Spotlight - Stoke Fleming Bowling Club
President: Alan Edmonds
Chairman: Bill Rowe
Captain: Mike Jordan
Ladies Captain: Carol Stone
Treasurer: Arthur Wotton
Secretary: Gill Jordan
Stoke Fleming Bowling Club enjoys a long history which started on the evening of 17th May 1917 when the Rev. A W Smyth invited Messrs Knapman, Bryant, Issell, Martin and Burgoyne to play bowls on the upper lawn of the Rectory. A week later on the 24th Stoke Fleming Bowling Club was officially formed with twenty members. During the following winter months a two rink green was levelled and was formally opened by Mr C Peek and his wife, Capt F S Pearson and Mr F C Teague in attendance.
Some years later during 1921 the foundations were laid for the present green, now known as Manor Green, on a site known as Week’s Plot which was owned by Major J H Scott-Tucker. It was the voluntary work of members that achieved the construction of the green which was opened on 29th May 1921 by four parish octogenarians namely Miss Bidder who hoisted the flag, Mrs Knapman who delivered the first jack and Messrs John and William Perring who played the first woods. The club was affiliated to the Devon Bowling Association in 1933 and ladies were first admitted as playing members in 1949 although the Ladies Section was not officially formed until 1965.
Situated in School Road the club is overlooked by St Peters Church and enjoys well maintained grounds and a manicured green, all down to the efforts of club members. The club prides itself on its friendly and welcoming reputation which has brought in members not only from Stoke Fleming but also Dartmouth and the surrounding villages. They are always looking for new members and would encourage anyone who thinks they might like to join, whether or not they have played before, to get in touch for a chat or in fact just turn up on a Tuesday evening which is club night and have a go. Flat shoes are all that is required and coaching is available! Nice gentle exercise and great at any age. They have two very promising young players at the moment Joel Jordan and Luke Bryant who are 15 and 16 years respectively who are certainly giving their elders a ‘run for their money’. The two eldest members Tommy Littlejohns and Jack Hyne have both been bowling for Stoke Fleming for over fifty years each. It is not an expensive sport to pursue either as full membership is only £50 per year and £10 for under 16’s and also to be just a social member.
The men play in the Mid Devon League and enter County competitions. The ladies do not compete in a league presently as they do not have the necessary number of players but do take part in the County competitions. They also bowl against their male club members and enjoy friendlies with neighbouring clubs. On top of that the ladies do pride themselves on the quality of the teas they provide! This year the club was very proud of getting to the final of the Foxland’s Competition which covers the whole of the Torbay area. Social evenings, coffee mornings, jumble and plant sales all help raise funds for the club which has been extended and improved over the years using the expertise of members. They even managed to obtain a grant for new changing rooms and toilets so the facilities on offer are excellent.
Stoke Fleming Bowling Club welcomes young and older!
For further information contact Gill Jordan, Secretary on 01803 770008
First published September 2010 By the Dart