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.

Southampton Old Green

The centenary season has now started in earnest as we welcomed the members of Southampton Old Green to the club on Sunday for our first of several centenary games. This one was special from three points of view, It was the first of the season, it was also St Georges Day and it was a game between the centenary club and the club playing on the oldest green in the world, first laid in 1299, a great cause for celebrations.

The game was played in reasonable weather, in a friendship developed over the years of playing annually here and in Southampton and although we were runners up with a score of 118 to 134, a shot difference of only 16 shots, it could be said that the match was fairly close. Congratulations to Harry Garlick, Debbie Greenwood, Rose Keen and Dave Reeves top rink on the top green and Ellen Stiles, William Ilott, Mike Mitcham and Robin Drake top rink on the bottom green.

Following the game Southampton made a presentation to the club of a suitably inscribed clock which now sits proudly on the glass shelf behind the bar. The members then stayed on and helped the club celebrate over a meal, lots of conversation, a bevvy or three and two great performances from the “Pewsey Belles Choir” with an interval session from Tom Coldwell a young and very talented jazz pianist.

Proceedings finished around 9.00pm and many congratulations are recorded to all who played their part in organising every aspect of the amazing day.



Another trip to Leamington!

On Saturday 18th June Sue O and Rose M went to Holt BC to play in the Last 8 of the County Pairs. They played a very close game in the morning against a Pair from Wanborough BC and this went to an extra end which the Devizes pair won. In the Semi Final against a pair from Spencer Melksham they started slowly but soon got the mat and were able to play at a length that suited them. The game was still close but a 4 gave a bit of breathing space and enabled the Devizes pair to finish as the winners 21 -11. This means they will play in the County Final against the winners of the other Semi Final – a pair from Supermarine BC- on July 30th at Supermarine BC. They will also represent Bowls Wiltshire at the National Finals at Leamington in August.

20160618_163544 - Copy (640x458)

Ladies off to Leamington!

At the Last 8 of the County Triples at Wilton BC on Saturday 11th June we had two teams in action. Both teams won their Quarter Final games in the morning – Sheila G with Bev L and Ellen S had a comfortable win but Sue O, Patricia and Rose M had a really close game against the 2015 winners which was poised at 17 all at 17 ends! With the Skips to bowl Devizes were in trouble but fortunately Sue drew the shot to finish the game with a win which took the team into the Semi Final.

In the afternoon Sheila, Bev and Ellen played a team from Box and were well down early in the game but they managed to reduce the deficit and fought hard to hold on but sadly lost out in the end.

Meanwhile Sue, Patricia and Rose were having a very close game against a triple from Amesbury with neither team managing to open up a gap in the scores until late in the game when the Devizes girls took a 4. Into the last end the Amesbury team needed 8 to draw but Devizes took 1 to finish 18-9 and take a place in the County Final at Supermarine BC on July 30th. They will also represent Bowls Wiltshire in the National Finals at Leamington in August. Congratulations to both of the Devizes Triples – a good day’s bowling!

20160611_165055 - Copy (640x360)