Eastbourne Day 1

Well , our first day on our Eastbourne tour has come and gone and, in a way, thank goodness! It was not helped by a phone call from Parade BC on Thursday evening at 8pm to say that they were a few players short for our 7 rink game but, thanks to Cat, Mel & Ernie volunteering to play for the opposition, we were able to play all 7 rinks. However, more on that later.

Friday started so well. It was a crisp, cool morning, and everyone turned up well in time at the community club, St Mary’s Hospital and at the Fishbourne ferry terminal. Fines were handed out swiftly by ‘Fearsome Fred the Finesmaster’ when Alan Mabey was sent off in search of our coach which was parked up at Gurnard – all Alan could find was a double decker bus in the middle of a field! Our driver, Keith, is a star, and kept us chuckling throughout the journey with his anecdotes. If you go up Seaview Road, you will see his French fire engine and Rolls Royce car.

After a few delays in heavy traffic, we reached Parade BC just after 12.30pm, in time for a lovely buffet laid on by our hosts and, of course, a few drinks were consumed to help their bar takings. Another fine was handed out to David Dawson, who had to get Keith to unload lots of hotel luggage from the coach, as he forgot to pack his bowls kit in his bowls bag! Still, at his age, what can you expect?!

So, the game: Parade started off with 24 players, then 23, and it took a very long time for Fred & me to sort out the rinks with their captain who didn’t seem to understand how to manage 7 rinks! But still, our hosts were very hospitable and the game was enjoyable, played on their two greens which had been prepared by Andy Butler! Two players, Mel & Jackie, helped our fines money by deliberately (so they told me) bowling a wrong bias each. Of course there has to be a winning rink and losing rink. Winners were Steve L, Netty & Jenny, imperiously skipped by Mick Lloyd, who says he is now ready to show the A team skips how to do it! The losing rink was skipped by our Captain of the Day, Fred, who loved having Eeyore with him all evening, assisted by Jackie, John Abrook & Chris New.

After a few drinks, just to be sociable, we returned to the hotel to get to our rooms, but not before Rog Payne had to run back for his rucksack (fined!). Everyone was very complimentary about their rooms and our evening meal was lovely. Then it was time for Fred to give out the fines for the day, ably assisted by Pat Barsdell who collected the money with great glee. First fine was to Graham (who else?) who left his ‘man-bag’ in their changing-rooms, which held all our emergency medical forms! He warned us not to be ill until he gets them back tomorrow.

An enjoyable evening was had, having a sociable drink and singing along with our resident performer. Everyone had an early night (yeah!) because, as tuned athletes, we wanted to be fully prepared for the Cowes Medina Open Crazy Golf Tournament in the morning and bowls in the afternoon.

More tomorrow.