Traveller's tales

Friday, April 21, 2006

Diary of a genetically unmodified traveller: Air-conditioned bowling

‘Phew’, I hear you say, ‘it’s too hot for me!’ And it is warm – certainly, but let’s not complain too much lest…

Instead, let’s do like ‘Christians in Sport’ who meet every Tuesday morning between 9.30am and 11.30am for tea, coffee, a chat and a game or two of Short Mat (45 feet) Bowling – without the air conditioning though – that was just wishful thinking on my part.

Passing Zion Methodists Chuch in Lees yesterday morning, I noticed that ‘Tea and Coffee Are Now Being Served’ and popped in for a brew. Met by Harry Steele and Dorothy Brierley (formerly of the Chronicle) and who run the sessions, I was quickly and warmly greeted by all the players, plus the ladies making the tea.

On a strip of green ‘felt’ (6 by 45 feet), pairs of bowlers battled it out without succumbing to sunstroke – with the characteristic loud cheers of the group winning. Age is no barrier, and nor is being partially sighted as one lady playing was.

The Reverend Kofe Ansah, a native of Ghana and born on a Friday – hence his name – told me that his church facilities are in continual demand – Mothers and Toddlers on Monday – Wives’ Meeting later that evening – Chiball exercises Tuesday, plus Short Mat Bowling, of course, an Age Concern organised dinner for the elderly on Wednesday – table tennis on Thursday and Karate Friday, with the hall hired out for things like Hoe Downs and the May Queen Festival at other times.

So, rain or shine, hot or cold, winter or summer, people come from far and near to enjoy the company of others, the exercise and the fun and games – oh, and the tea and coffee too. See you there next Tuesday folks.

Robert L. Fielding

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