FAMILY FORTUNES | with Roger Priestley (Cornwall)

19th June, 2020

My father Bill and I had been introduced to bowls by my grandfather Eddie Chapman, Cornwall President in 1941 and 1962 and an EBA Award of Merit holder.

In 1976 we qualified for the final stages of the first Devon County Indoor Bowling Association Father and Son competition sponsored by John Northcott of the Granville Hotel, Ilfracombe. The 16 area qualifiers travelled to North Devon with the final stages to be held in the Leisure Centre in Barnstaple.

The indoor green, however, had been flooded overnight as a result of a malfunction of the swimming pool! After some quick thinking by DCIBA Secretary John Smerdon, and with the cooperation of the Mayflower Club, we travelled the full length of the County to play at Plymouth.

Following the first two rounds it was then a bus back to Ilfracombe and then off again to Plymouth for the semi-final and final the next day, returning to Ilfracombe for a banquet at the Granville. Unforgettable!

My father and I played together during the late 60’s and through the 70’s, joining up with father and son Bernard and Brian Runnalls to qualify for the national fours at Worthing. We had also reached the final of the Western Morning News Pairs Competition in 1973, only to lose out to Topsham’s David Tucker (now Chair of Bowls England) and his lead Adrian Elson.

The photographs show Bill and Roger in 1976 with the DCIBA Father and Son trophy, along with the programme from the weekend.

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