Sherstonians ready for boules battle Featured

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Published in Malmesbury Newspapers
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THE cobbled streets of Sherston are being prepared to host over 100 boules teams from around the country this weekend, for the biggest one-day boules tournament in Britain.

A peal of church bells will signal the start of the festival on Saturday morning and a flurry of activity will transform the village into a competitive arena where players of all ages will throw their boules into the ring.

The event, which has always been well supported by the villagers, will features plenty of action and the festival’s now-legendary duck race.

Organiser James Pyle said: “We have been running this now for 31 years so we have got our preparation down to a tee and an enormous amount of Sherstonians will be returning for the event. It is a fun day and everyone is proud of what we have achieved.

“This year we have got the full 128 teams and as usual, we were massively over subscribed and had to resort to balancing that out by pulling names out of a hat.

“Unfortunately the French couldn’t be here this year but we do have our Welsh nationals again.

“But I have to back a local team: I hope that Max Liddington and his team do their best and hopefully we can send the Welsh off packing this year!”

The boules tournaments start at 9.30am along the High Street on Saturday, with the juniors and colts tournament starting half an hour later. Those involved in the plate tournament will rush into battle at 11am.

Mr Pyle added: “My favourite part of the event has to be between 9-10am on Saturday, when the music starts blaring and the teams start arriving and there is a real sense of anticipation. I know by that point that we have managed to get it on and that I can breathe a big sigh of relief!”

A variety of activities will be laid on for all the family throughout both days, with everything from bouncy castles to pastis and Pimms, morris dancing and singers making an appearance.

Those lucky enough to win themselves some silverware will receive their awards at 7pm on Saturday night before the village enjoys a night of live music and a beer tent.

The boules festival will wind down with the duck race the following day, which starts at 2.30pm, and ends with a thanksgiving service, which starts at 6pm at the village hall.

Volunteers are already being sought to help with the organisation next year.

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