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2022 Summer Tour

Report for 2022 Torquay Bowls tour.


Almost at the 11th hour Dawlish who were the first opponents on our tour pulled out saying they could not raise a team they had forgotten that today was the carnival, we were therefore lucky that Bitton Park stepped in and provided a game for us on Friday. And so, members and friends gathered at Tiverton bus station for the journey to Teignmouth arriving there in plenty of time to slip into town for a bite to eat before the game. It must be said that the members of Bitton Park made us very welcome. As to the game it was played in a very friendly competitive spirit.  Rob Clark and his rink had a steady first 10 ends going into tea 8-9 down, returning to the green after tea they scored a five on the 11th and then went on to win Six of the next ten Ends, including a four and a three on the penultimate and last end giving them a nice victory.          Gillian Callaghan and her rink had a steady game leading 10-4 at tea, the opposition picked up a bit in the second half but only scored in singles, when Gill’s rink won the end they picked up multiples, and if they had not dropped 3 on the last end their score would have been double that of their opponents.  Dick Clarke played a very Tactical game going into tea at seven all, they picked up seven in the first five ends after tea, then they allowed the opposition back in ending the game 15 all.  Angela Hill and her rink struggled a little being five down at teatime they scored a four on the 11th end, but the opposition then scored seven in the next four ends. Angie’s rink fought back again scoring eight shots over the last five ends, but the opposition also managed to win four, which was the difference in the final score.  Bob Pulsford and his rink had a very steady game 10 – 8 up at tea they won 7 of the last 11 ends, picking up a 4 along the way. Tony Sykes and his rink went into tea 10-4 up and seemed to be strolling, they then picked up a 4 and a 3 making the score 17-4 but then they hit the buffers, as their opposition fought back scoring 11 shots over the next 4 ends. Not to be out done Tony’s team then scored a 2 followed by a 7. Bitton Park players picked up 5 over the last 3 ends, but Tony held on to a nice win.

C Andrews, G Reed, C Slade and Rob Clarke.                26-15

B Kerslake, M Hudd, B Moore and G Callaghan.           20-13

C Harder, K Powney, B Willis and D Clarke.                  15-15

M Robertson, S Andrews, B French and A Hill.              17-21

S Moore, G Hake, R Harder and B Pulsford.                   22-15

J Cole, M Slade, C Hammett and T Sykes.                      26-20.

Not a bad start, 1 loss, 1 draw and 4 wins, Overall West End 126, Bitton Park 99.

After the game, a drink and chat, the coach arrived to take us to the Toorak hotel in Torquay, where we will be staying for the tour duration.

With just enough time for a quick shower it was down to the dining room for dinner and to reminisce about today’s game.


Saturday morning and Barry Kerslake organised the ten-pin bowling, and as usual Barry won. I’m sure he had rigged something but can’t see what. Anyway, he scored 134 pins, well played Barry. Next up and the only other person to score over 100 was Bob Pulsford with 101. I won’t mention Stewart with the lowest score, oop’s sorry Stewart. See you all same time tomorrow.

After a somewhat leisurely morning, in the afternoon we were off to Paignton Torbay bowls Club for the second of our four games. We were made welcome and most of us had an enjoyable afternoon’s bowling. I say most, as we only won on two rinks and lost on the other four. However, we did win overall. Did money come into it? I ask that question as Rob Clarke suggested we all pay in £1.00, and the winning rink has the money between them.

So starting from rink one which was skipped by Tony Sykes, he and his team won 12 of the 18 ends played, with several threes, a four and a five along the way. At tea they were 22-2 up, they dropped a shot and a three straight after tea and we all thought have the wheels come off, but no it was only a blip. Bob French and his team on rink two were one up when we went to tea. However just before we stopped (there was a cricket match going on next to the bowls green) a cricket ball smashed through one of his opponent’s car window, in the bowls car park. She was so upset she did not play the second half, so two of the opposition played with 3 bowls. This seemed to upset Bobs rhythm and he finished up losing by three shots. Next up was Rob Clarke’s rink, and although they scored six shots on the fourth end they gave away six on the seventh and were never really in the game. Brian Willis and his rink got off to a very slow start and were 5-11 down at tea they managed to win more ends in the second half of the game but by then the damage was done.         Bob Pulsford and his rink were also slow starters but picked up in the second half, even scoring a 5 on the penultimate end which put them in the lead by one shot. Sadly, they then dropped three on the last to lose by two. Finally, we get to rink six skipped by Dick Clarke.  In a close game they were three up at tea and three up at the end. That makes the winning rink the one skipped by Tony Sykes.

M Reed, C Hammett, K Powney and T Sykes.                27-8

B Moore, G Hake, G Reed and B French.                       18-21

S Moore, M Slade, R Harder and Rob Clarke.                17-25

J Cole, S Andrews, M Robertson and B Willis.              13-16

C Andrews, B Willis, C Lewis and B Pulsford.              16-18

B Kerslake, M Hudd, M Lewis and Dick Clark.             18-15.

Overall West End 109, Paignton Torbay. 103. Our second overall win.


Whilst we were in Paignton having a fun friendly, four West End ladies, Gill Callaghan, Caroline Harder, Chris Slade and Angie Hill, returned to Bitton Park in Teignmouth for the more serious County Majors, Ladies Fours final, to be played against four ladies from Ottery St. Mary lead by Gail Hawke. Starting slowly, they were 10-4 down, when they picked up a four. Winning the next few ends the West End team edged slightly ahead, only for Ottery to pull a few shots back, and by the completion of 18 ends Ottery were two shots in front. Congratulations to the Ottery St. Mary ladies and to the West End ladies for getting this far, next step is the national finals in Leamington. (See also News item on West End Web site)


Back at the hotel we all retired to the dining room for another fine dinner. At the end of which Mary Reed was given a birthday cake as it was her birthday.


What a difference a day makes (that sounds like a good title for a song) on Saturday Barry was the master of the ten-pin bowling, on Sunday he was nowhere. I mean he still organised the game, but he was a long way down the scoring list. Which was kind of him to let someone else win for a change. Today’s winner was Mike Slade with 109 pins, closely followed by Richard Harder on 102. Stewart is getting better he only ditched 8 bowls today and he got a strike.


At 1 o’clock we boarded the bus for the half hour journey to Brixham Furzeham Bowls Club, our hosts for today’s game. The last bit up to their green is a bit twisty for our coach, but we arrived safe and sound to a warm welcome from the members. Once sorted and on the green the friendly atmosphere continued. Tony Sykes’s rink were 7-11 down at tea, but came back well in the second half scoring two fours along the way to victory.  Rob Clarke and his rink were on fire leading 14-8 at tea they only lost one of the second nine ends, although one end was tied all the others were multiples, leading to a comfortable high scoring win. Brian Willis and his rink always seemed to be in control of their game 7-4 up at tea, they nearly scored double their opponents after tea to get a comfortable win. Angie Hill’s rink shared the first half but were 8-10 down going into tea. A stern word was had, as in the next nine ends they scored a three, a four, a couple of doubles and a single, all in all enough to take the win. Dick Clarke’s rink scored a five on one end in the first half, going into tea at 11-7 up, in the second half, Brixham only scored on two ends, whilst Dick picked up a three and a four. In the end a very comfortable win. Bob Pulsford’s rink had a tighter game than everyone else, the lead changed almost every end, with the scores level on five occasions, including the 16th when the talk was of now nice it would be if the game finished a draw, as everyone had enjoyed it so much. It didn’t seem as though the 17th end was played any different to those that went before, but the result was different, West End picked up six shots. One was dropped on the last end, but the victory went our way. Just a quick note here, I’m told I must report that on one end in this game I bowled a wrong bias, I’m not sure that was the case and any excuse I make won’t be acceptable anyway so there you are, I too am human after all. After the game we all retired to the club house for a drink and a chat. And to a surprise of joke telling by the Clarke brothers, followed by a song from Maureen Lewis.

S Moore, S Andrews, C Slade and T Sykes.                    22-14

M Hudd, B Moore, M Lewis and R Clarke.                     29-11

C Andrews, R Harder, B French and B Willis.                18-10

B Kerslake, B Willis, C Lewis and A Hill.                       20-15

M Slade, M Reed, G Callaghan and D Clarke.                 22-10

C Harder, C Hammett, G Reed and B Pulsford.              18-13.

Rob Clarke and his rink won the money.

Overall, the score was West End 129, Brixham Furzeham 73.

Our third win, could we keep this up?


A quick journey back to the hotel for a freshen up before dinner, after dinner another birthday cake appeared this time it was Ken Powney’s turn. We then we retired to the lounge bar for a night cap and a laugh over our recollections of the days playing.


Monday morning was a free morning, but also a wet one. That did not stop a dozen or so hardy members taking a stroll along the seafront (we did pop into a café when the rain came down heavy).

Suitcases packed and, on the coach, we made the short trip around the corner to Torquay Bowls Club, our opponents for today’s game.

It was still raining as we started the game, albeit lightly, but this stopped after a few ends. Today Rob Clarke and his rink were again looking for the money. They were 13-4 up at tea and well in control of the game. If they had not dropped five on the penultimate end, they may have stood a chance, but today the money was going elsewhere. Bob Pulsford had a very tight game, one down at tea and one down at the end. Dick Clarke and his rink were picked to play against the Torquay Captains side. Picking up a five on the 5th end gave him a lead at tea of 10-4. An even second half meant that 5 was the difference at the end. Those of you who read my weekly reports will remember in one I pointed out that Bob French was now known as “Lucky old Bob” I mention this as today he managed to win 12 of the 18 ends, some with multiple scores, was always in control of the game and won the money for highest winning rink. It was clear to any observer that he had been saving his energy for the big money game. Angie Hill dropped 4 shots on the end before tea, going in 8-6 up, winning ends were shared in the second half, with Angie holding on to win. Gill Callaghan’s rink had a steady game, but gave away a 5 on the 8th end, going in for tea at 13-6 down. Both teams scored 9 shots in the second half. Sadly, the damage was done before tea. Tony Sykes and his rink were out bowled in the first half, going into tea 10 shots down. They picked up 12 shots after tea, to their opponents 4, but again the damage was done before tea.

C Harder, K Powney, C Lewis and Rob Clarke             19-13

M Slade, C Powney, B Moore and B Pulsford               14-15 

J Cole, C Hammett, M Robertson and Dick Clarke       16-11

S Moore, R Harder, M Lewis and B French                  20-8    

M Hudd, M Reed, C Slade and A Hill                           13-12

G Hake, S Andrews, B Willis and G Callaghan            15-22

B Kerslake, C Andrews, G Reed and T Sykes               15-19

Overall West End 112, Torquay 100.

At the end of the game, we lost on 3 rinks, won on 4 and overall, making a clean sweep,   4 games, 4 wins on tour, well played everyone, a fete never achieved before.

Following the game Torquay provided a wonderful buffet for us, before we started our homeward journey. We were also able to celebrate another birthday, for today it was Maureen Robertson.

Arriving back at Tiverton bus station around 7.30, I think it was generally agreed the everyone had had an enjoyable few days away. Thanks were given to Dick Clarke for the time and effort he puts in arranging the tour and all for us. As to next summer’s tour I think we all booked on that and can’t wait.