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.


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.

A Win at Wanborough

On Saturday 27th a team travelled to Wanborough for our annual mixed game and despite unpredictable weather bringing about a decision to reduce the game to 18 ends the game was played in a very friendly atmosphere and enjoyed by all.

Devizes won on two rinks, one was drawn and two were lost, however, the two losses were only by 7 shots total whilst the wins were significant and totalled 38 shots giving Devizes its first win at Wanborough in recent times by 91 shots to 60.

Congratulations to Marguerite Alexander, Elise Ambridge, Ellen Stiles and Josie Mulligan our top winning rink with a score of 32 – 6

Report by Men’s Captain Dave Greenwood

Visit to Royal Wootton Bassett

What a lovely day for a game of bowls and what an enjoyable afternoon we all had. 5 rinks travelled to Royal Wootton Bassett on Sunday 21st for a mixed friendly game and it really was just that – a friendly game.

Devizes won on two rinks, the home team on two rinks and one was drawn giving a final result of 96 – 96 and a well-deserved draw. We did have a highest winning rink of Ellen Stiles, Bill Cowan, Keith Scrannage and Les Russell who gained a total of 30 shots whilst only conceding 15.

Well done to them.

Report from Ladies Captain Sheila Garlick.

Swindon North End

On Saturday May 13th a team of players travelled to the North End of Swindon for one of the clubs regular annual friendlies played at home and away against the Swindon club. This was a six triples event and after a few changes brought about by various injuries and illnesses we eventually managed to meet this requirement in full so thanks to all the last minute volunteers who joined us and enjoyed a good close game of bowls. Particular congratulations to Elise Ambridge who at thirteen years of age was playing her first ever outdoor game for Devizes and I am told she really enjoyed the experience.

As to the game the rinks were a little tricky but we eventually shared the honours with three wins each but unfortunately lost the aggregate by just five shots. Well done the winning rinks of Ken Oliver, Richard Bradfield and Hazel case who picked up a four on the last end to win 17-16, Elise Ambridge, Ellen Stiles and Peter Romijn who were tying 12-12 at the fifteenth end but gained two singles and a three shot run in to finish at 17-12 and Sheila Turner, Geoff Woollan and Dave Greenwood who won the first six ends and continued to dominate with an eventual score of 20-8.

Annual Oakley Match

Sunday the 7th May saw the annual match with our bowling colleagues from Oakley near Basingstoke. This year it was Devizes turn to host and the match was played over six rinks and 21 ends.

It was, as has often been so far this year, a cool day but never the less a good game of bowls took place with friendly opposition making it an enjoyable afternoon.

The home side managed to engineer a win by 127 shots to 94 and in his speech Oakley’s captain referred back to the history of our association and commented that up until this day the records showed 8 wins to Oakley and 7 to Devizes so now we are even and  therefore there is everything to play for when we visit them next year in what will be their 40th birthday year.

Devizes won on five of the six rinks going down on one rink by just 1 shot in a high scoring game finishing 25-26. Congratulations to top rink of Marie Greenwood, Brian King, Phil Coombes and Sheila Garlick with a shot difference of +15.

Touring Side Burnham-on-Sea

Tuesday 9th May we entertained a touring side who were on their way back to Burnham-on-Sea from a four day bowls break on the Isle of Wight. The match was played over eleven rinks and with added visitors pushed the club premises and organisation to the limit. It has to be said that particular congratulations must go to the ladies who provided a finger buffet at lunchtime when they arrived and a full service two course meal after the game. A monumental task but the hard working volunteers achieved their target with great success. Well done all.

The match result was a resounding win for Devizes giving cause for celebration all around. Top rink presentations were made by captains Sheila and Dave with rewards for both greens. Winners on bottom green were Richard Bradfield, Geoff Woollan. Sheila Turner and Wendy Gaisford whilst on the top green the honours went to Angela Roberts, Will Ilott, Ken Oliver and Sheila Garlick.

Well done to all and many thanks to all who helped to run this very successful big match including all those who supported the event by signing up to play.

Portishead British Legion Bowls Club

Bank holiday Monday saw the arrival of a touring side from Portishead Royal British Legion Bowls Club, a ten rink event of some significance. It was purely coincidental that just a couple of weeks before the club requested a visit as part of their tour, our captains Sheila and Dave decided that their charity for the year was to be the Royal British Legion. It also just happened to be, that as well as Devizes celebrating their one hundredth birthday, the Portishead club were enjoying their fiftieth anniversary so celebrations all round were in order.

Unfortunately the weather did not share the celebration with us as the heavens opened up causing a delay in the game resulting in a reduced event from 21 ends to 18. The result was a win for the visitors by 173 shots to 141 shots. Devizes did however have three winning rinks, one of which, much to their surprise qualified for a Bowls England hot shot award by winning 8 shots on one end so congratulations go to Harry Garlick, Pat Cartwright, Keith Scrannage and Trefor Jones. The captains followed tradition and presented top rink prizes to the best rink on both top and bottom greens which caused some smiles when the winning rinks were those of both the captains.

The captains from both Devizes and Portishead proposed a vote of thanks to the greens party for the standard they had achieved and the catering and bar for an excellent food and drink organisation making the occasion a very memorable one for all who took part.