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 341 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 2023 tour saw our club secretary Chris Rolph create a new touring record having
travelled 37 times. The previous record holder Ken Armstrong went on 35 tours before he passed away in May 2014. Steve Hawkes has made 33 trips and Cecil Wadey 32. Graham Allen, Alan Catterson and Harry Gosnell have been on 25. Roger Ayling 24, Geoff Armstrong, Ron Hyam, Cecil Salisbury and Charles Walkden 23, Bill Bryder, Wally Edwards, Ted Lane and Kevin Mitchell 22. David Dallyn and Joe Gilpin 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 2022 tour – 2020 and 2021 both cancelled due to Covid) please click WSBTC – tour results etc
To view a spreadsheet of all the members who have toured with the club and the years they travelled (1955-2022) please click WSBTC – tours travelled 1955 to date 22.05.23
To view a spreadsheet of all members the club have had since formation in 1955 please click WSBTC – record of membership (1955 to date) 22.05.23
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, three 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 PRESIDENT NED (updated on 28th May 2022)
Five months have passed since my last ‘title- tattle’ Here we are in June, just where does the time go? It was great being back touring again even a slightly reduced 5 night trip. Chris did wonderfully well to get the tour together at such short notice, thanks to the Carlton Hotel, Torquay for accommodating us. I trust everyone enjoyed themselves.
It was most pleasing to see the new members joining in the fun and banter and I look forward to seeing you all again in future years. In 2023 we head back down to South Devon (to Paignton), always a very pleasant place to visit. We will be based at The Queens Hotel, very near to the centre of town. This is a smashing hotel that I have stay at a number of times, I’m sure you’ll all enjoy the tour when it comes around.
As time marches on the club evolves with some dear friends no longer with us, they will always be in our thoughts and remembered for the fun times we shared with them. Let’s all keep the wonderful spirit the club has had over many years with the banter, the jokes and the camaraderie. For it is this for me that makes The West Sussex Bowls Touring Club THE BEST.
See you all on the circuit Nedders.
CAPTAIN ROGER’S RAMBLINGS (updated on 20th December 2021)
To all my friends in this fantastic club, I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very happy and healthy New Year (NOTE: not merry because that means alcohol).
I look forward to seeing as many as possible at the game agaibnst Bognor BC at Arun on 26th January. I will pick a side early in the New Year but if others want to come along I can arrange that they get half a game.
It would be so nice to see as many of you as possible. Myself or Chris would need to know numbers in advance to let the caterers know how many meals we require. The more the merrier.
Lastly, please remember the friends we have lost over the last year and raise a glass to them at this festive, family time.
Love Captain Dodger.
CLUB CALENDAR 2022/23 (updated on 22nd December 2021)
To view the club calendar of events for 2022/23 please click this link: WSBTC – calendar 2022 and 23 as at 21.12.22
2022 TOUR CHAMPION – Geoff Kendall
2022 Tour champion Geoff Kendall receives the Ken Armstrong Champions Trophy from President Ned Waddock.
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 in 2019. Paul Armstrong the son of the previous record holder Ken Armstrong travelled to Tenby to present the award.
NEW HLVP – Roger Parsons
Roger Parsons eventually receives his HLVP certificate. Roger should have been presented with it at the 2020 AGM but because of Covid causing the cancellation he finally received it from President Ned in November 2021. Congratulations Roger.