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Hailsham Bowling Club

Chelsea Pensioners Visit

At an event held at Hailsham Bowling Club on Wednesday 14th June, in celebration of the club’s centenary year, the Chelsea Pensioners Bowls Team were welcomed by club members and Hailsham’s Mayor Paul Holbrook & Town Crier.  There was a fantastic atmosphere around the ground and a good turnout, not only by our members but also one of our sponsors Crane & Co (who took some drone footage of the match), along with the general public, who viewed their arrival from the leisure centre balcony. 

The Chelsea Pensioners, in their scarlet livery marched into the ground accompanied by a piper on the bagpipes.  A welcome speech was then given by our new Chairman Trevor Hill before the Chelsea Pensioners lined up on the green for a photo shoot with the Mayor, his Deputy, local Counsellors, Town Crier and our Chairman & President.  The proceedings got underway with a call-out from Hailsham’s very own Town Crier, Terry Tozer, ending with a cheer of “God Save the King”.

As so many of our club members wished to play in this prestigious game, a fair few of them only played half of the ends to give everyone a chance to play.  Some of us even got the honour to play alongside the Chelsea Pensioners as they were a few players short.  It was such a pleasure to meet, chat, laugh and play bowls with them.  All 6 games were evenly matched with Hailsham Bowling Club just coming out on top with the average score of the afternoon.

During the course of the afternoon our wonderful social team worked tirelessly to make sure all members and guests were fed and watered on this swelteringly hot day.  To mark the occasion the ladies all dressed as Nippies whilst serving food and beverages, which brought back many memories for our visitors.

Making the club and ground look spectacular to host such a prestigious event takes lots of planning and preparation, none of which would have been possible without the help from some of our members who gave up their free time over the past few months to strim, mow, prune, weed and paint to spruce up the grounds ready for this very special visit.  Our visitors even remarked on how fabulous the green was and probably the best they have played on so far this season!

It was such an honour for our club to host this event and will go down as a day to remember in the history of the club.  All members were handed a commemorative Chelsea Pensioners pin badge and the club was presented with a beautiful banner, which will be proudly displayed in our clubhouse.  As a result of the day Hailsham Bowling Club has been invited to play at the Chelsea Pensioners home ground in 2024, to which we have accepted and are excited to meet them again. 

A fabulous day was had by all and one that the club can be truly proud of!

Click here to see for an overview of the day.