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. 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.


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





2017 AGM :

Report to be added in here in November

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
Glass & Glazing

Brickwall Hotel

Kileys Karpets




StixWeb Studio