BOX Bowls Club celebrated its 50th anniversary last week with a special match to mark the occasion against the Bowls England representative side, led by the 2018 president Bill Smith (Leicestershire).

Smith brought a 24-strong side to the Valens Terrace club, drawn from 12 English counties, giving the honour of captain of the day to North Wilts (Chippenham) player Adie Lloyd, who was Bowls England president in 2014.

The Bowls England representative side were victorious 98-65 at 16 ends when the heavens opened last Thursday afternoon and play was curtailed for the day owing to very heavy rain.

Box trailed 28-21 after five ends but had gone ahead 51-49 across the board at 10 and led on three rinks.

However, they fell away in the next six ends before the rains came to only score another 14 shots but concede a further 49 to final lose 98-65.

Box did manage to win one of the six rink matches, the foursome of John Poole, Sylvia Lucas, Ian Manning & Ian Higgins registering a highly creditable 19-10 success.

Top rink honour for Bowls England went to Adie Lloyd who led his four of Trudy Bishop, John Bates and Kay Page to a 22-9 success.

The presidential battle between Bill Smith (BE) and Colin Priston (Box chair) went to Smith, who held the upper hand throughout over Priston’s rink, skipped by Sue Cooke, which also contained 96-year-old Tom White, who still plays regularly.

He moved over to Box in 2012 when Melksham Town closed down.

Box Bowls Club was founded in February 1968 after the bowling green was laid opposite the Selwyn Hall (village hall).

The original wooden clubhouse was erected by the 1973-74 season and extended several years later when members were invited to make interest free loans to help defray expenses.

The club has flourished over the years and its Open Triples competition is an extremely popular event in the bowls calendar.

After many years of planning and fundraising work began on the new pavilion in the club’s 40th year of existence in 2008.

It was opened by The Duchess of Cornwall on March 29, 2009.

Box Bowls Club is a mixed club with 57 members at present - 35 men and 22 women. But it is one of the top ladies clubs in Wiltshire.

Their women are regularly winners of county titles and compete at the national championships at Royal Leamington Spa.

The biggest Box success was achieved by Alex Jacobs in August 2014 when winning the senior ladies singles championship and successfully defending the title 12 months later in 2015.


Rink 1: John Poole, Sylvia Lucas, Ian Manning & Ian Higgins beat N Noor 19-10. Rink 2: Gordon Packer, Jill Lewis, Jane Taylor & Maurice Byron lost to D Bishop 9-16. Rink 3: Joyce Funnell, Chris Hall, Richard Fawcett & Keith Langley lost to Adie Lloyd (capt, North Wilts) 9-22; Rink 4: Karen Funnell, Maurice Read, Lolly Braddon & Robert Kendall lost Jill Bowen 13-17. Rink 5: Sandra Richardson, Colin Priston, Tom White & Sue Cooke lost to Bill Smith (pres, Leics) 7-13; Rink 6: Manny Auld, Janice Wright, Bruce Richardson & Paul Netherwood lost to Graham Tomlinson 8-20.

Score: Box lost to Bowls England 65 Bowls England 98.