Honiton bowlers enjoy 2016 tour to Reading

Honiton bowlers during the 2016 tour to Reading

Honiton bowlers during the 2016 tour to Reading - Credit: Archant

It has been a quiet week at home as close to half our outdoor members packed their bags on Bank Holiday Sunday morning and headed off on the club’s annual bowls tour which this year was based at the four-star Moat House Hotel on the outskirts at Reading, writes David Tooley.

Each year the club goes on tour to different locations and the Thames Valley was chosen this year as members of the Royal Household Bowling Club based in Windsor Great Park visited us in 2014 as part of their annual tour and offered us a return game and we built our tour this year around the invitation.

Sunday morning saw us head for Wokingham for our first game and despite rain on the way we arrived in glorious sunshine which lasted for the whole tour.

I think the players were in a holiday mood as Honiton lost heavily 93 to 154 with the only winning rink 24 to 14 skipped by Dennis Hillyear with Alan Fuller, Maureen Parsons and Joan Mackintosh

Monday morning we took a boat trip up the Thames from Reading to Henley on Thames past the houses of the rich and famous. We just made the boat after getting caught up in the exodus of thousands of very tired fans from the Reading Music Festival. The boat trip planned to take just over two hours took just over three as the congestion moved from the roads to the river with boats trying to get through four locks. Our coach took us on to Desborough Maidenhead where we managed to win on five rinks by 126 to 115 with top rink of Roger Binmore, Ann Hillyear Mervyn Blakemore and Yvonne Williams. Tuesday was a rest day with a trip around Windsor Castle. On Wednesday we had two venues to play with four rinks at Windsor and Eton BC where they lost 71-63. Top rink was Clive James, Margaret Bright, Bill Coates and Sylvia Rowe. Six rinks played at the Royal Household where Honiton won 119 to 93. Top rink honours went to Gerry Stafrace, Di Hawkins, Joan Mackintosh and Fred Dart.

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On Thursday it was time to make our way home and we had arranged a game at Devizes where we managed to win narrowly by 142 to 141 with the top rink being Carole Binmore, Ken Clarke, Di Hawkins and again Joan Mackintosh.

Joan was awarded the Player of the Tour for being on the highest winning rink on three occasions receiving three gold medals. Our coach driver Kevin Crudge of Stamps Coaches, an important member of the team, who always does our tour was awarded his own gold medal for the way he got the coach into the tight parking space at Devizes.

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Next year’s tour to Cheltenham has already been organised and if you are interested in trying a new past time we have an Open Day for indoor bowling on Sunday, September 18, from 10am through to 2pm.

We will be pleased to show what we have to offer and you can try the noble sport of bowls for yourself.

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