A few words, ahead of our appearance, and a summary of how it came to pass. Here, too, is a good opportunity to advise that KMTV goes out on Freeview, Channel 7, on Virgin 159 and is streamed, online. (My son-in-law is following that up, I can just about manage emails.)

In the process of getting word of our Open Day, on August 7th, into the paper, my message was relayed on to the Editor and then to KMTV, (a new, joint venture between the Kent Messenger and the University of Kent). I received an email, from Keilan Webster, asking to come along to film us in action. It all started, on Monday afternoon, and, by Friday lunchtime, it was done!
We had a decent turn out for Friday morning’s roll up. Some of us wore club shirts, others the normal plain white, practice shirts, whilst Bella, as our link with tradition and the group’s twenty-seven years’ history, was in full uniform, including blazer and badge. So, it was a good picture for Keilan, as he arrived, seeing three rinks with pairs matches, well under way. Fifteen people on the green, eleven of our partially sighted members, along with Pat F, Tom, Peter R, with Trudy and Peter’s grandson, Billy, always - welcome in school holidays.

Keilan set up his camera to take shots from various directions and angles, including a few with the camera on the ground. Some shots were from distance, some close up - and I hope no one felt unable to chatter away, as we usually do! There was no need to worry, (though I am afraid I let the side down) when the interviews came. Keilan is articulate, with a ready smile, very easy manner and he should have a great career in the media. But he won’t meet many as uptight as me! I fear for the result, even though he got me as relaxed as I shall ever be in that situation, as I spoke too quickly and I should have smiled a bit. Because, beyond the facts, the key to this group is the joy you communicate. I am not saying it is laughter all the way - there are serious moments, even tensions, this is real life - but also, a meeting of friends, playing the best bowls they can, and that is pretty well, but in the positive and relaxed company of as good a bunch of people as you could hope to find. Any one of you would have put that across, but after me there was just one interview, Bella, of course, and I hope she made up for me.

After our break for tea, play resumed and Keilan recorded some narrative onto his laptop ‘pieces to camera’ - (that’s Keilan talking on his own) with the group playing in the background.

KAB (Kent Association for the Blind) had kindly lent us some of the glasses (used in volunteer awareness training, which simulate various conditions affecting eyesight). For his own experience of blind bowling, Keilan wore glasses simulating Macular Degeneration, and he bowled some woods, against Bella, with Hans supervising. Keilan bowled the first few woods too long - (Oh, the vigour of youth, I can just about recall it!) but he managed to smash Bella’s very good shot wood from its position and take shot himself! Next, he gentler bowl that found the string and ran along it – that probably happens to a bowler a couple of times, at most, in the whole summer. What are the odds of doing it with your fifth wood! To finish, he set the camera on the ground a yard or so behind the jack. Two of Keilan’s woods hammered along a great pace and I was bending over the camera (out of shot) ready to snatch the camera to safety, but both Bella and Keilan’s final woods rolled perfectly behind the jack to a foot/eighteen inches or so from the lens, absolutely what he was after.

Keilan gathered his equipment, on his way and it was all over. Who would have expected this, four days earlier, at the previous roll up? We await the edited item, sometime in the next week, on the daily current affairs slot, and on Monday, August 7th, in a sports programme. As said earlier, apologies in advance for not making the best of the opportunity. But it was so nearly a disaster, in another way. Just before tea, Hans was gathering woods, in a cradle (pusher), and was unaware that the small object he was approaching was a camera, rather than a stray wood. Bumping the camera along in the company of several woods would have done it no good at all, but he was halted, just in time. On reflection, Hans wondered: “What dark blob should I expect to be lurking in a cradle – a wood or a camera GRRRAGH! Now, you know how good my eyes are!”

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