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When bowler Dennis took all the prizes in one night

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: April 19, 2014

By Gavin Jones

  • John Thompson's (Dudley) bowling team. Dennis Bayliss is second from right in the front row

  • Dennis Bayliss at right, with Thompson's bowling colleagues

  • Right: Dennis Bayliss, left, receives one of many awards from Mr Stout

  • Above, left:

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BOWLER Dennis Bayliss first made an appearance back in our February 27 edition, though anonymously.

On page 31 of that edition was a photograph of the John Thompson's (Pear Tree Lane, Dudley works) bowling side, and thaks to his daughter Mary Woodhall we can now identify Dennis as the man at far right in the back row.

But we can get a much better view of him thanks to these photographs, which Mary has put our way, dating from the late 1960s or early '70s.

Dennis, who lived in Rowley Regis and played both for Netherton Conservative Club and John Thompson's, was very modest about his success – as Mary told us, "he never mentioned it, but he just kept bringing trophies home."

And one write-up from the Thompson's works magazine, reproduced here, gives some idea of how many trophies he picked up – in one night ...

"When the Dudley Works Bowling Club held its annual dinner and prize presentations on January 18th one man was popping up and down to receive his prizes so frequently that even the man making the presentations couldn't help mentioning it.

"The busy man was Dennis Bayliss who during the course of the evening collected the Rose Bowl, the W.G. Lymn Cup, an average plaque, a silver tankard, a medal, two miniatures and a cash prize – the first time in the history of the club that one man has achieved such a clean sweep of awards.

"Altogether it has been a pretty successful season for the Dudley Club and they celebrated with a dinner for some 60 people followed by a dance. The awards were presented by Mr N.F. Stout. Top club achievement was the effort which won them the Dudley Herald Cup which was presented to Mr K Merrick, Club Captain. The team also finished fourth in the league."

Dennis died at the age of 61 in 1978, but Mary still has all the trophies, rose bowls, cups and shields that he was awarded for his achievements down the years in his favourite sport.

If you can name any of the unidentified players in these pictures, or if you have any sporting photographs of your own that you'd like to see in the Bugle, give us a ring, write in, pay us a visit or send us an email to gjones@blackcountrybugle .co.uk.

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