Yesterday my bowls club travelled to Windsor Great Park for a fixture against the Royal Household Bowls Club. We originally asked for a game against them to celebrate our 60th anniversary and subsequently we have been asked back twice. We hire a coach and take family and friends to make a day of it.
Our hosts are a really friendly crowd and they talk openly about the Royal Family just as though they are also part of the family which in some ways I suppose they are. We lost the game by three shots which meant that they avenged their defeat last year so honours are now even again as we drew the first match.
I cannot remember in the previous years being so conscious of the noise level from low flying aircraft. Their green is directly under the flightpath of planes approaching Heathrow and they roar in every 28 seconds seemingly just above our heads! The home team don't even notice but I found the noise quite distracting.
We had a really great day and as we were on the rink next to the passing road we even caught a glimpse of the Queen driving past on her own.
I also think that bowls is a sport which brings out all the characteristics of our native bred population. It thrives, on competition, courtesy, sportsmanship and respect which made me think that even in these dark days the traditional English values shine through. It was a joy to have spent the day in such great company.