Way back in April, the daffodils were in flower, the hedges were greening up and the bowling
green and the clubhouse were nearly ready for The Opening Drive. After a long winter without a
bowl being bowled on the green, the playing membership at The Bowling Club were raring to
begin a new season. The Fixtures Secretary in his last winter in the role, had been busy
arranging a season of over 50 matches against local teams and touring teams alike, so there
was no shortage of opportunities to play. As I look back through the season it would appear that
most matches were evenly contested, with the occasional huge win or a disappointing heavy
loss. All matches that have been played have been both competitive and friendly, and much
enjoyed by the players. Summing up the season Club Captain Melvin Trayhurn simply said ‘it’s
been a very good season”
Following the Covid outbreak, many of the local clubs have suffered a problematic drop in
membership, but this has not been the case at Ottery. In fact new members have come along,
tried the game and decided that they not only enjoyed playing bowls, but loved the friendly
atmosphere maintained at the club. They have also contributed by being willing for selection in
matches. Some are even considering becoming part of the committee required to run the club.
One of the highlights of the season would be The Redfern Trophy, sponsored by the local firm of
estate agents. This is an invitation match and other local clubs ranging from Chardstock to
Sidmouth participated in this annual event. For the second year running, Ottery swept the board
by claiming the top three places. The top team consisted of Skip Shirley Fewtrell, Maurice
Flower and the anonymous CR. The club are immensely grateful to Redferns for their continued
sponsorship of this trophy. In another invitation event, organised by The Sidmouth Club, our
ladies team consisting of Shirley Fewtrell (again!) Carol Keating and Eileen Burston came away
with the Spears Trophy. Eileen should also be congratulated on attaining her County Badge.
Further success followed for the Ladies section when a team accepted an invitation to an open
event held at Lyme Regis in aid of a local charity that assists families to purchase necessary
items for children with learning difficulties. Yet another trophy found its way into the club trophy
The club also plays in The East of Exe League which is a Monday evening tournament.
Needing to win comprehensively, Ottery just failed in the last match to obtain the required
number of points to retain the trophy, allowing Ilminster to become league champions.
In order to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee, and to remember her life, in liaison with The Ottery
Vale Rotary Club, the club planted at least 50 young saplings in the grounds. These will
undoubtedly be enjoyed by future generations of bowlers. The 41 club, which is an age related
extension to The Rotary Club, also paid a visit to Strawberry Lane to try out the game. Much
And so the season has drawn to a close, but special mention and thanks should be given to
Sharon Kenny, who has been the Chair for at least the last five years, and is now standing
down. Assisted by numerous helpers, she has seen the club grow into a warm, welcoming, yet
thriving local club. I would like to finish with a comment made by one of our new members who
was heard to say “At last I have found a game I enjoy, and one that I am good at.” That is the
guiding precept of The Ottery St Mary Bowling Club.