Bath Boules visit to Germany

City of Bath Boules Visit to Germany.

By Terry Basson

Bath Boules visit the Bremen Open
Bath Boules visit the Bremen Open


I begin by waxing lyrical about our boules tour to Germany starting with our flight from Bristol to Hanover. Eight members of the CoBPC signed up for this adventure to play boules in Bremen and Braunschweig. We boarded our flight on BMI’s Embraer ERJ -135 powered by two Rolls Royce AE 3007 engines. The company call it ‘Their Little Rocket’. Seating just 37 passengers costing around £143 million to build and guess what? We were the only passengers on board that day!

Forgive me when I say, we travelled Rolls Royce class and this is the unbelievable truth. We were treated like a charter flight!

The on-board staff even had time to take the interior picture, shown with this article, of us, in our millionaire’s mode of transport.

‘Don’t mention the war’ thoughts raced through my head as we flew over the industrialised areas of the Ruhr valley, thinking about those frightened young bomber crews back in that time which now, cannot be mentioned.

All we had in our Bomb Bay were 24 steel Boules to drop onto the Pistes during friendly Petanque tournament games in Braunschweig and Bremen.
Lutz – Ruiger Busse (Hon member of CoBPC) met us outside our hotel ‘Deutsches Haus’ where we were to stay in Braunschweig for three nights. Lutz was so very helpful, he took us to a nice Restaurant which was offering special traditional Bavarian meals, with a beer especially brewed for what the German people call their Oktober Fest, This unique place had many surprises in store including looking like a railway carriage from an Agatha Christie novel and with drinks leaving the bar by model railway and being delivered to our table.

The next day we visited the VW car factory in Wolfsburg taking the tour, viewing the assembled rows of Robotic arms, welding with great dexterity , actually looking back and checking the standard of the weld, before allowing the partly assembled vehicle , to continue to the next Robot to act its part of the overall plan. At this point I was overcome with that feeling of, OMG, maybe the future will see machines taking over as in movies like ‘The Terminator’! As we progressed we did eventually observe a few humans who were working almost , in like fashion, unhurried yet efficient as their brother Robots. VW produces a car every eighteen seconds, 52 thousand workforce. The factory covers 6.5 square kilometres of the countryside.

In the evening, we met our twinning group. The president Treve Erdmenger of the Anglo- German Association warmly welcomed our group from Bath and invited us all to help ourselves to a table spread full of a variety of foods and drinks. Don Grimes began by greeting all assembled, presenting gifts from our Petanque Club and interesting presents from our twined Roman City. The evening proved very useful – we split ourselves up among many tables to reach out to as many members to show that they too could receive a good welcome from Bath. Making new contacts was important for I feel sure this will continue to gather momentum.

Thursday we met the local Braunschweig Petanque club and we were made very welcome playing double matches throughout the day.

I always thought German people were a culture of aloofness. Oh how wrong I was! Warm hugs and genuine smiles were exchanged among old and newly made friends.

Friday was to see us travelling to Bremen (staying in The Atlantic Grand) and to play in the Open triples. Throughout our train journey we discussed tactics which will hopefully bring us even more success. On Saturday another fine day in Bremen. I was now swimming in an ocean  of happy friendly hugs – yes hugs! This leads me on to say,

“My residing war child finally realised, that the war is now truly  over”.

To complete our day, Cary Bush guided us to a fascinating place to eat called Comturei. I say fascinating because I can only describe the meal in my pictures attached – other than to say, “Out of this World experience”!

During a lifting of glasses we congratulated Don Grimes for his faultless arrangements throughout the five days.  In the tall man’s way, he thought he had done nothing special. Yet those who have ever undertaken arranging a five day tour will know, how much planning goes into this splendid adventure. Stand up Don and take a bow!


Bath Open

City of Bath Open Petanque Tournament 2013

Petanque – the game that is catching on in Bath

Bath 2013 Open Finalists
Tim Perry of the Raven presents medals to the finalists of the Petanque Open

Petanque took over Queen Square on Sunday when once again the clink of boules resounded around the city’s main square when 32 triples teams took part in  the annual Raven Bath Open Tournament.

Organised by City of Bath Petanque Club, the teams battled it out during the morning to be ranked for the afternoon’s knockout competitions – the Cup and the compensatory Plate.

The Compton Inn beat defending champions SCABS (Star Cottage Amateur Boules Society) 13-0 in the Cup final after a thrilling display of skilled pointing and shooting.

Both teams were awarded medals, with the winners also taking away the Raven Open trophy and a voucher for Carluccio’s in Milsom Place.

Winners of the Bath Open Plate 2013
Josie’s gang winners of the 2013 Plate
The Plate went to a family team new to the competition, Josie’s Gang, who beat Los Bouleros 13-7.

City of Bath chair Lesley Hall said: “There was a great atmosphere throughout the day, with friendly competitiveness and demonstrations of skill in the game we have learnt from the French and made our own.

“Passers-by were intrigued by the game, including some French visitors astonished to find their national game being played in an English Georgian square.”

City of Bath would like to thank their sponsors – The Raven, Emtone Print and Fidelis Properties – for helping to make the tournament  a success.

Raffle prizes were donated by


Ian Rushton of the SCABs Team added

“We three want to say that we had another fantastic day on Sunday, kind weather and good organisation of a friendly competition.

The professionalism with which the tournament was run this year was terrific and the  improvements that have been introduced over 2013 were good; everyone on the outside pistes for two games shares the pain of the poorer playing areas.

We look forward to visiting Bath next year and again participating in the 2014 Petanque Open”

Bath Open

Bath Pétanque Club Open 2013 a personal perspective

Bath Pétanque open
Terry (on the left ) and his fellow boulers before battle commenced

 The 2013 Pétanque Open

by Terry Basson

This was our first year to experience such a large Pétanque club event in Queen Square.

In order to get a ringside parking spot around the Square Di and I arrived at 6.30 – sitting, enjoying our breakfast in our jeep looking out at  stormy skies, just hoping that our day would be blessed with sunshine as forecast. The Square had some litter laying around so Di with a Morrison’s plastic bag over her hand walked the square picking up and a generally tidy up took place.

The first to arrive behind our vehicle was Cary whom we shared another  black coffee. I was impatient  to start off the day, but our umpire remained confident that we had plenty of time, so we watched as the clouds seemed to be clearing into patches of blue.

A big white van arrived with Don at the helm shovelling everything from a heavy club hammer to a pile of wood which could only be improved by Wicks Ltd!

Nigel came into  this foray by toting a large bag with his very easy erected gazebo. Up it went in tandem with another one from that Tardis of a van I now call, “The Big White”!

I think Lesley and Diana arrived to start issuing orders that just had to willingly be obeyed . Us guys left around on the  Piste did some humping and  general duties.

As if by a magical hand of some great higher power  The Square took on a showcase appearance – order was marked out on the paths and squares with numbers in rows like soldiers standing on a parade ground.

The teams began to arrive not more than fifteen minutes  since the last tent peg had been driven into that much trodden turf.

I stood back with camera in hand and a sagging jaw, realising that the ‘City Of Bath Pétanque Club’ was open for business, ready to receive over a hundred competing team members.

A huge thanks must go to  all those involved in months of committee meetings/ preparations, which all came together like clockwork on the day.

To be a member of ‘The City of Bath Pétanque Club’ is one of the treasures we have in our lives.

Well done to all those who gave so much towards making this open day, a successful event!

Bath Open

Bath Pétanque Club 2013 Open Triples

The City of Bath Pétanque Club are pleased to announce 2013 Open Triples,  proudly sponsored by the Raven Public House

The time is upon us once again for the City of Bath Open Triples which will be held this year on Sunday August 18th 2013 at Queen Square. Due to the growing popularity of pétanque and of the event the number of teams will be limited to 32 teams, and  you are advised to apply early. Entry Fee is £45 a team which includes a ploughmans lunch, supplied by the Harington Club,  for 3 people. Additional lunches can be purchased. The planning for the event has been going on for the last 3 months and we are hoping that this will be the biggest and best so far.

The City of Bath Pétanque 2012 Open proved to be a resounding success with all 32 places being taken. The winners “Scabs” have confirmed that they will be back to defend their title which was won in a close fought and enjoyable final against the “Good, Bad and Ugly”

SCABS winners of the 2012 Raven triples
SCABS the overall winners receiving their trophies from Tim Perry Landlord of the Raven

Cash prizes and Trophies will be presented to the winning teams. The latest submission date for applications will be Monday August 12th.  Entry Forms for the Bath Pétanque Triples can be obtained on line (PDF – Bath Open Entry Form 2013 or Word Document – Bath Open Entry Form 2013)  and should be either emailed to Cary Bush or by mail at 11 Dunsford Place, Bath BA2 6HF

The City of Bath Pétanque Club was established in 2005 and is open to all new members. Apart from organising and running leagues locally, the club also organises a number of overseas trips combing a social trip with competitions against overseas clubs. Anyone interested in joining the club can contact the club membership secretary at or complete a CoBPC Membership form_2013 and returning it to Cary Bush at 11 Dunsford Place, Bath, BA2 6HF.


Fun Facts re Petanque Jersey

Boules Mountain – Get a view of the Coche

Boules Mountain.

This may be the first and last time that any of us playing in this match will see a boule bounce and land on 3 other boules and remain straddled across all three boules. It almost looks as though the boule could have been deliberately placed on the the other boules but with a high lob, soft landing on the gravel and a little bit of back spin the boule had slowed sufficiently enough not to disturb the holding boules.

For the third year in a row a group of City of Bath Boulistes descended on Jersey to test their skills in the Jersey and Carrefour Open tournaments. Our hosts had replaced last years wet, cold and windy weather with bright blue skies and temperatures not seen in the UK this year. Worth the trip alone.

In what was to become probably the most bizarre event of the tour and not previously seen by any of the players participating in one of the matches between a Guernsey team and the City of Bath – the boule mountain. In what can only be described as unbelievable, one of the players managed to bounce his boule on to a cluster of boules and leave it straddled on the top of 3 other boules. So extraordinary, that the game was delayed for 5 minutes while a camera was found and pictures taken from several different angles.

Could the dambusters have thrown a better spinning boule?

Our thanks to our hosts for a magnificent weekend and we will be returning next year to renew old friendships and take on the challenges left undone this year.

Boule Mountain
How to perch your boule on other boules
Bouncing boules
Boules on a Mountain!
Space is expensive
Boule Mountain perspective
How to bounce your boule
Boule Mountain Success

Aix-en-Provence Trip 2013

Aix en Provence Tour 2013

Aix-en_Provence 2013. We have just received the finalised dates for the City of Baths Petanque clubs trip to Aix-en-Provence. Situated in the South of France, Aix-en-Provence is about 30 miles north of Marseilles.  Planned for the last week of May, we will be playing in the afternoons and evenings. The actual tournaments will be held from the 27th-31st May at a number of different villages around Aix-en-Provence. The club has visited and played against these villages in the past. This year we will be visiting Les Milles, Puyricard, Eguilles, Saint Cannat and Cabries. Dinner will also be provided by 3 of the 5 clubs.

The tournments will be arranged over 5 days. The challenge will be drawn as a melee. Each day players will register individually and a draw made to form mixed teams. At the end of the week the best player from each city will be presented with a cup. A final knock out tournament for the twinning cup  will be played between the teams from each participating city.

The Local Twinning Association in Aix-en-Provence are hoping that other towns twinned directly with Aix-en-Provence will also participate. So far Germany have confirmed, Denmark are a possibility and they are still waiting to hear from others.

It is proposed that we will leave the UK on 26th returning on or after the 1st June. It will also be possible to join for part of the tour. Mornings will be sightseeing or free

The tour is open to all City of Bath Petanque club and associate members.

We need to know who would be interested as soon as possible in order to book flights as we may be able to get group rate. The same applies for accommodation.

Please contact me on my email address if you would be interested in attending





City of Bath Petanquers take tea in Aix

Bath represented at the Aix Market

Club Chair Lesley Hall and Secretary Diana Lockwood flew the flag for Bath in Aix for 5 days at the beginning of the month. Taking part in the Aix Twinning Christmas market for the first time, Lesley had selected 4 different blends of loose leaf tea from Bath firm Gillards, and a range of goods with a Bath and British theme, all of which sold well. The  Mayor and Mayoress of Bath were also there helping to serve tea in between official engagements. Diana was there with jewellery that she designs and makes.  She found her earrings were particularly popular with French and Italians.  Lesley and Diana were kept so busy that they did not have time for a single game of boules, although they did meet up with some of the boulistes who came over to Bath in the summer.  They are already planning to go to Aix again next year

. Next time they’ll take more Earl Grey, more earrings, and allow more time for boules!


Boules – A newcomers insight to a Club Tour

Over the past number of years we have often reported back on our boules tours from a group perspective so this time we asked Terry Basson, one of our new members this year to provide some feedback on his first club tour.

My first boules tour by Terry basson
My first boules tour by Terry basson

“It all began during a casual conversation with Chris McGinn telling us about the Alkmaar Boules connection. We showed interest and before we could say ‘Jack Robinson’, a very detailed email about the trip arrived from Diana Lockwood.

For Di Greenaway it was a first visit to the Netherlands, and my only experience was at 18 years old during my Army National service when I arrived on a troop ship suffering the effects of a very rough sea crossing! But, empowered by the detailed information we decided to go and with ease booked the flights from Bristol and the Grand Hotel Alkmaar as suggested.

National Competitions

City of Bath Players Join Great Western Region at the Inter Regional Championships

Great Western Region Team - Hayling Island 2012

After the previous years experience at Pontins Holiday Camp in Brean  many of us including the 9 City of Bath Players set out with much trepidation as to what we could expect at Hayling island.

France Members news items

Sospel concours de boules

Tony and Carolyn on their Holidays
Tony and Carolyn on their holiday

And so it was that we rediscovered summer in Sospel, a ville fleurie 10 miles north of Menton. Lucky for us it was the day of le concours de boules in le parc centrale. Having caused a security scare by taking our boules though eurostar terminal in St Pancras we weren’t going to miss this, so we headed for le parc to find about 100 people of all ages playing in teams of three on the pathways of the park. Now pathways might be a bit of a misnomer. They had more resemblance to the surface to of the moon, rocky, cratered and dusty. That didn’t seem to stop anyone’s enjoyment though and presented a welcome challenge for les tireurs.