BOWLS: Warwickshire VPs lost at sea!

VPs Chairman George Palmer and Southampton's Master Dave Welch.

VPs Chairman George Palmer and Southampton's Master Dave Welch.

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Defeat in Southampton

Southampton (Old) Bowling Green is reputed to be the oldest bowling green in the world and Warwickshire Vice Presidents were privileged to visit them on Sunday, May 10 to play one of the most interesting and enjoyable matches ever. It is claimed that the Old Green has been used to play bowls before 1299.

Many of the customs of the Old Green may have disappeared over the years but there is one which has been faithfully observed annually since it was inaugurated on the 1st August 1776.

This is the Knighthood Competition and it is unique to the bowling world in as much as it has been played under conditions as identical as possible to those used over 200 years ago. It is now quite a quaint and exceedingly picturesque combination of ancient and modern. Tradition compels the Knights of the Green who supervise the tournament to appear in ceremonial dress - top hats, frock coats and the medal of their rank suspended on their chests. Members of the Club who have not won the competition are known as Gentlemen Commoners.

On Sunday both teams wore ‘whites’ and the VPs lost by seven shots 106 – 113. Their excuse was they were too busy watching and listening as the ocean liners sounded their sirens as they left harbour. The largest to leave while they were there was the cruise ship Queen Victoria.

The VP’s highest winning rink comprised H.Goodman, B.Crowther, I.Bassnett and A.Bister 23 – 15.

PICTURED: VPs Chairman George Palmer and Southampton’s Master Dave Welch.