Churchdown Bowling Club Founded 1923

Affiliated to: Bowls England & The Gloucestershire Bowling Associations

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Churchdown Bowls Club Tour to Weymouth 2018

A personal view

Friday – 47 tourists, comprising 34 bowlers and including 2 newbies boarded the coach in persistent rain for our weekend down South. A jovial mood prevailed as old friendships were renewed, I commended Linda on her new fella then realised it was Roger plus super haircut. Meanwhile, Lisa drove us down the M5 for a comfort stop at Sedgemoor Services in Somerset. Being righteous the weather cleared and the Sun came out as we headed for Blandford Forum via Devon and Yeovil Town Centre. A rather tortuous journey followed through the Dorset lanes; I couldn’t help but think of the fate of T E Lawrence. We must have seen all of their many thatched cottages and the smell of Wild Garlic was particularly strong, well that was the assumption! Lisa did a brilliant job to get us to the green albeit a little late and as usual she had stocked up with chilled water and sweeties. Sandra was Captain of the Day and their Captain was a former Churchdown man Mike Jones who emigrated about a dozen years ago. A hot sunny afternoon with a minimal buffet provided by our hosts was taken prior to playing a pleasant game cut to 18 ends. Fortunately Val and Bob had their greys with them as well as their whites!! We lost the match narrowly, although unusually I did win on my rink. Sandra won the newly introduced Snorker for skipping the highest losing rink. The coach had rebelled after being battered through the lanes. Luckily, Lisa found the big red reset button underneath and was able to start the coach enabling us to head off to the Royal Hotel in Weymouth for a rather rushed evening meal. We had a lovely room, 4 bay windows overlooking Weymouth sea front; the usual hot trickle shower though! One of the Hotels lifts was rather quaint and will probably end up as a fairground ride. Several tourists partook of an evening promenade along Weymouth front. Whilst taking pictures of “Lucky Ash,” a very large sumptuous yacht berthed in the harbour (Jac and Fred were going to claim it was theirs!) the owner appeared and was very chatty. He said Lulu was below; he came from Swindon and used to race on Weston beach dressed as a gorilla. He also knew many of Tracy’s friends from Dursley; no surprise there then, it’s a small World; still didn’t let us aboard though and Lulu never appeared.

Saturday – A lovely sunny morning as we boarded the coach for Bridport. We arrived a little late, our connoisseurs noted the Palmers Brewery nearby. Ian was Captain of the Day for a competitive but entertaining match played in hot conditions. Ian lost heavily, fully deserving the Snorker, and we narrowly lost the match- if only! While we played, Lisa exchanged our coach for a replacement one which her Boss had driven down, well done Mr Thomas of Swanbrook.  Back at the Hotel it was Fancy Dress evening the theme was Cowboys and Indians. More tourists dressed up this year, there were many imaginative costumes on show, enough Sheriffs for a posse, Indians to go on the warpath, and all a good laugh. We had a cowboy builder from Dave P and Peter looked like that cowboy from Village People. Even Roger joined in as a cowboy and I am not sure how Linda managed to bring that rifle. Contrary to rumour, Tracy and I did not dress as tarts, we were authentic Wild West legends Fanny Porter and Eleanor Dumont aka Mdm Mustache. I did then change into the Ringo Kid because I was beginning to enjoy my feminine side and I didn’t want to end up like Peter. Bizarrely, Woody did not dress as Woody from Toy Story. Pauline won the ladies prize for her fine Indian squaw and Jeff the men’s prize for his smooth chested Indian Chieftain.   Late evening strong winds blowing the sand along the Promenade and lightening were invigorating, just like having a facial scrub, but fortunately the rain held off and came overnight. Clarence and Dennis claimed to have found a nice pub, The Swan, behind the Hotel. Pauline, Dot, Dick and Len found it (The Star!!) and thought it a bit rough. Well Den, if the Cammites thought it was dodgy, it doesn’t say much for your Whiteshill hostelries!

Sunday – Early morning and the rain cleared. Swanage this afternoon and I was Captain of the Day. Gorgeous weather and Lisa seemed intent on taking the coach in to Corfe Castle! We won on a bumpy green that was clearly drying out. Swanage BC was celebrating their 90th Anniversary so I guess we were not very generous by winning on 5 rinks. Val lost by 1 shot and was duly awarded the Snorker as the highest losing rink. I did tell a joke. Back at Weymouth the sea was calm and inviting necessitating a paddle- very nice!  We walked down to the bridge over the harbour and watched the end of the Music Festival with lots of holiday makers enjoying themselves. Still no sign of Lulu.

Monday – Another glorious day. Must have been a different Chef doing breakfast, the poached eggs looked most unusual, almost indecent and probably in need of underpants! We said farewell to Weymouth and the Royal and headed off to Winscombe BC via Burnham on Sea. The journey appeared much more direct, with far fewer Counties. We had just an hour to sample Burnham. Charity shops and a big Wetherspoons. The guy who owns these pubs is a genius and has cornered the market. We visited the Lifeboat shop as apparently they have one; I guess there was sea somewhere beyond the miles of mud flats. Unusual plumbing on the sea front saw Bob washing his hands and setting off the overhead shower. Onward towards Cheddar and Winscombe BC located near to the Thatcher’s Brewery. 7 rinks played straight through in good spirits in a lovely location resulting in a narrow win. A very warm afternoon with an equally very warm welcome from our hosts was followed by a fabulous tea. Peter was Captain of the Day, Wasp socks withstanding, he regaled us with a very entertaining speech highlighting the similarities between our Clubs and locations. I believe Sandra again took the Snorker for the highest losing rink. Roger found and purchased a book that he had written and signed on the inner cover in 1938. Linda, he is wearing well; check the attic for a painting! Viv found some crockery in a charity shop, so all in all a very successful day and even though it was a Bank Holiday, we had an excellent trip back up the A38 to Churchdown.

So, we won 2 and lost 2 and had a great tour yet again. Everybody enjoyed our weekend, the Sun shone, and once again our thanks to Lisa, our amazing driver and to Roger, Linda, Phil and Viv for all their hard work in organising another successful Tour.

A Wales  

Churchdown Bowls Tour to Weymouth 2018