Hastings Open Bowls Tournament

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Hastings Open Bowls Tournament

The Hastings Open Bowls Tournament has been held annually since 1911 and is a Five Star Tournament licensed by Bowls England. It is a mixed open one week tournament.

It is played at White Rock Gardens commencing the second Monday in August each year. The Charity open mixed triples competition, in aid of local charities, is held on the last Sunday in September each year and marks the closing of the outdoor bowls season. The Hastings Open Bowls Tournament consists of Ladies' Singles, Men's Singles, Ladies' Pairs and Men's Pairs and Open Triples event where teams can be mixed or single sex. Lawn bowlers enter from various lawn bowls clubs in England, the UK and abroad. The Hastings Open Bowls Tournament greens overlook the English Channel. Accommodation is available in the heart of 1066 country where there are numerous attractions to be found in Battle and St. Leonards.

In addition, as befits a seaside town, the pier was completely refurbished and is proving very popular with locals and visitors alike. Also close to Hastings & St. Leonards are the towns of Eastbourne, Rye, Tunbridge Wells and Brighton. The Hastings Open Bowls Tournament greens are close to Priory Meadow Shopping Centre.


End of Season Charity Triples - Sunday 24th September 2017
Closing Date for Entries extended to Friday 8th September 2017


Other than some early rain on Wednesday morning the Tournament was blessed with fine weather for the whole week although the strong winds made bowling difficult for some.

Teams and individuals from far flung counties performed very creditably and two teams from the Holmesdale Bowling Club from Kent both reached the semi-finals of the Men’s Pairs competition before falling to very strong opposition.

The first Final, the Open Triples, was held on Friday evening as several of the participants were to play in the National championships at Leamington over the weekend and we wish them a safe journey and success. The winners were Shaun Godfrey (Sidley Martlets BC), George Webster (White Rock BC) and Glen Newton (unattached) who beat a threesome from Spartan & Lakeside BC comprising Lee Dickson, Rob Morphett and Lee Heitzman by 19-15.  Never headed, Shaun’s team had to withstand a late flourish to take the title.

Saturday morning saw both the Ladies’ Pairs and Men’s Pairs finals. Sheila Brook and Joyce Cox from the White Rock BC were just too good for Anne Pryke and Carol Baxter from Northiam BC and ran out winners by 22-9.  In 2015 Anne and Carol reached the semi-finals and in 2016 and again this year reached the final only to lose.  Perhaps 2018 will be their year.

The Men’s Pairs saw the local Rosemount BC duo of John Ruff and Terry Phillips edge out the Tournament President, Gordon Leggatt (White Rock BC) and his partner Tim Orr from Mid-Surrey BC by 25-16. A special mention must be made for Tim as he drove down from Wimbledon every day of the week to play (on one day he played twice) before returning to Wimbledon every evening.  He played well all week, losing to John Ruff in the Men’s Singles semi-final the previous day. 

The afternoon provided two magnificent finals. In the Ladies Final, Roma Dalby (Spartan & Lakeside BC) held a big league over Sue Norman (Sidley Martlets BC) but this was whittled away and with one end to go the score stood at 20-20.  With Sue Norman holding, and with the very last bowl, Roma had to either dislodge Sue’s bowl or draw onto the jack. She managed the former and finally won by 22-20. Gripping stuff.

The Men’s Singles final was equally entertaining.  Jason Walters (Spartan & Lakeside) held a good advantage over John Ruff and was leading 20-18 at the start of the last end. 
John somehow managed to gain three shots and won by 21-20.  In all John had a very good week winning two titles.

We were delighted to welcome a gentleman called Paul Manton, a former member of Oxford City & County BC in the ‘60s & ‘70s and who came down from London by train especially to watch our finals’ day. His first visit was as a youngster at the age of ten and he participated in the tournament for the first time at the age of sixteen, reaching the fourth round of the Men’s Singles. This was when the Tournament ran for two weeks.

No Tournament can survive without the help of volunteers and sponsors and I would like to thank our principal sponsor, Croft Glass Ltd., as well as the Brickwall Hotel and Gibbons Mannington & Phipps.  Thanks also to our programme advertisers, the kitchen and bar staff who kept us well fed and contented, Hastings Borough Council for use of the facilities, Idverde for the excellent upkeep of the Greens and not forgetting Sally who ran the excellent daily raffle as well as our markers and Umpires who gave their tim e and expertise freely.

The biggest thanks must go to Simon Moore, our Competition Secretary, who ensured that the Tournament ran like clockwork and was always the first to arrive and the last to leave.

Mike Grigg - Treasurer

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We are looking for someone to take on the position of Secretary.
If you would be interested, please contact a committee member. Thank you.


A message from the Chair:
2017 Programmes, Draw and Parking Extension Tickets (where applicable) should be posted to competitors on Thursday 20th July 2017

The Hastings Open Bowls Tournament is getting ready to roll on Monday 14th August and programmes and the Competition Draw and Index to Competitors should have been posted yesterday to all competitors and other interested parties.  The Draw should be available to see on our website with effect from Monday 24th July.  Posting this year has been later than usual partly because of shortage of committee members.  You will see from our website that we are desperately seeking a Secretary and also need help with obtaining adverts for our programme, its production and other general duties which are not complicated and for which help will be given.  Basic computer knowledge, such as sending emails, is essential so if you are interested in helping (even addressing envelopes) please contact a committee member  shown on the Contacts page of our website or phoning Mike Grigg on 01424 443357 or Gordon Leggatt on 01424 461803.
On a brighter note, we are pleased that the Bexhill Men’s Open Tournament has been rescued from the brink of extinction and now has a committee in place.  We wish them every success for the future.  So come on you guys and girls out there (bowlers or not) come and give us a hand too!
17th July 2017

A message from the Chair
You will see from the AGM report below, the appointments for 2016/17.  As the new Chairman, I thought I would introduce myself and say a few words via our website.
It was fun to join in with the Tournament this year even if I did not win.  I could blame the wind moving my woods the wrong way or the gentle rain slowing my woods just short or maybe just point out that I only play once a year.  So I enjoyed the ends I played and meeting and making many new friends amongst you all.
Over the last few years, numbers at all bowls tournaments have been declining but we all still enjoy bowling and also the camaraderie, meeting old friends and making new ones.  As you will see, the 2017 main Tournament (as opposed to the Charity one)  runs from Monday 14th to Saturday 19th August and you are all welcome.  We cannot guarantee good weather but do offer a sunny outlook and a storm of fun.
If you have joined us in the past, we welcome you back.  If you have never joined in with a Tournament played on 100-year-old plus greens overlooking the restored and now famous Hastings Pier, in a town that is becoming known for its easy- going night life, with prizes and a raffle worth winning then THIS IS A TOURNAMENT FOR YOU.
The one day end of season Charity Triples event will be held on Sunday 24th September 2017 with all monies raised going to a local charity.  A great day of bowling to a good end.  Please join us in this.
There are many to thank for their help over the years and this year I thank the Committee, all those that feed and water us, the ground staff for the best kept greens that I know, our sponsors and advertisers for their continued support and Hastings Borough Council for the use of the greens and pavilion.
But most of all, I thank and welcome you as a bowler or supporter.
Come and enjoy this ever-popular Tournament!

Councillor Nigel Sinden,
Deputy Mayor of Hastings and Committee Chair.
The website has now been updated with a few changes being made to the Sponsorship & Advertising  page highlighting the fact that a full A5 page colour advert is FREE to Sponsors for a full year on our website  and also showing the cost of colour and black and white programme  advertisements also shown on our website for a year.  In addition, the 2016 entry numbers have been included on the Tournament History page and a few jokes added to the “Lighter Side of Bowling” page, accessed by clicking on the “General Interest” navigation bar link on the left of the screen.
Finally, the opening of the new link road earlier in the year between Bexhill and Hastings has considerably reduced the time taken to get to the greens for people coming from the west of Hastings and has also led to a reduction in traffic on the A259 coast road.  Hastings Borough Council have continued to grant concessionary parking for both tournaments and we thank them for their help and understanding.





2016 AGM:

The Hastings Open Bowls Tournament annual general meeting was held at the Falaise Indoor Bowls Centre on Sunday 13th November.  The meeting was poorly supported in spite of  wide publicity including  the many letters sent to “participating clubs”, defined by our constitution as “bowls clubs in the Borough of Hastings and surrounding districts”.  The posts of  Vice Chairman,  Secretary, Assistant Secretary and Assistant Treasurer remain  unfilled and we were sad to say our thanks and  farewell to  Chairman Matthew Lock who did not seek re-election.  It consequently gave rise to the question as to whether or not there was enough interest and support to continue the tournament?
On a more cheerful note, both the main tournament and the charity one were successful with £800 being raised for Dragonflies, our chosen charity.  We were also delighted to welcome to both events Town Mayor, Cllr Judy Rodgers, who, with Deputy Mayor Cllr. Nigel Sinden, formally opened proceedings for the main tournament, making it a “first” for a Mayor and Deputy Mayor  to do so!  The audited accounts  showed a small loss for the year and the Treasurer  reported that although the cash at bank was satisfactory, the increase in sponsorship and savings in some administrative costs had largely been offset by an increase in prize money together with a fall in entry fees and programme sales.  The cost of entry fees was considered very competitive and would be unchanged for 2017.

Appointments for the forthcoming year were – President: Gordon Leggatt; Chairman: Cllr Nigel Sinden; Treasurer: Mike Grigg; Competition Secretary: Simon Moore.  Committee: Sandra Page, Sally Robertson, Mary McAleer and Penny Kenward .  In the meantime, the tasks of advertising, sponsorships, programme production, press releases and PR would be undertaken by the President, Treasurer and Competition Secretary until the committee base could be expanded.  Thanks were given to Bob Robertson who did not seek re-election to the committee but who offered to help in the future on an ad hoc basis. The auditors, Gibbons Mannington & Phipps LLP were unanimously re-elected and we look forward to welcoming a second Council appointed member to the committee  in due course.



Croft Glass Ltd
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Brickwall Hotel

Kileys Karpets




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