After much planning, 18 Salisbury bowlers, 2 supporters and 6 bowling friends met at Bournemouth Airport early on 8th November for a week’s visit to Paphos, Cyprus.
After a four and a half hour flight from chilly England we arrived to be greeted by warm sunshine which stayed with us for the whole of our stay. Our bus driver was waiting for us and soon delivered us to the Pioneer Beach hotel, our base for the week. Right on the sea, with plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas, an amazing choice of food at all meals, and well-appointed bedrooms, everyone soon settled in.
We enjoyed three matches during the week, two against local clubs where we came a distant second, and one at a neighbouring hotel against another touring side which we managed to win! Joyce Chalkley had made a club mascot for us who was immediately named “Harold Junior” and accompanied the highest losing skip to all meals causing much interest from other guests in the hotel!
We had time to visit some of the sights in the Paphos area, including an extensive area of Roman ruins which included some very large and wonderfully preserved floor mosaics. Retail therapy abounded, with two of our gentlemen letting the side down by purchasing “manbags” and many of the numerous seafront cafes, bars and restaurants benefitted from Salisbury visitors.
Our tour charity efforts included fun fines and everyone contributed! For example, three lady members went for an evening stroll and on their return, tried unsuccessfully to gain access to the right numbered room in the wrong hotel, several wrong biased woods were worthy of a fine, and one lady member went for a shower after swimming and was somewhat surprised on exiting the changing area to find she was in the men’s changing room!
These fines, together with some generous donations and the profit from the betting on the best performing rink in our matches has added around £200 to our donation to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance which we will deliver later this month.
Midway through the week, one of our guest bowlers, Paul Robson from Hampshire, received the good news that he had been elected Junior Vice President of Bowls England for 2018, and this was enthusiastically celebrated, by both the tour party and the hotel management, who enjoyed a significant boost to their bar takings!
Thanks everyone for contributing to a great week, hopefully a repeat in 2018?
M & G.
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The tour party flew back to Bournemouth yesterday evening after a wonderful week in Pafos. Margaret and Graham Annetts, who organised the whole thing so beautifully, will report more fully soon, with photographs.
We played three matches, of which we won one and lost two.
Most of us found the synthetic surfaces very difficult and our defeats were against local clubs, who knew their greens so well. Our win was against another touring group.
Our party comprised eighteen members, two non-playing wives and six friends of members. Our guests were brilliant and added greatly to the success of the tour. They are distinguished members of the bowls fraternity and sorority, and Margaret and Graham, in their report, will elaborate on one particularly thrilling piece of news which came through to us during the tour.
The tour was presided over by our handsome mascot, Harold, who will sit in our clubhouse until we tour again. Harold inspired some considerable generosity towards the tour charity, and we will be taking a nice cheque to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance when we visit them on 29th November.