"In 1980, Simon Beales, Northern Area Manager, had the idea of a Bowls Tournament to bring Bowlers and their Families into the Town.
He asked Harry Norman, an experienced Bowls Organiser from King’s Lynn and myself, a Bowler representing Hunstanton Chamber of Trade, to work with him to get the Tournament started in 1981. The object was to run the Tournament week to coincide with Leicester Holiday Fortnight, around the first week of July, as we expected to get most of our entries from that Area.
In 1981 the First Bowls Tournament took place sponsored by Albert Dent, a bowler and owner of Dents Transport of Hilgay. The Tournament was umpired by Eric Hartwell from Bedford, who went on to umpire the Tournament for several years. The Tournament was successful enough for Simon Beales to ask for it to run again the following July with more sponsors and more competitions including Ladies and Mixed events.
1982 was more successful but by 1985 I had a Committee of 7 Local Bowlers organising and running the Tournament. It was by now even more successful with 12 sponsors and 12 different events being played on 28 Rinks in 4 different Venues, 12 rinks on Cliff Parade Bowls Club, 6 rinks at Cromer Road Bowls Club, 6 Rinks at Heacham Bowls Club and 4 rinks at Old Hunstanton Bowls Club, with competitors from as far away as Australia and all parts of the British Isles as well as many Local Bowlers enjoying the Competition.
The Tournament carried on attracting large entries for several years and I carried on as Tournament Manager together with a very good committee organising and running the event. In 1997, the Committee and myself decided that we had got to the age when it was time to let others take it on. Unfortunately there is only one lady Mrs Mary Clarke and myself who were on the Committees that are still alive.
The Tournament has carried on with a different format and different Managers, but is still attracting Bowlers for a Weeks Competitive Bowling. Lets hope it will continue to give Bowlers an enjoyable week for another 30 Years!"
Basil Johnson,past President
Cliff Parade Bowls Club
The Hunstanton and District Open Bowls Tournament is held annually and played on the Cliff Parade Bowls Clubs rinks in Hunstanton. The weeks tournament, every July, includes singles, pairs and triples competitions. TheTournament is run in conjunction with the Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk.