In coldest January Peter Lambert sat down to start planning the Alf Sayers competition to be held on a warm July day. Little did he know that day would be on the leading edge of the unprecedented heat wave in the UK.
Invitations were sent out and 12 teams accepted the competition to play on Sunday 17 July.
In the weeks leading up to the date much work was again undertaken by various members of the club to ensure we had a successful, happy and enjoyable day. Apart from getting the important green ready there were the other equally important jobs to be undertaken, like organising what was needed in the catering and drinks department and who was to do what and when. Everything was under control.
We know we cannot control the weather and we have learned about that in previous years. In one year, plenty of rain turned the green into a lake and almost ruined all our efforts.
We were pretty well set for the big day. The weather had been dry for weeks and much effort had been made to keep the bowling surface up to scratch.
However about one week before our event we started to hear about high temperatures in Spain and large fires with suggestions that their 40 degree heat might be making its way to the UK. There was no indication of when this might happen. Would it really get here at all ?
This led to the committee having to make some decisions. Do we go ahead, do we cancel it or modify what we do ? The first decision was to wait a while and then in the hope that the 40 degree temperature would not arrive, we decided to go ahead. We always provide plenty of shade with our gazebos to protect the playing guests. As we provide free tea, coffee or water all day we felt we would be doing as much as possible for the players.
The day dawned and the sun shone all day. Unfortunately one team withdrew so a stand in Nutley team filled the gap. We started on time at 10am and continued all day on the programme set by Peter last January.
The club has always been proud of the food we provide but the with the prospect of preparing and serving 2 sittings each of 18 players within the confined space in our club house was not at all appealing. We came up with the idea of providing a picnic lunch for the players to eat in the relative comfort outdoors under the cover of the gazebos. We wrote to all the players mid week to advise them of our changed plans because of the threatened heat wave . June, Liz and other helpers did a fantastic job in organising a total rearrangement of the lunch arrangements. At each lunch break a member of each team collected their labelled bag of goodies.
Mid afternoon tea and cakes were again provided in a picnic style The bar was available but with the temperature nearing 30 degrees all day, most took advantage of the water.
We were well supported with our raffle with many prizes donated by the players.
Throughout the day Peter (and others) checked on the players to ensure they had no problems caused by the heat. The teams expressed their appreciation of all the efforts we had made to ensure they had an enjoyable day.
The teams each played a series of games lasting 5 ends and enjoyed it. However the heat of the day and its effect on the players had to be taken into account. As a consequence, it was agreed to shorten the last games to 4 ends.
It was an enjoyable day. We had all survived exceptional heat and now looked forward to watching 2 teams play in a 3 end final. This was between the team headed by Sue Walter from Buxted and Linda Thickpenny from Cross in Hand. The winners were Sue’s team , whose team name incidentally was The Losers.
Presentation of the Alf Sayers Memorial Trophy to the winners was made by Vivian Woods, the daughter of Alf Sayers whilst the prizes were presented by Maurice Robinson the Chairman of the club.
A wonderful day and a day to be proud of by all members of the club.
M J Evans
Just a quick note to say thank you to you and all of Nutley Bowls Club for putting on such a great day under difficult circumstances. It was great fun, the various clubs good company, food delicious, what more can one say other than we all got home safe and sound and recovered from any tiredness this morning. Thanks again.
D. @ Hook & Southborough.
Thank you Peter, it was a great day, even before the final! Well done to yourself and all the members who helped make it so.
S. @ Buxted
Congratulations to you and your team for a well run and very enjoyable day in difficult conditions. We look forward to next year. Well done again
C. and A. @ Buxted
What a fun day we all had, and thank you to all your member volunteers. We do look forward to seeing you all next year.
L. @ Cross in Hand.
Thank you all for a wonderful day of bowling, we thoroughly enjoyed it even if it was rather warm. Looking forward to next year
L, B, & J. @ Noddy and friends. East Grinstead B C
I was part of Eagles team. I most say my congratulations to all the Nutley team for organising such a fantastic day ,Thank you
P. @ Uckfield.
Many thanks to you and your team for organising such an excellent and well organised tournament, so nice to catch up with you all and re kindle past friendships. Wish you all well for the rest of the season and look forward to our club game and next year.
D. @ Isle of Thorns
Just a quick note to say thanks to you and the other members for a lovely (if hot!) day on Sunday. We enjoyed it. The picnic worked well. Take care and keep well.
E. @ Buxted