2019 – Prince Arthur at Potters

PARIBC 2019 Tour to Potters: (28th April – 03rd May)

After the possibility of the annual PARIBC trip to Potters, not going ahead this year, a rushed, last minute dot com effort with plenty of email traffic back and forth, meant that 28 people were able to return to the Norfolk resort for a week of fun and frivolity, or something along those lines! This long winded blurb, with the usual plagiarism from previous reports, will give you an insight into the PARIBC 2019 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 27 people then?! The touring party itself, comprised 28 people, 21 bowlers, (see below) and 7 guests; June Clare, Marion Floyd, Vera Murr, Margaret Norman, Gloria Smith, Fran Sutherland and Norma Thompson and hopefully all enjoyed themselves.

Dealing with the bowling itself, PARIBC had 5 teams of 4’s, entered into a 41 team tournament. All 5 teams acquitted themselves well, 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 4, Lost 0, Drew 0 = 8 pts).
B = Dave Clare, Lindsay Floyd, Reg Norman, John Thompson. (Played 4, Won 1, Lost 3, Drew 0 = 2 pts).
C = Eric Clive, Dave & Val Cook, Dave Sutherland. (Played 4, Won 4, Lost 0, Drew 0 = 8 pts).
D = Dave Hood, Tony Murr, Mick Smith, Glynis Whatman. (Played 4, Won 3, Lost 1, Drew 0 = 6 pts).
E = John & Bernie Mercer, Mike and Deidre Williams (Played 4, Won 2, Lost 2, Drew 0 = 4 pts).

From the guaranteed 4 game first round tournament, (in which only one match saw a PARIBC team, team A, have to play against another PARIBC team, team D, which I think was genuine mistake by the organizers), PARIBC managed to get 3 teams into the last 16, namely teams A, C and D. From this, PARIBC got 2 teams into the 8 team quarter finals, and 1 team, Team C, into the semi final, where despite a valiant effort; their run came to an end. On the last end, Team C needed 7 shots to take the match to an extra end and unbelievably nearly pulled it off, picking up a 6 with a measure for the 7th shot, with the latter claimed by the width of a fag packet by the Oppo. So well done to all 5 teams on their weeks efforts and as a result of all the scores and shots scored in the initial 4 games first round, by all 5 teams, it meant that PARIBC ended the week as winners of the Top Club Trophy. This is something the Club hasn’t won for over 5 years and as such, Tim Fletcher, gratefully received the trophy on behalf of PARIBC from England International Greg Harlow at the finals presentations. 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. But as mentioned, for PARIBC to walk away with the Top Club Trophy is a great effort from all 5 teams. And speaking of Mr Fletcher, as is usual with these Potters trips, nobody wanted to play with him and didn’t want him in their team, (can’t think why?), so he ended up playing in a team with a family of very good bowlers also from Kent, (mother, father and son), who were at the resort also for the week and who play their bowls at Halls BC / Stone Lodge IBC. They won all their first round 4 games, not that Mr Fletcher contributed much, but lost in the last 16 round in a close game. But nonetheless, Mr Fletcher had a cracking week as he always does!

So this means we now have two teams going back for the champion of champions play offs in December 2019. Our semi finalists team comprising, Eric Clive, Dave & Val Cook, Dave Sutherland and a team comprising Dave Hood, Glynis Whatman, Mike & Deidre Williams, which is a representative side from us all, as we were the top club for the week. Thus we wish them the very best of luck for later in the year, when they will no doubt do the club proud.

A contentious issue with many PARIBC tourists each year is why our teams have to play against each other throughout the competition. My view and as said, my view alone, is that in the later rounds, the organisers are trying to ensure that one club side does not have the majority going into the next round. In the last 16 round this year, Spalding IBC who had at least 5 teams through into this round, ended up with 4 of their teams playing against each other and then again in the quarter finals 2 of their teams were paired against each other. Now I might well be wrong in my thinking, but regardless it is a situation we find ourselves in each time and we just have to accept it. Better than to be seen as getting a bad name as a moaning team?

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 actual David Essex OBE. Being far too young to know who he was I had to ask the 27 other people and in fact Mr Hood was very excited as soon as he learnt that David Essex was to be performing, as he has been a great fan of his music from the late 60’s through to the current date. So much so, that on the night Mr Hood joined in with the ladies, who were throwing their underwear onto the stage, although not sure what Mr Essex made of a huge pair of Calvin Klein boxer shorts coming his way! The show was sold out and a loud and noisy night was had by all and the smile never left Mr Hood’s face and not just because he was now going commando for the night! One post script to this is that at the Sunday evening meal the wine was free and was flowing, so Mr Hood certainly took advantage of this and then like a young child who has too much sugar, the energy rush he got when he saw David Essex meant he was hyper and merry all night. Throw in another few pints and his walk, sorry, stagger back to his room took about 3 hours even though it was only a distance of less than 200 yards. He somehow went via the crazy golf, the main golf course, the tennis courts and the beach to get to his room and also managed to bump into about 8 parked cars. Now this may explain why the AA were at the resort on the Monday morning looking at the damaged cars and insurance claims were being put in by many of the guests with damaged cars, unable to work out how the huge dents had been caused. Unfortunately, or more to the point, luckily for the big man, there is no CCTV in this area. Mr Hood’s room was also right next to that of Glynis “Guinness” Whatman and was linked by an interconnecting door that is locked. However on arrival, Guinness found that her main door was broken and so for a while, the only way into her room was through Dave’s room via the interconnecting door, (which Dave soon had open!). So from the events above, just as well then that Guinness’s main door was fixed by the afternoon of the first day. She did say she heard a lot of noise and banging on that first night, but thought it was the foxes outside. There are rumours that both Dave and Guinness have been asked to appear in the reality TV programme “Love Island”, but we don’t think they will take up the offer!

As is usual every year, there seemed to be 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! And it is away from the bowls 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’re not mentioned, then just be thankful!

As you know, with some people you get value for money and “unfortunate misfortunes” that will run and run. Well step forward Roy Baston…again! We know that Roy has a reputation for leaving things behind, none more so than when he left his far better half Jean Lacey behind in the car park, when he drove off home after a match, thinking she was in the car. Well prior to leaving on the Sunday, Jean asked Roy at least twenty times, had he packed everything and not forgotten anything. “Yes, yes, yes” he replied, angry at the assumption that he would forget anything. On arrival at Potters, he found he had no bowling shoes, so ended up having to hire a pair for the week. You have our sympathy Jean! Trade him in for a younger model!

As usual the food all week was plentiful and very good, although both Mr and Mrs Smith seemed to have differing ideas about what they really liked. Following much questioning, it was found that Mick Smith, (using a lie detector machine Mick had built himself!), was more than happy with just rolls and cheese and nothing else and I mean nothing else, on the plate, whilst Gloria said, you can’t go wrong with a bit of spotted dick. Oh well, each to their own, I suppose! I struggled to get at my plate each day, as my “lack of space” sitting position at the table, meant that on one side of me was Mr Hood and on the other side, was the wall pillar, so this lack of getting to my food, did wonders for my diet! At the meals, the PARIBC ladies as usual looked radiant and very well presented. As for the men, well it must be said, “could do better” springs to mind and I do include myself, top of the list, in that sentence!

Dave Hood nearly (but not quite), managed to get through the whole week without an argument or upsetting any Oppo players and supporters. Don’t mention his arch nemesis Spalding IBC though, as run ins from last year still linger in the big man’s memory bank and he just can’t let it go. Short jacks anyone?!

For the matches we had two groups of Old Girls Collective supporters cheering on their hubbies whilst putting the world to rights and chattering ten to the dozen. But their support for both hubbies and other PARIBC teams was much appreciated. Wrong biases were noted by John Thompson, who did a least two and Jock Sutherland, who also managed two, when trying out a brand new set of woods that he eventually bought. And both gents have still not paid their fines, which is not a good show.

This year we didn’t do so well in the main evening bingo sessions, (even with a false claim!), with only Tony Murr recording a win. But in the afternoon “Tony and Val” (“Hoy, Hoy”), bingo sessions, there were plenty of PARIBC winners and also when they showed the racing on the big screen, we seemed to do well. The organizer also gave out to each tourist a lottery ticket which not only managed to confuse the majority of the tour party, it also resulted in very few wins and equally the couple of group bingo tickets and group flyers for the last night of bingo, produced no winners. As usual, the delightful Vera Murr celebrated her Birthday whilst we were away and again as usual, any talk of actual ages was not allowed!

Eric Clive was very pleased one night, when he had a comment passed about his lovely wavy hair, but to put this in context, this was from a very spirited 106 year old great, great, great grandmother, who mistook Eric’s hair for the emergency alarm string pulley for her carer!

Once again, 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, with Reg I think triumphing as he seems to do each year and proudly wearing his archery gold medal all day and his good lady Margaret said that he was actually still wearing it in bed. Thanks Margaret, that is more than enough info thank you!

Now I know I say each time that the success of the trip is down to the hard work of the organizer, but as I was in said position then I can’t really blow my trumpet too much can I? Where is Brian “Brucie” Rance when you need him, ho, ho? But as everything was done on the hurry up from about November onwards, then it was fairly straight forward and the small number of the touring party helped to keep the workload down, although the email and postal traffic between myself and Potters meant that my carbon footprint was certainly nowhere near saving the planet! And this time I was on the receiving end of the presentation for which I received an engraved tankard, which I would have christened, but thanks to the efforts of Messrs Clive, Cook, Hood, Smith and Sutherland, then there was no Abbot Ale left on tap as they had drunk it all and the resort was waiting for a delivery. I had to satisfy myself with eating the resort out of toast as the kitchen ran out of the toast racks, as they were all on table! I also received a substantial cash donation, which though very, very, gratefully received, I felt was uncalled for and as such returned that to the patrons via the scratch cards and bingo entries, most of which sadly were not winners. But this did leave enough for a new pair of bowls shoes, although I personally can’t see anything wrong with the old pair I have now, apart from that I have no heel, no soles and have holes in the top of both shoes where my toes are coming through. But the dosh collection was an extremely nice thought and very much appreciated.

Thanks to Christine and Tom Heward who agreed to have the furthest room away from the complex next to mine and to Mick Smith and Jean Lacey who were the unofficial tour photographer’s. 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 tenth trip will be just as enjoyable, rewarding and eventful as the previous nine, so 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 any of the people that have been in the previous years. 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, in 2018 we took 58 and this year we took 28.

So roll on 2020, when we hopefully do it all over again. 

Kind regards, your correspondent – THE THIN MAN.

Photos from the Potters Visit courtesy of MT Smith

Last Updated on 15th Mar 2021