The 30th Annual Sherston Boules Festival was once again a fantastic success, well supported and attended by hundreds of people. Principally spread over 5 days but the main event taking place on on Saturday 16th July. We were blessed with perfect weather for the 400 players to enjoy the biggest one day boules event in the UK. The day was beautifully organised by a dedicated Committee following a format that has been tried and tested for many years. Sherston is indeed a unique village and the event is geared towards raising thousands of pounds for local groups and is brilliantly supported by the residents running everything from a cricket match, skittles competition, logistics, and children’s entertainment to bars, teas and refreshments.
Saturday began with a very moving start to the day. To show our respect for the terror that happened in Nice last week, our French teams visiting from Gien, Malmesbury’s twin town, suggested and joined us in a petanque players “alternative” to a minute’s silence. The tournament follows a knock-out format however this year the plate competition was resurrected in memory of our founder members Hugh Thompson-Glover and Colin Owen who both sadly passed away this year. Following ten hours of play and seven rounds, the victorious team from Wales (the Piste Artistes captained by Neil Dobbins) lifted the cup around 7pm having beaten both the French teams by the quarter finals. The runners up were a local team, the Bouledogs from Minety and made the Welsh work for their title! The highest placed local team was the Sprout Pickers captained by newly married Andrew Hibbard, just back from his honeymoon in time to help us lay the pitches too! The Junior Boules was very well supported and won by The Beach Boys (Will Wright, Louie Gascoigne and Oliver Leonard) whilst winners of the hotly contested Colts was The Three Amigos (William Pritchett, William Hulme and Luke Tappin).
Sunday was a huge success with the Vine Tree Inn reclaiming the trophy for the tug of war whilst the children enjoyed their annual tug of war too along with egg throwing and welly wanging competitions, ably assisted by Malmesbury Young Farmers and Sherston’s 1016 charity. In the afternoon the annual duck race was won by Henry O’Brien from Tetbury and the day was rounded off nicely with tea and cakes and the beautiful Mill Cottage provided by Caroline and Phil Moore and the Church Ladies. The Rev Susan Harvey closed the proceedings with a service in the evening.
James Pyle, Chairman, said “The residents of Sherston are amazing and I need to thank so many; they should be very proud of themselves for putting on, supporting and running this event. Sherston is a hugely social village and this event is one of many that takes place each year making Sherston so unique.”