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!

Friends v. Horncastle BC – 10th June

Horncastle BC & Friends pre-match line up – in the dry!

Well, what could have been a disaster turned out well.   The rain was unforgiving and meant an outdoor game would be impossible.   We were so lucky to have the facilities of Horncastle & District Indoor Bowls Club to save the day.   Whilst a good many of us had not played indoors we were all more than happy to ‘have a go’.

Thank you (l-r) Tricia Rapley, Tricia Sholey, Darryl White, Lyn Gospel for a lovely lunch


After journeying in the rain what could be more inviting than a warm welcome, a warm clubhouse, a fantastic lunch – laid on by Tricia Rapley, Tricia Scholey, Darryl White and Lyn Gospel… so much appreciated.  And lets not forget John Scholey the ever important Bar Manager and Captain of Horncastle BC.



Multi-tasking John Scholey – Captain of Horncastle BC and ever important Bar Manager

President George Lancaster welcomed us all and handed over to the two Captains –  John Scholey, and Captain for the day for Friends – Carolyn Hunt.

The players were awarded with a magnificent carvery meal following the game which of course went a long way to healing the wounds from the beating the Friends took from their opponents!   The Friends were unable to out-perform on any of the 5 rinks.  Horncastle were the outright victors, helped in no small way by their highest winning rink – David Pill, Tony Kirby, Norman Burton and Ted Tasker.  It is traditional for Friends to recognise both side’s achievements and it was therefore only correct for Captain Carolyn to award her own teammates for the best scoring losers!  Her teammates were Richard Pearce, John Timms and skipped by Marcia Dunstone.

Carolyn brought the formalities to a close with a final presentation to President George Lancaster of a framed certificate to denote our day shared with Horncastle BC.   Although not the day originally planned, a good day with good friends.

Captain of the Day, Carolyn Hunt with George Lancaster, President Horncastle BC



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