Updated: Jul 30, 2021
On the warm sunny afternoon of Wednesday 21 July we entertained the Mayor of Guildford Cllr Marsha Mosley, her consort Cllr Nigel Manning, and a team of bowlers from the Chelsea Pensioners. The occasion was the formal opening of our refurbished clubhouse, and the celebration of our 30+1 anniversary of the club, deferred from 2020 because of the covid19 pandemic.
The Chelsea Pensioners' team arrived at 1pm in their scarlet coats and shortly afterwards posed with club members for a (large) group photograph. A copy of that will be hung in the clubhouse entrance. After a short speech of thanks by President Geoff to the many members, sponsors, and organisations who had made the refurbishment possible, and those who helped to make the day happen, the Mayor of Guildford, Cllr Marhsa Moseley, cut the ribbon to mark our re-opening.
A quick rejigging of teams was necessary to allow for the number of pensioners who arrived, and to give as many of our members as possible the opportunity to play (indeed 32 of the 42 who put their names down got a chance). The Mayor tossed for the mat and the match got underway at 2.15pm. It was played in great spirit and fun and both teams acquitted themselves well but I don't think anyone recorded the result, which was of peripheral interest.
This was a prestigious event also attended by many VIPs including President Joe Cable and Secretary John Tucker of Bowls Surrey, and President Charlotte Emanuel of Surrey County WBA. Our sponsors were represented and captain Alan Mogg had a few of them on the green having a go after the match - never one to miss a recruitment opportunity.
We could not have asked for better weather. The temperature was in the high 20s so we were all grateful for the shade of the marquee which had been erected along the length of the clubhouse.
Cream teas were served and many cold drinks - alcoholic and otherwise - and cups of tea - were consumed.
The pensioners were a very friendly and entertaining bunch, and our members fortunate to play will remember the experience for a long time.
The Pensioners left at 5.30pm leaving us with the promise of an invitation of return match at the Pensioners' Club's green inside the Royal Chelsea Hospital. That will be a day out not to be missed with lots of sights to see including the 300+ year old Hospital itself and the Army Museum close by.
Members not favoured by the draw to play on this occasion will be given preference in the return match.
The day was clearly a great success and our members were great hosts which obviously added to the pensioners' enjoyment. A tremendous amount of work went on behind the scenes into planning and managing the day, and we owe a huge vote of thanks to Captain Alan and President Geoff and the committee, and those many members who made sure the day ran smoothly. And of course to Keith Sutton and his late wife Barbara who were responsible for the Pensioners' visit.
The photo album can be viewed here
The photos taken by Diana Field, the professional photographer, are available for guests to her gallery to view. I have provided a link to that below. Guests are able to download all of the images, either all in one or individual files. The small watermark will not show on downloaded files. The high-resolution photographs currently on view will be available for 2 months to download, after which they will be replaced with a smaller files in the gallery but guests can always get in touch with Diana Field if they need anything in the future.
Guests can also purchase any prints, canvases etc straight through the gallery if they wish.