The Anchor Inn, Oldbury-on-Severn, Bristol BS35 1QA Tel. 01454 413331
EARLY DAYS by Bob Baker
It must have been in about 1980, a reasonably hot summer that the White Hart at Littleton built a single boules piste in the garden. I had played the game in France a few times and really enjoyed it, so I was keen to use the piste at the Hart. I only played once or twice and when I mentioned it to friends in the Anchor, I found that several people were interested in playing a game on the new overflow car park over the road from the Anchor and so, with the blessing of Mike Dowdeswell, the Anchor landlord, on the occasional Sunday after the pub closed we played boules.
Nobody quite knew the exact rules of the game so we pretty well made them up as we went along! I remember such little foibles as a ”touching ball scores two points”...we played up to twenty one games and there had to be a clear lead of two to win.
Those playing at that time were Maggie and Andrew (Priest) Di Sparrow and “slippery”, Gerald Yates, Lance Jeans, Len and Paula Luff, yours truly and several others I’ve forgotten. The boules fever really began in 1982 when The White Hart challenged the Anchor to a competition, a cup was purchased for this event. The result was a resounding win for The Anchor! As word of this got around and more and more people became aware of how enjoyable a bit of competitive sport can be after a few drinks on a Sunday...
Throughout the early eighties the Sunday games became more of an extension of opening hours, drinks were obtained and even food was available, terrific rolls and salad provided by Di Sparrow. It was about this time that instead of the usual melee approach, we began to form teams. We were also outgrowing the Anchor overflow car park!
As more village people enjoyed playing boules such as Alan Knapp, Colin and Sue Keedwell, Keith Malone and family, A.D.Davis and others approached the Village Council to provide a space for our activities on the sportsfield...