A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE WEST SUSSEX BOWLS TOURING CLUB
In early 1955 a group of thirty 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 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’. At a committee meeting held in October that year the Hon.Secretary reported that the Worthing Pavilion BC had agreed that our members could affiliate to their club and use their facilities. The close links with the Worthing Pavilion club still exist today with our club holding Committee and Annual General Meetings in their clubhouse. During 2001 ‘Pavilion’ offered the tourists the use of their greens should we wish to host other clubs. We took advantage of this kind offer by hosting matches in 2005 against both Sussex County BA and the English BA and in 2015 our 60th Anniversary Year we again played Sussex County (Men) at Worthing Pavilion.
The club have toured every year since and a total of 336 members have enjoyed bowling with the club on their annual jaunts. 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 – record of membership 1955 to date
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, one Sussex County Indoor President, 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 bowlers who wish to:
a) Travel on our annual tour (usually leave Sussex on the 2nd Saturday in May).
b) Partake in our ‘non tour’ matches and invited ‘opens’ both indoor and outdoor.
c) Have an interest in attending our annual dinner (usually 1st Friday in May).
d) Enjoy themselves in the company of like minded 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 to members 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.
PRESIDENTS RAMBLINGS (updated on 19th June 2019)
It is now over six months since I last wrote a report about club events for our website. The winter has long passed by without thankfully us losing any more of our members. Regretfully we do still have a number on the ‘sick list’.
Looking back over the winter it always gives me great pleasure when we meet up for our indoor games. The banter and laughter we all share on those occasions is what makes our club so special, long may it continue. We can all look forward to hopefully some sunshine and playing on the bowling greens of West Sussex,
The return tour to Tenby after a five year break was wonderful, a big thanks to Chris for all the hard work he puts in organising our tours. It was a real pleasure to return to that lovely seaside resort and again being lucky with the weather. I feel I must mention the new members who joined us all for their first tour. What a great addition to our club they all turned out to be, it felt
as if they had been members for years. Thinking back about our week in Tenby, it was a great pleasure to
visit St. Davids, what a tranquil and peaceful cathedral it is, how lucky we all are to have a place like that to visit, good choice whoever suggested it.
May I take this opportunity to thank our captain Roger for the work he’s done over the last few years, we couldn’t have a better captain. I’m sure we all wish him a speedy recovery from his recent operation. I would also like to thank Alan for standing in for Jonathan and looking after the Treasurers duties. Thanks also to Ray, Joe and of course H for the work they carry out during the week.
I will finish now and wish you all good health and happy bowling this summer.
God bless you all, Nedders.
CAPTAINS CHATTER (updated on 28th May 2019)
I am writing this on the morning of my op to pass a bit of time.
The indoor has finished thank goodness, our worst indoor season under my captaincy. In the previous two years we won one game each year. In my first season we won one of the cups, second season beat Worthing.
Thankyou for the great support during the winter months. The outdoor has now started with the Wiggy open. Congrats to Geoff, Paul, Norman and Barry for reaching the 3rd / 4th place play off. Also a good for Steve, John, Ray and myself, in the first round we were drawn against the wet dream team and they were successfully despatched which gave great pleasure to many at Pavilion. Only five people seemed to be sad, the four wet dreamers and reserve Clunk.
Hope you had a good night at Grasshoppers, and look forward to seeing you all soon. The response to the games has been great.
All those who went on tour had a great time and thanks again for all your help when needed.
CLUB CALENDAR 2019/20 (updated on 7th September 2019)
To view the club calendar of events for 2019/20 please click this link: WSBTC – calendar 2019.20
2019 TOUR CHAMPION – Steve Hawkes