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Portsmouth & District Bowling Association

Gwyn Guy Trophy

Gwyn Guy Trophy (RIP)

Sadly, the 'Gwyn Guy Trophy' is no more. It is understood that under the provisions of the rules for this Tournament (set up at the outset) should a period of 3 years pass without the competition being played then it would cease.

Historically, the divisions (North (Aldershot), North (Basingstoke), Eastern (P&D) and Central (Southampton & District) would play each other in full games requiring two days or weekends. As the calendar became more cluttered it proved difficult to gain the commitment of players over such a period, so the number of ends played during each encounter became limited, allowing the Tournament to be played to completion in a single day. While the intention was good, this sounded the death knell for the prestigious event. No longer would teams come together to do battle in the time honoured fashion of a full 21 end duel, which rather diluted the original purpose. The competition which had been designed to showcase regional talent from around the County under full battle conditions became more of a memorial game to the fond memory of its founder.

In 2011 the competition was abandoned due to inclement weather. In 2012 the competition was postponed and then abandoned. 2013 saw the P&D being expelled as it was unable to fulfil its obligation to enter a team.

Since then, under the provisions of the rules, the Tournament has not been played and is now only a treasured memory in the hearts of those considered worthy to be selected.

It is understood that attempts (albeit unofficial) to resurrect the Tournament have been made, but bearing deference to the original rules and history any such enterprise should not be referred to as the 'Gwyn Guy Trophy.'

The History of the Gwyn Guy Trophy


(With many thanks to Frank Eeles for allowing us to use extracts from his book “Bowling Down the Years – A History of the P&D”).


The Gwyn Guy Trophy is an annual tournament played between Hampshire Bowling Associations. Many bowlers are unclear as to how and why this tournament was set up, so the following will clear these matters up.


There has always been a friendly (well almost) rivalry between the Portsmouth and District Bowling Association and their counterparts in the Southampton & District Association.


During a P&D Dinner in 1962, there was a discussion (well friendly argument) between the Presidents of the respective Associations as to who was the stronger of the Districts in Hampshire. A tentative offer was made by Portsmouth to provide a trophy for an inter-divisional tournament.


Following on from the dinner, at a Southampton & District Committee meeting held on 7th May 1963, Mr Gwyn Guy told the meeting about that banter. The outcome of this was that the meeting instructed the Southampton Secretary to contact not only the P&D, but also District Bowling Associations of Bournemouth and Aldershot, to arrange a meeting about setting up to set up an inter-divisional tournament, at which the rules and other details would be formulated.


A year went by, until at another Southampton Committee Meeting, an enquiry was made about what had been the outcome of the letters sent to the other Associations. It appeared that all four Associations were keen on the idea, but nobody had thought about a suitable trophy. So, The Southampton Committee agreed to put up a trophy, at which point Gwyn Guy kindly offered to donate one.


So, at a meeting of the four District Association Secretaries, held on 9th November 1964 at the Atherley Bowling Club, it was agreed that this Inter-Divisional competition should be started, the winners to receive the Trophy that Gwyn Guy had donated.


And so the Gwyn Guy Trophy was born in 1965.


It is an annual competition, the basis of play being:

  - A Round Robin series of matches involving all Districts.

  - Each match to be played at an agreed venue and would consist of 6 Rinks of 4 players, played over 21 Ends.

  - The winning Team would get 2 points


The 1st Competition, involving Aldershot, Bournemouth, Portsmouth and Southampton, took place at various venues around the County Districts, and was won by Bournemouth, with Portsmouth Runners-Up.


This format continued until 1968, at which time it was agreed that the matches should be played at one venue with adjacent greens over successive weekends.


In 19xxx, Bournemouth dropped out and were replaced by Basingstoke.


The competition flourished over the years under the guidance and hard work put in by the Competition Secretary, assisted by the support of the competing Associations. Brian Brouard was the long suffering Secretary between 1985 and 2000. 


So there you have it. Many a generation of bowler, including some of the most prolific names in Portsmouth and County bowls have represented the P&D in combat against the other divisions with a fair degree of success.


It has always been regarded as a huge honour to be selected to represent Portsmouth in the Gwyn Guy. Good luck to all those names who will continue this fine competitive tradition.





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