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What is the secret of successful tenpin bowling?


Book Reviewer
Something to do with the leg lift as you throw?

soleil said:
Can anyone who considers themselves good at tenpin bowling offer any tips, please?

Hello Soliel, me dearie-o,

Bowling is merely a matter of practice and here is an example of how ‘with some people I once knew’ this sport was approached in 1965.

Proceed (indirectly) to Brighton on an-end-of-killick-course-class-run-ashore (ideally in Nos 1 Uniform)

Visit various darkened places to exchange cultural niceties, spread good maritime cheer and drain the ‘Yorkshire’ funds.

When constrained by licensing hours demonstrate your nimbleness and skill by shinning up a white sea-front flag pole.

Detach the flag of your chosen flag-pole (ideally a light blue, crested UN flag)
Caution - At night, height and in inclement weather a prior familiarity with Inglefield clips is essential.

Fold this flag reverently but hastily and stow it carefully away within your burberry lining.

Attend at the Brighton ten-pin bowling complex and attempt some ‘goes’ at basic bowling.

(At first you should use only the conveniently placed side gutters. This avoids knocking any white paint from the pins and seems to amuse the other, regular, bowlers)

Due to the complexities of the rules these regular bowlers may eventually encourage you to restrict your play to the gutters adjacent to your own designated lane. I forget which paragraph applies but these bowling rules are quite complicated.

When you become a little more confident try bowling directly at the automatic barrier, because this also preserves the white paint of the ten pins and will arouse further amusement.

After a while you may feel that you are improving. Sadly, the dawn will approach and with it the cleaners will arrive. They will then invite you to depart; they can be sometimes be quite brusque and they often use some colourful language – take no offence and retain your dignity.

Your game has thus been foreshortened. Your newly aquired skill, however, needs further development.

So, using the previously acquired UN flag as a protective dust cover, you must now depart: taking along with you the heaviest unused ball. Apparently, somewhere in the complex rules of this sport, this ball is known as a ‘spare’. (Jolly Jack always did like a bit of spare…..)

Having safely returned to your training establishment you may have to offer some explanation to the Main Gate staff as to why, in No 1 rig, you have returned off shore wearing white and red bowling shoes – Best just ad lib on that point…..

You will now need space and time to become more proficient at this sport, here is how:

SPACE As white painted pins are rather rare in RN establishments you should use a metal dustbin in lieu.
Place this dustbin, as your ‘target’, at the air-raid shelter end of the path leading to your clinker-built leaky slatted wooden accommodation huts.

Points can be scored for: Hitting the bin, knocking the lid off, and knocking the bin completely over.
Borrowing other bins provides a larger target area but involves a more complex scoring system.
Avoid borrowing any galley bins as they are heavier and the contents attract flies.

TIME As you will have recently completed killicks course, and awaiting draft, you should be allocated to some establishment duties by now which will qualify you for the 16.30 (ish) Tot mis-muster.

Having dutifully attended at that event, and afterwards having changed into your half blues ‘night clothing’, your practice sessions can now commence in earnest; pausing briefly for the OOD evening rounds at 19.30. Beforehand it is always advisable to post a look-out for this Rounds Party as bowling is not yet recognised by the RN as a synoptic sport.

The intensity of these practice sessions may often result in one missing the evening meal. At such times one should scavenge the accommodation huts as someone will generally have the remnants of a bag meal from the out-stations somewhere at hand. Failing that the galley staff can sometimes be prevailed upon to provide a stale loaf of bread. Cut away any green sections, add a raw onion or a raw carrot and this will make quite a nutritious snack.

After a while the outer surface of the bowling ball will suffer some deterioration and the ball’s shape alters somewhat. The line of the bowled ball then becomes uncertain; this is inevitable but it does add to the challenge of the game and always amuses the onlookers. Sport should be fun, after all!

Once your basic skills have improved you may now wish to arrange a return match at Brighton and perhaps even have a whip round for a Trophy; suitably engraved with the logo of the UN Flag, of course.

Happy Bowling!



Book Reviewer
Montigny_La_Palisse said:
Heaviest ball you can lift, then wang it max chat straight down the middle, leathered.

Works for me.

Monty loves the pink ball.
Is it not best to be just off center?


War Hero
You need BALLS. Yup great big balls and you must never deliver the ball overarm as this usually causes you to miss a go. You find the handicap of trying to bowl from outside the alley very frustrating.
Anyway once you have balls you throw them down the alley and they hit (or not) some clubs and if they fall own you win.
There is a similar game called 5 pin bowling, this is played in poorer countries, or where they have not got much time. It became popular in the last few hours on Titanic until the alley sloped to much and the game was called off as the pitch became waterlogged.
As I live on a mountain we do not have much hook up with this game so my script may not be of much help.
Sorry. 8O :oops: :cry: :wink:

PS If you need any advice on tobogganing or down hill skying I am your man. :wink:
witsend said:
Montigny_La_Palisse said:
Heaviest ball you can lift, then wang it max chat straight down the middle, leathered.

Works for me.

Monty loves the pink ball.
Is it not best to be just off center?

It is mate, but due to my gash aim, if I launch it down the middle it's likely to go off to one side anyway.

Power beats skill.


Lantern Swinger
justin lee-collins is the man to ask!!!

oh and if your wearing a bowling shirt the letters on it can't be any bigger than 2 1/2" tall and if your strides have got belt loops you gotta wear a belt!!!! being fat and american seemed the order of the day aswell...hope this helps!! :wink:


Book Reviewer
In the Basement of the China Fleet Club, in Hong Kong around 1957, there was a little chinaman i/c of the ten-pin Bowling Alley. He was always available to give you a game if you were by yourself. He would play you for a couple of bucks and I never saw him lose. He could beat most playing with either hand. So find yourself a 'Time Machine' and travel back and ask him for a lesson. Anyone seen Jean Luc Picard about?
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