Unusual event hosted in Hapton

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It was all about the flat cap championships as the BEST Centre in Hapton hosted an unusual England v Wales Sporting Encounter.

The centre welcomed a group of current and former Royal Mail managers as they travelled the length of the country for their annual championships of indoor bowls and table tennis.

The Annual Challenge started following one of the managers being made redundant.

In a show of team spirit they have since met up each year and visited different areas on the first weekend in February.

This was the 11th annual event, and only two members of the club are still employed by Royal Mail.

To support a former colleague, as he was a well respected boss and good friend, they have met over the years and cemented continued friendship and friendly sporting rivalry.

Four members were English and four members were Welsh, which sparked the challenge concept.

This years final destination is Harrogate, where the celebrations will commence.

With the furthest member away living in Oswestry, Shropshire they travelled by minibus, picking up at Wrexham, Mold, Flint Mountain, Chester, Wallasey, Southport and finally Padiham, where they stopped off for a pre-match breakfast before finally reaching the centre.

The group have kitty fines for not wearing flat caps outdoors and they also appoint roles and responsibilities for everyone to have involvement and these are reviewed each year with fines ensuing for not achieving a pass mark!

Alan Palmer, organiser, explained: “It was great to stop off at the BEST Centre and use the great facilities as part of this years sports tour challenge.

“England earned a narrow victory in both the bowls and table tennis.

“We thank the BEST Centre for the warm welcome and hosting the sports festival.”