A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE WEST SUSSEX BOWLS TOURING CLUB
In early 1955 a group of 30 bowlers got together and arranged a bowls tour. Under the directorship of Chairman / Captain A. G. Smart of the Tithe Green BC and Secretary C. J. Uncles from Worthing Pavilion BC, they left Worthing Central Railway Station on 15th May 1955 by coach and headed for the Royal Hotel, Weymouth. The next day Greenhill BC in Weymouth played host to the clubs first
tour match – against Weymouth and District.
On this first tour they travelled under the name of ‘The West Sussex Tourists’ and so successful was the week that it was decided to put the tour on an official
footing and accordingly a meeting was called for 21st July 1955.
Mr. Artlett of the Maltravers club was elected President and a name of the Sussex Martlets Bowls Touring Club was agreed. By November 1955 the club name had been changed to it’s current title of the West Sussex Bowls Touring Club, Sussex County BA having objected to any club prefixing it’s name with the word Sussex.
On the odd occasion the club has wanted to host matches and the Worthing Pavilion Club have generously allowed us to stage these on their wonderful greens. In 2005 we hosted a 50th Anniversary match against the English Bowling Association and we played Sussex County in both 2005 and 2015.
Since formation the club have toured every year and a total of 336 members have enjoyed. bowling with the club on their annual jaunts. This remarkable touring record came to an end in 2020 due to the awful Coronavirus Pandemic. A remarkable 18 members have each toured on 20 or more occasions. Our 2019 tour saw our club secretary Chris Rolph create a new touring record having
travelled 36 times. The previous record holder Ken Armstrong went on 35 tours before he passed away in May 2014. Steve Hawkes and Cecil Wadey have each toured on 32 occasions. Graham Allen, Alan Catterson and Harry Gosnell have been on 25. Geoff Armstrong, Roger Ayling, Ron Hyam, Cecil Salisbury and Charles Walkden 23, Wally Edwards and Ted Lane 22. Bill Bryder, David Dallyn,
Joe Gilpin and Kevin Mitchell having achieved 21.
WE MUST SURELY BE DOING SOMETHING RIGHT!
To view a spreadsheet of the results of all games played on tour since 1955 (up to and including our 2019 tour) please click WSBTC – results etc
To view a spreadsheet of all the members who have toured with the club and the years they travelled (1955-2019) please click WSBTC – tours travelled 1955 to date
To view a spreadsheet of all members the club have had since formation in 1955 please click WSBTC – calendar 2021.22.23 as at 21.05.25
To view a spreadsheet of all members of the club management committee please click WSBTC – officers and committee – 1955 to 2021
ARE WE THE CLUB FOR YOU?
You are interested in becoming a member?
Some information about the club that may help you make your mind up as to whether joining us is for you.
The club was formed in 1955 by a group of bowlers from in and around Littlehampton and Worthing. The sole purpose of the club was to provide social recreation and a bowling holiday for male bowlers. Nothing has changed since these early days except that the club has developed a regular ‘non tour’ fixture list in both the Outdoor and Indoor seasons.
We have been lucky enough to have had in our membership no less than four Sussex County Bowling Association Presidents, two Sussex County Indoor Presidents, at least three Sussex County selectors, our members have won numerous County Competitions and three National Titles.
Although competitive on the green we pride ourselves on being a club for all standards literally from beginners to National Champion. We believe our club has a tremendous reputation for camaraderie both on and off the green and this is paramount in the thoughts of the committee when reviewing applications from new members. Potential members must at the time of their application be a member of a Bowling Club within the County boundary of West Sussex or be a member of a club from outside West Sussex but be resident within West Sussex.
Applicants should be aware that the club is run for members who wish to: a) travel on our annual tour(we usually leave Sussex on the second Saturday in May). b) partake in our ‘non tour friendly’ matches and invited ‘opens’ both indoor and outdoor. c) have an interest in attending our annual dinner (usually the first Friday in May). d) enjoy themselves in the company of likeminded bowlers. The club wear Burgundy coloured shirts (and Burgundy coloured jumpers if one is worn) for all their matches and upon acceptance to the club details will be given re purchase of the garments.
If after reading all the above information you feel the club is right for you please click WSBTC – application form and info page to download an application form. Alternatively please contact the Honorary Secretary on 07876/538583.
THE THOUGHTS OF PRESIDENTS NED (updated on 19th March 2021)
Hello my fellow members of West Sussex Tourists.
As the weather improves, we move into spring and hopefully a good summer. Let us hope that we can all look forward to getting back on the lovely greens around Sussex and enjoy once more the great game of bowls. The last year has been a difficult time for everyone, but like me, I am sure it has made us all appreciate the life we had before and the family and friends we haven’t seen in a long time.
We have all been saddened by the loss of some lovely people from our club. They may be gone but certainly they won’t be forgotten. I believe the lockdown has made me a more tolerant person and made me realise that life is very fragile so I hope you all make the most of the coming years and enjoy life to the full.
It was unfortunate that our annual tour has once again had to be cancelled. On a happier note our Captain has got lots of games during the summer where we can all meet, have a few pints and enjoy the banter once again. I am sure we all have stories to tell.
God Bless and hope to see you all soon.
CAPTAIN ROGER’S RAMBLINGS (updated on 15th March 2021)
Gentlemen, it is with a tinge of sadness that I write my latest update for you all shortly after we have had to cancel our second consecutive tour due to the Pandemic. We are fortunate that Chris our Secretary has been on the ball with regards to cancelling and rearranging tours, fixtures, coaches etc and at least we now have the next two tours all booked up and ready to go. On behalf of all the tourists thanks for your hard work Chris.
On a cheerier note it does seem that we may be able to play outdoor this summer and have somewhat of a normal season. Our first game is at the beginning of June so please get your forms back to me as soon as possible to assist my planning. My intention this summer is to give as many people games as possible even if it means the odd person being asked to play a half game. I will try to get as many of us as is possible together to renew our friendships. As Chris said in his letter ‘if you don’t return your form I cannot pick you’. I look forward to a deluge come through my door in the next couple of weeks.
I look forward to seeing you all very soon and in the meantime I will finish with a few lines from my favourite film ‘Oliver’. So apt for our club. Please sing along.
We must disappear, we’ll be back here, today . perhaps tomorrow.
We’ll miss you too, it’s sad but true, that parting is sweet sorrow.
And when we’re in the distance, you’ll hear this whispered tune, so long, fare thee well, Pip Pip cheerio, we’ll be back soon.
CLUB CALENDAR 2021/22/23 (updated on 25th May 2021)
To view the club calendar of events for 2020/21 please click this link: WSBTC – calendar 2021.22.23 as at 21.05.25
2019 TOUR CHAMPION – Steve Hawkes
Tour champion (for the 4th time) with his trophy is Steve Hawkes.
OUR RECORD BREAKING TOURIST – Chris Rolph
Chris Rolph being presented with his engraved trophy to commemorate his attaining a club record of 36 consecutive tours. Paul Armstrong the son of the previous record holder Ken Armstrong travelled to Tenby to present the award.
The club is pleased to announce that Roger Parsons has been elected an Honorary Life Vice President. Roger has been a member since October 2000 and has toured with us on 11 occasions. Roger would normally have received his certificate at the AGM – usually held in November. The club, due to Covid, have cancelled the AGM and Roger will formally receive his certificate at the first major club event (annual dinner, tour or AGM).