As thoughts turn to the 30th anniversary of Brimfield and Little Hereford Bowling club DAVE EVANS takes a look back at how it all started.
I wasn’t there but it sounds like fun - more than 20 volunteers turning up to lay the turf, a barbecue laid on in celebration and Tenbury’s fire tender arriving to give the hallowed grass a good soaking!
Vernon Hamer, who won the contract to lay the green back in the 80s, remembers it as a fantastic day. Fantastic to see the enthusiasm of local people seeing through a project which had taken some time to get off the ground, fantastic that what looked at times like an impossible dream had finally reached fruition.
It all started with a suggestion that a bowls green would be just the thing for a corner of the sports field at Haynall Lane. A meeting was organised and around 25 attended but, for a while afterwards, interest tailed off. The community rallied around, raised a bit of money and an approach to the Sports Council and the eventual offer of matched funding proved the key to getting the project up and running. (Brimfield’s Pete Giles was the driving force behind this).
Which brings us to the snug alongside the green, built by Roger Sparey, Harry Millichamp and Matt Jackson, their work immortalised by a wooden plaque under the eaves bearing the legend RO-HA-MA in recognition of their first names.
Orleton’s Don Bradford carved the two bowlers depicted on the plaque and recalls taking it down every 12 months to ensure it remained in good shape. (No wonder it has lasted so well, thank you Don!)
Don’s carvings, incidentally, have found homes all over the world and a number of lovely pieces, including an otter and eagle, still have pride of place in his home.
His painted bowlers - which look faintly familiar although Don insists they were carved entirely from his imagination - have been a feature at the club for many years and, with time finally taking its toll, are currently being restored to their former glory in oak by wood-carver Andy Pearson from Orleton.
The Club will be marking its 30th anniversary in 2018 with match against the Friends of English Bowls in June and a tour to Torquay in July - the 25th anniversary was celebrated with a tour to Windsor and concluded with a handshake from her Majesty the Queen as she turned up unannounced at one of our matches!