in the crown in the crown by dfgh4bnmu


									TENNIS & BOWLS

Jewel the crown
The Bowls England championships bring thousands of spectators into Worthing, and
a dedicated team of contractors keep the council greens on shining form.
                                                                                                   ANDY COLLINS is rightly
                                                                                                   proud of his team’s work on
                                                                                                   the greens at Worthing for the
                                                                                                   Bowls England national men’s
                                                                                                   championships in August.
                                                                                                      Widely seen as the
                                                                                                   ‘Wimbledon Fortnight’ of the
                                                                                                   bowls world it attracts thou-
                                                                                                   sands of people to the south
                                                                                                   coast town.
                                                                                                      “It’s the jewel in the crown
                                                                                                   for us and the council,” says
                                                                                                   Andy (36) who is Worthing
                                                                                                   contracts manager for
                                                                                                   Continental Landscapes, the
                                                                                                   Dutch-based company with
                                                                                                   endless sportsturf and
                                                                                                   grounds maintenance con-
                                                                                                   tracts all over the UK and
                                                                                                   throughout Europe.
                                                                                                      “The unique working rela-
                                                                                                   tionship between ourselves
                                                                                                   and Worthing Council is
                                                                                                   exceptional,” says Andy, who
                                                                                                   started as a groundsman 15
                                                                                                   years ago with a small family
                                                                                                   landscaping company follow-
                                                                                                   ing a teenage career in the
                                                                                                   printing industry.
                                                                                                      Andy describes himself as a
                                                                                                   ‘career changer’.
                                                                                                      “I was not unhappy printing
                                                                                                   football shirts for Umbro - but
                                                                                                   I thought there was more to
                                                                                                   life and I wanted to work out-
                                                                                                   doors so when a friend told
                                                                                                   me about the landscaping job
                                                                                                   I jumped at it.”
                                                                                                      He worked for three years
                                                                                                   with the company in West
                                                                                                   Sussex before landing a job
                                                                                                   with Continental Landscapes
                                                                                                   12 years ago as a groundsman.
                                                                                                   After six months he was a
                                                                                                   chargehand and one year later
                                                                                                   a supervisor before becoming
                                                                                                   contracts manager in 1999.
                                                                                                      “You could say it was a
                                                                                                   meteoric rise through the
                                                                                                   ranks,” said Andy. “I was just
                                                                                                   working at the job and enjoy-
  THE GREEN TEAM.                                                                                  ing it - I don’t think you can
  Behind contracts manager Andy Collins (front) are, left to right: Chris Vickery, Dave Pharoah,   get a better job. I love work-
  Simon Cross and Brian Whittington                                                                ing with the people here.

24 TP June / July 2008
       “It’s a year
   round battle for
                   Andy Collins,
            Contracts Manager,
         Continental Landscapes

Every morning I get to work,
often at 6.30am, feeling
   “Standing in a seafront gar-
den full of flowers looking out
to sea on a June morning just
cannot be beaten. Nobody
comes into this business to be
rich - but it’s a dream job for     squares, with 25-plus football     autumn and winter we scarify         holes with 70-30 top-dressing
most of us.”                        pitches.                           heavily - not too deep, about        in the autumn.”
   Andy and his wife Dawn              But the bowling greens - in     5mm with four to six passes.           Worthing has four home
have a six-month-old daugh-         action every day during the        We take as much of the top           clubs who use the greens con-
ter, Erin, and they live only a     season between April and           surface out as possible, then        stantly and anyone can turn
few miles from Andy’s office        October - are the pride of         overseed. We will hollow-core        up and book a green, even
at Beach House Park in              both Worthing and                  this year as well, filling the       hiring their own bowls.
Worthing.                           Continental.                                                                                    continues over
                                       There are 10 bowling
THE Bowls England HQ sits           greens at the main Worthing
neatly in front of Worthing’s       site and another has become a
seaside bowling greens - but        croquet lawn.
it’s the council who own the           “It’s a year round battle for

                                                                                 The C-Range.
grounds.                            excellence,” says Andy.
   And Continental look after       “Because Worthing has a
all Worthing’s parks, gardens       unique climate with no frosts
                                    and is often warm we have

                                                                                Class on Grass.
and sportsgrounds, with a
team of 56 at the peak period       problems with moss. And dry
in June, July and August, and       patch can be a problem, but
under 40 the rest of the year.      there are so many treatments
   It’s not just turf but hedges,   available now we keep it in
                                    check.                                                                           Each ‘ easy- change’
trees, parks, gardens, play-
                                       “Aeration is a constant                                                     cartridge becomes an
grounds and sportsgrounds -
including three high-standard       problem because compaction                                                       integral part of the
cricket squares and five excel-     sets in with the amount of use                                                  machine without loss
lent local authority-standard       the greens get. During the                                                        of quality results.

                                                                          Allett Mowers, Hangar 5, New Road, Hixon, Stafford, ST18 0PJ.
                                                                                   Telephone 01889 272095, Fax 01889 271528,
                                                                                  Email a wide range of web
                                                                             Provides, professional turf maintenance
                                                                                            needs from one machine.

                                                                                        Please contact Allett Mowers at:
                                                                                 Tel: 01889 272095 Fax: 01889 271528
                                    Worthing has four home teams
                                                                               Email: web:
                                     who use the greens constantly

                                                                                                                         TP June / July 2008 25
                                                               “     We have to aim for
                                                                     the best possible                                    “
                                                                     surface - and that
                                                                     means fast and true
                                                               between them,” says Andy,        aeration, close mowing and
                                                               who himself has an NVQ           disease monitoring,” says
                                                               Level Two in sportsturf man-     Andy. “We apply lots of iron
                                                               agement from Brinsbury           for colour and strength in the
                                                               College.                         grass.
                                                                 This autumn the team are         “It is a big push to get to
                                                               going to adopt a new grass       the nationals and we aim for
                                                               cultivar during overseeding to   the highest possible standard.
                                                               try to counteract the poa        There is nothing quite like
                                                               annua.                           being approached after the
                                                                 “We have been using bent       championships to be congrat-
                                                               fescue and because of the        ulated on the state of the
                                                               high amount of poa annua         greens - and that’s all down to
                                               Andy Collins
                                                               there is a certain amount of     the dedicated team.”
                                                               loss of colour during a            Andy says there is no such
                               On a sunny day, as it was       drought,” says Andy.             thing as a ‘typical day’

                             when I visited, the greens
                             were teaming with relaxed
                             players, obviously quite used
                                                                 “We are going to change to
                                                               100 per cent creeping bent
                                                               which provides more hardy
                                                                                                because every day is very dif-
                                                                                                ferent. “I am hardly ever in
                                                                                                the office because I am rush-
                             to the grounds team working       plants to give good colour. It   ing from one site or another
  • Age 36                   on greens not is use.             tolerates close mowing and       or at meetings, “ he says.
                               The irrigation systems were     holds the colour well and is       “We have to be flexible and
  • Born London              at work in one area where dry     very drought resistant.”         adaptable to deal with the
                             patch has been a problem.           Worthing has been host to      pressures of different times of
  • Married to Dawn with     Eight pop-ups are at intervals    world championships and the      the year and events.
    daughter Erin (six       around the edges with no cen-     EBA (English Bowls                 “Because we are always
    months)                  tre points and watering this      Association) set up its HQ       under scrutiny we have to aim
                             time of year is constant in the   there. They changed their        for the best surfaces possible -
  • Left school at 17 with   run-up to the championships       name to Bowls England dur-       and that means fast and true.
    GCSEs                    which start on Saturday           ing the last year.                 “We have been talking
                             August 9 and run until              While the men’s champi-        about verti-draining for a few
  • Joined printing firm.    Saturday August 23.               onships are held in Worthing,    years now and putting it off -
                               “We slow the irrigation up      the ladies are holding their     but we know we will have to
  • Age 21 joined land-      as we approach the champi-        national event in Leamington     do it because it will be benefi-
    scape company            onships to get the surfaces       Spa, Warwickshire.               cial in the long-term, even if
                             fast and true,” says Andy. “We      “The day-to-day work at        there is a bit of heave to start
  • Age 24 joined            are also applying a seaweed       Worthing involves constant       with.”
    Continental              solution and build-
    Landscapes as            ing up on nitro-
    groundsman               gen.”

  • Age 25 became            THE dedicated staff
    chargehand               of four at Beach
                             House Park are
  • Age 26 supervisor        head greenkeeper
                             Dave Pharoah, with
  • Age 27 in 1999 made      35 years experience
    contracts manager for    as a groundsman
    Worthing area            and golf greenkeep-
                             er, and his assistant
  Strong beliefs:            Brian Whittington.
                                They are support-
  • Best career possible,    ed by Chris Vickery
    even if you don’t get    and Simon Cross,
    rich.                    who look after the
                             park and outlying
  • Rewards are in the       areas.
    results and camer-          “They have mass-
                             es of experience
    arderie.                                          Head greenkeeper Dave Pharoah with Andy Collins

26 TP June / July 2008
 Watering is constant in the run up to the
 Championships and
 (inset) The Bowls
 England HQ

THE success of the
Worthing bowling green
team is down to a close
working relationship
and Andy is very heavy
with praise.
  “They are all great
chaps,” he says. “It is a
real pleasure to work
with them and we all get
on well.”
  The knock-on effect
of the bowls champi-
onships is the amount
of revenue they bring to
  “Thousands of people
are here with lots of people        • 9am: Checking security
shopping,” says Andy. “You            reports. Parks and grounds
cannot get a hotel room dur-          are patrolled by staff at night.
ing that fortnight in August.”      • 10am: Meetings on site or
                                      with council officials.
DAY IN THE LIFE:                    • 1pm: Back to office to look at
                                      invoicing and health and
• 6.30am: Andy at the depot           safety reports.
  for meeting with crews            • 3pm: Out to see jobs in
• 8am: He reaches office at           progress.
  Beach House and checks e-         • 5pm: Heads for home.
  mails and post

  The kit
   The greenkeepers
   have a range of
   machines at Beach
   House Park:
   • A Farmura Turf Iron
     (to give a flat finish)
   • A Greentek
     Thatchaway for light
   • Four mowers: two
     Buntons and two Super Certes (from Ransomes)
   • Two Sisis scarifiers: the Auto Rotorake and the 600 deep
   • A Pattison spiker for aeration
   • A Ryan GA30 ride-on aerator
   • A walk-behind Techneat sprayer

                                                                         TP June / July 2008 27

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