Friends at Leamington v. BE Mixed Team


FoEB line up with their BE opponents

Friends v BE, Leamington 08/08/19

When you hear cries of “which green are we on”, or “what time are we starting”,  you know that members of the Friends are assembling at Leamington for the first of two games against the Bowls England President’s team held annually during the National Championships.

The first of these games took place on the 8th of August in warm, sunny conditions. Ten rinks of Friends enjoyed the opportunity of playing on B and C greens once the day’s schedule for the championships had been completed. Good humour was much in evidence and a number of us gave performances which underlined why we were not competing in the National Finals.  Although the BE team claimed victory by three shots, the Friends Captain of the day responded by declaring the match a draw, as both sides were successful on five rinks!

As is now customary, after the game everyone gathered at the Irish Club for an enjoyable meal, which included a delicious trifle for dessert. Grateful thanks to everyone who gave generous support to the raffle, and congratulations to those who won prizes, especially the gentleman who acquired a ladyshave!

With a second match to come later in the Championships, the Friends have the opportunity to turn the tables on the opposition and win!


photographs kindly provided by Allen Simms


Friends v. Stevenage Town BC

Stevenage Pre-match Line-up: of course it won’t rain!

Wednesday 31st July,  the Friends arrived at Stevenage Town BC on a very overcast day to celebrate the clubhouse being recently re cladded – and very fine it looked as well.

We were met by the Club President Graham Morris and Captain Keith Greenough and several of the club members who provided us with a light lunch.

Battle commenced at 1.30 all six rinks were poised and ready to go, keeping a watchful eye on the weather. We shouldn’t have worried as it stayed dry and reasonably warm for the whole afternoon.  The was much banter and laughter on the green. The game ended with a win for the Friends.

The rink of Barbara Carter, Alan Parish, Jenny Ralph and the match officer John Thompson took the highest winning rink honours for the Friends, with Eddie Cooper, Alan North, Will Taylor and President Graham Morris for Stevenage Town Bowls Club.   The final score was 125 – 111 winning on 5 rinks. What a great days bowling.

The club was thanked for all their hospitality and a wonderful day of bowls

Stevenage Captain Keith Greenough, FoEB Captain John Thompson, Club President Graham Morris

Friends v. Wellington BC – 25 July

A Glorious Summer Day in Wellington

Friends from eight counties converged on the Somerset town of Wellington for the third match of the mini tour to the West Country.

Some members were on their way home from Devon and Cornwall, others travelled down in brilliant sunshine to play in the delightful surroundings of the Wellington Club.  When the satnav instructed us to turn right at the Iron Duke pub in the High Street, we certainly knew who the town was named after!


We were met by the Club President Gill and Captain of the Day Ian, and treated to a fine buffet lunch before preparing for battle. On a perfect summer afternoon, no one complained of being cold, and the bar, ice cream sellers and the cold water tap all did a roaring trade.

The facilities at this thriving club are excellent and the match was played in a great spirit, with the Friends managing to score more shots than the opposition, although some creative mathematics by the Friend’s Captain saw the result declared a draw. One or two of the team suffered a little in the heat, and we were grateful to super-sub Kath for stepping in when the going got tough.

The rink of Diane Thompson, Richard Peyton, Sue Skerry and Andy Hunt took the highest rink honours for the Friends, with Eileen, Dennis, Phil and Thelma doing likewise for Wellington.

The final score of 114 – 70 rather flattered the visitors, but the real winner was the great spirit in which the match was played.

After a short break to enable everyone to cool down after their exertions, the ladies of the club provided us with an excellent meal featuring wonderful apple pie with custard and cream!

Thanks to Julia Stanton (Amy Walter’s Mum) for asking Adie to bring the Friends to Wellington, to everyone at the club for making us so welcome and the weather for enabling us to enjoy a lovely afternoon.

Graham Annetts, FOEB,  presenting memento to Gill Groves, President of Wellington BC, and Captain Ian Thompson

Friends v. Plymouth (Sir Francis Drake BC)

Sir Francis Drake and Friends – on a cloudy but hot day

After a night of thunderstorms, the day dawned cloudy for the Friends’ game against the Sir Francis Drake Bowling Club in Plymouth.  We were welcomed to the green by President Brian and Captain Sam of the host Club, and before play enjoyed a sumptuous buffet which had, of course, to include scones with jam and cream.   There was a light wind and it was slightly chilly as play began and after the overnight rain the green was a tad pushy but as the sun came out the Friends warmed to their task and in a very enjoyable game, played in a sporty manner, the Friends emerged with a 122-83 shots victory.

Brilliant food provided by Tracey, Sue, Barbara, Jean & Sandie

Following the game Captain of the Day Kay Kerley thanked the Club for its hospitality and presented a certificate recording the Friends visit.  She also presented prizes to the Friends highest rink of Charlotte Sliney, Richard Peyton, Kay Kerley and Mike Skerry.

Yum !

The two Tonys

Unusually on this occasion, the speeches took place before the post game meal… for a very good reason…. We had to wait for the pasties to cook!   A visit to Plymouth would not be complete without having a pasty and very enjoyable they were too!


Captain Sam Allen accepting certificate from Kay Kerley, FoEB



Friends v. Saltash – 23 July

Saltash BC and Friends from 10 counties, line up before the game.

The green looked great, the sun shone on us all, and we had as brilliant ‘first day in Cornwall’ playing at Saltash Bowls Club.   We were in for three very hot days.   The Friends, arriving from 9 different counties, were made most welcome with a cup of tea on arrival, and Nick Vincent was on hand with his professional-looking camera equipment.

A warm welcome -President Colin Burke, Captain Jo Lambourne & John Thompson, Captain of the Day for FOEB

President Colin Burke and Jo Lambourne, Captain, welcomed John Thompson, our Captain for the Day and the game commenced!   We managed a full 21 ends in the heat of the day – with no casualties.   And the Friends came away the lucky winners. The team in the kitchen did us proud, with a wonderful evening meal – thank you ladies: Lesley Day, Christine Johnstone, Jean Vincent and Jenny Northmore.     And lets not forget Brian behind the bar – ever busy.


Helpful barman, Brian




The magical caterers, Lesley, Christine, Jean and Jenny








The evening closed, with new friends made, and John Thompson presented Jo Lambourne with the Friends framed certificate to remember our day together.

Highest Winning Rink for FOEB

Highest Winning Rink for Saltash BC


A memento of a great day together.

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.   Michael’s side was made up from teams from Chestnuts, Banbury Central, Brackley, Middle Barton and Banbury Borough.   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.