Francis Drake Bowls Club


Frances Ward Trophy 2021

A farewell to Frances who will be remembered every year

It couldn’t have been better!

The first of what is to become an annual event in the Francis Drake Bowls Club calendar started with a cloudless sunny day.

Frances Ward Day is dedicated to a member who died last year. But the memorial event was put off for until now because of Covid.

Frances enjoyed her bowls and was good at it. She was captain of the club’s North West Kent Ladies team. But she was also especially willing to turn her hand to anything that was needed at the club premises, whether it be cleaning windows (at which she excelled), painting, helping with our garden or anything which needed doing. President Jill Bonner credited her with a fine, analytical brain and the prime mover in the writing of our constitution.

It had to be a fitting day and fixtures secretary Ron Phillips made sure of it.

Keith Ward, Frances’ husband, sponsored the day. (And took the photographs.)

Twenty-four members signed up on the day.

They were split into two teams of 12 on each side – the Shammies and the Magic Cloths. Players each picked a disc to determine which team they would play for. Another dip into the bag, and teams were split into triples. Skips had a star on their discs.

The first game of six ends was played on rinks one, three and five (socially distanced) after which each member of the team reported their individual scores. They then picked another disc. So, each member picked a new team (within their group) and each captain picked a new rink. After three games, everyone had played 18 ends.

When the scores were totalled, Heather Carroll and Jo Grabarek were the finalists.


After a final six ends Heather was declared the winner.

Everybody then enjoyed a healthy salad with not-so-healthy burger, chicken and sausages along with a beer, wine or soft drink (again courtesy of Keith Ward).

After the meal, President Jill Bonner (l) presented Heather (r) with her trophies.

Everyone had been asked to bring a prize with them to put in a raffle and there were plenty to go round - from a box of Quaker Oats to a bottle of Prosecco.

Then came the auction for a hamper of goodies. Heather, who doesn’t drink, donated two bottles of wine which she won in the raffle to the hamper and Tim Deacon donated another.

The auction started with Captain Ken Shooter bidding £20 but Sue Hastings and Bryn McNeill eventually fought it out until a final bid of £51 bought the hamper for Bryn.

Captain Ken Shooter thanked Keith Ward for the day and presented him with a bottle of single malt whisky. A bottle of malt whisky was what Frances always gave Keith as a Christmas present but because of her illness she has not given him one for their last Christmas together.

Keith was also given the proceeds of the auction (£60) for a donation to charity. He has already sent it to St Christopher’s, the hospice which cared for Frances.

The day ended at about 7.30pm and, it seems, a good time was had by all!

LOTS more photos here on our FLickr site