Paul WilkinsGentleman bowler Paul Wilkins died on January 12 aged 96. 

Many of Paul’s friends at Congresbury Bowling Club attended his funeral at Weston Crematorium on February 7.

Paul moved to our village as a widower in 1994 to be close to his daughter Trish and her husband Trevor. All three were bowls club members.

Club member Roger Becker writes: “Apart from being one of the gentlemen, typical of his era, he was a good club member and bowler.”

Roger remembers that he and Paul reached the club doubles final one year, but lost to Gordon Burden and John Wilcox.

As a past bowling member he stayed on as a non-player and regularly played whist during the winter months on a Thursday, then Friday evening, always with Roger’s wife Mary as his starting partner.

Paul, who loved gardening and used to tend our club’s roses, had previously run a sweet and confectionary shop called The Dinkey with his wife in Trowbridge.

Paul also made boiled sweets which he sold around Wiltshire.

He was passionate about football and at one time he was director of Trowbridge Town FC. The director’s box was a corrugated hut on the roof of the main stand at Woodmarsh.

As well as daughter Trish, Paul had two sons – Martin and Jonathan. When they were children, Paul built a canoe for his sons to use on the River Avon, near their home. 

Some say that explains the passion Jonathan has for dragon boat racing, which he enjoys at his current home in Canada.

Paul visited Jonathan in Canada, travelling out on his own when he was in his 90s.