Poplar Drive, Rayleigh Road, Hutton, Essex, CM13 1YT

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My Skip


Overbearing, scary and scowling, that’s my skip

And by ‘eck he’s frightening when he lets rip.

It’s, “ Take more green”, and, “ You’re three yards short”,

“My old Granny’s better than you at this sport!”


My palms are sweaty and my legs are like jelly

“I’m sorry skip, I’ll give it more welly”

He bawls at me that the weight was fine

A pity that I couldn’t find the line,


I mumble that the green is playing faster today

And my back’s giving me gyp and affecting my play

Ignoring my ills he urges me to get it together

And stop making excuses about the weather.


He shouts to me, “ Come into the head with a yard of weight”,

Then tells the world that I’ve given them eight!

I pray for the rink to open and swallow me whole

I really don’t want to play the next bowl.


I settle down and we start to score

First a single and then a four

With one end to play the scores are level

But my skip’s still scowling, the miserable old devil.


The final end and I’ve stopped the rot

My last wood counts and we win by a shot

And there’s my skip, all smiles and glee,

“ Well done lad, well done number three”.


Alan Sier


What’s in a Name ?


Our Jack loves sport, yes, bowls an’ all

Quite right, for he was named after the wee white ball.

Jack grew up learning the language of the game

And finding out just what’s in a name


Jack learned well all that he was taught

Particularly the command, “Don’t be short !”

For this became his skip’s favourite call

Poor Jack, you see, was just five feet tall.


When Jack stepped on the hallowed green turf

It signalled the start of much merriment and mirth.

Wee Jack was the object of merciless sport

Made worse ’cos Jack’s surname was unfortunately, SHORT.


Jack Short just grinned and remembered the adage

All good things come wrapped in a small package

He bowled his woods with a consistent lie

Never jack short but always jack high.


Though small in stature and small in name

Over the years Jack’s earned his fame.

He’s a giant on the green and here’s the nub

He’s a regular champion in the bowling club !


Alan Sier

He Once Kicked a Ball and Climbed Trees


The old man was seated at the side of the rink.

I did not know his name.

Slumped on the bench, asleep one might think,

Yet I sensed he was following our game

With more than just a tad

Of knowledge and expertise.

And I pictured an old man as a lad

Who once kicked a ball and climbed trees.


I imagined a man of youthful figure

A man admired and esteemed;

Who pursued his sport and his duties with vigour

Now ignored and forgotten it seemed.

And I thought it sad

How we passed him by like a fleeting summer breeze

An old man who once was a lad

Who kicked a ball and climbed trees.


My colleagues shook their heads in denial

When I asked if they knew the old man.

One stalwart then thought for a while.

“His name’s up there in gold letters,” he began,

“Some say he wasn’t half bad.”

Yes, it’s right to honour past champions like these

And picture an old man as a lad

Who once kicked a ball and climbed trees.  


Alan Sier