Portishead Tourists

On Friday 8th September we hosted Portishead as they travelled back home from touring the Isle of Wight. The weather was not good and the game was in danger of being cancelled but all had been prepared to provide a finger buffet on arrival and, to add to the problems the team coach was held up in traffic in Salisbury and arrived behind schedule.

It was decided to have the buffet then the two captains would assess the situation on the green. When the time arrived the sun had come from behind the clouds, the greens were payable with care so in order to ensure we had a social period after the match and the coach driver would not exceed his legal hours it was decided to play just 10 ends to at least finish their tour with a short game with us.
In the end Devizes won on four rinks, Portishead on two and one was drawn and the end shot difference was just 6 shots in our favour. All agreed that despite the trials and tribulations a great time had been had and all expressed the view that we would love to meet again for a full game. Perhaps the fixtures secretaries could arrange something.

Devizes v North Wilts Mixed Friendly

On Wednesday 6th September Devizes travelled to North Wilts Bowls Club in Chippenham to join them in a six triples friendly match. The weather was reasonable the company good and the game, ah well, two out of three is pretty good.

North Wilts won on three rinks, Devizes on two and one was drawn providing an overall result of 86 to 113. Congratulations to top rink of Ken Curtis, Phil Coombes and Terry Miles who won 25-11.

Ken Curtis, Phil Coombes and Terry Miles won 25-11
Pat Cartwright, Simon Northway and Bev Lilley drew 15-15
Stan Rutherford, Richard Bradfield and Dave Greenwood lost 5-21
Ingrid Thorogood, Marie Greenwood and Geoff Woollan lost 10-25
Peter Diwell, Lynn Hicks and Wendy Gaisford lost 15-27
Ellen Stiles, Roy Chumbley and Sheila Garlick won 16-14

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.


Four Triple Mixed Friendly v Trowbridge Town

Saturday 15 July saw a small four triples mixed friendly take place at home against Trowbridge Town. Trowbridge unfortunately had a player back out at the last minute so rink 4 played a triple against a pair and that was confusing at first. However, the home trio were winning handsomely at the halfway point but went backwards after that eventually losing 19-23.
The game was played in good humour and in good weather but the good fortune slid away from the home team winning on just one rink and losing the overall shot count by 63 shots to 55.
Rink 1: Peter Diwell, Ellen Stiles and Colin Smith won 18-11
Rink 2: Mary Pearce, Debbie Greenwood and Ken Roberts lost 15-22
Rink 3: Ingrid Thorogood, Marie Greenwood and Denise Howard lost 11-19
Rink 4: Pat Cartwright, Monty Smith and Dave Greenwood lost 19-23

Six Rink Mixed Friendly v Chippenham Town

Sunday the 9th July was not the best of days bowling wise for Devizes although a good time in good company in good weather was had by all. The six rink mixed friendly against a strong team from Chippenham Town struggled to gain points from the opposition and only won on one rink, that of the captain of the day Sheila Garlick helped by Marion Oliver and Roy Chumbley.
After the match a good buffet and a drink was the order of the day with a presentation to the winning rink and the opposition captain

Rink 1: Mary Pearce, Harry Garlick and Angela Roberts lost 5-28
Rink 2: Heather Culleton, Eleanor Mahoney and Ken Oliver lost 9-20
Rink 3: Ken Curtis, Pat Miller and Bev Lilley lost 15-18
Rink 4: Brian King, Ellen Stiles and Ken Roberts lost 8-19
Rink 5: Pat Cartwright, Denise Howard and Bill Cowan lost 12-20
Rink 6: Marion Oliver, Roy Chumbley and Sheila Garlick won 19-10

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.”