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Churchdown Bowling Club

Club tour 2019

Churchdown Bowling Club Tour to Eastbourne 2019

A personal view
Friday – 46 tourists , comprising 25 bowlers plus 8 new tourist bowlers in Barbara & Malcolm Baker,
Robin Gray, Bev & Phil Patterson, Kath Saul, and Sue & Barry Wales boarded the coach at the rather
ungodly hour of 07.30 for our trip East. The weather was fine and as always Lisa our regular driver
provided chilled water, sweets and a toilet for us old folks. One year on, spirits were high, old
friendships were renewed and the extra grey hair noted! The Air Balloon and Nettleton Bottom were
negotiated safely and we powered on to join the M4 at Swindon. Phil provided a quiz which was to
put names to childhood pictures of the tourists – not easy! Our first stop was at Reading where Tracy
neglected to buy my coffee, followed by a short comfort break. We arrived at our destination in
Seaford in good time where Lisa soon realised the approach road to The Crouch Bowling Club was
blocked with cars leaving a gap a little bit less than the width of the coach. Fortunately she was able
to park on the main road necessitating a walk to their Green. Crouch provided a decent buffet lunch
prior to the match which was played on a heavily watered green. Our President, Ian Wood was
Captain of the Day. The match was won by 5 shots, Phil Bick skipping the highest winning rink. Alan
W skipped the highest losing rink although in mitigation he did play with a stiff neck on rink 7 which
was very tricky. Onward then to the Burlington Hotel on the seafront at Eastbourne. The usual
Shearing’s establishment, a little tired but okay, and again we were on the 4th floor with a lovely sea
view which did include a row of tented eateries as Eastbourne was having a Festival. A quick trickle
shower and then down for a slow evening meal before being presented with the pink snorker for the
highest losing rink, followed by a wander around the area. We found the Crown & Anchor nearby
which had live and loud music. We survived for about 30 minutes before returning to the Hotel to
recover. The “whisky boys” were in as was an entertainer playing music for those dancing plus Dick!
Saturday – A lovely dry morning and a big English breakfast. Time to spend a few hours in
Eastbourne and to buy some missing socks from M&S. Noticeable that the town is full of old people,
I waited ages to pay while an old guy counted out his pennies and mobility scooters travelled in
convoy along the pavements! Lisa had found out there was a Carnival procession and the road
outside the Hotel was to be closed at 12.30. She managed to park around the corner and we
boarded the coach for a short trip to Eastbourne (Saffron Rd) Bowling Club. A big Club with 2 greens,
Sandra was our Captain of the Day. Tony met up with a long lost colleague from his days in the
Merchant Navy – convoys again I suppose! Stan was unwell so we were a player short on our rink
skipped by Tracy, but our hosts lent us a player. Ted was a lovely 88 year old bowler who had a
smashing game. We won and he took all the stick from us and his own team with great aplomb. We
won the match, Roger with the highest winning rink and Ian having the highest losing rink. We
enjoyed a lovely fast green and a friendly sociable club. Back at the Hotel it was Fancy dress this
evening with the theme of “Allo Allo” and the War Years. Good fun with a variety of costumes on
show; Robin as Michelle (aka Morticia), Barry as Lt Hubert Gruber (and then a Naval Officer), Sue as
an RAF officer, my ARP Warden (and then a Desert Rat), two Rene’s (Sandra and Kath), a few Yvettes,
Maria and Mimi waitresses and a veritable soup of French onion sellers. I thought Jeff would dress as
the flamboyant Captain Bertorelli but he came as Edith. Our Hotel Manager judged the costumes
zealously and awarded Barry and Sue the 1st prize. Ian received porky pig. We then went for a walk
along the Prom but I backed out after a few yards feeling odd in my baggy shorts! A quick change
and a walk along the front to the Bandstand security fence where we met Viv, Phil B, Jac, Fred, Sue,

Barry, Tracy, Bev, Phil P, Barbara and Malcolm dancing on the Promenade to an impressive Cliff
Richard and the Shads tribute group. They sounded good and you could just see them by squinting
through the slots in the fence. Not being cheapskates like us, Jan and Richard had bought tickets to
the show. It finished at 9.30 so we headed back to the Hotel where Mark the entertainer had laid on
a quiz and a disco which was enjoyed by many of our bowlers. Bev did some particularly lively “Bay
City Rollers” dance moves. The “Cammies,” Dot, Pauline, Dick and Len had again managed to find a
Working Men’s Club.
Sunday – Cooler today but dry as we set off early for Peacehaven and Telscombe. Lunch was taken
at a lonely pub on the windy Telscombe cliffs before going to the bowling club who were very
welcoming. Alan W was Captain of the Day and on a good green we won 123-86.Our hosts graciously
allowed us to play 2 unfit bowlers with them remaining at one end of the green. Again! Roger was
the highest winning rink with Phil B skipping the highest losing rink. We all had an enjoyable
afternoon with the bonus of a very cheap bar. On our return, a thick mist descended over the Downs
which cleared as we dropped down to Eastbourne. After dinner Phil gave the results of the picture
quiz. Lin and Roger recognised a remarkable 21 of the 40, and given they were an oddball set of mug
shots duly won a richly deserved prize. I was so pleased, honoured and delighted to present Phil B
with the snorker. It then rained and it was Mark’s night off, so a quieter evening.
Monday – A pleasant morning and just enough time for a foray across the pebbles to the sea, but no
paddle this year. We departed Eastbourne at 09.30 and headed for the M25, then M4 to Wokingham
with a break at Reading Services. Three Mile Cross BC is a small club probably not used to hosting a
touring team. Their books were cheap though. Club Captain Phil P oversaw the 7 rink match on his
rest day sharing half a game with Phil B, and with Bev and Kath also sharing their game. We had high
hopes of touring unbeaten but our hopes were dashed as we were well beaten by our rather serious
hosts. Phil B/P was our only winning rink although Tracy did draw. A light, very minimal post- match
buffet was provided, and Woody was duly awarded the pink porky pig as the highest losing rink. We
left Three Mile Cross at 18.40, made a brief stop at the Services to engage in a bit of banter with a
local Marchants coach driver known to Lisa, and with no traffic delays arrived in Churchdown at
about 20.00 to be greeted with the onset of rain.
So, a highly successful tour winning 3 out of 4 matches, and the weather was kind. We all enjoyed
our long weekend and once again our thanks to Lisa our brilliant driver and friend. We must thank
Viv and Linda for allowing their hardworking husbands Phil and Roger to get the credit for organising
another really enjoyable tour.

A Wales