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 329 members have enjoyed bowling with the club on their annual jaunts. Our 2014 tour saw Ken Armstrong extend his club record when he travelled for the 35th time. Sadly Ken passed away just a week after returning from Tenby. In 2018 Secretary Chris Rolph of Adur IBC equalled Ken’s record. Cecil Wadey from Petworth BC has toured on 32 occasions. Remarkably with the 2018 tour being our 64th Ken, Chris and Cecil have now each travelled on more than 50% of our club tours. Last years tour (2018 Weymouth) saw Chris administer his 31st tour as Hon. Secretary! Besides the three gentlemen named above the club can boast another twelve who have been on twenty or more tours. Steve Hawkes 31, Harry Gosnell 25, Graham Allen and Alan Catterson 24, Geof Armstrong, Ron Hyam, Cecil Salisbury and Charles Walkden 23, Roger Ayling, Wally Edwards, and Ted Lane 22 and Dave Dallyn 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 2018 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 (1955-2018) 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, 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 15th November 2018)
Hello my fellow members, it is now nearly a year since I wrote about events in our club.
This has been a difficult year for me as my lovely wife Rita passed away on the 13th of September and had been ill with cancer for just over a year. When someone close to you is fighting that horrible illness it becomes difficult to remember very much about what else is going on around, I am sure you will understand if this news letter is short. I did manage to go on tour to Weymouth in May, with our son Chris looking after his mum. Unfortunately I had to return home early as he found it hard to cope. It is now when I look back that one appreciates the support i got from family and friends to help me move forward but never forget the life I’ve left behind.
It has been a sad year health wise for many members of our club but as we are nearly all of an age this must be expected. The club have lost two lovely members this year with Roger (Lucking) and Keith (Cruise) now playing their bowls up there. Gone but not forgotten.
Bowling has been a big part of my life for the last fifteen years and at times like this
one remembers the great times we have spent together on tours to different parts of the country
with hopefully many more to come. As we all head down the road of life we will all experience
good and bad times, that is when our wonderful club and the camaraderie we share helps
one to cope with what life throws at us.
I now look forward to a second year as your President (after the AGM this evening) and with the grace of god look forward to more happy days spent in your company.
I wish you all a merry Christmas and a healthy new year.