2018 – Prince Arthur at Potters

PARIBC tour to “Potters”: (29th April – 04th May 2018

Each year it gets harder to write something different, so probably easier just to say, PARIBC went to Potters for its usual annual trip, we all had a good time, the Day “family” were champions again and then we all came home!  Then again………hopefully, the following blurb, which as usual is long winded and no doubt plagiarised from previous reports, will give you an insight into the PARIBC 2018 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.  So that is apologies to 57 people then?!

A touring party of 58 people, 39 bowlers, (see below) and 19 guests; Marilyn Bailey, Maureen Brentnall, June Clare, Joy Cox, Kath Day, Jane Edwards, Marion Floyd, Bill Lawrence, Tony & Vera Murr, Margaret Norman, Jean Sanders, Janet Small, Gloria Smith, Fran Sutherland, Rosina Tappenden, Norma Thompson, Margaret Tunbridge and Glynis Whatman 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.  And even the dreadful continuous non stop rain and wind for the first 2 days couldn’t dampen the spirits, although the competitive nature of the touring party was tested on arrival, as parking spaces were at a premium, so it was every man / woman for himself in terms of getting cars parked.

Dealing with the bowling itself, PARIBC had 10 teams of 4’s, (team C had a guest player, Mr X, to cover for the late withdrawal of Linda Hoare due to illness and team J also had a guest player, Keith Sharp from Boston IBC, to make up their team), entered into a 45 team tournament.  All 10 teams acquitted themselves well, (see details below of teams / results), and despite the losses, hopefully PARIBC came out with a 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.  So well done to all, (both players and guests), for representing and promoting PARIBC in a good light all week.  It counts for a lot, to show off the Club in a good way.

A = Roy Baston, Tom & Christine Heward, Jean Lacey.  (Played 4, Won 2, Lost 2, Drew 0 = 4 pts).
B = John Bee, Jean Braithwaite, Anne Lawrence, Mick Smith.  (Played 4, Won 1, Lost 3, Drew 0 = 2 pts).
C = Sonia Bignall, Mike & Pat Carr, Mr X.  (Played 4, Won 3, Lost 1, Drew 0 = 6 pts).
D = Trevor Bucklee, Danny Cox, Maddie Gregson, Mick Pont.  (Played 4, Won 4, Lost 0, Drew 0 = 8 pts).
E = Dave Clare, Lindsay Floyd, Reg Norman, John Thompson.  (Played 4, Won 1, Lost 3, Drew 0 = 2 pts).
F = Eric Clive, Dave & Val Cook, Dave Sutherland.  (Played 4, Won 4, Lost 0, Drew 0 = 8 pts).
G = Chris & Sylvia Day, Mick Day, Kevin Edwards.  (Played 4, Won 4, Lost 0, Drew 0 = 8 pts).
H = Dave & Dot Elliott, Dave Hood, Sue Smith.  (Played 4, Won 4, Lost 0, Drew 0 = 8 pts).
I = Pam Epthorp, Robin Glover, Derrick Small, Sue Whitaker.  (Played 4, Won 1, Lost 2, Drew 1 = 3 pts).
J = Tim Fletcher, Bill Howlett, Jim Masters, Keith Sharp.  (Played 4, Won 0, Lost 3, Drew 1 = 1 pt).

From the round robin 4 game tournament, (in which only one match saw a PARIBC team, team D, have to play against another PARIBC team, team J), PARIBC did very well and managed to get 5 teams into the last 16, namely teams C, D, F, G and H.  From this, PARIBC got 3 teams into the 8 team quarter finals, namely teams C, F and G, where unfortunately, thanks to the vagaries of the draw, 2 PARIBC teams had to play against each other, with team G beating team F.  Team C also progressed to the semi final where, again, the draw meant it was the two PARIBC teams against each other and the two Spalding IBC teams against each other in the other match.  Team G prevailed over team C to reach the final yet again.  The final itself, was a one sided affair, as team G, comprising Chris & Sylvia Day, Mick Day and Kevin Edwards, ran out convincing winners against a team from Spalding IBC by 18 shots to 03 shots, as well as having a corking wrong bias, don’t worry Sylvia, nobody saw it, ho, ho!  England international Greg Harlow was on hand to do the presentations and have pictures taken, which will soon hopefully be up, alongside all the others, on the wall by the bar and on the wall, down the side of rink 8, in the Club.  By winning, they booked their place back in the champion of champions play offs competition, to be held at Potters in December 2018 and we wish them well, if / when, they return in the winter.  And thanks to the genealogy course that you can do during one of the afternoons at Potters, it has been found that in tracing the family history and lineage of Kevin Edwards way back though the mists of time, he is fact related to the Day family bowling dynasty and so can officially take the surname Day as well as Edwards!  It all makes sense now!

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 a team that at least makes 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 drew 1 match or had a close defeat, 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.  To prove this point, with PARIBC team J managing to only lose their last match by one shot, it meant that PARIBC team C qualified for the last 16, because had team J’s Oppo won by two shots, then they would have qualified, at the expense of team C.

Again this year, the holiday was extended by 1 day / night and we enjoyed the delights of a 5 course meal and many bottles of wine, on the Sunday night and then were entertained by the “The Upbeat Beatles”, a tribute band to “The Beatles”, (and the 60’s music in general).  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 is usual every year, there was a good social atmosphere, (and loudness!), resonating from our tour party, throughout the whole week, which can’t all be put down to the amount of alcohol taken on board by the PARIBC tourists!  Away from the bowls, then this is where the true spirit of the tour was fostered and nurtured, which I think / hope meant that everybody, new, old and familiar tourists, had a good time and managed to enjoy themselves?  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.  And if you don’t get a mention, then just be thankful, ho, ho!

Tour organizers, Linda Hoare and Sonia Bignall, came to yours truly, about 8 months prior to the tour and asked me for a favour.  Blimey, I thought my luck had changed, but sadly not to be!  They asked me, if, for the 2018 Potters trip, I would mind sleeping with Dave Hood?  Now I am quite liberal in my views, but you have got to draw the line somewhere!  No, no, they said, would I mind sharing a family room on the trip with the big man.  Phew, I am glad we cleared that one up!  So being a good club person, I took one for the team and agreed to share.  Unfortunately, my good nature was to back fire, the minute I put the key in the door, returning back to the room on the first night after the show and midnight meal.  No sooner had the door opened, so I was met with a loud snoring noise, on an industrial scale, resonating from the closed other bedroom, within the room!  But as the big man said, “well I can’t be snoring, as I never hear it myself”!  To compound the misery for my room mate, our room did not have a fridge, so off Dave went, to reception, (for an argument!) and to get a fridge, which was then installed in the main room, next to my bed.  Thus on one side, I had the snoring giant, whilst on the other side I had a fridge that was humming all night.  No wonder I came back to the room late each night and got up at 6 a.m. each morning, to go out for a swim in the pool!

And speaking of the tour organizers, unfortunately Linda Hoare was carrying a bad cold into the week which got worse and combined with a virus and the stresses of the first day / night, laid her low, which meant that she was unable to bowl and a replacement bowler had to be found for her team, team C.  After a visit to the docs, (thanks to Kath Day for going with her!) and a course of anti biotics, she was on the road to recovery and able to get back to enjoying her hols.  She then acted as unofficial team manager and groupie to team C, who got all the way to the semi finals, despite the Pat Carr / gents toilets incident during the quarter finals.  Well when you have got to go, you have got to go!  Enough said!  Also in this team was other tour organizer, Sonia Bignall, seen many times, (mainly from behind!), in her normal prone stance, nearly on all fours, when she is forever measuring for shot wood.  Some things never change!

On arrival on the Sunday morning, my good self and Mr Hood decided to have a roll up, in the bowlers bar, as all the other guests were arriving or had just had breakfast.  With no one else on the green, we were given a middle rink and I cast the jack and bowled a lovely wood, much unheard of I must admit!  In reply, the man mountain steps on the mat and promptly delivers a wrong bias with his first wood of the week, right across the whole of the green, which was noticed by the whole vast audience.  Top bowling from the big man and a feat that was to be copied by Bill Howlett and Sylvia Day later in the week, so in good company!

And on the theme of the PARIBC gnome, (Bill Howlett), there was a bit of tension between him and another of the Club’s elder statesmen, namely Jim Masters and it was all over a member of the fairer sex, (isn’t it always!).  Each night on entering the theatre for the bingo and the show, said gentlemen were sat amongst a plethora of females, but Jim seemed to be with the same lady each night, but this was a lady who apparently Bill had spoken to first.  Now who was right and who was wrong we shall never know, but there was certainly no slowing down of these two older men and Jim’s big win on the bingo seemed to tip the balance in his favour.  But all is fair in love and war and both seemed to have a very enjoyable week, which got off to a good start for them when their team played 4 ladies from Parade BC from Eastbourne in their first match.  My helping of both gents on and off the green and with their woods, etc., was soon declined, in favour of them being centre of attention to the 4 ladies!

With some people you get value for money and “unfortunate misfortunes” that will run and run.  Well this year it was the turn of Roy Baston and as he readily admits, it was all true and by the end of the week, he didn’t have a leg to stand on, quite literally!  During his initial clothes packing for the trip he managed to forget his bowls trousers, then on the journey up, when almost through the Dartford tunnel, he turned to his better half Jean Lacey, (good to see that he remembered to make sure Jean was in the car this time, before leaving home!), to say that he had left all the electrical devices on standby back at home.  So back they came to unplug all devices.  Then on the first evening at the meal, he couldn’t understand why there was no wine coming out when he poured it.  The fact the cork was still in might have had something to do with it.  After this, during his last game of the week, he tripped over into the ditch and couldn’t get up as he had a severe attack of cramp and was on the ground like a fly on its back, not able to right itself.  Home and Oppo players were holding his legs, trying to massage the cramp out as he yelped in discomfort.  Eventually he righted himself and the game was able to be completed.  Finally, at the afternoon bingo, wanting just 1 more number, he panicked and made a false claim, which caused chaos and mayhem!  But Roy took all his misfortunes in good spirit and did have the last laugh, when he won twice in the same bingo session, although Jean matched him for bingo wins.  Well she does win every time, was Roy’s final words!  You don’t have to tell me Roy!  She is a very superstitious lady on all matters and none more so than on the saying that “you must never cross on the stairs”, something I found out to my cost.  Having ascended the nearly 100 steps of the staircase up to the seating area in the restaurant, I got up to about step number 98 and just as I did, so Jean stepped off the top step to come down.  The lady was not for turning and so I then had to backtrack and walk all the way back down again, just so that we didn’t cross.  Once back at the bottom, I then had to go back up again and by the time I had reached the top, so the lunch serving had finished and I missed out on my food!

In the main evening bingo games we had wins for Jean Lacey, Jim Masters and Dave Sutherland, all on the same night at the same session, proving that money goes to money, whilst in the afternoon “Tony and Val”,  (“Hoy, Hoy”), bingo sessions, there were wins for Roy Baston, (twice), Dave Cook and Sue Whittaker.  Well done ladies and gents, mines a pint next time I see you!  The organizers also gave out to each tourist a lottery scratch card and if your luck was in, then there were a few lucky winners from these cards.  Rosina Tappenden also won a massive fruit basket, when her number came out first in the air ambulance raffle draw run at Potters during the week.  So well done to her, as that is her 5 a day taken care of till about Christmas!  We also celebrated a couple of birthdays whilst on the trip, Vera Murr and Sue Smith, being the two delightful ladies, clocking up another year each, but any talk of actual ages was not allowed!

As usual Reg Norman and Dave Clare were trying to out do each other, to see who could win the most medals from the various other activities on offer during the week, whilst Kevin Edwards, (aka Kevin Day!), proved that he is as deadly with a bow and arrow as he is with a wood, when he won the archery competition.  Although it must be noted his good lady Jane, won this comp. last year and with a better score, so room for improvement then for Kevin me thinks!  Danny Cox obviously found the late nights on the beer and the Haribo sweets were taking their toll as he managed to oversleep on 2 occasions.  On the first occasion he was over 10 minutes late for his morning match and the second time meant it was easier just to wait for lunch, rather than rush to get in for the last dregs of breakfast!  A weary Danny said that he was not used to the early mornings, as gone 11.15 a.m. was his usual time for getting up!  And speaking of sleep, if the week’s comp. was based on sleeping, rather than bowling, then PARIBC would have won by a distance.  Those numerous PARIBC nodding heads in the comfy chairs in the bowlers bar each day were beating all comers by a mile!  And just as a word of warning, don’t mention the bowling of short jacks if in the presence of the Chairman’s wife, HRH Dorothy Elliott, nor start humming the theme tune, “Let it go”, from the film “Frozen”, when she is around, otherwise you will get short shrift from her!  Suffice to say I don’t she will be visiting the world famous annual Spalding flower festival anytime soon!

Most tourists scrubbed up well, for the evening meals and shows, with the women certainly outdoing their male counterparts fashion wise, which I suppose is only normal, especially one young lady with her trousers and tops, although we are not allowed to mention any names and not that one was looking anyway, ho, ho!  But special mention must go to that man of a thousand hats, Dave Sutherland.  He is the only man I know who can rock a leather jacket and slippers combo, as he sat, early each morning, outside his bungalow, with a cuppa and a ciggie!  And apparently another of the male fashionistas, Chris Day, brought 24 pairs of shorts with him on the trip, (much to the angst of his good lady, as it took up most of the space in the car!), yet was only seen in shorts for about 10 minutes, on the penultimate afternoon of the trip.  Have a word Sylvia! 

The success of the trip is once again down to the hard work of the two organizers, Linda Hoare and Sonia Bignall.  All their unseen efforts, behind the scenes, prior and during the trip, mean that all the tourists have to do is pay their money then turn up and enjoy themselves.  The usual collection, as a show of appreciation for the organisers, meant that this year the two lovely ladies were each presented with a crystal vase.  So a huge vote of thanks ladies for everything, very much appreciated by all.  Thanks also to Christine Heward, Jean Lacey and Dave Hood who were the unofficial tour photographers and many thanks are also due to all those who drove and gave lifts to others to / from Norfolk.

Thus looking ahead, hopefully next year’s ninth trip will be just as enjoyable, rewarding and eventful as the previous eight.  Due to other activities going on at the Potters resort, which are out of the control of PARIBC, it may be that the tour dates get changed from the usual dates in late Spring to dates in the early part of the Autumn, but look out for the notices that will soon appear on the noticeboards, advertising details.  And if you are interested in going or just want to know any more, then please speak with organizers Linda Hoare and / or Sonia Bignall, or any of those who have been on previous trips.  They will tell it as it is, so 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!  In terms of numbers taken each year, the figures are as follows:- 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, in 2017 we took 79 and this year we took 58.  So roll on 2019, when we do it all over again.

Kind regards, your correspondent – THE THIN MAN.

The Credit for following 33 photos, goes to Christine Heward, Jean Lacey and Dave Hood.

Page Last Updated on 15th Mar 2021