OUR FEATURED MEMBER – STEVE HAWKES
This time our reporter Pat Graysmark has chosen Steve Hawkes.
West Sussex Bowls Touring Club brings you ‘The Steve Hawkes’ eye opening interview.
Born 1947 in Isleworth Middlesex, son of a Policeman. He went to De Brome County Secondary School, Feltham after failing the 11+.
He moved to Worthing in 1960, where his Father worked for CL Bencard, a subsidiary of Beecham’s. He lived in Raleigh Crescent on the Maybridge Estate (hard hat area at the time) and went to West Tarring County School leaving in 1963 with no GCEs (obviously the start of hate campaign with Tarring Priory Bowling Club).
He tried to become a rocket engineer, but was turned down flat, more sensibly he acquired apprenticeship at Laceys (the printers in Worthing) to supplement his earning earning. As you would imagine the bent half penny in cigarette machines did well, one problem was they kept changing the machines.
Around this time Mods and Rockers were the rage. Yes you guest right he was a rocker. Passed his bike test and purchased his first bike – a AJS500 Twin 1950. This was the start of a great time in his life – collecting bikes. He owned a Triumph Twin then Vincent Rapide 1000cc 1948 model (had magneto electronics ignition). He kept it in pristine condition and sold it later in life for £15,000. He now owns a Kawasaki (Triumph Bonneville lookalike), just right for Spanish roads.
Not only bikes Steve collects bowls badges (estimated to be between 5 and 6 thousand, many very rare and builds model railway locomotives. He has built about 40 so far and all the wagons and staging that goes with this hobby.
Steve being Steve was a bit of a rogue as a youngster, meeting a girl from the Maybridge Estate (who ended up being his first fiancee), he nearly got caught out but hid a personal item of clothing under a cushion when his father walked in on them in an intimate exchange! His referral to Maybridge Estate as a place not to be seen in, is harsh, as he has left the area and I find it quiet and a pleasant place to live.
Steve finally settled down and met Val. They have been together 35 years. Both had a great love of animals (have had 3 cats, 4 boxers, a tortoise and even kept a snake).
His collecting moved onto guns including a Blunderbuss, Machine Gun (deactivated), Flintlock’s, 303’s, Sharpe 50 calibre Civil War Rifle and also two Model Cannons. On top of this a selection of knives, daggers and even a Victorian knuckle duster.
Please do ask him about this side of collecting as I felt his knowledge and passion was upmost.
Steve has worked all his life. 7 years at Laceys the Printers and then on to Charringtons Brewery. For a short time he even had a milk round. His skill in printing was too good and he eventually worked for Fencourt Printers for the 22 years.
After leaving Fencourt he carried on his printing working for himself from a den at the bottom of his garden. (Raffle tickets etc and sub-contracting to other printers. This was still not enough for Steve so he also worked for the probation office for 6 years and although he finished full time work in 2007 he still does part time as a bus driver when in England.
Running about is not Steve’s idea of sport – so cribbage, dominoes, darts, shove halfpenny and bar billiards are more his thing and ample exertion for him. He has been County Champion at Bar Billiards.
Steve has been bowling since 1982, showing his class along the way winning many tournaments. He was the first East Preston member to reach county final, our own Tour Champion 3 times and has 22 tours under his belt.
Thank you Steve for this interview, always thought you were the bad boy of the tour but after hearing and seeing what you have done with your life I am in awe.
Boys – I could not write about trip to Holland – so please ask Steve.