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It can be greener on the other side

The noise from the ripple of gentle applause; the clattering impact resulting from the drive of a bowl – pretty much all that quells the muted atmosphere of this quintessentially British pastime. The game of bowls is peppered with local heroes. With respect garnered for the individuals command of the game – or their seniority. However, age isn’t any hinderance when it comes to winning. With players at the higher echelons of the club (and age spectrum) doing battle with the new wave of youthful player. With each having as much chance as winning as the other.

 

Take Bill for example; at 93 he’s the oldest member of Harlow’s Tye Green Indoor Bowls Club. Like many of a certain age he donned his whites and took up the sport upon retirement. After a 25 year stint working nights as a mailer sorter on the Royal Mail train from London to Carlisle, you might expect he’d long for daylight – as opposed to the high intensity fluorescent lighting of the rink. 

 

Or perhaps for him, and a majority of the 400,000 senior players in the UK, it’s the attractive by-product of the game – the social networking it affords. A pastime that not only doesn’t impact too heavily on their meagre pensions, but provides routine, companionship, warmth and food for those who are alone.

© 2018 CHRIS HADDON

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