Chelsea Pensioners Trip


On Wednesday 20th June 2018, a group of Devizes bowlers and visitors, went to London to plays bowls against the Chelsea Pensioners at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea.

We were given a very warm welcome, had an interesting but enjoyable game followed by an excellent tea in the Great Hall. The weather was perfect and a great day was had by all.

Captain Bev


Weymouth Tour May 2018

On the week-end of 11th, 12th and 13th May, a number of Devizes bowlers undertook a mini-tour to the south coast playing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Blandford Forum, Weymouth (Greenhill) and Swanage respectively whilst staying for two nights at the Royal Hotel on Weymouth sea front.
Bowling wise the tour had limited success with a record of two losses and one win. However, socially the tour was a resounding success with the weather improving each day, the hotel food and service exceptional and good company all week end with plenty of excellent banter both on and off the rinks.

At Blandford we suffered heavy losses on most rinks with Colin Littles rink achieving the least loss with a score of 17-19 his team being Jeff Whiting, Peter Diwell and Geoff Woollan.
At Greenhill we faired much better winning on three rinks and losing on three but gaining the overall aggregate win. Top rink was Michael Alexander, Rachel Whiting, Simon Northway and Dave Greenwood with a great score of 34-14.
Sunday on the tricky rinks at Swanage we lost on five rinks and won on just the one captained by Steve Mulligan and a team of Pat Cartwright, Richard Bradfield and Angela Roberts who registered a score of 23-16.

There was another success indicating that Devizes bowlers as well as being good on the greens are also knowledgeable as the team were successful in winning the hotels Saturday night quiz organised in the bar.

Special thanks were recorded to those who organised the events and also to Geoff Woollan and Terry Miles who did day trips, Geoff to Blandford Forum and Terry to Swanage, to help make up the numbers where we were short of players.

Photos below:-


Bowls Wiltshire Mixed

Sunday 27th August saw the next “Big Game” of our continuing centenary celebrations when we welcomed a mixed team from Bowls Wiltshire. Guests were welcomed on arrival by the club President, Captains and Vice-captains and this concept of meet and greet has been warmly received by all our visitors.

The game, originally set for 6 Rinks became so popular with the Bowls Wiltshire players that in the end we played over 10 rinks instead. The game was extremely competitive but in a friendly manner, however with the strength of our team drawn from those who signed up to play being somewhat weaker than a group of 40 of Wiltshire’s finest the final result was inevitable and almost

At the after match socialising, a good meal and a few drinks were enjoyed by all, followed by speeches from our Captains and the Bowls Wiltshire lady Chair and Captain for the day June Corbett. After all the usual list of thanks BW captain proceeded to bring about a series of comical episodes by raising funds for the Air Ambulance by way of individual fines of £1.00 for the craziest of reasons like incorrect actions on the greens, arriving in the wrong coloured shirt, trying to pinch her donations basket when clearing the tables after the meal ect.

Below is an extract from June Corbets report on the Bowls Wiltshire Website.

“A Bowls Wiltshire mixed team of 10 rinks travelled to Devizes on 27th August for a match as part of the Devizes Centenary celebrations. It was a lovely hot sunny day, the bowling was good and the banter between the two teams helped to make the occasion special.
A much appreciated cooked meal was provided. Presentations were made and both Captains made the point that the result was not so important but more for the participation and enjoyment experienced by all, (however for those who like to know BW did win).
As usual fines were imposed and a very generous £80.13 was raised for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance. BW Chair June thanked everyone for their support throughout the year. As a final note all monies collected from the four 2017 BW Mixed games raised a very creditable £217.80 which has been forwarded on to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance Charity Appeal.”


Centenary Gala Day

On Sunday 13th August Devizes Bowls Club celebrated its centenary with a gala day that was planned to involve twelve clubs from around the county who sent one rink of mixed players to compete against us and help with our celebrations.

Teams from Chippenham Park, Wilton, Trowbridge Police, Swindon North End, Trowbridge Westbourne, Chippenham Park, Chippenham Town, North Wilts Chippenham, Salisbury, Avon and Spencer Melksham were in attendance but unfortunately Pewsey and Amesbury had to withdraw at the last minute.
The weather was kind to us, the atmosphere was competitive but very friendly and a great day was had by all.

The afternoon ended with another great feast, a few drinks and a grand raffle and the comments received by President Rosemary and Captains Dave and Sheila as they said goodbye to everyone as they left were all very positive everyone thanked the club for their invitation.

Robin Hendry Challenge Trophy

Wednesday 9th August saw the annual trophy match between Devizes and Pewsey Vale named after a gentleman who was prominent in both clubs many years ago and competed in his name, “The Robin Hendry Memorial Challenge Match”. This event is held alternative at Devizes and Pewsey and this year we travelled to Pewsey’s home territory.
The game over six rinks and 21 ends was played in generous and friendly way but nevertheless with the usual competitive edge as each team fought to have the honour of their name on the cup.
At first home advantage played a major part in the way the game was playing out with Devizes only winning on two of the six rinks at the half way mark with two rinks well behind. As often happens though it became a game of two half and Devizes started to claw back the deficit eventually winning on three and loosing on three. This being the case the result all boiled down to the aggregate score and when the result was announced if was Devizes 113 and Pewsey Vale 106 so the trophy was retained by just six shots.
Top rink for Devizes also followed the trend of a close fight with two rinks being of equal shot difference therefor requiring a countback of ends won. The count resulted in a difference of just 1 win and the honour went to Henry Crate, Monty Smith, Wendy Gaisford and Sheila Garlick.

Rink 1: Henry Crate, Monty Smith, Wendy Gaisford and Sheila Garlick won 31-15
Rink 2: Julie Romijn, Phil Cave, Dave Greenwood and Gerald Webb won 23-7
Rink 3: Marie Greenwood, Angela Roberts, Chris Merrifield and Dave Reeves won 18-16
Rink 4: Bryan Reeves, Phil Brown, Terry Miles and Bev Lilley lost 13-31
Rink 5: Peter Romijn, Ken Roberts, Alan Sims and Marguerite Alexander lost 12-17
Rink 6: Ellen Stiles, Ken Surman, Patricia Reeves and Gerald Webb lost 16-20

Devizes v Friends of English Bowling


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 Garlick and
Men’s Captain Dave Greenwood greeting the guests
Rosemary and Dave greet Ken Graham from Hampshire

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 served by the ladies, who had worked tirelessly, putting together the buffet and serving 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.

Article and pictures courtesy of Friends of English Bowling Website


Devizes v Barbarians

Devizes Bowls Club continued its centenary celebrations last Thursday with a special match against the Barbarians Bowls Association.

The visiting Barbarians BA was formed in Wales in 1963 and membership of the association is by invitation only and comprises mostly of bowls administrators who have given up their time for the benefit of the sport of bowls and those who have achieved honours as a result of their playing ability, hence its motto “To Honour High Achievement in Bowls”. Primarily the Association accepts invitations to play clubs who are celebrating a chapter in their history.

Several men from Wiltshire such as Westlecot’s Reg Jackson, an ex-Welsh international is a member as is Calne’s George Henderson and former presidents of the Baa Baas association. Both played in this celebration match in a rink along with fellow county players Dave Richards and Hedley Bowen.

Devizes fielding a mixed team found the going tough against the all-male Barbarians side only winning on two rinks and drawing on another but losing heavily on the other three.The hosts went down by 27 shots as they were beaten 124-97.

Top rink honours for Devizes went to skips Marguerite Alexander (12 shots) and Trefor Jones (five shots) while Dave Reeves managed a 19-19 draw courtesy of four shots on the 20th and penultimate end. Devizes only trailed overall 33-24 after five ends but that had increased to 66-47 at halfway (11 ends). From then on they were playing catch-up with the gap increasing to 100-82 after 18 ends and finally losing 124-97.

“This was another most enjoyable event befitting the centenary occasion,” said Devizes official Gerald Webb.

The next special game was scheduled for this Wednesday – a nine rink match against Friends of English Bowling.


Rink 1: Michael Alexander, Sue Reeves, Tom Mullins & Wendy Gaisford lost to Andrew Goodwin 10-28. Rink 2: Bryan Reeves, Eleanor Mahoney, Terry Miles & Gerald Webb lost to Gareth Humphreys MBE 13-22. Rink 3: Nicola Sage, Sheila Turner, Chris Merrifield & Dave Greenwood lost to Dave Holloway 11-28. Rink 4: Ellen Stiles, Alison Cross, Ken Surman & Dave Reeves drew with Reg Birmingham 19-19. Rink 5: John Scoffield, Keith Scrannage, Dave Keen & Trefor Jones beat Reg Jackson, George Henderson, Dave Richards & Hedley Bowen (all from Wiltshire) 21-16. Rink 6: Pat Miller, Phil Coombes, Sue Long & Marguerite Alexander beat Noel Tippett 23-11.

Score: Devizes lost to Barbarians BA 97-124.

Article cutesy Dave Eaton

Wiltshire Gazette and Herald.


Chelsea Pensioners Visit Devizes

Oh what a splendid sight, what a memory to behold, as the members of Devizes Bowls Club, in full club colours, formed a guard of honour the full length of the car park as they applauded our visitors from London, the Chelsea Pensioners, as they disembarked from their coach in full regalia.
The day to remember for all that is good about bowls clubs and their community spirit was Wednesday 21st June 2017 when the pensioners arrived to play a special match against the club to help celebrate the centenary. Off the coach and straight onto the green for a photo call on what was recorded as the hottest June day since the 1970’s. I estimate they could hear the sigh of relief all the way back to the hospital in London as after the photographs the soldiers were allowed to unleash themselves from the heavy blazing red wool uniform and into a more relaxed form of military dress complete with belts of all colours and regiments.
Welcome drinks and buffet were then consumed by all before the game commenced and because of the excess heat this was reduced to just 12 ends with some rinks returning to the shelter of the clubroom after just 10.
After a reasonable break dinner was served, drinks consumed to revitalise weary bodies and then the day was completed in the usual traditional way of speeches and presentations. There was a special presentation to Colonel Mark Baker who was attending his last game in charge of the regimental bowls team and retiring from the services to return from whence he came many years ago, Rowde!!
Below is a copy of the article published on the Gazette and Herald web site under the general news section, not the usual bowls sports section.

“DEVIZES Bowls Club played a special match against a team of Chelsea Pensioners last month as the club continues to celebrate its 100th year of playing.
The team from the Royal Hospital Chelsea visited on a scorching Saturday in June and played 12 ends against the Devizes players, before the match ended in an honourable draw on account of the hot weather. The game was one of a string of special matches the club is playing as it celebrates its centenary this year.
Bowls Committee treasurer Ray Ward said, “The special games have been going very well – everyone is enjoying them and I think they’re a good way to celebrate the club’s 100th year.
“We were fortunate that the president of the Chelsea Pensioners’ bowls club, Colonel Mark Baker, is from the Devizes area so helped us arrange the game. Mark thanked the club for the day and said it was a fitting way to finish his presidency before he retires to live in Rowde.
“This was a wonderful day and one befitting the centenary celebrations. The only sad note was that most of the arrangements for this event were made by Sue Ochyra, who was not there to see it happen.
“Thanks to our sponsor, MM Carpets and Flooring Supplies.”
Devizes Bowls Club’s next celebratory match will be on Thursday 13th July at 2pm against the Barbarians. League matches continue as normal.”

Bowls England Celebration Game


Tuesday 13th June saw the next step in the continuing story of the clubs centenary celebrations with a match against Bowls England. Visitors to the club came from far and wide to help the club enjoy the anniversary and were met by President Rosemary, club captains Sheila Garlick and Dave Greenwood along with their respective vice-captains Bev Lilley and Tom Mullins. All the visiting players were presidents or past presidents and officials of their respective counties. We had travellers from Wales, the South East, the West Country, the Midlands and as far north as the Lancashire dales and the Yorkshire borders.

The proceedings started with a buffet, drinks and a lot of conversation followed by a photo call where both teams were pictured separately and then together standing behind the figure 100 formed from several sets of bowls.

The game itself was extremely competitive with a convincing win for Bowls England by 122 shots to 189. After a good meal and a drink or two the presentations proceeded with an opening address from President Rosemary welcoming our guests and relating the history of the Moonrakers legend and the development of Devizes Bowls Club. Presentations were made to winning rinks from both greens, however, there wasn’t one on the bottom green so the honours went to the least losing rink of Keith Scrannage, Kiwi, John Scoffield and Marguerite Alexander. This was rather fitting as Kiwi, though a member of the club, was a guest of honour representing match sponsors Renelec. Congratulations to the winning rink on the top green of Rose Merritt, Dave Russell, Patricia Reeves and Gerald Webb.  Gifts were also presented to the Bowls England President and captain of the day Babs Salter.

It was then the turn of Bowls England President Viv Thomlinson to respond, she spoke of the work done on these special occasions in helping clubs with special celebrations to enjoy such occasions and further promote the sport we all love. Presentations and thanks were made to the club, the bar staff and the kitchen staff and servers before a toast was made to the club.

An additional presentation took place where Bowls England paid tribute to the hard work, enthusiasm and sporting achievements of our own Sue Ochyra ending with a Certificate of merit being given to Simon, Sue’s son who gratefully accepted it on behalf of the family.


Match Results.

Top Green

Rink 1: Michael Alexander, Izzy Scoffield, Chris Merrifield and Sheila Garlick 8-22.

Rink 2: Rose Merritt, Dave Russell, Patricia Reeves and Gerald Webb 24-16.

Rink 3: Harry Garlick, Will Wrobel, Sue Long and Bev Lilley 19-15.

Rink 4: Marie Greenwood, Phil Cave, Rose Keen and Colin Little 14-32.

Bottom Green

Rink 1: Ellen Stiles, Ken Oliver, Les Russell and Dave Greenwood 17-27.

Rink 2: Pat Miller, Debbie Greenwood, Tom Mullins and Wendy Gaisford 9-30.

Rink 3: Keith Scrannage, Kiwi, John Scoffield and Marguerite Alexander 12-17.

Rink 4: Joyce Little, Roy Chumbley, Julie Romijn and Trefor Jones 19-30.

Centenary Game v Bowls Wiltshire Men

DEVIZES Bowls Club continued their centenary celebrations by hosting Bowls Wiltshire men’s representative side for a six-rink match on their green at Long Street.
Devizes only took the honours on two of the six rinks, managing a draw on another as they went down 112-100 to the county men’s representative side.
Top rink honours were shared for the Devizes men with the foursomes skipped by Dave Reeves and Colin Little both winning by four shots.
Devizes men’s captain Dave Greenwood’s rink skipped by Gerald Webb managed to draw their match 16-16 against the Wiltshire county officials rink skipped by 2017 president John Southern.
“The match was played in a good spirit befitting the occasion and was on total shots and I believe the BWM won by a few shots,” said club spokesman Gerald Webb.
“Dave Greenwood (Devizes men’s captain) spoke about how the green was given to the club in 1919 and how the club had grown into the success it is today.”

Devizes were due to host the Bowls England representative side led by 2017 national president Viv Tomlinson (Lancashire) for an eight-rink mixed match, which was sponsored by local firm Renelec Groundworks Ltd, on Tuesday.
The hat-trick of matches in June is completed next week on Wednesday, June 21 when Devizes welcome the Chelsea Pensioners to their green for a six rink match starting at 2pm, which has been sponsored by another local firm MM Carpet and Flooring Supplies.
Devizes v Bowls Wiltshire men (Devizes names first), Rink 1: Don Tucker, Phil Cave, Bill Cowan & Pete Fielding lost to Gerry and Graeme Vincent (both Highworth), Sid Jay (Spencer Melksham) & Martin Salter (Wroughton) 11-21. Rink 2: Mike Alexander, Phil Coombes, Keith Scrannage & Trefor Jones lost to Alec Burden (Amesbury), John Snell (Alderbury), Bob George (Wro) & Richard Gardiner (Supermarine) 13-19. Rink 3: Bryan Reeves, Martin Thompson, Dave Greenwood (capt) & Gerald Webb drew with Pete Sanders (IPP), Stewart Allison (SVP), Dave Williams (JVP) & John Southern (2017 men’s president) 16-16. Rink 4: Ken Surman, Richard Bradfield, Tom Mullins & Dave Reeves beat Peter Naish, Cliff Gumm (both Trowbridge Westbourne), Clive Swift (Blue Circle) & Bob Fredericks (Salisbury) 22-18. Rink 5: Harry Garlick, Bernard Fox, John Scoffield & Colin Little beat Ken Bray, Malcolm Hole, Colin Easton & Tom Newman (all Avon) 23-19. Rink 6: Harry Crate, Peter Diwell, Terry Miles & Jonathan Cook lost to Barry Folland (Salisbury), Sid Wilson (Pewsey Vale), Dave Richards (Trow West) & Bill Collier (Ames) 15-19.
Score: Devizes Men lost to Bowls Wiltshire Men 100-112.

Report courtesy of Dave Eaton and the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald.