Anchor Boy and Junior Section Bowling

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During March both the Anchor Boys and the Junior Section joined up with their counterparts from Boys Brigade Companies based in Calderdale for the Halifax Battalion Bowling nights.

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For two nights a year the Battalion take over Electric Bowl in Halifax and we had around 100 boys in attendance over the two evenings. The Anchor Boys were first up on Monday 14th March. We had six boys booked in to attend. Within minutes of the boys arriving they were playing on the arcade games situated beyond the reception desk of Electric Bowl. I say playing, the parents of the boys are far too savvy to leave them with any money, manhandling might be a more accurate term. Still, it kept the boys occupied while we waited to be allocated a lane.

Once the bowling began, the pins were falling at an impressive rate although it’s fair to say the boys definitely made use of the barriers at the sides of the lanes which prevented the ball falling into the gutter. We saw several “alternative” techniques from the lads throughout the event; my favourite was the two handed drop! Our boys all had an enthusiastic bowling style though and most of them improved as the night went on.   

Predictably, the bowling progress slowed considerably when the drinks and chips were served. The bowling became very much a side issue and the lads were more intent on eating as many chips as they could in the shortest time possible. One of the abiding memories of the evening was watching in horror as one lad attempted to bowl whilst eating an onion ring. I intervened before he dropped the ball on his foot but he made me promise not to eat his onion ring.

Once the chip supply had been decimated, the boys focus reluctantly shifted back on to the bowling. The lads posted some impressive scores that wouldn’t have looked out of place at the Officers Bowling night (ok, that’s not a massive compliment but you get the picture). Our youngest member present at the event, Harry, was the winner on the night with a score of 110!

A week later and the Juniors were congregating in the games area of the Electric Bowl reception and the Officers were been peppered with some familiar questions. “What time are we starting?”, “What lane are we on?”, “When can we start?”, “Can I have some money for the games machine?”

One of the lads had actually brought some money with him so he entertained a few of the lads with his “driving skills” while we waited to be allocated a lane.

The Juniors, not to be bettered by the Anchors, had a few “interesting” bowling techniques of their own. One lad, not from our Company I hasten to add, managed to get a bowling ball stuck in the gutter of the neighbouring lane! The boys were soon into the swing of things, when they weren’t distracted by the vending machines, and their scores were racking up at a decent rate.

After fielding constant queries from the lads about the whereabouts of the chips that they had been promised, I was relieved to see them being served. Once the chips had arrived on our lane, I told the lads that I needed to conduct a quick risk assessment on the chips. Unavoidably, I had to test a few myself (I didn’t want them to burn themselves on a hot chip!) In this case, the chips were fine and the lads were free to tuck in.

Once again, the game went all the way to the last round before the winner was decided. The lads all bowled well and posted some good scores.

All the boys that attended over the two evenings thoroughly enjoyed themselves, thank you to everyone who helped to organise the events.    


James Pickles

5th Halifax (Elland) Boys' Brigade


 07514 743986

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