Plans were laid and preparations begun months in advance of the Centenary Celebrations that took place on Sunday, 9th July 2022. With all the turmoil of Covid we held our breath hoping it would go ahead. Some plans had to be modified, like not inviting representatives from other local clubs to come along and join us and instead of a two day event it was cut back to just the Sunday.
The date approached. The celebration cakes were ordered, bottles of fizz and additional glasses acquired. Our guest of honour, Margaret Jeffreys – great niece of Gilbert Hooper-Collins who donated the grounds so that a bowling club could be created for Chagford, agreed to attend and say a few words.
Weather looked set fair and the final preparation began on the Saturday. Bunting was hung, with much debating and adjustment as to the best way of doing it. Gazebos were erected to provide shade and the Ash House was transformed into a cocktail bar for the infamous “Mermaids Kiss”. In the meantime the Club House was cleaned from top to bottom and furniture arranged. The in-house catering, operating on “bring and share” basis, was organised and people agreed to make or prepare various sandwiches and savouries. A triumphant arch made of balloons was assembled at one end of the club house.
That evening a large contingent went for a special pre-arranged dinner held at the Okehampton Golf Club. There we had a delightful evening with good food and great company. The usually Chagford version of a raffle was held with much hilarity and associated banter. That was followed with a challenge to make balloon animals – if you could blow up the balloons! It was much later than expected when we eventually left for home
Sunday arrived with perfect weather. Members appeared in club shirts and the whole affair began with a festive atmosphere. Firstly the speeches followed by the raising of the club’s new centenary flag suitably inscribed with 1922 – 2022. Everyone then went to the changing rooms end of the rinks, as it had been agreed that there we would have some photographs taken. A centenary photograph, similar to the 90th anniversary as well as Margaret Jefferies bowling a bowl, replicated a photograph taken back in the 1920’s
It was then time for the fun and games; nothing serious. People just got together for short games and target bowling. Food was eagerly looked forward to and people relaxed with a drink or two.
Time for tea and the spread was terrific, well done to everyone who contributed. To finish, a special centenary cake was cut and distributed. Glasses of “bubbly” were handed out and a toast was made to Chagford Bowling Club for all those past and present who have made it what it is and to the friends and friendship that it continues to inspire.
A perfect day was had by one and all.