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.”

Faringdon Tourists.

On Monday afternoon Devizes hosted the last leg of a bowls tour by Faringdon Bowls Club with a six rink mixed friendly. The weather was excellent, the tourists arrived in good time and in fine fettle having been at the seaside. They had an obvious spring in their step which they carried with them onto the green.

Devizes had to make last minute changes when one of its players took ill and was unable to play and there were no reserves left to call upon, one rink therefore had to play as a triple against a four but despite this, even with a 25% reduction, the usual penalty in these circumstances, still manged to win by one shot. There was one other rink win but all others were unfortunately on the losing end of the day with mixed fortunes for two of the rinks when Dave Greenwood, Ellen Stiles, Barry Howard and Lynn Hicks who were winning handsomely 11 – 4 on the ninth end but eventually lost 13-24 whilst Les Russell, Marie Greenwood, Stan Rutherford and Ken Curtis battled with the infamous rink 4 and at the ninth end were losing 15 – 4 but hit back hard and almost levelled the game at 16-19.

After an excellent buffet both captains paid tribute to Marie Greenwood and Josie Mulligan who did the initial setting up and then Izzy and John Scoffield who set the tables and oversaw the whole procedure of the meal including washing up. Many thanks to them, to all who provided the food and the two shifts of bar tenders who kept us well hydrated.

Congratulations to the winning rink of Bryan Reeves, Heather Cullerton, Richard Bradfield and Josie Mulligan winning by 6 shots at 22-16

Faringdon went home very well pleased with the end of the tour and have since sent an email as depicted below:-

“On behalf of the members of Faringdon Bowls Club I would like to thank you very much for a most enjoyable afternoon on Monday. Please convey our thanks to your catering team for the excellent tea and for the efforts to help our gluten free lady who was most impressed!

Everyone had a great time and it made a really good finish to what has been a very successful tour.

Sue Martin




Four Rink Friendly v Spencer Melksham

On Sunday 1st July, Men’s Vice Captain Tom Mullins took charge of the day for a four rink mixed home friendly against local rivals Spencer Melksham but despite some very close encounters on each rink unfortunately, in terms of the scoreline, finished on the losing side. In terms of the actual match the weather was excellent and the atmosphere friendly so a good time was had by all.

As there was no winning rink, Tom decided to award the usual top rink prizes to the rink with the smallest shot difference and the honours went to Will Ilott, Elise Ambridge, Ellen Stiles and Peter Romijn who only lost by one shot so many congratulation to them.


Rink 3: Sheila Turner, Roy Chumbley, Julie Romijn and Tom Mullins 14-20.

Rink 4: Will Ilott, Elise Ambridge, Ellen Stiles and Peter Romjn 18-19.

Rink 5: Richard Bradfield, Jane Ilott, Monty Smith and Denise Howard 21-23.

Rink 6: Peter Diwell, Nicola Sage, Bill Cowan and Rose/Dave Keen 19-25.

Totals: Devizes 73 – Spencer Melksham 87.


A Trip Through The Countryside To Fosseway

A team of players negotiated their way to a new venue for the club on Sunday afternoon to compete in a five rink mixed friendly against Fosseway Bowls Club. All agreed it made a pleasant change to drive on a sunny day through tree lined lanes and the Wiltshire and Somerset countryside instead of main roads and motorways.
Any concerns about the new venue and the typically Somerset style of tea and biscuits half way through the match very quickly disappeared when we were greeted by an extremely friendly opposition who made the afternoon enjoyable friendly and fun.
At the halfway point Rink 1 were 8-17 down and eventually won, Rink 2 were handsomely in front at 12-4 and just scraped a win, Rink 3 were level pegging and went on to achieve a good win whilst the other two rinks were slightly behind both at the halfway point and the end.
The final result was a win for Devizes at 107-90 with two rinks having a shot difference of +9 so winning ends came into the equation with the result that rink 2 had 11 wins whilst rink 3 had 13 wins so congratulations to Lynn Hicks, Margaret Cave, Marie Greenwood and Dave Greenwood the top winning rink.
Captain of the day Dave Greenwood in his speech indicated that all had enjoyed being at Fosseway so much that he felt Devizes would like to return the hospitality and appealed to their Match Secretary Della Nation to email the club as soon as possible to see if something could be arranged for 2018.

Devizes v Bitterne

On Wednesday 7th June the members of Bitterne Bowls Club decided to have a day trip out at Devizes Bowls Club where the teams competed in a six rink mixed friendly game. The game was played in a very friendly manner and even the weather was friendly so a good day all round.

Even the result in terms of rinks entered into the theme of things with each team winning three rinks but from a pride of place as far as Devizes is concerned was rink 1 on the bottom green who were declared as the top winning rink so well done Ellen Stiles, Dave Russell, Richard Bradfield and Terry Miles winning by 26 shots to 19.

Top Green:
Rink 4: Simon Northway, Kelvin Packer, Angela Roberts and Rosemary Bradbury 13-17.
Rink 5: Alison Cross, Mary Pearce, Michael Alexander, Ken Roberts 20 – 14.
Rink 6: Will Ilott, Ken Curtis, Bryan Reeves and Sheila Garlick 17-16.

Bottom Green:
Rink 1: Ellen Stiles, Dave Russell, Richard Bradfield and Terry Miles 26-19.
Rink 2: Lynne Williams, Stan Rutherford, Denise Howard and Keith Scrannage 15-17.
Rink 3: Marie Greenwood, Jane Ilott, Jeff Whiting and Lesley Russell 13-18.

Devizes 104 v Bitterne 101

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.