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, mainly 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 – it won the prestigious RIBA Stirling prize 2017. Also close to Hastings & St. Leonards are the towns of Bexhill on Sea, Eastbourne, Rye, Tunbridge Wells and Brighton. The Hastings Open Bowls Tournament greens are close to Priory Meadow Shopping Centre.


The Hastings Open Bowls Tournament Annual General Meeting was held at White Rock Gardens on 19th November 2017, and was poorly attended in spite of wide publicity given in the Press, the Website and personal letters from the President to Member Clubs.
The following appointments were made :-  President, Gordon Leggatt; Chairman, Cllr. Nigel Sinden; Treasurer, Mike Grigg;  Competition Secretary, Simon Moore; Committee Members, Sandra Page, Sally Robertson, Penny Kenward, Val Coussens and Cllr Andy Patmore. Gibbons Mannington & Phipps, Chartered Accountants, were re-appointed as auditors. Mary McAleer did not seek re-election and was thanked for her past contributions.  Vacancies still remain for Assistant Chairman, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Assistant Treasurer and one committee member. It is apparent that finding more people to run it is becoming increasingly urgent, and, unless fresh blood is forthcoming, it is in danger of folding in spite of the fact that there is still money in the kitty for another few years and recent financial losses have been fairly small.   So, again, the committee is appealing for more support. 2018 is the 107th year of its existence since incorporation so its future is now in your hands.  Please let us have some response to our website www.hastingsbowlstournament.com , to Gordon Leggatt (01424 461803) or to Mike Grigg (01424 443357).
On a more cheerful note, both the main tournament, opened by the Mayor of Hastings, the Deputy Mayor and our main sponsor Croft Glass, and the one day charity event went well with the mixed charity triples raising £850 for  Anthony Nolan, a charity helping to save people with blood cancer. Entry numbers for both events remained fairly constant compared with recent years and it was good to see a few new faces.  We look forward to seeing an increase in numbers next year!"
19th November 2017


Main Tournament:
Monday 13th August to  Saturday 18th August – closing date Monday 18th June.
Open Triples Charity Tournament:
Sunday 30th September – closing date Friday 24th August.


So far no one has come forward offering their services as Tournament Secretary, so come on and put your name forward.  The job is not difficult or demanding and help will be given if required.
The AGM will be held on Sunday 19th November 2017 in Falaise Indoor Bowls Centre at 2pm and participating clubs (defined in the Constitution as bowls clubs in the Borough of Hastings and surrounding districts) will receive notice of meeting in due course.  Please do your best to attend.

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 2017 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 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. 


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






Croft Glass Ltd
Glass & Glazing

Brickwall Hotel

Kileys Karpets




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