val and Peter (mentioned earlier) who are tying the knot later in the month.  I shared details about the Friends; the various advantages of being a member and about our annual donation to BE that they use to back many competitions and to help young bowlers, as well as our continued support of Disability Bowls.   Perhaps in the future we will be welcoming some of  their players as new Friends.

Cpt Trevor & President Steve with Marcia

Captain Trevor Lofty, Marcia & President Steve Brierly

Match Result :   FEB 146 , West End 88
West End top rink :  B Shambrook R Dixon, B Bryant & M Humphrey
Friends top rink :  Maddy McConomy, Cyndy Lee, Paul Robson & Stewart Wright

 Marcia Dunstone
Captain for the day

Friends v Bowls England Select


Friends v BE 30-8-18

Friends v Bowls England Select

Following the Friend’s AGM on Thursday 30th August – this year held in The Irish Club for the first time – we all moved across to the hallowed greens.

With the weather warm and sunny, everyone looked forward to their game. Greens C and D were allocated for the event, and we played on 11 of the rinks. There was great camaraderie on the green, with of course both sides wanting the victory.  All too soon, we were packing bowls away and making our way to The Irish Club for a good meal, and a good gossip.

As The Friends were the ‘away team’ this year, BE President Bill Smith presided over the occasion as host; the Irish Club were thanked for their hospitality and concurred by Geoff Hunt in his response as the Friends’ Captain of the day. Having kept us all in suspense, Geoff disclosed the scores – victory went to The Friends 211-185. A magnificent day.

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

The Friends Pairs 2018 at Leamington

The Friends of English Bowling 2 Wood pairs took place today during the National Championships at Leamington Spa.  30 pairs took part.  The morning was overcast but the afternoon was hot and sunny.  Last year’s winners (Ken Eichen and Frank Barrett) were beaten in the first round by last year’s runners up (Jenny Ralph and Jackie Bryant of Bedfordshire) who went on to contest the SF against Terri Keen (Bucks) and Rosemary Ellman-Brown (Sussex) winning 10-5.  The other SF was contested between Margaret and Mike Morris (Oxfordshire) and Alan Hill and Stephen Hemsley (Lancashire).  The Morris’s winning 17-5.  The final was a very close game involving an extra end of 1 bowl per player with Margaret and Mike winning 13-12.

The finalists together with Chairman Geoff

A jubilant Margaret and Mike accepting their well earned trophy from Chairman Geoff