A great event, hosted at Sidmouth Golf Club and superbly organised by Melvyn, Margaret and Carol (plus many others i'm sure!!!)
Melvyn acted as compere and Terry handed out the prizes to the winners and runners-up in the club comps. Jo Hawes was on hand to capture the photos...
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.
As the season rushes to a close, so the matches become more intense and competitive, and this can be seen in the results.
The first visitors to Strawberry Lane were from The Madeira Cub from Exmouth, and the result was a most unusual one in that Ottery lost on three out of four rinks, but the fourth rink was won by such a comprehensive margin that Ottery just won the match on the basis of most shots scored.
On Sunday 18th August, Chard Bowling Club were the visitors, and once again the result was very close with Ottery winning by two shots.
There is also an evening league that Ottery takes part in and Monday night was the last night of this competition. Ottery are in the Premier League, and they needed to win substantially in order to retain the title that was won so comprehensively last year. However, Ottery could only manage to win on two rinks and lost the other two, thereby allowing Illminster Bowling Club to become this years champions. There is always next year, and I suspect that some of this years new recruits will be good enough to represent the club at this higher level.
Finally during the last two weeks, Ottery opened the green and the clubhouse to The 41 Club , which is an extension of The Rotary Club. Once their members reach a landmark age, they transfer into the senior section. Many of the visitors have never played bowls before, so after a brief introductory session from club coaches John and Terri Ward, the gentlemen were let loose onto the green. There then ensued an evening of gentle competition, fun and much
laughter and hilarity as the guys tried to master a new skill. The Bowling Club were delighted to welcome this group, and hopefully some of them will decide that they enjoyed themselves so much that they will want to take up a new sport next year.
“Lets give it a go” was the phrase being heard at The Bowling Club on Monday 15th August as a group of men from The 41Club, based in Ottery, came down to the ground to try their hand at the game of bowls. This group forms part of The Rotary Club, but when they pass a landmark age, they move onto The 41 club. John and Terri gave the guys a brief instruction session, and then it was onto the green, accompanied by several volunteers, who were acting as mentors and encouragers. Naturally with a group like this there was a fair amount of laughter, teasing
and hilarity especially when the gentlemen bowled a wrong bias, creating havoc in the neighbouring rink! ( I think one of the guys was almost having to buy 4 rounds of drink!) As the evening drew to a close, thanks were expressed to The Bowling Club for our hospitality and it would appear that everyone thoroughly enjoyed their evening.
At this time of the season, many of the internal competitions are drawing to a close, with the finals being played next month. As a result, many local clubs organise invitation events, and such was the case with Lyme Regis Bowling Club who arranged a Ladies round robin match. Teams from 6 other local clubs accepted the invitation. Ottery St Mary Bowling club sent a team comprising Emma Bradshaw-Smith, Margaret Trayhurn and Carol Keating, under the captaincy of club chair person, Sharon Kenny. The charity chosen by the Lyme Regis captain was “Butterflies”, who support children with disabilities, enabling special equipment to be purchased for them.
After an afternoon of excellent bowling Ottery were pronounced the winners, and a rose bowl and shield were duly presented to the ladies.
The second competition that took place on Saturday was the annual, prestigious, Redfern Trophy. Invitations were sent to Chardstock, Honiton, Budleigh and Sidmouth.. As the name indicates, this competition is sponsored by Redferns Estate Agents, and the club really appreciates this continued sponsorship which now stretches back over several years. The weather forecast was for occasional showers, but these held off, allowing a superb afternoon of friendly yet competitive bowling. It is usual for bowling club teas to consist of a biscuit and a cup of tea, but on this occasion the catering team surpassed themselves by providing sandwiches and cake, as well as the mandatory cup of tea, At the end of a most enjoyable afternoon, the results were compared and it was found that Ottery had not only won the competition, but they had come second and third as well.
Mr Lee Maddocks from Redferns duly presented the competition vase to the winning team of Shirley Fewtrell, Tony Bushell, Maurice Flower and Clive Russell.
As the season draws to a close, we wish all members who have successfully negotiated their way through various competitions, every success in the future. It is hoped that the trophy cabinet will have to be enlarged!
It is so much more pleasure to report on a good run of matches rather than having to write about matches lost
The successful fortnight stated on Saturday 8th July when Sidmouth Bowling Club were entertained at Strawberry Lane, with Ottery winning by 64 shots to 53. The top team on this occasion was Jane Bishop, Brian Hammond, Grant Hawes and Tony Luff.
The following Saturday was Captain’s Day when all members are welcomed to an afternoon of bowls, laughter and banter, with a good meal to finish the day.. The day was organised by club captain Melvin Trayhurn, with more than a little help from his wife Margaret.. Rather than play a round robin series of matches, they decided that the ladies would play the gentlemen. Several of the men had to play for the ladies team, suitably dressed for the occasion. Dave Roberts was awarded the prize for the best “dressed lady” The top team consisted of Steve Bishop, Grant Hawes and Richard Chapple. Chivalry precludes me from publishing which team won, but sufficient to say that everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.
In between these matches a team played Taunton Vivary, and they won by just one point. Special thanks are due to Kara David for making up the numbers to form the team (No doubt club vice captain, Ryan Seers, had something to do with this).
Finally the successful run was completed by an away match against Starcross, with the winning margin being 87 shots to 78.
It is so good to see that players who have only learnt how to play the game this year are now good enough to represent the club in some of these friendly matches. It is to be hoped that the successful run will continue to the end of the season
As Press Officer for Ottery St Mary Bowling Club, it is often easier to write about successes rather than about matches lost!
In the last two weeks, the club has played two away matches, the first against Honiton and the second against Seaton. Both matches resulted in good wins for the home team, leaving club captain Melvin Trayhurn scratching his head and saying “we just did not turn up!”
Now for the club successes. Firstly Sharon Kenny and Gail Hawke have won through to the last 16 in The County Pairs Competition. Secondly a ladies team comprising of Eileen Burston, Carol Keating and Shirley Fewtrell won the Spears Trophy, an invitation event run by Sidmouth Bowling Club. Eileen has also completed the requirement needed in order to gain her County Badge. Finally the ladies team in The Grace Matthews Top Club, competition, which is a multi
disciplined series of matches, beat Sidmouth to win through to the last 16.They will now play Seaton at home later this month.
Not to be out done, the men’s section are also playing well. Tony Bushell and Mike Kelsey in the County Men’s Pairs, have won the area section, and now will play a club from another section in order to proceed in the competition. Finally Leighton Burston in the two woods singles has won section 3 and will now play against a gentleman from Exonia.
We wish both the ladies and the men’s teams every success in their competitions..