2022 Season

November Update (Laurence Worton)

I cannot believe that here I am at the end of October writing the next article for publication in the Christmas December 2022 issue! - where has the year gone?

The clubhouse is now shut up for the winter but the green still gets a sweep every morning to remove the dew and there is a regular regime of cutting as there is still some small amount of growth throughout the winter.

By the time you read this we will have had our end-of-season dinner at the Aroma restaurant on the A21 at Hurst Green, said our year-end ‘goodbyes’ and wished everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year - it all seems a bit bizarre sitting here writing this in the garden in the autumn sunshine with a cold beer in hand!

I have been having a conversation with our Match Secretary, Linda Carless, on what makes her tick and her thoughts on bowls generally.

Here is what she told me

You’re a familiar face around Wadhurst Linda, what’s your story?

Match Secretary

I have lived and been an active member of the Wadhurst community for 30 years. In my younger days, I was a member of the badminton and tennis clubs. I volunteered to be a member of the PTA when my two daughters attended the primary school and led the 2nd Wadhurst Brownie Pack for several years. I worked in administration for 40 years and was employed by Uplands Community College for 11 years.   I am now happily retired.

 What do think has been your biggest achievement?

This year, 2022, reaching the quarter finals of the Sussex Champion of Champions Ladies’ singles competition.

How would you like to see Bowls develop and move forward?

Bowls has always been perceived as an ‘old man’s’ game. I would like to see younger people playing bowls. I wish I had taken up the sport sooner!

If money were unlimited….?

I’d love to see a new clubhouse with better access. This would then allow us to perhaps play short mat bowls during the winter months.

and personally….?

I would like sufficient money to be comfortable. The most important thing to me is being healthy.

What’s your greatest indulgence?

Homemade cakes!

Finally, can you tell me a little about your role as Match Secretary?

I have been the match secretary for the last 5 years. We have approximately 67 events each year comprising of league matches, friendly games, and county competitions. During the winter months it is my job to confirm these events and then produce the fixture booklet ready for the new season in April.

I am also responsible for the administration of the club website, adding photos, news, and results etc. but have nothing to do with Facebook.

Thanks, Linda, for being such a good sport and well done on your Champion of Champions success. I think that makes you the most successful woman bowler at Wadhurst. A ‘Goat’ in fact! (Greatest of all time)

I’m interested in how you square being healthy with eating home-made cakes, but I’ll leave it there……


October Update (Laurence Worton)

In a series of in-depth interviews and Question & Answer sessions I hope to get under-the-skin of some of our committee members and give you an insight into what makes them tick, what drives them and just why do they love Wadhurst Bowls so much.

Here we start with our current Treasurer (soon to be Chairman) – Mr Steve Grey.

Chairman

 Hi Steve, Thanks for being the ‘guinea-pig’. You’ve been Treasurer at the club for three years now. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

 I am 56 years old, now living in Eastbourne having moved here twelve months ago, with my wife, one dog and two cats

 When I am not playing bowls or walking football, I work for an IT services company selling software to the rail industry. And, before you ask, no - I can’t fix your iPad or computer as I am the least technical person in the company!

 What do you feel has been your biggest achievement at WBC?

Winning the Handicap Singles competition in my second year (I have yet to win anything else)

 Who would you most like to meet (dead or alive) and why?

I love my music so meeting one of my musical heroes. Perhaps “The Boss” or Keith Richards. The latter must have some great stories to tell, if only he can remember them!

 We’ve had a lot of changes at the club over the last few years but how would you like to see the club develop/move forward?

I’d love us to continue our success in the two leagues we enter each year (The Horam and Tunbridge Wells Leagues), but more importantly that we continue to grow our membership to secure the future of a great club.

 If money was unlimited, what would you like to do at Wadhurst Bowls?

Improve all the facilities so that the bowls club can be used as a venue for twelve months of the year. The solution is getting access lower down Washwell Lane so that we don’t have to drive across the cricket pitch, which is impassable from October to march in a car. We could then access grants for accessibility, have social events and generally contribute more to the village.

 And personally….

Follow the sun – summer in the UK, winter in my various villas around the world

Ok, enough of the fantasy, what does the role of Treasurer actually involve?

 I am both Treasurer AND Vice-Chairman! I ensure we know where we are spending our member’s money and try to ensure we budget accordingly. As Vice-Chairman I just do what the Chairman says…

 Sorry about that Mr Vice- Chairman! What brings you the greatest satisfaction at Wadhurst Bowls?

Occasionally, just occasionally, and my various skippers would say it is only occasionally, putting a wood on the jack!

And finally, Steve. What is your greatest indulgence?

 My wife!

Wadhurst BC - Winners of the Horam League 2022

The final Horam League match for 2022 was played last night with a win over Uckfield. 
Well done to everyone who has played in the Horam League matches this season.
Celebrating our win Laurence, Steve, Nigel, Judy, Linda, Tracy, Martyn (hiding), Brain, Peter and John

August Update (by Laurence Worton)

It’s been an exciting season this year. Not only did we win the Horam league again but the Wadhusrt ‘B’ team gained back-to-back promotions in the Tunbridge Wells Triples League and will next season mix it with the big boys in the ‘premier’ league. Read on - but I warn you, it’s is not for the feint-hearted!

 Wadhurst score twice in last three minutes to lift European Cup!

 That would be the headline if it were football however Bowls is a little less sensationalistic.  Basically we just get on with the job.

However, we do have a trumpet so let’s give it a blow....

 Wadhurst, the current holders of the Horam League title, had one final game of the 2022 campaign left to play. Ringmer topped the league by six and a half points.

 With eight points available in the final game Wadhurst would need to pull out all the stops.

 Halfway through and Wadhurst looked comfortable for the win but lagged behind on two rinks – only six points….

 Going into the last end the positions were the same but Michael Pape, a new member this year and playing his first league game, got it together and placed three superb woods around the jack, another was added and with the final wood the Uckfield skip failed to make an impact. Wadhurst won the end, the match and the league – happy days indeed.

 Great teamwork and a ‘never-say-die’ attitude triumphed. But it wasn’t all down to the final day or the final end.

 Was the turning point the week before when Dave Hacker turned round an impossible position in the match against Horam to get a draw on his rink and secure half a point when all had seemed lost just a few ends before? Was it Malcolm Dick winning his game early in the season when September seemed a long way away? Yes, it was all those moments and all those different players throughout the 22 games that contributed to our final success. Everyone brings something to the club and everyone played their part.

Whilst on sensational headlines here’s another one….

Wadhurst come from behind and score in last minute of stoppage time to seal promotion!

 Wadhurst ‘B’, laying third in the Tunbridge Wells Triples League Division 2 needed five out of a possible six points in the final game of the season against high flying Paddock Wood to gain promotion.  With one rink trailing by seven shots and just three ends remaining it looked like Wadhurst had blown the chance of back-to-back promotions.

 Still wanting four shots on the last end to get that elusive fifth point the magicians that were Laurence Worton, Nigel and Tracy Gethins pulled multiple rabbits out of the hat to win through!

Wadhurst’s delight was tempered a little by Paddock Wood’s misery as the result put them down to third, missing promotion, however Wadhurst ‘B’ go into the top flight of the league next season alongside Wadhurst ‘A’


Our Green on Thursday!

Our friendly match against Cranbrook had to be cancelled on Thursday due to the heavy rain and thunderstorms.  Thank you to Martyn Oliver for taking the photographs below. 

High Tide
Low Tide

2022 Mixed Triples Tournament (by Laurence Worton)

Sunday saw Wadhurst Bowls Club stage their 24th Annual Open Mixed Triples Tournament.  Attracting entries from all over Sussex and Kent this popular and successful annual event was in it’s 24th year with, fittingly, 24 teams fighting it out to walk away with the winner’s trophy and their share of the £300 prize money.
There was also a Spider competition involving 72 bowlers on the green at the same time all trying to win either a bottle of Tattinger champagne of a bottle of premium gin.
Played in blisteringly hot, sunny conditions, the tournament started at 9:30 in the morning with matches continuing right through the day until the early evening.
With over one hundred people involved, it was a great credit to the green-keeping staff of Wadhurst for the excellent bowling surface, despite the dry summer, and the tournament organisers that everyone was kept fed, watered and entertained throughout the day.
Supported and sponsored once again by Tate Fencing.  Managing Director Gary Tate made the cup presentation to the winning triple from Seaford Bowls Club.  April Harding, Carolyn Evans and Malcolm Winckles going home very happy and a little bit richer than when they arrived!
West Hoathly and The Angel taking second and third spots respectively.

Next season sees Wadhurst host their ‘Silver Anniversary’ event with the promise of a record prize fund, one of the best playing surfaces in the county and the traditional ‘Wadhurst welcome’.  Early entries are encouraged and accepted on a first come, first served basis so contact tournament organiser Malcolm Dick on mal@mdick.plus.com to ensure you don’t miss out.

Wadhurst (left) triumphed over Hawkhurst to retain the Border Cup

The Border Cup

July was a hectic month with Wadhurst overcoming a 4 shot deficit from the first leg to roar back in the second and overhaul Hawkhurst to lift The Border Cup – the hotly contested annual competition between the Sussex and Kent clubs.
Caught right in the middle of the battle between East and West was Cellar Head Brewery of Flimwell who supported the event with a donation of free beer to each club.

We hosted an evening for another of our sponsors, Tate Fencing where friends and family and employees all came over for a fun evening.  Our most prestigious event was hosting a County Billingham League game involving bowlers from all over West and East Sussex. But let’s not dwell too much on the past…. During August we play our Mixed Triples Open Competition with teams coming from far and wide in the hope of walking away with the £300 prize money and we have also been selected to host two National Area Finals involving Kent and Sussex clubs. A neutral venue had to be chosen and with the quality of our green and warm nature of our members Wadhurst was a no-brainer, top-of-the-list choice! A great honour for our club and green-keeping team.

County Update

The County Competition results this week were a little disappointing, but I’m very pleased and proud of all the players that played. It keeps Wadhurst on the bowling circuit.
Linda Carless played Carol Watson - a very experienced player from Lindfield BC in the Champion of Champions, only losing by a few shots. Carol was kind enough to say that Linda bowled very well and encouraged her to enter more County competitions.
At Worthing BC Matthew Barton played a Semi Final of the Unbadged Singles against Steven Maslen, an experienced unbadged player from Downsman BC on Wed, losing by a few shots.

David Hacker, Brian Fellowes, Andy Jenner and Bill Crittle played County Fours at Burgess Hill against a team from Bexhill BC. It was nip and tuck all the way through the game on a tricky rink, only losing by 2 shots on the last end.

It’s not the results we were hoping for in all Comp’s but it does show that Wadhurst have the players more than capable to compete in these County Comp’s, so please enter next year.

Entering competitions next year. It will now be a new format. Each comp will run over a two week period, which will allow players to have a break away.
Hopefully this will enable more members to enter.
Bill Crittle, President



County Competitions

Sussex Unbadged Singles

Matthew Barton played Ricky Watkinson from Southwick BC in the Quarter Finals of the Unbadged Singles and won 21-6.  Matthew will now play Steven Maslen from Downsman BC.

Sussex Senior Fours

Dave Hacker, Bill Crittle, Andy Jenner and Brian Fellowes played Southbourne BC in the Quarter Finals and won 21-9.  They now play Bexhill BC in the Semi Finals. 

County Badge Presentation

Dave Hacker was awarded his County Badge on Friday by the Sussex County President Mark Broadway.

Our New Club Shirts have arrived!

A few of our club members enjoying a drink in the sunshine after a game against Groombridge BC on Saturday.  As you can see they are all wearing the new club shirts.  I think you will agree they all look very smart!

The Border Cup

1st Leg at Wadhurst Wednesday 20 July 6pm

2nd Leg at Hawkhurst Wednesday 27 July 6pm 

 Why not put your name down to compete in the most hotly contested competition between our two clubs?

 Alternatively, why not come along and support Wadhurst as we strive to retain the Border Cup for another year and maintain our bragging rights?

 Will the East Sussex Martlets triumph over the Kentish Mare?

 Who knows?

 What we do know is that for the first time this year Cellar Head Brewery of Flimwell will be supporting the competition with the donation of a 10 litre box of beer for each home club.

July Update (by Laurence Worton)

Back by popular demand! – The final instalment from the Green-Keeper’s Team:
Often bowlers, at the beginning of the season, will complain the green is too heavy. Gradually
this improves as the summer arrives. Many Wadhurst bowlers will play indoors on a carpet during
the winter closed season, which in comparison is a very fast surface.
Come summer the height of the mower cut is gradually reduced to 5mm after the winter months
high of 10mm.
The green is swept early morning every day of the year to remove the dew, which if left for the
sun to burn off can cause disease.
Mondays, our main green keeping day, we have 6 or 8 club members working on the green and
the surrounds. On this day we spike or verti-cut (scarify) alternate weeks throughout the season,
followed by a mow. Essential work is also done around the ground, mowing the surrounds, in front
of the clubhouse and the car park area. Hedges are trimmed, the garden attended to, and some of
the outside areas around the fences have a strim to stop the docks and nettles. We always try to
break for a coffee around 11am, and hope to finish by early afternoon.
We have 3 regular mowing days every week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. The spray
team keep a watchful eye for any disease and take the appropriate action. Revolution, a wetting
agent is sprayed onto the green twice a month throughout the season, and in addition a
spring/summer fertiliser is sprayed May, June and July. In a very hot and dry summer period we
have an automatic irrigation system which is able to water the green during the night hours to
stop the green from turning brown.
Through the season the club will play 4-5 matches a week, most games are home and away
fixtures, playing clubs twice in the season. Wadhurst host some Sussex county matches - a great
accolade for our club. For these matches the green will have an extra mow for that day, often
starting before 7am to get the green to look at its best to start the game. We also host a
Tournament in August, this year on Sunday 14th where we invite 24 teams of 3 bowlers for a full
day’s bowling with cash prizes awarded to the winning triples. Again, another early mow is needed

for that day!
The season comes to an end the last week in September. Bowlers revert to indoor bowling. The
green is ripped up, re-seeded and 3 tons of top dressing spread to begin the process again.
Readers are invited to walk over to watch a match being played - look for the Club flag flying from
the mast next to the clubhouse. Most matches will have a tea interval at half time and you will
more than likely be offered a drink and a biscuit, and then hopefully stay to see another Wadhurst
victory….
July 20 and 27th we will contest a two-legged Cup Final with Hawkhurst for the ‘Border Cup’ and
possible local bragging-rights over our close neighbour. This year both clubs are kindly supported
by Cellar Head Brewery of Flimwell. At the time of writing we don’t know the result but with
award-winning, discounted beer available at both venues I doubt anyone will really care!
Between the Border Cup games we squeeze in a County Billingham League Match on Friday 22 July
to be followed next day by the annual President vs Chairman Bun-Fight and BBQ. Even if you are
not playing why not come over and support the club?
Don’t forget we welcome new members throughout the year and are very happy to arrange free
taster sessions for groups or individuals - just give Laurence a call on 01435 884331 or 07714
935915

Sussex County Men's Two Wood Competition 2022

The Sussex Men's County Two Wood Competition was hosted by Wadhurst BC
on
Sunday 12 June 2022.

Members of Wadhurst BC (left to right)

Peter Burns, Brian Fellowes,
Matthew Barton, Bill Crittle and
Malcolm Dick.

Members saw some excellent bowling on a wonderful green.  The scenery and weather were  perfect too!

Start of Season Drive 2022 A few of our members enjoying the Start of Season Drive in April

Start of Season update 2022 by Laurence Worton

Bowls England is organising a ‘Bowls Big Weekend’ in late May. This will be a well-advertised event with nationwide coverage on both radio and TV. It will serve as a prelude to the International Bowls Competition at the Commonwealth Games in the summer.

 Wadhurst will be participating and hosting an open-day at the club on Sunday 29 May from 12 – 3pm. The clubhouse and green will be open and for new players there will be a chance to have a go yourself. We hope to trial our own fast-paced short-game version of Jack-Attack - which enables new players to get out there and have a game within minutes of stepping onto the green.

 You will need to let us know you are coming at least a day or so before hand. So put it in your diary now and give me a call to register your interest. 

Laurence – 01435 884331 or 07714935915

If you are unable to come along to ‘Bowls Big Weekend Open-Day’ or prefer to have a go on your own we will be running Taster Sessions throughout the year. These, like the open-day are free. Just get in contact and we can get it sorted – bring a friend and make an evening of it.

 Another ‘first’ for Wadhurst is the running of a ‘Fresher’s league’ This is specifically aimed at new bowlers to enable them to play games against other new bowlers in a social setting but with the idea of everyone learning the game together. Depending on numbers and how it goes we may promote the ‘Freshers’ into an ‘Improvers’ league and start another batch of Freshers a month later – it’s all exciting stuff at Wadhurst!

 Talking of new ideas, I suppose I will have to get up to speed with Facebook and Instagram. Bowls England advise leaving Instagram in the hands of a younger member who will know their way around and set the right tone ‘for the kids’ Well, that would be a fine thing but we don’t have any younger members.

 I started playing at 14 years old in an age of black and white television and coppers with helmets. What is it that’s stopping youngsters now?

 There are plenty of kids who are not ‘sporty’ in the traditional sense and don’t fit into mainstream sports but Bowls offers a gentle introduction into a competitive world that can be played by girls and boys, little or large. It’s very ‘do-able’, sociable and doesn’t require great strength or speed. Neither does it require a lot of money – junior membership is just £5 a year.

 Here I am fifty years later and still playing….