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50th anniversary celebrations for Ketton Bowls Club





Ketton Bowls Club celebrated its 50th anniversary with a gala tournament, inviting its founder chairman to present the prizes.

Tony Brooks, aged 90 next month, is the last survivor of a handful of bowlers who met for the first time at the village's Methodist chapel hall in September 1974 to form a committee to launch a bowls club.

A half-century later he was delighted by the progress the club had made and was able to recall how local men were diverted from their regular jobs at the cement works to help build the green.

Tony Brooks with the winning Empingham team, from the left, Mike Ramsden, Steve Wheatley and Malcolm Mann.
Tony Brooks with the winning Empingham team, from the left, Mike Ramsden, Steve Wheatley and Malcolm Mann.

Others created moulds at Blackstones to make benches to surround the green, some which are still being used.

He said: "We had a lot of help but it involved a lot of work by the village bowlers.

"In fact we had to move tons of earth and rock as the land on which the green is built used to slope 11 feet from one side to the other."

Ketton chairman Bob Warters receives a 50th anniversary plaque from Stamford Bowls League’s Nina Rawlins, left, and president Rita Downs.
Ketton chairman Bob Warters receives a 50th anniversary plaque from Stamford Bowls League’s Nina Rawlins, left, and president Rita Downs.

The legendary David Bryant was among those who visited the green, when a sprinkler system was installed in the 1980s.

Tony, who lives in Bourne, brought with him his wife Pam, a former Ketton Ladies player, to whom he has been married for 66 years, his daughter Julia, a former Essex county player (his son currently plays for Cornwall) and student grand-daughters Georgia and Olivia.

Among those invited were Andy Cox, secretary of the Peterborough League and president and secretary of the Stamford and District League, Rita Downs and Nina Rawlins who presented club chairman Bob Warters with a plaque to commemorate the occasion.

Competitors and guests at the Ketton gala.
Competitors and guests at the Ketton gala.
Action from the gala.
Action from the gala.

Twenty-two teams from both leagues contested the £200 prize money and it was Ketton's most local rivals Empingham, who emerged unbeaten after 28 ends played over four sessions of seven ends.

Scoring 29 points (two for each win and one for every winning end) Malcolm Mann, Steve Wheatley and Mike Ramsden edged Paul Murrant’s Oakham rink (25) into second place with Alfie Hynes (Bourne, 24) third and Martyn Fletcher fourth on a 22-point count back from Ketton’s Helen, David and Ron Tilley.

Bill Egan (Houghton-on-the Hill) won a bottle of champagne from a 44-player ‘spider’.

Results: 29 pts- M Ramsden (Empingham), 25 P Murrant (Oakham), 24 A Hynes (Bourne), 22 M Fletcher (Langtoft), H Tilley (Ketton), 21 A McNaughton (Wittering), 19 D Kirkwood (Houghton), L Toms ( Burrows Court), G Pearson (Houghton) 18 S Suffling (Ketton), J Holroyd (Stamford), A Cox (City of Peterborough), S Brown (Ketton), A Oliver (Market Overton), 17 D Russell (B lackstones), 16 A Patterson (Deeping Assn), 15 V Hempsell (Yaxley), P Pheasant ( Ketton), D Richardson (Carlby), 10 T Vincent (Houghton), 9 L Hulme (Kett9n).B Kelman (Ketton).



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