Skittles, The Seagulls and This Site

On this page you will find:-

What's on the site

The site contains extensive details about the Seagulls Skittles team who play in the Cheltenham Skittles League in England. The team were founded in the late 1960s, but records have only been kept since the 1985/1986 season. If anyone happens to have any information about the years prior to 1985/1986, I would be very grateful to receive it. An e-mail contact for me can be found in the navigation area on the right of each page.

The navigation links on the left are repeated on every page of the site to enable easy movement between different parts of the site. Many items on each page are linked to details on other pages and are shown highlighted in bold blue text which change colour to red when the mouse pointer hovers over them. In particular, wherever individual players are named, clicking on their name will normally take you to the detailed page for the player. The exception to this is for players who left the team before 1985/1986 as no records exist for them. Similarly, where games are listed, if the game has been played (as opposed to a future fixture), and is highlighted, clicking on the game will take you to the detailed page for that game.

The details available from following each of the navigation links on the left are as follows:-

This takes you to the Skittles Home Page.
This brings up a list of fixtures for the current season. If the fixture has been completed and is highlighted, you can click on it to go to details of the game.
This brings up a list of results for the current season, from which the details of the game can also be accessed if it is highlighted. Only current season's games are available from this page. Earlier season's games may be accessed from the historical performance and average pages reached from the history navigation link on the left.
This takes you to a page showing the teams performance to date for the current season and details of players averages and other statistics for the current season.
This brings up a page from which you can select any previous season back to 1985/1986 to see the teams performance and details of players averages and other statistics for that season.
Team Records
This brings up pages showing a variety of records for the Seagulls Skittles team.
This brings up a page showing which player came top in certain statistics for each season back to 1985/1986.
All Time
This brings up pages showing cumulative statistics for players under various headings back to 1985/1986.
This brings up a page from which you can select any individual player to view their detailed statistics and records.
This takes you to the home page of the Cheltenham Skittles League which contains details of teams, fixtures etc for the whole league.
This takes you to this page.
This takes you to the home page for my site. On this page you will find links to the other subjects covered i.e. Support for Families who have diabetic children and my Family History.

The Game of Skittles

Skittles is a traditional pub game in many parts of England. A brief description of the varieties of the game can be found here. Seagulls play in the Cheltenham Skittles league and the following comments apply to this area. Other areas of the country may play to different rules and have different standards.

Whilst the modern game of ten pin bowling permits skillful players to consistently achieve high scores approaching the maximum possible, this is definitely not the case for skittles. The number of variables from alley to alley and between different sets of balls and pins means that consistently good results are very hard to produce. Consistently bad ones are easier to get! Alleys can vary in length from around 30 feet to 50 feet or more in some cases, the surface of the alley whilst most often wood, can be concrete or have rubberised surfacing and even the wooden ones can be laid differently. The pins can be of varying dimensions (within certain minumum and maximum standards) and the balls of different sizes. Added to this, a set of pins and balls costs a few hundred pounds (each team normally has their own set of pins and balls which they use for their home fixtures) and as the game is purely a social pastime (for most!) each set of pins and balls lasts for many years and often become quite battered after a while.

In the Cheltenham League each player has 6 goes of 3 balls each in a game (18 balls in total), so in theory the maximum score is 9 pins with every ball giving a total of 162. In practice total scores of 40 are considered to be good and conventionally any player scoring 40 or more in a game will receive a round of applause. The Cheltenham League awards a trophy to the player who scores the highest total away from home over the whole season(in theory players should usually score more at home as they are more familiar with the alley, balls and pins). In most seasons this would be won with a score in the low 60s.

Teams in the Cheltenham League are made up of 12 players a side. Each team plays in 4 legs of three 3 players each, alternating their turns until each player has bowled 6 times. Each turn of three balls for each player is known as a hand. Each leg normally takes about half an hour, the complete game lasting around 2 hours and the winning team is decided simply on the aggregate scores of each of their 12 players. The League is divided into a number of divisions each containing 14 teams (sometimes 13) who play each other twice each season at home and away. Usual league rules apply with teams gaining points for wins and draws and at the end of each season promotion and relegation takes place. There is also an annual knock-out cup competition which all teams in the league take part in. There are separate mens and ladies leagues and cups. The season normally lasts from September to April.

In season 2005/2006 there were approximately 290 teams in the the mens and ladies Cheltenham Leagues and with each team needing 16-18 players to cover for absence, illness etc, this gives a total of approaching 5000 people involved in skittles each week in just the Cheltenham area alone!

The most important thing to remember about the game is that it is a social night out with friends and convivial opponents and therefore when you score 21 it does not really matter!

The Seagulls Skittles Team

The Seagulls Skittles team is a mens skittles team playing in the Cheltenham Skittles league. The team was started at the end of the 1960s under the name of Eagle Star 'C', being the third team (after the 'A's and 'B's) coming from the Eagle Star Insurance Company whose adminstrative headquarters had moved to Cheltenham in 1965.

Eagle Star had built a sports and social club at Swindon Village on the North Western side of Cheltenham which included a skittle alley which became the home alley for all the Eagle Star teams (which numbered six at their maximum). Until the 1990s the all team members were Eagle Star employees, but after that time as a number of people retired or left to work elsewhere, gradually the number of Eagle Star employees reduced, and eventually some players who had never worked for Eagle Star joined the team.

Eagle Star changed ownership over the years and eventually in 2003 the sports and social club no longer wished to provide alley facilities to the skittles teams (except at extortionate cost) so we finished that season playing at O'Connors Club in the Lower High Street in Cheltenham. From season 2003/2004 we have played at The London Inn on the London Road in Charlton Kings.

Following our final split with Eagle Star, we no longer felt obliged to retain their name. We had often referred to ourselves as the 'C'Eagles which often came out as Seagulls during vocal support at games and so we changed the team name to Seagulls. Currently only one of the team members is directly employed by a company that evolved directly from the original Eagle Star group.

In season 2008/2009 we had eighteen registered players. A number of players have been members of the team since the very early days, Rod Gass, Paul Fletcher, Terry Jacombs, Alan Rowland, and Ivor Southcombe whilst John Duck played in the earlier years then rejoined the team in 1995/1996 after some years away. The individual records pages give details of players service to the team.

Seagulls Players Past and Present

The following list contains the names of all the people who have played for the Seagulls/Eagle Star 'C'. From season 1985/1986 the list is complete. Prior to that my records and memory are incomplete and I may have left out some people. Anyone who remembers people missed from the list can let me know, you can mail me from the link in the navigation area on the left side of the page.

For players whose names are highlighted, you can go straight to their individual records page by clicking on the name - their names will change colour when you move the mouse pointer over their name.

Colin Anderson

Edmund Barfield, Steve Barnes, Mark Beddall, John Betts,Steve Blake, Paul Beighton, Nick Bentley, Pete Broomfield, Andy Burrows

Eddie Campbell, Sam Collier, Neil Compton, Bert Crosby, Paddy Crossan, Richard Cox, Roy Curtis

Bob Dangerfield, Chris Davies, Kevin Davies, Paul Didcote, Clive Dolby, John Duck

Pete Etheridge

Paul Fletcher, Ian Foley, Lionel Foley, Richard Foulds, George Francis, Ken Freeman, Roy Freeman

Steve Gatter, Rod Gass, Alex Goodlock, Andy Gore, Bob Gwilliam

Steve Hall, Bob Harris, Bob Harrison, Geoff Heaton, Chris Hedges,Mike Hoise, Nick Holyoak, Adrian Howard, Derek Hughes

Pete Jackson, Terry Jacombs

Jim Keating

Pete Laverick, Patrick Lines

Curtis Mansfield, Tim Mansfield, John Marcer, Glen Miller

Wayne Nation, Neil Nelson, Bill Nutbeam

Mike Painter, Jayesh Patel, Ralph Perry, Derek Powling

Richard Quinn

Adam Rossiter, Alan Rowland, Paul Rowland, Roger Russell, Pat Ryan

Gordon Smith, Dave Smith, Ivor Southcombe, Ken Starr, Derrick Summerbell, Steve Swarbrick

Martin Taylor, Simon Trotter, Colin Tudor, Steve Turner

Barry Walker, Neil Wall, Mike Webb, Daryll Wheeler, Phil Whittock, Mike Wilkes, Fred Williams, John Willis, Andy Wills

Geoff Wyatt, Joel Wyatt

Jon Yates