Opening times: Mon-Fri, 9am - 5:30pm
18/09/2017 | BowlsThis year a new bowls competition was introduced to the national championships, the Women’s Senior Fours competition. As fours is the normal format for Personal Touch bowls holidays, and as the company was both founded and inspired to success by my late wife Sharon Smith, it seemed highly appropriate that we should sponsor this competition in her memory. Thus it was that I found myself headed for the sleepy elegance of Leamington Spa, where the national championships take place, to be present for the finalof 'our' competition, and present the prizes. As a sponsor I was to be accorded one or two perks: parking close to the clubhouse, lunch as a guest of Bowls England, and a souvenir picture of myself with the winners of the competition. It was a beautifully sunny day, and all seemed set for a highly enjoyable few hours. On arrival I met old friends Dave Thorpe, of Bowls International, and former Bowls England President Adie Lloyd, for whom we had organized a president’s tour in 2015. They then introduced me to Bowls England operations manager Alistair Hollis, who was to be my host for the day. Lunch was a wonderful opportunity to catch up with old friends that had previously travelled with Personal Touch and meet new Presidential team members, such as the current senior vice-president, Bill Smith, and the current junior vice-president Hazel Marke. After lunch, the final of the Women’s Senior Fours, and several strokes of good fortune. Firstly, as PT are corporate members of Friends Of English Bowling, I was invited into their private viewing area. Secondly, it just happened to overlook the green on which the final was taking place. Thirdly, I had the pleasure of Adie & Kath Lloyd for company throughout the final (both Friends Of English Bowling committee members), alongside Dave Thorpe. And fourthly, for added ‘edge’, a Sussex four (my county, and also that of Personal Touch Holidays) was competing. I also ought to mention that we were bathed in glorious sunshine, it being the most delightful day of the championships to that point weather-wise. What followed turned out to be one of my most relaxing and enjoyable afternoons of the summer. The standard of bowling was high, drinks just seemed to ‘arrive’ at regular intervals (many thanks to Dave and Adie), and we all enjoyed both gentle and convivial conversation. Not only that, but the Sussex team were winning! And win they eventually did, both teams having bowled really well. With the sun now low in the sky, but temperatures still wonderfully warm, I was led out onto the green at around 6 pm to join the presidential team for the prize-giving. It was hugely enjoyable to be able to congratulate both teams on their championships, and especially satisfying to hand winners prizes ‘from a Sussex girl’ (Sharon) to four other Sussex girls: Chris Thomas, Jenny Goodman, Kathy Green and Brenda Davies of Hurstpierpoint Bowling Club. A wonderful day, for which thanks are due to Bowls England for hosting me, and to all I met at Leamington Spa for making me so welcome.
30/08/2018 - Jonathan Plumridge of Personal Touch Holidays describes the evolution of bowling in Spain
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31/05/2018 - I’m delighted to announce that Personal Touch Holidays has been shortlisted for a brand new national travel award, the Classic FM i-Award.
18/09/2017 - Personal Touch Holidays sponsors a new national bowls competition in memory of its founder Sharon Smith.
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08/02/2016 - The story behind our very first Bowls England overseas President's tour, hosted by the 2014 Bowls England President, Adie Lloyd.
08/02/2016 - Jonathan reports back from the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Graham & Sylvia Barrett sequence dance holiday in Paphos
02/10/2015 - Jonathan Plumridge, of Personal Touch Holidays, profiles a new destination for overseas bowls tours – Menorca.
02/10/2015 - Jonathan Plumridge, of Personal Touch Holidays, describes a sure-fire formula for bowls holiday success.
02/10/2015 - Jonathan Plumridge, of Personal Touch Holidays, describes a highly attractive new bowls tour option in the Portuguese Algarve.
02/10/2015 - Jonathan Plumridge of Personal Touch Holidays pays tribute to Sharon Smith, his wife and the much-loved founder of Personal Touch Holidays