Hopefully the following, albeit very long winded and as per usual, grossly, most definitely and blatantly, plagiarised, (believe you me, it gets harder to write the general “stuff” differently each year!), from previous year’s reports, will give you an overview of the PARIBC 2017 tour to Potters. It is intended as an informative yet light hearted look at the week and hopefully it will be read and the comments taken, in the good natured manner that they have been given. Apologies in advance if anybody takes offence………so that will be 78 people upset then?!
A touring party of 79 people, 60 bowlers, (see below) and 19 guests; Shirley Arnold, Marilyn Bailey, June Clare, Joy Cox, Kath Day, Jane Edwards, Marion Floyd, Bill Lawrence, Joan McLaughlin, Tony & Vera Murr, Margaret Norman, Janet Small, Gloria Smith, Jean Simmons, Fran Sutherland, Rosina Tappenden and Norma Thompson, all descended on the Norfolk resort for a week of competitive bowling along with many other leisure pursuits and the chance to relax and unwind. Also up at the resort at the same time as us, having booked separately and perhaps not realising, (till it was too late, ho, ho!), that we were there too, was another PARIBC member Roy Alderson and his good lady wife, Ann. (Unfortunately during the trip, Shirley Arnold and Ron Lawrenson along with Bob and Marion Crowne, were taken ill and had to return home early through the week and we wish them all a speedy recovery).
Following the sad events of January when we lost Trevor Bishop, then John and Doreen Langley kindly stepped in to take over the organisation of the trip, (PARIBC’s seventh visit to Potters), to continue and finish the hard work that both Trevor and Sue Smith has done up to that point. Having run the first five PARIBC trips to Potters, then John and Doreen were, (luckily for us), handily placed to pick up this thankless task and to see it through. They received some unfair criticism re – team selections, when it was nothing to do with them and all criticism on that moot point should have been directed at Mr Fletcher. That aside, they did a splendid job and their hard work and effort ensured another successful trip took place.
Dealing with the bowling itself, PARIBC had 15 teams of 4’s, entered into a 30 team tournament. All 15 teams acquitted themselves well, (see details below of teams / results), and despite the losses, hopefully PARIBC came out with the usual high reputation for good bowls, but perhaps more importantly, a very high regard from, (nearly), all the other teams present and also with the non – bowling members of the public that were there on their holidays, for our very social nature and good fun, (despite our loudness!), during all the matches, both on and off the green, throughout the whole of the week. Thus a huge pat on the back and “well done” to all, (players and guests), for representing and promoting PARIBC in a good light all week. It really does count for a lot, to show off the Club in a good way.
A = Roy Baston, Jean Lacey, John Thompson, Glynis Whatman. (Played 4, Won 1, Lost 1, Drew 2 = 4 pts).
B = John Bee, Jean Braithwaite, Anne Lawrence, Mick Smith. (Played 4, Won 1, Lost 2, Drew 1 = 3 pts).
C = Eddie Bell, Lindsay Floyd, Rose Parry, Reg Norman. (Played 4, Won 0, Lost 4, Drew 0 = 0 pts).
D = Sonia Bignell, Mike & Pat Carr, Linda Hoare. (Played 4, Won 2, Lost 2, Drew 0 = 4 pts).
E = Trevor Bucklee, Dave Hood, Bill Howlett, Jim Masters. (Played 4, Won 2, Lost 2, Drew 0 = 4 pts).
F = Dave Clare, Fred & Marion Garrod, Ron Lawrenson. (Played 4, Won 2, Lost 2, Drew 0 = 4 pts).
G = Malcolm & Lesley Clark, Barry & Babs Tomlin. (Played 4, Won 3, Lost 1, Drew 0 = 6 pts).
H = John & June Clayton, Patrick O’Meara, Patricia Wells. (Played 4, Won 4, Lost 0, Drew 0 = 8 pts).
I = Eric Clive, Dave & Val Cook, Dave Sutherland. (Played 4, Won 4, Lost 0, Drew 0 = 8 pts).
J = John & Pat Cordingley, John & Bernie Mercer. (Played 4, Won 1, Lost 3, Drew 0 = 2 pts).
K = Danny Cox, Chris Davis, Derrick Small, Charles Wells. (Played 4, Won 4, Lost 0, Drew 0 = 8 pts).
L = Bob & Marion Crowne, John & Doreen Langley. (Played 4, Won 2, Lost 2, Drew 0 = 4 pts).
M = Chris & Sylvia Day, Mick Day, Kevin Edwards. (Played 4, Won 3, Lost 0, Drew 1 = 7 pts).
N = Maddie Gregson, Jean Gulliford, Mick Pont, Dave Thorne. (Played 4, Won 3, Lost 1, Drew 0 = 6 pts).
O = Tom & Christine Heward, Mike & Deidre Williams. (Played 4, Won 4, Lost 0, Drew 0 = 8 pts).
From the round robin 4 game tournament, (in which no PARIBC team played against another PARIBC team), PARIBC did very well and managed to get 7 teams into the 8 team quarter finals, namely teams G, H, I, K, M, N, O. In the quarter final themselves, team G beat the only non PARIBC team, (09 – 04); team H beat team O, (14 – 02); team M beat team I, (08 – 05) and team K beat team N (08 – 05). In the semi finals, team G beat team H and team M beat Team K, both by the same, 08 – 04, score lines and in the final, team M triumphed by beating team G by 14 – 03.
With plenty of local pride and bragging rights, (for at least a year), at stake, then from the quarter finals onwards, the matches saw some lively encounters, none more so than in the match between teams K and N, which turned into quite a feisty, toe to toe, affair, that came close to bubbling over! Who said bowls was a quaint, quiet, sedate game?! The final itself, despite the big shots difference, was not as one sided as the score suggests, but ultimately the pure bowling prowess and class of team M, (4 very good bowlers indeed, who bowled well individually, but perhaps more importantly, bowled well as a team, throughout the whole week), prevailed. But it is worth noting that both finalists did not win all their 4 group games, so it proves that it is still possible to get through to the final stages, despite suffering an early setback. England bowls International Greg Harlow then did the presentations and pictures are up with the others, on the wall by the bar, in the Club.
As I say each time, over the years, I suppose the bench mark has been set and PARIBC are disappointed if they don’t have teams that at least make the semi – finals. Those teams that didn’t make it any further than the first round, said that on the whole they had had good games and were either beaten by better bowlers on the day or they didn’t have the luck………..you can decide which of the two excuses was used the most, ho, ho! However, for those PARIBC teams that felt that they didn’t perform in the first 4 guaranteed matches, it must be noted that even if they only won or drew 1 match, this may well have stopped Oppo sides from completing a clean sweep and allowing PARIBC, as a group, to advance, so their minor success helped the overall picture for PARIBC.
Many thanks go to Eddie Bell, Rose Parry and Derrick Small, who all changed teams at the very last minute to accommodate the changes to the numbers of people that were going on the trip, brought on by late unforeseen circumstances. Their help in agreeing to this change at a very late stage, was very much appreciated. Equally with nobody wanting to play in a team with the worst bowler in the club, Tim Fletcher, it meant he played as an independent guest and in fact played with Roy and Ann Alderson and another bowler from Cambridge, as a rink, with their four matches being all against PARIBC teams, (Played 4, Won 1, Lost 3, Drew 0 = 2 pts). Despite the 3 losses, they enjoyed their week, especially in their last match, against the 4 gents in PARIBC team K, where on one end, PARIBC team K were a hot shot, (i.e. holding 8 shots), up, until Roy’s last wood came in and somehow took shot, to win that end. Funny old game this bowls lark!
The group Euro Lottery, Thunderball and National Lottery syndicates did not produce any winners – so no change there then, whilst in the daily fiddles, as usual, money went to money! The daily £10 winners being John Mercer, John Clayton, Lesley Clark and Kevin Edwards; the daily £5 winners being John Thompson, Marion Floyd, Sylvia Day and Eddie Bell; the daily £2.50 winners being Pat Cordingley, Derrick Small, June Clare and Bill Lawrence; the daily £1.25 winners being Mick Smith, Bob Crowne, Deidre Williams and Jean Gulliford. Don’t spend it all at once and mines a pint!
Elsewhere there were some good PARIBC wins in the nightly bingo sessions and in the various quizzes, I believe that PARIBC won many a bottle of the cheap “chateau cack du wee a lot”, which I have been told, that despite its name, is not that bad! There were also some big winners at the afternoon “Tony and Val”, (“Hoy, Hoy”), bingo sessions and a certain “quiet” lady from Somerset, (“No, I am not yet 70!”), did well, profitably, at the race night! But perhaps the biggest winners were the 2 ladies, (don’t worry Jean Lacey and Fran Sutherland, I won’t tell anybody it was you!), who ventured many times to the fruit machines and often walked away well in profit. I have the gamblers anonymous helpline number if you need it, just let me know!
This year, the holiday was extended by 1 day / night and we enjoyed the delights of a 5 course meal on the Sunday night and then were entertained by the “Illegal Eagles”, a tribute band to the rock group “The Eagles”, who were very good. There were a lot of people there just for the one night to see this band, so the resort was busier than we are usually used to. However this did make for a packed terrace bar on the Sunday night and thus good atmosphere after the show, as the entertainment continued well into the small hours and a case of what might have been, if only I had got the phone number of that lady from Norwich! For the rest of the week, the nightly shows were of the usual high standard and although similar to the ones we see each year, still provided enough entertainment to keep even the most non joyous of the tourists happy and content………almost! And if that wasn’t enough, then there was always the chance to round off the night with a few beers and the midnight meal.
As per normal, your correspondent will talk to anybody, (yes, he is that desperate for friends!), and so it was good to catch up with some of the people from the other clubs we have met during previous years and renew old friendships and also to make new ones. Although sad, it was nice to hear some of the regular other holiday makers, who we see, year in year out, ask where were “the big bloke and the pretty blonde”, (i.e. Trevor Bishop and Sue Smith) and when told, expressed their shock and asked for their belated condolences to be passed on. So it seems the “big bloke and the pretty blonde” had left a lasting impression on others outside of PARIBC! Equally on the whole, it was nice to hear people from other clubs comment on the good social atmosphere, (who said we were loud?!), that seemed to abound from our tour party, regardless of the time, day or night and you can’t put that all down to the amount of alcohol intake by the PAIRBC tourists!
As usual, away from the bowls, then this is where the true spirit of the tour was fostered and nurtured, which meant that everybody, new, old and familiar tourists had a good time and managed to enjoy themselves, (I think / hope)? What follows are a few details of life, (all events are true!), away from the green and how it was seen by yours truly. I trust all (dis)honourable mentions will hopefully be taken by all in the good natured way that they are intended and in the continued vein of the good humoured banter between all the PARIBC tour party, that was infectious.
One trusts that those PARIBC tourists having their first time at the resort, (Potters virgins), enjoyed themselves and also hopefully all the guests enjoyed themselves and whilst their partners and friends were bowling, if not watching them then they were often to be found participating in the other activities that Potters had to offer, or embracing the fine Norfolk weather. As per last year, one lady in particular, Marilyn Bailey, yet again did almost every activity going and was still going strong, well into the night. We are still trying to find out where she gets all her energy from!
The evening meal, at which all PARIBC members seemed to scrub up well in their finery, (yes, even the blokes, well, most of them!), brought numerous stories of bowls near misses, what might have been and where it went wrong and also tales of what others had been up to away from the bowling greens. The food as usual was plentiful and filling and even the big man himself, Dave Hood on his new healthy diet, managed to contain himself…well almost! His intake was down on previous years and the healthy option seemed to be what he went for each time. However, I’m not sure having butterscotch sauce with every course at breakfast, lunch and dinner, counts as being that healthy, but at least he had a smile on his face and his hands were out of his pockets, (don’t mention the bowls though!). Although, the main meat dish running out on the first two nights, before one of our tables had a chance to get some, didn’t go down well. I just think, (and could be in the minority here?!), it is because the ladies spent all night getting ready. Ladies, you all look fine in whatever, so just get your good selves to the table in time. Oh and stop chatting, ho, ho!!!
The pictures taken by the resident Potters in house photographer of all the bowlers in their various bowling stances / poses showed what a varied bunch we are when out on the green. And as they say that the camera never lies, so it must all be true!
Not much dancing seen this year from the ladies, who last year flouted all they have got, as they seemed more intent on playing cards most nights and with the amount of noise and laughter that was coming from their table, they seemed more than happy, bless the old dears! Lot of mutterings of “eye of newt, wing of bat and hubble, bubble, toil and trouble”, were also heard coming from their table, need I say more, ho, ho?!
During the week, both Reg Norman and Dave Clare apparently excelled at the archery, returning with medals to proudly show off to all who would listen. Their good wives have our sympathy, as I’m sure this proved the only topic of conversation for the whole journey home and beyond Meanwhile, Norma Thompson tried but failed to match the bowed, (not just their legs I will have you know!), men, but came up just short. Don’t worry Norma, in my eyes you will always be a delightful Maid Marion and besides, who needs men in tights running around?!
Patricia Wells, (PARIBC ladies vice captain and now more often than not to be found playing in the company of the elite County / National bowlers………and we remember her when she used to be just one of us!), thought that the Sunday night was so much of a special occasion, that she would wear her LBD, (little black dress). Unfortunately with Patricia being the height she is, a little dress really does become just that, i.e. little! So although looking very posh and chic, then I am sure that I have seen that dress of hers on a Barbie or Cindy doll, owned by a friend’s granddaughter! Stick to those tight leather trousers Patricia, well that is what the PARIBC Prez was saying! And speaking of gentleman of a certain age, i.e. the PARIBC Prez and the PARIBC Gnome, (Jim Masters and Bill Howlett), they were often to be found with their eyes wandering at many of the passing ladies. However before they could even start a conversation with said ladies, both old fellas had nodded off to sleep! Must do better next time!
Continuing, in a very loose sense, the theme of size, if in name only, then enjoying their first visit to Potters were Janet and Derrick Small, who saw this as a chance of a break, from the upheaval and mess of having a new kitchen installed back at home. As such, any mention of the word “kitchen”, was off limits, something unfortunately Derrick forgot early on in the week, as Janet’s not so small, but rather big, (and quite handy apparently!), right hook connected and dislodged one of his teeth! Now was it like that or did Derrick just bite down into a hard toffee sweet? Either way, I’ll let you decide, ho, ho! Anyway after a visit to the local dentist all was well and their enjoyable week continued. So much so, that they are planning another trip here towards the end of this year and let’s hope their kitchen is finished before the Club comes back here in 2018!
Roy Baston often disappeared early each morning down to the beach to check to see if any more drugs had washed up, (see national newspapers from the winter of 2016 and the drugs washed up along the coast when Roy was last up at Potters!). Me thinks that drugs may also be involved as he was often seen up on the dance floor most night cutting a dash with Christine Heward and some of the shapes he was throwing, could surely not have been achieved by a man of his age, without stimulant help!
The new club Secretary, Pat Cordingley, (are we now allowed to call her “Secs” or am I taking my life into my hands?!) and her good man, John, went out for a romantic morning stroll on the Thursday, only to return with the rear of said lady’s trousers, covered in mud and with what looked like 2 hand prints on the derriere area. Now far be it from me to say what actually went on, but if she says she simply slipped over and John was helping her up with an assisted push, then I better not disagree, because as said, I value my life, ho, ho! Although M’lord I would draw your attention to the photographic evidence, see below, as I rest my case!
Finally, as for your correspondent, well as usual he enjoyed himself no end and enjoyed everyone else’s company. Whether they enjoyed his company, (and his legs!), is another matter indeed, even more so after reading this! However one blessing for all the others on tour is that he continues to be kept away from the main party, with his accommodation getting ever closer to the wind turbines out in the sea and certainly well away from the main complex! Hurrah and long may that continue say 78 other people along with everyone else who were staying at Potters this week!
With the usual collection, as a show of appreciation for the organisers, I decided to split it in two. With half going to John and Doreen Langley, the managing directors of the reformed, (for one year only), “Langley’s Leisure Ltd” and the other half going to Sue Smith. Both parties had put in a huge amount of work, (all of which we don’t see, as we just pay our monies and turn up and enjoy ourselves), to get the trip organised, so both deserved the praise and thanks. This year the “present” took the form of vouchers, which I hear have already been spent. So thanks once again from all the tourists. At the presentation, Tim Fletcher read out a thank you message to the tourists, from Sue Smith, but with a lump in his throat he just about struggled to get the words out, so apologies for the blubbing mumbled words. Huge thanks also go to John Mercer, who was the unofficial tour photographer and his efforts can be seen below. And many thanks are also due to all those who drove and gave lifts to others to / from Norfolk.
Details and a call up sheet for next years, (2018), trip are already up on the noticeboard down at the Club and you will see that a couple of very nice ladies / 2 old girls*(delete as appropriate, ho, ho!), namely Linda Hoare and Sonia Bignell, have kindly stepped up and will be organizing the holiday. They are the joint, (in all senses!), managing directors of the travel firm “Linda – Sonia – Discoveries” or as it is better known, “LSD”, a holiday company that gives you a trip, whilst on your trip! And apparently Roy Baston is one of their best customers! If you are interested in coming to Potters or just want to know more about it, then speak directly with Linda / Sonia, or ask any of the PARIBC members who have been on any of the previous trips to Potters, for their views. It won’t all be good and hopefully, won’t all be bad, but will give you a more balanced view of the trip, (both good and bad points), rather than all of the above. Everybody seems to mix and gel on the trips, you are not left on your own and we are a friendly bunch, despite what they say!
Thus looking ahead, hopefully next year’s eighth trip will see even more people go as our numbers have risen year on year. In 2011 we took 35 people, in 2012 we took 52, in 2013 we took 57, in 2014 we took 64, in 2015 we took 67, in 2016 we took 68 and this year we took 79, so getting close to that three figure touring party?! So roll on 2018, when, whoever does the report can they please just show the scores and nothing else!!!
Kind regards, your correspondent for a last time,
THE THIN MAN.