Another great week was had by all in Bournemouth. The weather was good and we returned to the west cliff for the first time in a number of years. The advanced party played golf in the lovely surroundings of the New Forest on the way down. Unfortunate the golf wasn't as lovely with the lowlight being the chairman nearly killing the umpire with a badly sliced approach shot. Sorry Nigel! A pleasant evening was spent in the Goat and Tricycle. The golf on Tuesday was at Queens where Phil Hales took the money as usual. Steak night in The Moon on the Square followed. Six of us played a new course on Wednesday (Moors Valley) which was a nice change. What didn't change was the winner. Helmet again! Thursday started in traditional fashion with the cerise jacket challenge. David Goodall putted impeccably to post a fine -18 and looked genuinely pleased to have won the historic trophy. Lunch on the wall at Wimborne Minster preceded the big match. The toss was the usual situation where they asked us to bat. Paul Goodall (124*) and Nick Shea, half Irish and half South Mulukan (57) put on an impressive 173 for the opening partnership as we posted 213 for 3. In reply they didn't threaten our total but we couldn't take enough wickets as the draw was taken with them 163 for 3. It was great to see Charlie Sime and Pete and Jane Stalley coming along to support. Same again next year?
Tour was great! Plenty of golf and sunshine but unfortunately not much cricket. In the only game Dave Goodall rolled back the years with a fine 50 and we played out the usual draw. Malik was a welcome newcomer making a fine debut on the wall at Wimbourne. Hopefully numbers will improve and we can look to play more games next year.
At long last we had a week of sunshine for cricket tour. 2014 was a shortened tour due to numbers being down on recent years. Disappointingly we could not fulfil the planned fixtures at Ferndown and Portland. Johnnie and Ian were the advanced party travelling down on Monday for some sightseeing in the Bournemouth area. Six more of us checked in to the Hotel Celebrity on Tuesday.
Golf took place at Bulberry Woods where Sparky took the money and Dan picked up the wooden spoon. Steak night in 'The Creek' proved popular with the tourists and Nigel caught the attention of a local and was renamed Slash. I'm not really sure why but you had to be there! A few sore heads were cleared at Canford Magna where new joiners Boylie and Keith, commenced their tour. Boylie won the golf we returned to the Creek for some more fine dining and refreshments.
An early night was taken by all in anticipation of the big event on Thursday (the crazy golf not the cricket). And so we awoke to more bright sunshine which increased size of the crowd. Burnsie, Slushie and the Leatherhead Express had now joined the party. In a closely fought contest Helmet made it a clean sweep for the pros in the golfing events by posting -16. Keefay handed over the Cerise Jacket and Helmet looked truly honoured to be the recipient once again.
Lunch was taken on the wall of the Wimborne Minster in line with tradition. Then the serious business began. We lost the toss and were inserted by Wimborne. A series of spread bets was been placed on Burnsie scoring 20 runs. His cause was helped when they opened up with a 73 year old. James' produced the best celebration of the day when he reached 21 although he didn't last much longer (25). Useful contribution from Slash (28), Woolly (41) and Conan (38*) saw us declare on a decent 183 for 6. In reply Dan wrecked any chance they had with a devastating opening spell of 3 for 13. They dug in searching for a draw. Slash was unplayable and produced figures of 8-6-3-1 but we could not dismiss the last couple of men as they closed on 80 for 8.
We retreated to the hotel for the opening game of the World Cup and enjoyed a few more shandies. Friday morning usually consists of a walk along the prom in the wind and rain. However this year we had an enjoyable game of beach cricket followed by a pleasant drink on the pier. Hopefully 2015 will have the same weather, better numbers so we can play more cricket and a solution to what the sausages actually consist of.
This year the tour report will be short. No cricket was played at all due to a combination of fewer tourists and rubbish weather. 9 of us made it down to Bournemouth on Monday including non players Johnny and Haskers. The golf took place at Merrick Park and was of a low standard. Predictably Helmet took the money. We nearly missed our tee time thanks to Nick's sat nav which only works in Holland and can't find golf courses. A civilised evening followed that included pizza and a few beers in the Creek.
Tuesday was a wet morning but the rain had stopped by the time we made it to Bulbury Woods for more golf. Again Nick was late as his sat nav directed him to a random farmyard. Killer won and Nigel was again the runner up. We dined in the Creek and took advantage of the Steak evening. Woolly entertained us with a surprisingly good quiz.
Wednesday was the big game. Dave and Richard arrived and despite the morning rain Portland assured us the pitch was fine and it was just a passing shower. We completed the long drive in monsoon like conditions which prevented the annual lunch on the wall. A few of them turned up but despite some youthful enthusiasm the weather was always going to win. We had a pleasant evening in the Goat and Tricycle where Wurzel was much missed (to clarify Wurze is alive and well but just missed tour this year).
Heavy overnight rain persisted down and it was no great surprise when Wimborne called off the game. We were all gutted especially as the weather turned out OK. Nick decided to return home after an attack of gout. This is becoming a common theme on tours in recent years and Nigel's recent bad case ('how many more times..........I don't have gout'). The traditional crazy golf contest went ahead. Keefay and Killer posted an impressive -19 with Keefay taking the Cerise (ok berry) Jacket on the 3rd extra hole. It appeared to fit him better than most of the previous winners.
More proper golf followed and another thumping win for Killer. Thursday was curry night and we headed to the Eye of the Tiger. Everyone seemed to enjoy but I just don't get it (cue chicken takka joke). Beers followed and Nigel adopted Beeksy, a pet spider from O'Neils. Pets had dominated much of the conversation during the week with Chris missing his beloved Rubes and Woolly recalling stories of BIg Vic.......his rabbit catching monster cat.
The tour finished with the traditional aimless stroll along the prom. Dan decided to stay another night to see if sharing a room with Rachel was an improvement on Nick.
Although we always have fun, even when we are not having fun, surely we must be due better weather next year!
Deando Ruxley unbeaten on tour or The weather can’t be as bad as last year..................can it?
The tour report on the cricket won’t take long. The terrible weather continues and the south coast was worst hit. The games at Ferndown and Portland were called off on the morning following heavy overnight rain. At least we started at Wimbourne but lasted just 12 overs before more rain arrived. In that time Richard Armstrong removed the openers with a fiery opening spell but the highlight was Curtley chasing the ball with his jumper on back to front which caused much amusement to his fellow fielders.
Most of us drove down to Bournemouth in torrential rain on Monday morning. Remarkably the rain stopped to enable 8 of us to play 18 holes of relatively dry golf. No surprises to report that Phil Hales took the money. The evening consisted of watching England draw with France in the hotel bar followed by Pizza Express and a few beverages.
Tuesday brought more rain and a number of us had a practice round on the crazy golf in preparation for the big tournament on Thursday. The chairman recorded -18 and was installed as favourite to regain the cerise jacket. An afternoon poker game further contributed to Phil Hales tour fund and an evening Chinese meal produced one of the tour highlights when Johnny was spotted using his chopsticks upside down!
Another golf game was hastily arranged for Wednesday and it was no surprise that Phil Hales won again. Luke Gachet’s need for regular dashes to the clubhouse and green keepers hut caused much amusement. On return to the hotel we met up with Keith McRoberts who had recently arrived. He shared a room with the chairman and our German opening bat Herr Voolston.
The tourists congregated in the local of choice, the Jonathan Creek, to watch the football. Surprisingly Haskers and not Phil Hales won the money on the football game we organised based corners, goals, etc. I’m still not sure exactly how it worked as the rules seemed to change mid-game.
The Crazy Golf tournament was special. A 3 way tie between Keith Mac, Richard Armstrong and Ian Wyatt meant a sudden death play-off was required. A spectacular hole in one at the 4th extra hole saw Conan regain the cerise jacket which he wore with pride.
Thursday night was spent discussing nationalities and how Guinness tastes like Marmite. Apparently Dan, Luke and James went on to clear the Karaoke bar!
A long stroll on Friday morning preceded the drive home in more thunderstorms. Surely it must be hot and dry next year!
Two questions remain outstanding. 1) What was in the sausages at breakfast? and 2) Who was in the Secret 17 from the 1970 tour?
Here is the 2011 report:
Flaming June? Not exactly but the poor weather failed to dampen the spirits of the 20 tourists who made the annual pilgrimage to Bournemouth. Tour manager Woolly found the Hotel Celebrity which suited our needs nicely. Eleven of us began the week on the golf course at Canford Magna in glorious sunshine. The pros took the money (Sparky and Phil Hales) and Dan Moore robbed Woolly of ‘nearest the pin’ with the final shot at the 16th. Mystery still surrounds how Geoff’s head cover was filled with talcum powder.
We arrived at Broadstone and had the unusual problem of having to select a team. James was elected captain and promptly lost the toss. Conan, for once, did not get into ‘Broadstone mode’ and was quickly dismissed. That meant the arrival of Sparky who brought his good form from the golf course to the cricket pitch. A rapid 60, along with some power striking from Nick Shea in the final over, saw us post 107 for 4 in 16 overs. Dan Moore (3 for 22) and Geoff Bowyer (2 for 18) took wickets as the game was always in the balance. With 2 wickets and 2 runs required in the last over, 5 leg side wides gave them victory with 2 balls to spare.
After checking in to the hotel we assembled in the Jonathan Creek, the local pub of choice, where the skipper kept us entertained with his home made quiz. We stayed there until closing time before moving on to another establishment, but everything is a little vague from here onwards. Naturally we finished the evening with a kebab and the chairman performed his role of making sure the virgin tourists were delivered back to the hotel safe and sound.
I can’t really advise on the quality of breakfast, but the strategically placed bench in the garden was ideal for sleeping off hangovers.
The Tuesday game saw us visit Ferndown Wayfarers for the first time. A very nice ground with the unusual feature of pylons surrounding the pitch and wires crisscrossing the skyline. We batted first and Woolly failed for once. Nigel, who couldn’t run due to having gout, scored a useful 21. Our overseas player, Wurzel from Belgium, was bowled for a golden duck, before a partnership of 49 between Geoff (32) and Ian (19) helped the cause. However special mention should go to top scorer Extras (58), who made a fine half century as we finished on 162 for 9 in 40 overs. A lively opening spell from Curtley Armstrong (2 for 23) and some tidy spin from DJ (1 for 37) kept us in the game. Their skipper came in and crashed it everywhere before Sparky held a fine catch. The chairman (5 for 33) put us on top before a stubborn 9th wicket partnership of 40 took them to a one wicket win.
We returned to the Creek for another quiz from James followed by more beers and some good negotiating in the kebab house from the tour manager.
Wednesday saw the long drive to Portland. It lashed it down all the way and the breathtaking scenery was not visible due to the sea mist. Things got worse when we discovered the pie shop had closed early. We amassed in the clubhouse and enjoyed an early tea, before the game was called off and we retired to The George where Squeaker entertained with his Anne Robinson stories. However we had to draw the line when he started talking indoor bowls with Johnny.
An early call on Thursday confirmed that our final game also was washed out. However the rained stopped and we made it down to the crazy golf course for the highlight of the week. A record field saw Phil Hales win the cerise jacket with an impressive 17 under. Curtley 16 under and Nigel 15 under were the nearest challengers. The jacket was a snug fit but the winner wore it with pride. Thursday evening was incredible as Nigel discovered the cure for gout was pints of bitter with sherry chasers. It worked a treat and the limp was gone!
Friday we went for the traditional stroll along the promenade and got drenched. After sheltering for 30 minutes under a beach hut we gave up and headed back home with some good memories and the thought that it is only 51 weeks to the 2012 tour.
|Team selection meeting taking place at Dorset Cricket School.....|
|The annual crazy golf challenge. Last year's winner of the 'Cerese Jersey' was opening bowler, Ian Wyatt!|