Fun and Games

A variety of organised and disorganised fun & games happens in St Mary Bourne. Whilst some events, such as the bloodthirsty Shinty match which used to be played on the road between Stoke and St Mary Bourne on Boxing Day, have passed into legend, others have emerged - Volley Ball tournaments, Half Marathons, Tennis Tournaments, etc - with participants keen to display their competitive talents. Challenging inter- village activities such as Tugs of War and Beer Races still attract local enthusiasts but the strenuous training and lengthy recovery periods involved means these are usually limited to Jubilees or special fund-raising events. The married v singles football match has now a regular Boxing Day place in the calendar and duck races are a regular summer occurrence when the Bourne flows.

Youth cricket training sessions were started in summer 2001 to train new talent for village cricket teams in the future. The St Mary Bourne club runs both a Saturday and Sunday side.

In 2004 the long-awaited plan to develop the Old Bowling Green into a new sports and leisure area took a step forward and the new Games Area with tennis court, teen shelter and under cover picnic table opened in December that year.

In the local pubs, drinking remains a popular leisure pursuit which is sometimes interrupted by quizzes, theme nights, darts, and games of pool. Eating out has developed during the last 50 years so sometimes space in pubs has been turned into dining areas or function rooms to replace skittle alleys, or corners where cribbage, nine pins or dominoes could be played. The closure of the Hurdlers Arms at Binley was an occasion of great sadness for many local sporting enthusiasts.

Traditional country sports such as shooting, hunting and fishing are appreciated by many people in the Parish alongside other outdoor pursuits such as walking, riding, and bird watching. Clay pigeon shoots also disturb the peace, usually in aid of good causes.

The area also seems to attract racing enthusiasts. Some intrepid Formula 3 drivers compete on local tracks. Runners and bicyclists are regularly seen puffing and pedalling along local roads. Racehorses and greyhounds are owned by some residents and, on the last Saturday in July, tortoise racing is a special attraction at the Flower Show & Fête.

Free business joomla templates