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….
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 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.
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 email@example.com to ensure you don’t miss out.
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.
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
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.
Dave Hacker was awarded his County Badge on Friday by the Sussex County President Mark Broadway.
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!
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?
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.
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
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
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
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….
Wadhurst Bowls Club would like to thank Jempson's for their kind donation towards the new club shirts planned for next season.
Opposite: Laurie Buckingham, Chairman receiving the cheque together with Linda Carless and Judy Gibson on Tuesday 14th December at the Peasmarsh store.
With the ‘putting-to-bed’ of the green the curtain finally came down on our 2021 summer season but this is not a time to wave goodbye to our fellow bowlers as a very high number have joined The Royals Indoor Bowls Centre to keep playing through the winter.
Membership increased nearly 50% over the course of the year leaving us in a very good position to start 2022.
Our AGM held in October, amongst other things, discussed and approved a new design for club shirts for next season.
We have to get final approval from Sussex County Bowls but we should be able to step onto the green next season looking sartorially elegant and professional even if our bowling hasn’t improved.
The new shirts set up a wonderful sponsorship opportunity for local businesses. We keep the same design for around 10 years so for a small outlay a company can see their name advertised all over East Sussex. With good press coverage and a successful season this could be the advertising opportunity of a lifetime!
Laurence Worton, a call on 01435 884331 or 07714 935915 if you want to discuss.
Until we meet again – Stay Safe!
The season finally drew to a close at the end of September when the bowls green was to put to bed for the winter after two days of hard work by club members who scarified, mowed, seeded and top dressed the grass to give it the best possible chance over the coming months.
We have our
club AGM scheduled for Monday 18 October where the members will vote on a new
design for our club shirts for next season.
We will have to be careful we don’t pile on the pounds over the next six
months otherwise those new shirts won’t fit us!
Elections of officers will take place and there will be a report on membership numbers by the person responsible for Recruitment and Publicity – that’s me!
Briefly, Covid took its toll on groups and meetings at the start of the season making it difficult to organise promotional events in a safe way but from 36 members we have managed to grow the club and finished the season with 52 paid-up playing members.
Most of this has been through the support of local publications and Parish magazines – where editors take an interest in local clubs and I would like to show my thanks and appreciation to them on behalf of the club.
One thing is certain however and that is that the best way to promote the club is by recommendation and word-of-mouth. Talk to your friends, neighbours and work colleagues – get them involved! We can all do our bit.
Another worthy news item is an update on the Home County League Final which was held at Egham Bowls Club Surrey
On 18th August, the Home County League Final was held at Egham Bowls Club.
Sussex were against Hampshire. It was a close fought game with Sussex winning on four rinks which was enough to see them over the winning line by four shots.
Bill Crittle (third from right) representing Wadhurst played in the final - it was the first time Sussex had won the HCL.
Mark Strong, Team Manager, dedicated the win to the Late Ken Woodcock, previous Chairman and President of Sussex County Bowls , who was well respected by all the players and Sussex County.
We still have a few club games scheduled through to the end of the month with our last game being away to Staplecross.
And then it’s time for bed…..
Straight after the last game we start putting the green to bed for the winter. This involves members pulling together to cut, scarify, aerate and apply three tons of top dressing to the green. Pack away the benches, have a good old tidy up, turn off the electrics and water, pull down the blinds, lock the door and walk away into the setting sun….
Until next year when we do it all over again!
Wadhurst Bowls Club – Update (by Laurence Worton)
August Bank Holiday weekend was the club’s ‘Finals Day’ when after all those early rounds the finalists get to show their skills in front of friends, relatives and members over two days of top class bowls action.
Nine finals were being contested but the blue-ribbon events
were the Men’s and Ladies' singles finals.
Winner Andy Jenner for the guys and Linda Carless for the gals both go
forward next season to represent the club in the County/National Champion of
Champions competitions. A very
prestigious event where we as a club get to gauge just how good our best
players are against other clubs within the County and also Nationally – no
Ending on a more serious note we now have a defibrillator available within the clubhouse. The unit was generously donated by Brian Wates of Pragmatic Process Automation Ltd following an incident several weeks ago. The photo below shows Chris, father of Brian, presenting President Bill Crittle with the unit.
Hopefully it will never need to be used.
Wadhurst Bowls Club - August Update (by Laurence Worton)
August proves to be the ‘business’ end of the season with competitions reaching their latter stages and some lucky (skilful) bowlers planning for their club ‘finals’
Wadhurst bowlers made good progress in the County competitions this season with Tracy Gethins doing very well in the ‘Champion of Champions’ and Brian Fellowes reaching the area semi-final of the National over 55’s singles competition.
Three bowlers: Andy Jenner, Brian Fellowes and Bill Crittle have been selected to play for the county. We as a club are very proud of their achievements as they not only represent all of Sussex but also fly the flag for Wadhurst – don’t let us down!
Many games and competitions have been postponed during the pandemic but we still hold the Horam league title from 2019 as no further games have been played since then.
The Tunbridge Wells Triples League has however continued this season. Wadhurst ‘A’ were in contention for the coveted league title right up to the last game narrowly dropping to a third place finish. However lower down in division three we had two new teams competing for the first time. Wadhurst ‘B’ ran out league champions after a long delay to play their last match and look forward to promotion next season but unfortunately the ‘C’ team finished last.
During August we held our annual “Tate Evening” where our main sponsors, Tate Fencing, came down en-masse for an evening of bowls, fun, frolics, and food.
Right at the end of August we will held our Club Finals weekend, too late for me to report results in this edition but tune-in next month. There will be a presentation ceremony for the winners on Saturday 4 September.
Looking ahead through September we have eight friendly club games planned and our end-of-season club ‘Drive’ – a fun game – where all members come together for one last time before we put the green to bed at the end of the month, pack away our bowls and hang up the waterproofs – it’s been a wet year.
But let’s not write-off the season just yet there are still sunny days to come and some lovely evenings to be had on the bowls green.
New to bowls? Why not pop over during one of our games for a look?
TATE EVENING - FRIDAY 6 AUGUST
July proved to be a very busy month. Although several of our games were cancelled
due to the weather others fell by the wayside when either the opposition or we
were unable to field a full team. Most
likely this is linked to Covid - not because of illness but because we were all
taking the sudden opportunity of being able to go on holiday!
Wadhurst have one of the best greens in Sussex (have I told you that before?) and we were privileged to host several prestigious games at the start of July including the Sussex County Vice-Patrons match, the Sussex County Two Woods Competition and a County Billingham League match – unfortunately all in the space of just four manic days!
Wadhurst bowlers have preformed well in their respective County Competitions and I hope to be able to report next month on some ultimate success. I don’t want to give name-checks now just in case it proves unlucky.
Mid month we hosted a taster session for the Burwash Walking Footballers and their wives. We know they enjoyed themselves as they drunk quite a lot and we ran out of Prosecco. We hope to turn that enthusiasm into new members before they sober up….
Although the Horam League was cancelled for this year the Tunbridge Wells League is going ahead and Wadhurst have three teams battling for supremacy. It would be great if we could walk off with the trophy and officially hold both titles at the same time – something no club has ever done before.
Next month will be equally busy as apart from our usual inter-club games we have our Mixed-Triples Open Tournament on Sunday 15 with 24 teams competing for £300 prize money. Our club Triples Competition on Sat 21 and our Club Finals over the weekend of 28/29th.
Why not pop over and say hello?
If you would like to give bowls a go, either as individuals or as a group of friends contact Honorary Secretary Tracy on 01892 785689 who will make arrangements.
PRESIDENT v CHAIRMAN & BBQ
On Saturday 24th July we held our annual President v Chairman and BBQ. The day was a great success with a win for the President's team. We were extremely lucky with the weather and ended the day with a delicious BBQ.
Wadhurst Bowls Club – June Update by Laurence Worton
The problem with writing this article is that it needs to be
submitted to the magazine in early May for publication in June so by its very
nature it will always be slightly historic.
By the time you read this our season will be well under way even though
I can only report on our opening few games.
In the latest government review we were hoping for a further relaxation of Covid restrictions and news from Bowls England that we can start being a little more hospitable on the bowling green by offering our opposing clubs an afternoon tea in our newly enlarged clubhouse. Getting the bar open and being able to serve a cool wine or beer in the summer sunshine would also be a nice thought.
But let’s not wish our lives away just yet. In our opening two games we had good fortunes by beating Grosvenor Bowls Club of Tunbridge Wells 77-27 and Rotherfield 43-27
During May we will have played 13 games and have the same number scheduled for June. That’s a total of 312 Wadhurst players bowling 16,848 woods…..
Our players have started their County Competitions looking to progress initially to the area finals on 9 June and then, hopefully, through to the county finals in July.
Off the bowls green we have secured a re-start grant from Wealden District Council that will help keep our heads above water financially, bought a new fridge (to keep the beer cold) and replaced the heavy steel doors on our equipment container. We are also establishing a wild-flower area between the parking area and the club to offer bio-diversity for our smaller friends.
Various jobs need doing around the clubhouse and the green. From mowing the grass and tending the flower beds to re-pointing the paving and replacing broken roof tiles. There is always something that needs doing and offers of help are always welcome.
So, if you like a little bit of gardening, are reasonable at DIY, like afternoon tea and a little tipple and would like to have a go at bowls contact Tracy, our Honorary Secretary, on 01892 785689
If you are a local business and would like to be associated with a successful community club then together we can grow our profiles for mutual benefit. We have various opportunities available – why not call us to discuss?
Bowls Club – May Update by Laurence Worton
By the time you read this our season will be well under way.
Covid-compliant games are taking place although no afternoon teas or
refreshments can be served until at least May 17 but it’s still lovely to get out in
the spring sunshine and have some social interaction after so long stuck indoors.
Wadhurst are the current Horam League Champions, having won the title in
2019 by the smallest of margin possible, half a point, after a thrilling final game.
The league was cancelled in 2020 and has been again this season due to the
epidemic thus we are on track to hold the league title for the longest time in it’s
Bowls England are organising a national ‘Big Weekend’ to take place over the
late spring bank-holiday weekend. Wadhurst are planning to participate -
although we await final details of the event, but there will be a chance to visit
participating clubs, meet members, have a look at facilities and, if you’ve never
played bowls before, to have a go.
But, you don’t need to wait until the Big Weekend to have a go at bowls at
Wadhurst. Every Monday evening we welcome potential new bowlers onto the
green to try it out.
Even if you are a ‘seasoned pro’, or new to the area and looking for a new club,
you are welcome to check us out. ’Taste and try – before you buy’ seems an
appropriate adage at this point….
For more information contact Tracy our Honorary Secretary on 01892 785689,
www.wadhurstbc.com or check us out on Facebook.
by Laurence Worton