"I am a Norfolk man and Glory in being so." Horatio Nelson


End of an era as John Turner retires

This week East Tuddenham played their final match of the Bure League season which ended with a 6-4 home win against Thorpe Marriott. But this match was much more than that, it signalled the end of a long and memorable journey for East Tuddenham legend John Turner and his wife Chrissey and probably the club itself. John told me when I visited East Tuddenham with my club in January that he had decided to retire from bowls at the end of the season. It has been an incredible journey for John who has achieved so much in short mat bowls with his wife Chrissie. I know that Chrissie had stopped playing a while back now but for many years she was always by John’s side as they collected numerous County titles, Eastern Region titles and National titles and both represented England on the international stage. Of course they also ran the East Tuddenham club, and arranged all their games, and John tells me that it now seems likely that it is the end of the road for the club. East Tuddenham have remained one of Norfolk’s best club sides for many years and have collected much silverware. They have finished this season as runners-up in both the Bure League and the Bure Cup and with the Bure Singles, Pairs and Triples Championships taking place between Monday 15th and Friday 19th April they could still add to their tally. East Tuddenham were formed in 1986 at the birth of short mat bowls in Norfolk and along with Wreningham BC and Carleton Rode formed the NCSMBA and were later joined in December of that year by Drayton Sports latterly Bob Carter. They were part of the first winter league in 1987 which ran for two seasons with six players per team. By 1989 the sport was growing at an incredible rate in the county with new clubs constantly joining the Association and five leagues were created. East Tuddenham became part of the Breckland League along with Carleton Rode, Shipdham, Yaxham, Watton “A”, Watton “B” and Connaught. In 1993 East Tuddenham left the Breckland to join the newly formed Bure League. They lifted the title in 1995/96 and again in 2007/08 and 2016/17 and won the Bure Cup four times. East Tuddenham were the first ever winners of the now defunct Norfolk Cup in 1999 and were twice runners-up in the Norwich Cup in 1998 & 2003. They were also Norfolk Summer League Division One champions three times in the early 1990's. The club were well represented at National level at various times with John Turner, Chrissie Turner, Angela Mortimer and Madge Meachen all playing for England. John Turner captained England from 1999 when George Clarke was England Manager. Many County titles came East Tuddenham’s way with John Turner winning the first ever Norfolk Singles title in 1986/87, the first of his four singles wins. The same year saw Angela Mortimer & Mick Mortimer win the first ever Norfolk Pairs title with John & Chrissie winning it in 1998/99. The Norfolk Triples was a happy hunting ground for East Tuddenham with Chris Turner, Gerald Potter & John Turner winning in 1988, 1994, 1996, 1997 & 2003. John added other Norfolk Triples titles in 2010 & 2013 with players from other clubs. The Chrissie Turner, Angela Mortimer, Gerald Potter & John Turner combo was a big force in the Norfolk Fours winning in 1990, 1992, 1994 & 2001. Without Angela in the rink they also won the title in 1997. John added his last Norfolk Fours title in 2014 playing in a mixed club rink and also won the Norfolk Mixed Fours with Chrissie in 2007. In 2003 Chrissie, Gerald & John became National Triples Champions for the first time and in 2004 Chrissie, Gerald & John added the National Mixed Fours to their collection. The retirement of John Turner will be seen as the end of an era in Norfolk Short Mat Bowls.

End 1

John Turner - Last ever match for East Tuddenham

End 2

John and Chrissie Turner of East Tuddenham SMBC

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