HOLSWORTHY Bowling Club is celebrating almost 20 years of raising money for the Special Care Baby Unit after it helped saved the life of a member’s grandson.
Bob Thomson’s eldest grandchild, Lee, spent the first three months of his life in an incubator in the Barnstaple based unit.
Holsworthy Bowling Club has hosted its SCBU Cup competition almost every year since 1990 and raised thousands of pounds in the process.
Bob, 69, was working as a police constable with the Metropolitan Police when he got a call to say his daughter Joanna was in hospital.
He said: “She was getting terrible pains and was rushed to Barnstaple hospital in an ambulance.
“Lee was born by caesarean section. I wet the baby’s head in the Tower of London with Grouse whiskey.”
Lee was born three months prematurely and was cared for by nurses in the unit.
Bob said: “He was sent straight into the Special Care Baby Unit.
“He spent the best part of the first three months of his life in an incubator.
“It was difficult, but we were glad he was there for the superb care he was getting.
“He had 24-hour care and was hooked up to monitors. The nurses were always upbeat.”
Inspired by the support and care his family received, Bob helped set up the SCBU Cup.
Bob, who has been a member of Holsworthy Bowling Club since 1988, said: “Being so impressed by the superb care and attention shown, not only to Lee, but also to all the other babies in the unit, we decided to find a way of raising money to help them buy any little extras the unit may require.”
Originally the match was played against Bude’s Bowling Club. However the competition has gone from strength to strength with more clubs taking part. Bradworthy Bowling Club joined the competition this year.
Bob said: “Everyone has been behind the competition ever since its inception.”
During a cheque presentation this month Bob came face to face with one of the nurses who was on duty when his grandson was born in 1990.
He said: “I recognised her the minute I walked into the clubhouse. We talked about Lee and the unit’s changes since we were there.”