Pictured are the prize-winning team of Simon, Leigh, John and Jaime, along with the WM and Sec of Old Priory lodge.
Old Priory lodge were recently contacted by Pembrokeshire Disabled Bowling club based at the Meads Leisure centre for financial assistance for their trip to Plymouth to compete in the National Special Olympics indoor bowls. The lodge duly approved the requested donation of £500 towards the cost which was passed on to Steve and Olwyn who helped set up and run this worth organisation. After some discussion around the costs associated with the trip, it was noted that transport was a considerable cost. The proposed minibus and driver cost included an overnight stop and was estimated at £700. Alan Dennison, Old Priory lodge Secretary asked for and was happily given, free of charge a minibus from Motec garage owned and run by Billy Howlin, JW. Alan announced he would drive the bowlers down and in true Old Priory style, Ian Barnes WM also offered to assist on the long drive down.
After an early pick-up on Sat 4th at the Meads it was 45 minutes later before we crossed the Cleddau and began our journey, the bowlers and carers in high spirits and looking forward to their competition the next day. 3 stops later and we finally left Wales, driver and co-driver leading the singing and storytelling, much to the amusement of the passengers. Some 7 hours later we dropped off our passengers at their hotel and made our way to our hotel on the Tamar river for a well-earned dinner and rest.
Up at 7am and too early for breakfast we left to collect the bowlers at the requested time of 8am finally departing their hotel at 8.35 (more on this relevance later). We arrived at Plymouth leisure centre dropped off the passengers and returned to our hotel in time for breakfast, well we had paid for it and it seemed a waste not to partake, plus it was orders from the WM. After a brief wait of around 30 minutes, there were 6 other guests in that morning, we had our cooked breakfast which seemed to have lost its taste in between the unwrapping of the ingredients and the delivery to the plate...…...never had a boiled or steamed black pudding before. Anyway, it was time to check out and head for the leisure centre where we both enjoyed watching the bowls and being fed and watered for free. Our team came away with a silver and bronze medal which meant for a very happy band of passengers on the way home. More songs, jokes and games ensured the journey passed by quickly and the last passenger was duly dropped off around 10:30pm.
So what is the relevance of the time of departure I hear you ask, well as I write this, a parking penalty charge issued for the time spent collecting the passengers is currently awaiting a response suitably written to explain the mitigating factors and hopefully eliminate the £60 charge for daring to spend 5 minutes over the allotted time allowed to drop off or collect passengers.