Denmead Bowling Club welcome Chelsea Pensioners for prestigious friendly match

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PICTURE: MICHAEL SCADDAN

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  • Army veterans from Royal Hospital Chelsea welcomed by club on Ashling Park Road
  • 18 ends played with overwhelming turnout of keen competitors
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Chelsea Pensioners were the guests of honour at a bowling club.

Members of Denmead Bowling Club welcomed the team of army veterans to their home green in Ashling Park Road for a friendly match.

From left, Paul Kennington, social secretary of Denmead Bowling Club, Chelsea Pensioner Don Avery,  Mike Wright, Denmead Bowling Club captain and Chelsea Pensioner Bill Posnett 
Picture: Danny Randon

From left, Paul Kennington, social secretary of Denmead Bowling Club, Chelsea Pensioner Don Avery, Mike Wright, Denmead Bowling Club captain and Chelsea Pensioner Bill Posnett Picture: Danny Randon

Mike Wright, Denmead’s club captain, said that the appearance was not only ‘prestigious for the club’, but good for the community.

He said: ‘The whole thing with the Chelsea Pensioners is nearly everybody of any age group has heard of them and what they do, so it’s great.’

Walter Swan, captain of the Chelsea Pensioners’ bowling team, said that he had been looking forward to take to the green with the bowling club for the whole week.

He said: ‘It’s an outing for us, it gets us out and it gives us a bit of exercise and keeps us going.

Members of Denmead Bowls Club with the Chelsea Pensioners' team
 Picture: Danny Randon

Members of Denmead Bowls Club with the Chelsea Pensioners' team Picture: Danny Randon

‘All I can say is that we are not professionals, but we enjoy playing.

‘It’s the enjoyment of the game as opposed to a skill of the game, but we’re determined to have a go.’

Both teams then took to the rinks for 18 ends, with the game lasting around two-and a-half-hours.

As well as dozens of spectators, there was overwhelming demand from club members to play, prompting a switch of teams after nine ends.

After agreeing on a draw, the players tucked into a fish supper from nearby chippy Mother Kelly’s.

Denmead Bowling Club now looks forward to its 25th anniversary next year with a game on the pensioners’ 
turf at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Denmead’s social secretary Paul Kennington said: ‘It was a privilege for our club, and we thoroughly enjoyed the day. It was really a wonderful day.’