Saturday, 11 April 2009

I had an idea last night.

I am a 35 year old ex-property manager from Essex; It is a long story.

I was leafing through the local newspaper, the Southend Echo, when I came across an advert for the competition above.

On Sunday 11th November 2007, I had enjoyed the indoor bowls final between Paul “fozzy” Foster and Jason Greenslade. The Fozmeister won through following a thrilling tie-break.

Anyway, what a great prize! The good people of Essex must love the bowls and Potter Leisure Resort (Your Complete Holiday) is offering us the opportunity to go and watch it. Now we haven’t had a holiday since I went to Geneva with our friends Liz and Les, so I mentioned it to Nicky.

“You are joking?”

So what do I have to do to enter?

To enter the competition, simply answer the following question:

What name is given to the smallest bowl on the green? Is it:

(a) Jack (b) Jill (c) Jim

Hmm, tricky. I might have to think a bit about this one, but the prize is magnificent:

Organised by Matchroom Sport, the three-day competition will be filmed for TV across the world and has been designed to provide an event which has an added element of excitement.

I have to send my answer on a postcard, including my name, address and daytime phone number. I am a bit worried about the implications of this; I am very particular about who has my personal details. Besides which, I don’t actually have any postcards. So I have decided to send it in a greetings card.

Dear Madam/Sir

I would very much like to enter the bowls competition. I do not have any postcards, so I have sent this instead. The circles reminded me of the circles that they use on the bowls on the telly.

Anyway, the answer is (a) Jack.

Kind regards

Ian Carpenter

Just imagine the other fantastic prizes in local newspapers around Britain.  I sent a text message to Steve and Simon, who seemed to like the idea of entering a competition from a local newspaper in every county in Britain.

The following is a list of the 86 Counties of Great Britain, together with some of the major towns or cities.

So, according to the Association of British Counties, there are 86 counties in Great Britain, or rather 86 competitions that I could apply for. But how will I get my hands on a local newspaper from each one? I suppose I could visit each county and pop into a newsagent, but that would be an ecological, logistical and fiscal nightmare.

No, I will have to get the Newspapers to send me a copy. Will they charge me? I could be onto a loser here. I have already spent 36 pence on a stamp for the Bowls Competition (The card was one that I found in Nicky’s extensive card collection, so technically didn’t cost me anything).

Oh well, let’s see.


Using the ABC’s guide to British towns, I discover that Bedford is the major town in this particular Shire. I put Bedford local Newspapers into Google and I have come across the Bedford Today. This looks like a fine journal. I am wondering how I am going to approach this. They have a contact us page, but what do I say?

Dear Madam/ Sir

I have recently started a project to apply to a competition from a local newspaper in every County in Great Britain.

Congratulations! You are the second newspaper that I have contacted. I would be grateful if you could send me a copy of a recent newspaper that has a competition within it. I am not fussy about what the competition is for.

Thank you for your assistance.

Kind regards

Ian Carpenter

Actually, that will probably do, so I sent it to the editor.