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. This remarkable touring record has in 2020 come to and end due to this awful Corona-virus, let us all hope that nothing gets in the way of our 2021 tour in Paignton. 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 20.01.01
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 18th November 2019)
Again it’s time to put pen to paper and reflect on the last few months since my last rambling in June.
I still reflect on our tour to lovely Tenby, good weather (Friday excluded), great hotel and lovely clubs – and who can forget that magical monastery we visited? I often think about that peaceful place the monks have made. Looking back we visited Weymouth ’18 Bournemouth ’17 and of course who can forget Scarborough ’16? – wonderful memories.
Looking forward we visit Exmouth in May ’20 this is a lovely part of the country and Chris has arranged some great fixtures for the tour including one of our favourites Topsham.
Looking further ahead we hope to visit Newquay in May ’21 this will be a new venue for most of us and I for one will look forward to visiting that lovely seaside town, Mitch can bring his surf board!!!!.
Not officially a West Sussex tour but during October some 18 of our members travelled on the Bognor Bowls tour to Portugal and played a match against Pedras BC (Cabanas). A 4 rink game was arranged and it goes without saying the lads didn’t let us down winning on all rinks. I have to advise you that this came after some heavy late night training in the ‘Pidgeon Club’ led by the clubs drinking coach David ‘The Animal’ Bain who drank them out of Gin every night. So cheap this bar was that Paul Chivers and his wife virtually lived there for the week as their glass of wine was just 1 Euro. The local Brandy (Maciera) – very nice was an unbelievable 1 Euro 50 cents a glass and they only got 8 glasses out of a bottle. Happy memories.
We are now well into the winter season and it will be good to see everyone again at the different games and get the banter going as only we can.
Don’t forget chaps it’s the club Annual General Meeting this coming Thursday (21st), 18:30 at Worthing Pavilion.
I will take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Christmas and a healthy New Year,. I will be sailing with Norman in the Caribbean over the festive season, someone has to do it 🙂
CAPTAINS CHATTER (updated on 4th October 2019)
Just a few lines to keep you up to speed, as I will do a full report at the upcoming AGM.
I am going to Queen Alexandra Hospital on Monday 7th October, to see my Oncologist, to discuss about my radiotherapy, and dates when it starts.
On a happier note, we played 9 outdoor games, winning 7 a good season.
This coming Sunday we play our first indoor game at Worthing IBC. I still haven’t received availability sheets from 12 people who I would have expected to hear from. Please guys get them into me we don’t want to be short come match day.
That’s all until the AGM.
CLUB CALENDAR 2020/21 (updated on 25th March 2020)
To view the club calendar of events for 2019/20 please click this link: WSBTC – calendar 2020.21 as at 20.03.25
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.
Immediate Past President Derek Brockhurst presenting Bill Bryder with his certificate marking his election as an Honorary Life Vice President of the club. Bill has been a member since February 1999 and toured with us on 21 occasions. AGM 21/11/19.