Bowls clubs embrace outdoor season

When it comes to putting their heart and soul into the life of a bowling club there cannot be a player in Devon, who has not heard of Allan Nex and his wife Chris.

Allan joined the Honiton Club in 1961 and almost immediately became heavily involved in club activities. For the next 50 years this pair have both worked tirelessly on the outdoor rinks and were, to a very great extent involved in the building of the first real clubhouse, then its extension and, of course, in the building of the excellent and envied Honiton indoor bowling facility.

Throughout this time, Allan was not only the Green Ranger and Property Manager but also the Men’s Outdoor Secretary and County Representative, a truly awesome task.

A few months ago he decided it was time to retire and, in commemoration of his work for the club, he was presented with a gift of a decanter and glasses engraved with their names, along with a bottle of Allan’s favourite whisky tipple.

After his presentation Allan recalled some of the conditions of the green and clubhouse when he first joined - the old wooden club hut with its worm eaten floor; how there was no commercial fertiliser available so they mixed their own from dry blood and other similar nasty things, all done in the old hut; the green was in a terrible state and it took years of dedicated effort through the close seasons to get into a very respectable playing surface.

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So large was Alan’s job that it is now split into two divisions, Chris will still be a member of the Greens committee but Trevor Pipe will be the new Green Ranger whilst Tony Tooley has got himself yet another job as Property Manager. Allan, for the time being, is keeping his secretary role.

The Honiton Club members will never be able to give enough thanks to Allan and Chris for the magnificent club they have today, they all owe them a great debt and wish them well and hope they will now enjoy their time together.

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?After this presentation, the Honiton Indoor Bowls season came to an end with the presentation of prizes to all this season’s competition winners, followed by an American Supper.

Captains Dulcie Broughton and Ken Clarke were on hand to give out the cups and wind up proceedings for a pretty fair club year.

The icing on the cake for Dulcie would have been the Ladies’ County Fours Champion’s Cup coming back to Honiton, but, unfortunately, Joan Heard, Shirley Hiscocks, Carole Binmore and Sue Evans were beaten in a great final by what turned out to be a very strong Plymouth rink. Nevertheless, very well done girls, perhaps next year?

This year’s competition winners were: Gigg Men’s Singles Champion, for the second year Malcolm Seaborne, R/U Trevor Pipe. Ladies’ Kitty Cup Champion, Shirley Hiscocks, R/U Rosemary Hirons. Pipe Open Singles, Gordon Mahoney, R/U Trevor Pipe. Nex Trophy, Terry House, R/U Alan Fuller. Chris Binmore Memorial Trophy, Emily Hedges, R/U Hannah Morfey. Harris Trophy, Ruby Veitch, R/U Tracy Crawford. Ladies’ Pairs, Phyllis Milner/Carole Binmore, R/U Pat Whitworth /Shirley Hiscocks. Mees Men’s Pairs, Roger Willcocks /Terry House, R/U David Tooley/Gerald Dommet. Davies Mixed Pairs Cup, Yvonne Rayner/Trevor Pipe, R/U Sally/Phil Spreadbury. Westbrook 2 Wood Pairs, Cyril Dann/Trevor Pipe, R/U Gareth Richards/Rosemary Hirons. Hirons Triples, Kieran Daniels/Chris Oliver/Pearl Hackwood/R/U Rosemary Hirons, Tony Young /Ken Clarke. Ritchie Trophy, Brenda Harris & Trevor Pipe, R/U Ian Veitch/Yvonne Rayner. Ivens Cup, Monday 4.30pm, Cyril Dann, R/U Ray Gregory. Ivens Trophy, Monday 7pm, Dick Summers, R/U Trevor Pipe.

?Less than 24 hours later and members were out on the grass for the opening of the outdoor season.

This year, David Tooley is men’s Captain and Linda Gadd Captain for the Ladies. Good luck to both.

Doug Hirons, in his 14th year as club president, opened the green with the traditional first Bowl, followed by a spider competition won by John Satterley.

In a 16-end friendly, the winning four were Billy Goodier, John Collings, Linda Gadd and Ray Gregory with plus 12 shots.

Honiton BC is always pleased to see new members. There’s an excellent youth section with players starting aged 8, but also plenty of 90 year olds playing. Go along to the club in Streamers Meadows for a trial game or two.

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