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Dursley Bowls Club are making a big name for themselves

Gloucestershire South > Sport > Bowls

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Saturday, 28th April 2018, 09:00

From left, Brian Packer, Keith Hinder, Brian Burleigh and Dave Smith  representing Gloucestershire in the National Championships at Royal Leamington Spa last year From left, Brian Packer, Keith Hinder, Brian Burleigh and Dave Smith representing Gloucestershire in the National Championships at Royal Leamington Spa last year

John Mackriell says he is a “jack of all trades” at Dursley Bowls Club.

And while the 83-year-old certainly does plenty to make sure the club are in good shape, his specific job titles are publicity officer and membership secretary.

And the role of publicity officer was something that he was particularly keen to take on as he explained to The Local Answer.

“When I retired I went looking for the bowls club,” explained John, who lives in Dursley, “but the trouble was I didn’t know where it was!

“When I found it, that was the first time I’d ever seen it, it was almost hidden away.”

That was back in 2000, 25 years after John had moved to the area to take up a job as youth and community worker in the town.

“That’s why I was so keen to get involved on the publicity side,” chuckled John, “so that I could make people aware of where you can find this very nice bowls club in Dursley.”

And once John found the club and their very attractive setting, he has never looked back. When he first joined the 60-member club they were known as Listers after the firm R A Lister and Company but they changed their name to Dursley in 2005.

And the club’s name is certainly very well known out and about around the county after their recent exploits in some pretty high-profile matches.

“We won the South Cotswolds League for the first time last season,” said John. “We were delighted about that. Brian Burleigh was our captain and his team included Keith Hinder.”

Hinder, who has been playing at the club since 1978, is something of a legend around Priory Gardens where the club play their home games.

“He’s our champion bowler,” said John. “He was county singles champion in 2013 and won the two wood singles, four wood singles and champion of champions all in one day that year.”

He’s won much, much more besides and his success has certainly rubbed off on others at the club as well, because he teamed up with Burleigh and Dave Smith to win the county triples last year and combined with Burleigh, Smith and new club chairman Brian Packer to win the county fours.

John’s not a bad player either and captained the B team that played in Division Three of the South Cotswold League last season.

“The beauty of our club is that we are able to play new members in competitive matches,” said John.

“The ladies play in the Corinium League and the Stroud Valley Triples League and we welcome everyone to the club, not just very good bowlers.”

And once people join the club they stay at the club.

“Peter Marfell is our longest serving member”, said John, “He joined the club in 1972 and has served the club as chairman for 10 of those, as well as being a long-standing member of the team that won the league this year.

“Another long-serving member is Pauline Bryant, who has just retired as secretary after nine dedicated years.

John knows about these things as Dursley’s membership secretary, of course.

And as an equally good publicity officer, he is also anxious that The Local Answer’s readers are made aware of the club’s annual Open Day, which this year takes place on 12th May from 2.30pm to 5.30pm.

Other Images

The delightful Dursley Bowls Club
Dursley’s roll of honour
John Mackriell

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