When Brentwood mayor Sheila Murphy made an official visit to Brentwood Bowling Club, she was expecting to have morning coffee and chat to some of the players taking part in the ladies’ annual gala day – an open triples competition.
But not being one to stand on ceremony, the borough’s first citizen quickly discarded her chain of office, joined a band of helpers in the kitchen and got stuck into an endless stream of washing up.
She enjoyed her visit so much that she stayed for lunch and into the afternoon, taking the opportunity to meet players and to talk to officials about her commitment to the future of lawn bowling in the town.
Sixteen teams took part in the all-day competition on Wednesday 8th August 2018, with each playing four games of seven ends. Brentwood-based Kings Chase was the only team to win all four games to take the top cash prize with 58 points, Upminster-based Clockhouse were runners-up on 54 points and Gidea Park B took third place with 50 points.
Wooden spoons were presented to a scratch team entered by the host club to make up numbers after one of the teams was forced to pull out at the last minute.
Before presenting prizes, Brentwood ladies’ captain Margaret Rayment thanked the army of volunteers who helped to make the day a success by serving lunches and refreshments, manning the bar, scorekeeping and organising fundraising activities.
The event is one of the club’s the biggest fundraising event of the year and activities included a tombola, book and puzzles stall, bumper raffle including a food hamper, and a ‘pot of gold’ lucky number draw. The hamper – donated by Marion Lofts – was won by visiting player Pauline Mount from Gidea Park and the £35 ‘pot of gold’ prize went to Brentwood’s Maureen Jaycock.
Margaret revealed that the mayor is planning to retire next year when she will be considering taking up bowling. She added: “She lives in Herongate so we are her nearest club. She was absolutely impressed with everything going on today. She really enjoyed herself.”
Kings Chase B 58, Clockhouse 54, Gidea Park B 50, Hadleigh 48, Rainham A 46, Runwell 38, Ingatestone 36, Kings Chase A 35, Clementswood 34, Liberty of Havering A 32, Liberty of Havering B 32, Central Essex 30, Gidea Park A 27, Hutton Poplars 10, Rainham B 7, Brentwood 7.