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DAVE'S TRIBUTE from Bowls International
"Dave Spent the last 48 year of his working life as head groundsman at the Met. Police complex in Hayes,Kent, but any spare time he had was devoted to Advising, assisting and educating club greenkeepers around the country on how to improve their greens.Whether it was through his columns in Bowls International which ran for more than 14 years , at Dennis and SISIS seminars around the country , or answering SOS calls from clubs in improving their playing surfaces,Dave was always ready and willing to help share his knowledge and expertise in order to assist clubs in improving their playing surfaces.
He spent more than 20 years attending Dennis and SISIS seminars, and a spokesman commented " He was always the highlight of the day. He was greatly received by mostly volunteer groundsman and members of many clubs all over the UK .His ability to explain and share his wealth of knowledge was all Dave ever wanted to achieve. If everyone went away with just one helpful tip after the day ,the Dave's work was done .A truly nice gentleman who will be missed by many".
His ambition was to impart all his vast knowledge and expertise into a book as a lasting legacy to assist future generations of club greenkeepers , but unfortunately ill health over the past few years meant it could not be done .However, his legacy is there to see at many,many clubs all over the country whose greens have benefited from his wisdom and expertise.
Born in Gravesend , he left school at 15 to become groundsman assistant at the local Imperial Paper Mills Sport Club . This suited him as he liked the outdoor life and it gave him plenty of opportunities to improve his cricket , badmington and bowls skills .
When he was 18 he joined up as a regular in the RAF and was stationed at St Athans in Wales where he trained as an airframe fitter, but that didn't last long as he was soon put in charge of the Station's own sports ground.
On returning to civvy street in 1956 he went to work at another sports ground at Northfleet Paper Mills and around this time he became an adviser to the Association of Kent Cricket Clubs and qualified as an MCC youth coach
In 1961 , he eat 65 other candidates to become the head groundsman at the Met Police Sports ground in Hayes ,Kent , known as the Warren , where he spent the next 48 years . The ground had been neglected and he was determined to bring it up to a good standard. He studied at evening classes for his qualifications and later became a lecturer at both South East London Technical College and the Institute of Groundsmanship meetings .
Having great enthusiasm for his job , he ran bowling green maintenance courses all over the country in his spare time , inspiring many hundreds of bowlers and greenkeepers to improve their greens ."