Jenkins-Of-Ewelme Web Site

Eyre's Close Skittles and Croquet Club (ECSCC) 

Back in 2009, this was the initial call for participants.

As you know, a new season of the Oxfordshire Floodlit Skittles (Ewelme Rules) League is upon us again. You are invited to the inaugural home match at the newly formed Eyres Close Skittles and Croquet Club  on Sunday 5th September 2009 at 3 pm. Membership is free (for the first year). Inter-match refreshments will be available on the Croquet Lawn throughout and after the event (BBQ food and bits will be available), and welcoming drinks will be provided. Thereafter, a cash bar will be available in the pavilion (unless you bring your own!).

The Club is open to all ages, and the rules are as follows:

Each player will have 3 balls with which to attempt to knock down as many of the 9 pins set up at the end of this standard length alley (unfairly nicknamed ‘The Wheelie-Bin Deck’).

If during the first two throws, all pins are knocked over, they will all be reset again. Therefore, the maximum number of points attainable will be 27 points. (N.B. Amended in 2011)

Skittles and balls will not be moved until the end of a throw, or that all pins have been knocked down.

The adults pitch includes the traditional Oxfordshire Skittles obstacle (oddly called ‘chimney breast’), where if a throw is hindered by hitting this in any way, is counted as a throw. Of course, balls are allowed to rebound off the sides of the alley.

Balls must be rolling on the pitch before the end of the first ‘deck plank’ (a skittles technical term), from the throwing line.

Those who regard themselves as children can throw (roll) from the first deck line beyond the breast.

A match will consist of 3 rounds (rubbers). The winner will receive a prize.

Players will be expected to take a turn in setting up the skittles and returning the balls.  

In any dispute, the referee’s decision will be final

Here is the original scorecard.


N.B. The pictures below are designed to be viewed with the  Internet Explorer 8 browser, where mouse rollover captions can also be seen.

The History of construction:


Some pictorial memories.

The 2010 'Open'

On Sunday 5th September the 2nd Skittles event was held. with an expanded entry. The official score card is shown below.

When comparing with last year, there was a significant improvement in the scores, where multiple 'resets' were seen. As can be seen, Chris J obtained the highest score, but was disqualified by the Match Committee as being ineligible to take part, and by the Ethics Committee for being suspected of being involved in a spot betting scam.  There were four players who attained 31 points. The Match Committee therefore declared Joseph as the winner of the competition having attained the highest score in a single rubber. He was presented with a bottle of champagne, which was immediately taken charge of by his father Tim Wilson! However, Joseph was really pleased to be the first recipient of the newly donated 'Greg Warland Cup' (to be returned next year). There was no runner up last year, and it was very difficult to decide who to declare in second place, until an approach was made to the Match Committee to point out, that one name had not even been mentioned as also obtaining a score of 31 (Methinks the lady doth protest too much?). After closer scrutiny, it could indeed be seen that Sue Humphrey had obtained the most consistent scoring over three rubbers and was therefore declared runner up, winning a quite  passable bottle of Claret. Perhaps we should mention that Tom and William also scored 31, but following some  quite complex mathematical analysis, which only the Match committee could really understand, these guys were told that they would have to try a bit harder next year!

2011 Open

3:30 pm Saturday 10th September 2011 - "Grandpa, Daddy says you should  have a junior competition, so we get the chance to win a prize". - Prior quote from Maisie Croft, aged 7, who by 5:30 became the new Eyresclosian Open  Skittles Champion 2011!! This 3rd Open competition was held following much concern throughout the previous week regarding an expected semi-hurricane and deluge! However the gods were kind to us, and apart from a strong  but warm wind, not a drop of rain fell during the event :-)

Sadly, some regular members were unable to attend this year, and we also missed our newly moved in neighbours. Still, a pleasant afternoon's sociable, well fed and not too serious competition was hopefully enjoyed by all, which by all accounts from the 'vox populi', seems to generally express some expectation of a another replay!

Here are the results, and a few instant memories. Conspicuous by his absence while continuing to BBQ, is any indication that Tim Andrews was ever there at all. Please refer to one of the photos of him from a previous year, since he hasn't really changed a bit! Luckily the 'Greg Warland Cup' and the runner up trophy were returned from last year, but because Maisie chose a box of 'Celebrations' as her preferred 1st prize, meant residents of No.2 Eyre's Close took home another bottle of Champagne for the second year running!! A motion has already been tabled for the next committee meeting, that perhaps such a currently valuable commodity also ought to be returned annually, duly polished rather than polished off!

The ECS&CC Committee

An increasing number of 3 ball 'Strikes' are being attained now. This year the rules were amended with the approval of the the World Eyresclosian Skittles Federation (WESF), where following the skittling of all 9 pins, they will be reset and three balls returned. This means that an unlimited score is now possible, rather than the original restricted 27 per rubber. Exciting times eh?

2012 Open

Well, here we are again, in our fourth year of this tournament of growing popularity. It has become so notorious, that a more attractive trophy has had to be obtained - a Claret Jug generously donated by Sue Ryder.  Championships like this one, e.g. Wimbledon, started off in this small way, and who knows, in a fews years time everyone in Eyre's Close OX10 will have skittles up their back passage, with world wide TV coverage. In anticipation of this, 'Skittles 2012 - The Movie' has been published on You Tube, for a worldwide audience. So next year, we may have to order in a few thousand more sausages.

This year's score card is shown below, and although the final result was greeted with cries of 'nepotism' , 'fix', 'stitch up', a stewards enquiry concluded that you can't argue with the independently updated scoreboard, even though it was chalked up by the mother of the junior runner up! So, the only advice that can be given by the ECSCC committee to those disappointed with their result, is to practice a little more before next year. After all, the alley is open all year, and is even floodlit!


2013 Open

Our 5th year of this world famous championship took place on the 1st September, where it was good to see that all previous champions where able to try to repeat their earlier success. Who could forget those hard fought competitions of yesteryear?

2009 - Mary Spargo (seeded 6)
2010 - Joseph Wilson (seeded 2)
2011 - Maisie Croft (seeded 14)
2012 - Charlotte Croft (seeded 14)

Perhaps there was a little more of a garden party atmosphere this year, since the player's enclosure had been moved to the hallowed croquet lawn? But there was a nail biting finish during the final rubber, where past champion Joseph Wilson needed to score 17 to win against junior Luke Thompson's total of 39 pins. He got the necessary 'strike' but then just failed by two pins on his last ball.

As has not been unprecedented in the past, here was another occasion where a junior has beaten all adults. This meant that not only was Luke presented with the Sue Ryder Claret Jug (with a replica to be held for a year), but had the choice of a bottle of Champagne or a vintage bottle of Claret. After enquiring what value each could achieve if he sold either to his Dad, he plumped for the Champagne!! This left the Claret for Joseph, which if memory serves me correctly, most years the Wilson's tend to walk away with a bottle of something!!

Now, for the juniors, where sibling Naomi Thompson  joined her brother in a family clean sweep, with a score also beating most adults. She was presented with the junior cup and a tub of sweets, which I guess she will not sell to her father. There were joint junior runners up, with more sweets shared out between Arthur Hanson and Chloé Clarke. HOWEVER, it has been pointed out to me (and I should have noticed on the day anyway), that an even younger junior scored even higher than them all!! Tilly Croft, who had to leave and take her turn early, scored a huge 29, and has to be declared the official junior winner for 2013 after all. A big tin of sweets is on its way, and my letter of resignation has already been posted!

Unfortunately, the official photographer also failed (somehow) to take even one snap of the event, let alone a video record of it!! Ah well, hopefully  pleasant memories will be retained instead. But look back at the previous 4 years and see the unstoppable changes, especially in the youngsters.  

But here's a picture of the valuable 'Sue Ryder Challange Claret Jug' to be getting on with, together with this year's champion added.


A special presentation was made to Matilda Croft (Tilly), to compensate for her not having being truly recognised as this year's junior champion!


See you next year? 

2014 OPEN

It's just not fair!
Six years ago, we had a sensible inaugural international open championship, where our most senior player Mary won the Sue Ryder Claret Jug. Now, can an adult get a look in over the Juniors amonst us? It seem not! So, an emergency meeting of the rules committee followed this year's Championships, and the following changes come in with immediate effect.

1. Juniors (under 12),  will stand on the oggie originally reserved for adults.

2. Seniors can now bowl from the Junior line.

3 Juniors getting a 'strike', just get one ball back.

Hopefully this will redress the unfairness creeping into the tournament. Gone will be the embarrassment of asking a nine year old whether he/she would prefer the top notch Moet and Chandon Champagne or vintage Charet, to be told 'Can I have the Heroes please!'

Anyway, the Claret jug WILL be engraved with the name of this year's overall champion - Naomi Thompson, an Old Eyresclosian in her own right, who scored 3 strikes in her first rubber! She holds the replica jug for one year. 

Thank goodness for Greg Warland, finishing just above the two legitimate champion juniors of Tilly and Maisie Croft after an exciting play-off of 31, and who beat LOADS OF ADULTS! Maisie won the whole thing a couple of years back and Tilly was also last years champion. Well done to all - I suppose!

Here are a few memorable snaps from the event, where you can see that the adults were far more interested in drinking, eating and chatting, rather than focus, focus, focus. Ah well, maybe some of our absentees will redress the balance next year? Incidentally, our first champion Mary (and secret weapon), cut her arm open while limbering up at home before departure, and spent the afternoon in A&E. You juniors, just wait 'til next year!

We're looking for some captions for this montage. Here are some suggestions. Can you match them up? Any others?

"I really think we ought to write and thank that nice Mr. Dixon for tidying up the Mound for us. Look here, why isn't anyone listening?"
"I'm getting a hint of oyster shells and pebbles in the rain. What are you getting Bella?"
"Give me the third, and I'll juggle them for you"
"Who made that wonderful chocolate cake Daddy, and can I have some?
"We're taking over the whole show -


Until we meet again?

2015 Open

A year of worry for the committee regarding the weather. With 5 days to go, a deluge was forecast. Each preceding day, rain was forecast until the Saturday evening when just 'overcast' was the expected weather for the Championships. In fact, during the 3 hours of play, even a little Sun was seen, and the attendant garden party proceeded comfortably.   Entries were up this year, although there were some noticeable regular player absentees. The donated food to accompany the barbeque food, cooked to perfection as usual by 'masterchef' Tim, was magnificent.

 The most noticeable change this year, mainly in recognition that the Juniors are seemingly taking over the whole shebang, was to appoint junior commentators and scorers for the event. This  seemed to have won  a degree of approval from spectators, judging from the amount of laughter during 'interviews' with players. It was an amazing finish, with a three competitor 'balls off' to decide the winner. The first session bore no result since each player scored 6, so another had to be played. It was Luke, who produced more strikes to clinch the overall championship - a shameful junior over senior victory again. More rule changes next year!

There was some discussion about whether this is the best time of year to hold the next 'Open', firstly because of the weather, and secondly whether another date would suit more Eyresclosians. Undoubtedly this will be hotly debated at other local social occasions?

Anyway, hopefully a pleasant afternoon was had by everyone, which might mean they will all consider entering the Championships again.

Following the official results, here are a selection of pictures of the event. It's really interesting to look back throughout the past 7 years, to see some of the youngsters growing up. Wait a minute though. Isn't Mary looking younger than when she won the first ever competition?!


There you are -  some serious fun!! See you all again?


2016 OPEN

Right, Luke and Naomi Thompson bowl from the back fence Oche next year! In fact all juniors can bowl from the adult line and all adults can bowl from the junior line. Somehow we need to redress



Moving memories:

2017 Open

It is quite amazing that this competition was inaugurated before some of our Champions were even born! On the other hand, at least one of our past champions is over 90 years old! As far as can be remembered, the Ninth Open Skittles Championships were the first to be held in the rain and wind. However, it is also thought to be one of the happiest of events, with a determination that wet conditions were not going to spoil an afternoon of friendly competition, barbequed food, and supplemented by generous contributions of food and drink by members. This year our resident Chef Tim had to be 'imported', and as always, ably assisted by Sara. This year we welcomed our newest members Liz and Adam, and many Old Eyresclosians were in attendance.

Click on thumbnails for larger pictures. Photos taken by Hannah Vera Warland, with one group photo by Allison Thompson.

 If members vote for it at the next ECSCC AGM, the 10th Anniversary championships might be held next year!