On 12 July 2021, Simon, an active member of Swindon Bats, sadly passed away having suffered some severe health problems for some time.
For many years, Simon regularly took part in our Wednesday afternoon tenpin bowling sessions with great enthusiasm. He enjoyed some playful banter with his team mates and became particularly excited when he won (he was very competitive)!
In May 2016, Simon and his team travelled to Wigan to take part in the National Blind Tenpin Bowling Association’s Winter Trios competition finals. After a day’s bowling, he was very excited to discover that his team had come 3rd in this competition.
Simon also attended our Monday Club on a regular basis and enjoyed sharing information and demonstrating various gadgets that he found useful as a totally blind person. These gadgets included a 1-cup machine for boiling just one mug of water for making a drink. This allowed him to make a hot drink without overflowing his mug with boiling water.
Sadly, a few years ago, Simon had to give up his participation in tenpin bowling for health reasons –his team has not played so well since!
Simon sadly passed away on July 12th 2021. He was a keen poet - here are some of his poems.
BLIND, SO WHAT!
I learnt at school to read and wright.
But this wasn’t any good when I lost my sight.
So I joined a PC course for the visually impaired.
A rattling charity box is how I was snared,
My tutor is blind just like me,
Who has a guide dog who’s named Minty.
I go to the class for 2 hours a week,
With software that makes a PC speak.
My tutor can’t be from the present or from the past.
As I never known a human who could type as fast.
It’s easy to make her laugh, but don’t play a trick,
Because harder work you’ll get from that memory stick.
No seriously, without that, damn charity box,
I’d be as darft as the cuckoos in their clocks.
But now I can e-mail and use that thing internet,
But I can’t type as fast as my tutor yet.
It was a big shock to lose my sight,
But my tutor showed me that life’s still alright.
I now have many visual impaired friends too.
With a tutor and Special Friend called SUE.
A PERFECT FRIEND
A Princess a lady, a female, a Bitch,
Milly the guide dog wears black like a witch,
But a witch she is not, owns no cat or a broom,
casts no spells or magic in a plume,
She stirs no cauldron never cackles or does crime,
she’s a Princess a Lady and is Sue Mead's lifeline,
She’s a friend a companion, Sue’s eyes and satnav,
a Princess a Lady, and 100% Lab,
She guides Sue to meetings craven House and Superbowl,
talks to schools and prefers a lap to a pole,
A Princess a Lady little Milly’s not a witch,
she’s Sues PERFECT friend who keeps her from the DITCH,
What more could Sue need than Milly the Titch,
her Princess and Satnav, Perfect friend and Bitch.
Millie you’re an Angel, a star and my Friend too,
and if I could have a Guide Dog, I’d nick you from Sue
But sadly I can’t so your cuddles will do,
at least they’ll stop me going Boohoo!
GO ON - GIVE US A GAME!
We are Tenpin bowlers and are all visually impaired,
Even the Pins are known to be scared.
We’re up for a challenge if anyone dares,
We may even go easy with strikes and spares.
We bowl in a league with 4 teams of 3,
With a guide or spotter which helps us see.
First, there’s Sue, Diana and Ali, they are called the Cats.
But that is not after little soft Pussy Cats.
Then Simon, Trev and Derek they are the Brats.
Totally, opposite from the Ladies in the Cats.
Then Andrea, Charlotte and Tracy the Babes,
Always jumping like the people in Raves.
The Supermen Cliff Shaun and Russ
When they leave a split you should hear them cuss.
Then we mustn’t forget the new boy Glyn,
In summer with Tom and Gordon they’ll fit in.
We give loads of banter, but all in good fun
Whether you get a strike or only just ONE.
So if you want some fun and fancy a game,
Give us a call. Swindon Bats is the name!
She’s as golden as the Sun at the start of the day,
Trained to help guide Sue, when she goes on her way,
Sometimes to meetings and sometimes to a class,
Whether by road, path or the underpass.
On Wednesdays to bowling, for a practice or match,
Dreaming of the Forty winks she’d be able to catch.
Then Monday’s to Old Town, to Sue’s Monday group,
In Craven House, with the Swindon Bats troop.
Those dog collections on weekends, that happen 1 in 3,
She says is more relaxing as “Attention is on me”.
She loves to have free runs, roll around and a smell,
Wishing she could lose this flaming Bell
Sue’s Minty’s Boss, friend and also her Mum,
But Minty says that she’s not under a thumb.
One thing for certain is, if it’s wind, rain or even shine,
The partnership works, and that’s just Fine.
Everyone loves her, yes! That even means the Vet,
MINTY’s the name so please don’t ever, dare forget!
GIRLS GOSSIP AND BITCHES DO TOO
Come on woman, I’ve got my friends to see and chat to,
Right it’s Monday, and Craven house is where I’m taking you.
Hi Minty love, Hi Venice, how are you today babe?
Knackered chick, the steepness of that Vic hill I’ll remember to my grave.
What have you been up to, and had to do this week then?
Snoozing, and probably bowling Wednesday, and on Friday Base Point again.
Have you seen any of the girls around town at all?
Not to talk to just winks and smiles, me and all.
Are Lexi and Newton sick today? No their blokes have something else on,
Hey these government cuts are bad, yes I think it’s wrong.
Have you ever tasted those berries on the path outside?
No that lady won’t let me, but believe me I have tried.
You retire soon don’t you babe,ouch! I’ve got an itch,
Yes, but replaced by some new dog with attitude, or a younger bitch.
Still, you can take it easy and dream about all those cats,
And you won’t have to see these flaming stupid Bats.
Well it’s 4 o’clock, time for our harnesses, and off we go working again,
Bye bye, love you Mint, Cheerio, love you Ven.