Up early to get to the Sports Park to make ready for the Day and the sun was shining in a lovely blue sky. And to put the icing on the cake – there was a super e-card message from a member and his wife who could not be with us for the opening – they were unfortunately away - a picture of a beautiful basket of flowers with the good luck message. (CLICK HERE TO SEE the card)
So, after a quick breakfast (we would have the 'traditional' bacon butties later) with a happy heart and full car we set off for the Park.
But we were not there first! Julian had already delivered the pots of flowers and a ladder to put up the bunting – thanks Jules! Players started arriving at 10 to 10 and by 10 c'clock everyone had arrived, spot on time – parking was already hotting up. We all got our commemorative badges and score sheets for the 3 games before lunch and 3 after. All we needed now was the bacon butties and the two 'ribbon cutters' to arrive. Unfortunately the butties were a bit late, but they only delayed proceedings by 5 minutes!
At 10.35 we began .... The Club President, Loren Butt, said a few words of thanks all round. Richard Knight, the immediate past Chairman of the Trustees proposed a toast to the new boulodrome and then he, John Atkins, the current Chairman of the Trustees (and President of the Wallingford Hockey Club, based in the Park), Julian Sankey (Petanque Wallingford Committee member and a hockey keeper) and Loren threw some ceremonial boules on the new surface to celebrate the Opening to much cheering and clapping.
Then 23 players got on with the business of a melee, playing for the 1st President’s trophies – A pair of 1890 Boule Lyonnaise Cloutees*, one for a lady and one for a gentleman. We played 3 games before lunch. And what a lunch – Lamoon did us proud. Very nice. And then, after an hour’s break we played another 3 games (getting more tired by the minute!!) But we had a lot of fun and saw some very fine shooting and pointing. The scores for the contenders were very close: for the men - JJ 5 wins +28 and Mike Marshall 5 wins + 25; and for the women - Biggi 5 wins +30 and Christiane 5 wins +24.
The President made the presentations of the trophies to the final winners : John Johnson (JJ) and Biggi Wright, while we ate chocolate cupcakes and almond slices. Well done to everyone.
Despite the strong wind, we all had a lovely day. And now look forward to more PLAY on our fabulous, challenging, new home.
*The pair of Boules Lyonnaise Cloutees were donated by our President and are made of chestnut and studded in a star patterns with bronze, copper and iron nails. Because they are a pair, he wanted one to go to the 'best' woman player of the day, and one for the 'best' man.