Beryl’s still bowling along at 100

From left, Jacob Kennard, Gavin Moon, Ian Doyle and Sarah Talboys-Smith with Shanon Rees and Rodney Watson at the front
 at the Southsea Village in Palmerston Road Picture: Habibur Rahman

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CENTENARIAN Beryl Skym was bowled over by her brilliant birthday bash, which saw her take to the green.

Beryl, from Fareham, is a long-time member of the Palmerston Indoor Bowls Club. The active pensioner has been going there for over 15 years, ever since it opened in 1997.

Bowls Club stalwart Beryl Skym celebrates her 100th birthday with fellow members of the Palmerston IBC in Fareham by playing a few quick ends.''Picture: Steve Reid Blitz Photography (132305-905)

Bowls Club stalwart Beryl Skym celebrates her 100th birthday with fellow members of the Palmerston IBC in Fareham by playing a few quick ends.''Picture: Steve Reid Blitz Photography (132305-905)

To celebrate her 100th birthday, the club held a surprise party the day before.

Beryl turned the impressive age of 100 on Tuesday.

Beryl, originally from Wales, said that she had no idea that the surprise had been organised.

She said: ‘It’s such a nice surprise because I come every week and play more than once a week, three times really. All this has been kept so quiet. It’s very nice to come back and see what’s happening here. It’s really lovely.’

Janet Mudd, the club secretary, from Portchester said: ‘Beryl is a wonderful lady. She still bowls and at the age of 100, that must be unique.

‘She means a tremendous amount to the club because she inspires everybody to think bowling is something that can be done forever.

‘We hope she had a wonderful birthday and we will be pleased to see her back here bowling as soon as she can.’

A surprised Beryl entered the club thinking she was simply going to play a game of bowls but was greeted with cheers and a rendition of Happy Birthday instead. She was accompanied by her daughter Angela Youngs, 68, from Fareham, and son Gomer Skym.

Gomer, 72, had come all the way from his home in Queensland, Australia to celebrate his mother’s 100th.

He said: ‘She wasn’t expecting this, not this function, she thought she was going to play bowls. It was a big surprise.

He spoke how his mother, a keen golf player as well as a bowler, first started bowls.

Gomer said: ‘My father took up bowls because he couldn’t play golf as he couldn’t walk very far so my mother followed. Now she bowls as much as she can.’

An active Beryl also attended a birthday celebration at Lee-on-the-Solent Golf Club on her birthday.

After a game of bowls, the birthday girl was whisked off to the club restaurant where she was presented with a cake and a gift card from the bowls club meaning she can play for free whenever she wants.