Disappointment as Great Yarmouth’s 75th August Festival of Bowls cancelled due to coronavirus

Great Yarmouth Festival of Bowls 2018. Picture: Brian Grint

Great Yarmouth Festival of Bowls 2018. Picture: Brian Grint - Credit: Brian Grint

Great Yarmouth’s annual Festival of Bowls which was set to host more than 1,000 players at the end of the summer has been cancelled.

Yarmouth Festival of Bowls. 2nd round Mens Pairs.

Yarmouth Festival of Bowls. 2nd round Mens Pairs. - Credit: Nick Butcher

It was due to get underway on Sunday August 30, and last for four weeks.

Tournament administrator Brian Grint said it was the first time the event had been cancelled since the Second World War.

The national competition is the latest in a string of gatherings to pull the plug.

But, he said it was the right decision given uncertainty about when life would return to normal and that he hoped people would hold on to their tickets for next year.

Great Yarmouth Festival of Bowls 2015.
The sun was shining for the final game of the festival of

Great Yarmouth Festival of Bowls 2015. The sun was shining for the final game of the festival of bowls. Over 60s Open Pairs final. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

“I am very, very disappointed,” he said.


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“I was hoping to leave it for another month but I can understand that it is better to stop now and why the borough council has decided to cancel it.

“This year would have been our 75th year.

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“I took over from Derek Webster last year and it went very well.

Great Yarmouth Festival of Bowls 2018. Picture: Brian Grint

Great Yarmouth Festival of Bowls 2018. Picture: Brian Grint - Credit: Brian Grint

“A lot of time was spent on the greens last summer and they were the best they have been for years.”

MORE: Will I get a ticket refund for events cancelled due to coronavirus?He added that many players came from the London area with their families to make a holiday of it and enjoy all the attractions like the Hippodrome Circus and Pleasure Beach when they weren’t on the greens.

With most of the other competitions all done and dusted by September the festival was considered the season finale and a holiday highlight bringing a boost to the seafront.

“It’s not just about the bowls.

“It’s an occasion,” he added.

“They have fish and chips on the seafront and go to the Pleasure Beach and circus.”

A council tourism official delivered the cancellation news via email.

She said it had been a difficult decision.

The email said: “Whilst there may be still be a few months to go, we cannot predict what restrictions may still be in place and as there are no bowls league matches able to take place it seems the correct decision to make.

“We will be contacting all those that have already entered and arranging for them to receive refunds of their entry fees.”

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