Bowling Holidays

Esselle Sports Management

30th Cliffs Classic – 2021

What a fantastic 5 days we had in Blackpool for the 30th Cliffs Classic based at the Cliffs Hotel on the Queens Promenade.

The weather was excellent, every day 20c or over; The greens at Cleveleys WMC, Bispham Conservative Club and Blackpool Subscription Club were in very good order, and we saw a feast of quality bowling at the “Phoenix” green at Layton Institute, which proved a worthy test for all involved in Finals Day.

Top bowler on the day was Julie Mallinson from Huddersfield who took the Ladies singles, and the mixed pairs, which was some feat as she played 7 games on Finals Day !

Mixed Pairs:

Julie Mallinson (Huddersfield) & Barry Lee (Lytham) 15

Brian Smith & Iris Charnock (Burnley) 12

Ladies Singles:Julie Mallinson (Huddersfield) 21

Lorraine Hirst (Huddersfield) 16

Men’s Singles:

Bob Taylor (Chorley) 21

Gary Burgess (Southport) 15

Book for the next festival, The Illuminations Classic, by printing off a Booking form via the link below



Of course, subject to a possible “change ij direction” by our Government, the 2021 Cliffs Classic is ON!!!

What’s more, we still have a few vacancies (10 approx.) so if you want to join us get in touch with Steve on 07385 579624 to get booked in as quickly as possible!

Hope to see you in Blackpool in June!

Cliffs Classic 2021 Update

Hi Bowlers,

We know you are all eager to find out what is happening re the Cliffs Classic, but it is only today that we have been able to get to speak to Mark Bircumshaw at the BCGBA to get advice and explanations on the Step 3 implications for an event like the Cliffs Classic.

Having spoken to Mark in the last hour, we need time to digest the info, liaise with our Host bowling Clubs and the Hotel to see how the BCGBA info impacts on the event. So, we intend to confirm to everyone over the next 2 days how and under what restrictions we are able to run the event. Some of these changes may mean that this clashes with your views, changes the format too much for you, or you disagree with us on some points, so we are asking for 48 hours to be able to send you details of how the week will proceed, and give you the opportunity to get a full refund if you are not happy with the proposal offered to you.

We are pleased that a version of the Cliffs Classic can go ahead, if not in the format we would prefer, but we are confident that an enjoyable holiday will still come out of this, so keep an eye out for our next release in the next 2 days. Please pass this on to anyone not on email or Facebook that you know who is attending.

Steve Rigby & Brian Duncan

Cliffs Classic, 6-11 June 2021

We are still receiving entries for the 2021 Cliffs Classic and currently have 120 Bowlers booked in. However, we are receiving regular calls from you asking for confirmation is that it is definitely going ahead, and the answer is that we don’t know yet!

As in your own areas Greens are opening up and league seasons getting under way, but every step forward is on the proviso that the Government’s pathway to opening up the country from lockdown is still dependent on the statistics backing up their intentions. So, although things look good at the minute, there is still time for them to reverse the progression if things deteriorate.

Therefore, for now, we must sit and wait, and hope we get the ‘green light’, but remember –

· You can still book in to join the event if you have not already done so;

· Your payments are totally refundable if we cannot go ahead this June

BCGBA Guidelines –

Step 3 (Monday 17 May at the earliest)

• Larger groups able to gather at clubs

• Inside catering permitted with restrictions

• Overnight stays allowed

Please continue to be patient and we will advise you asap!

Kind regards

Steve Rigby

Dunrig Promotions

P.O. Box 1

Chorley PR7 5UR

Tel: 07385 579624





Bowling is bound to be back sometime, and we hope sooner rather than later!

However, with the Vaccine and the BCGBA announcement recently there is a brighter light at the end of the Tunnel! It has been so disappointing to have cancelled our last 4 Festivals, but we are pleased to say, all Bowlers who requested it have been refunded for the Spring Festival ‘21, and we are delighted to announce we already have 93 Bowlers booked for March 2022! 

So, here is our line-up for 2021/2 – 

Cliffs Classic 7th to 12th of June 2021 

Download Cliffs Classic Booking Form

Again, we have nearly 90 Bowlers booked for this Festival, and although it may be “touch and go” whether we can hold it or not, all deposits are fully refundable, and final balances will are not due until we are certain it will be going ahead, and have notified guests accordingly. So, if you want to be sure to be able to go on this top Bowling holiday get your booking forms and deposits in as soon as possible. After all there is nothing to lose! 

Illuminations Classic  19th to 24th of September 2021 

Download Illuminations Classic Booking Form

Five nights Half-Board at the Norbreck Castle Hotel for only £198 per person, including all your Bowling! A great way to end your “season”, even if it is much shorter than usual! 

Blackpool Spring Festival 20th to 25th of March 2022  

Download Blackpool Spring Festival Booking Form

The season “opener” at the excellent new venue, the Hotel Sheraton, and with 93 guests already booked in, we hope to carry on this great event that’s been running for over 30 years. Superb Value! 

The Booking Forms are attached for all three of these great Bowling events! Call 07385 579624 for more details.

If you are on Facebook please like the Esselle Sports Management page to be automatically notified of all updates on our bowling events!  

Best Wishes and we hope to see you soon! 

UPDATE – 15.01.20

Hi Bowlers,

Please find below the decision with regard to the 2021 Blackpool Spring
Bowling Festival. Please respond to the options provided as soon as
possible, and we will endeavour to act on your response within 7 days of

Dear Bowlers,

I hope this finds you and your family in good health, and that most of you will have had at least one vaccination by now.

As promised on our website and Facebook page, we are contacting you to confirm, as you will already have suspected, that we are not able to run the Blackpool Spring Bowling Festival in March 2021 due to the ongoing Covid pandemic. We could not have imagined at the time last March, that nearly 12 months later we would still be in this position. It continues to devastate the economy and peoples’ health, their plans and holidays and, sadly, Esselle are no exception. Whilst Aaron and Jonothan are still on furlough, sadly, we have had to let Harry go as we do our best to weather the economic conditions – it would be true to say that had we not been operating over 30 years we would not of got through this.

I want to thank all of you who have been so patient and trusting for bearing with us in allowing us to transfer your bookings from 2020 to 2021, and also giving us the maximum amount of time to see if we could make March 2021 a possibility. Now that we know that we are defeated on that score, we have set the ‘wheels in motion’ for March 20th to 25th, 2022 for next year’s festival, but now I want to let you know the options you have for the monies held by Esselle Sports and the Hotel Sheraton from 2020 –

Option 1: A full cash refund of the monies you have paid directly into the accounts you used to pay us by cheque by Esselle’s online banking. If we do not have a record of that account, we will contact you to request your details in the next few days.

Option 2: The tariff for the 2022 Festival at the Hotel Sheraton will be £206.00 per person for 5 nights Half Board and all your Bowling. If you are prepared to leave your booking and monies in place with the Hotel Sheraton to the 2022 Festival you can also receive an immediate £20.00 cash refund and no price increase on your original tariff of £197.00, worth another £9.00 per person, savings totaling £29.00 per person.

Option 3: As an alternative to the £20 cash refund, you can opt to accept a £25.00 per person Drinks voucher for use at the Hotel which would raise your savings to £34.00 per person.

Therefore, please advise preferably by email to or texting 07385 579624 with your name and Option preference. All refunds, full or part, will be made within 7 days of your response. We will accept calls but have a lot of admin to do so please only call if necessary.

I think that the Hotel’s offer is a fair ‘thank you’ for your patience and trust in the Hotel and Esselle, and will be especially useful for those who managed to secure single rooms for the 2020 event. I look forward to hearing from you all shortly, and hope that our events in June and September at The Cliffs and the Norbreck Castle have better fortunes.

Kind Regards and Stay safe!

Steve Rigby

P.S Please like our Facebook page ‘Esselle Sports Management’ for the latest updates!

We believe the offer from the Hotel Sheraton is an attractive and genuine
one, but please make whatever decision is best for you – we all want the
Festival to continue afterwards, and your loyalty is much appreciated.

UPDATE – 07.01.20

Dear Bowlers,

As we move into the New Year, guests who booked for the 2020 Spring Bowling Festival and had their booking transferred to March 2021 will naturally be wondering what decisions will be made considering the current Covid implications. 
Therefore, we have set a date of 15 February based on the governments predicted review date for the possible removal of the lockdown as the decision day as to whether or not the Spring Festival will go ahead. We think it is unlikely, but we need to give it every chance before we undertake the huge task of issuing refunds to the 180 odd guests who have booked. We will guarantee everyone will be refunded even if we have not been refunded ourselves. Hopefully, you all understand and will bear with us a little longer.

Best wishes and good health to everyone for the New Year!

Steve Rigby

UPDATE – 17.08.20

Dear Bowlers,

It is with regret that unfortunately we have decided we have to cancel the Illuminations Classic Bowling Festival, due to take place at the end of September.

Although the main factor in this decision has been the safety of our Bowlers, these concerns have been exacerbated by the local restrictions imposed on Greater Manchester, Blackburn, Preston and West Yorkshire where 65% of our current Bowlers booked in come from, which restricts free movement around the greens and more importantly in the Hotel.

Other factors have been –

·         Difficulties for home clubs hosting and providing facilities for non-members.

·         Liability insurance covering Esselle for Covid-related issues.

·         Complications for our Pairs competitions (Mixed and Plate) re numbers around the greens.

·         Check in and meeting organisation

·         Presentation ceremony.

·         Safety of our referees and Recorders.

·         Possibilities of local (Blackpool) and National lockdowns being introduced.

·         Payment being lodged with the Hotel then lockdown announced

This has been a very difficult decision, especially after the postponement of our Spring Festival, but has been one not wanting to risk the health of any of our guests, staff or officials. Please rest assured, nobody wanted to run the Festival more than ourselves, but the hurdles continued to mount, so that it was 2 steps forward then 3 back.

We will make a full refund of all payments made to us within the next 7 days. For those of you who paid by cheque, we have your bank details and payment will be made online, but if you paid online, please send us your bank details to allow us to make repayment.

Look out for details of our 2021 festivals in the next few days, and I hope to see you all in the New Year when hopefully things will have improved.

Kind Regards and stay safe,

Steve Rigby

Esselle Sports Management 

349 The Green, Eccleston

Chorley PR7 5PH

Tel: 01257 450991

UPDATE – 30.07.20

Hello Bowlers,

I hope you are all well!

To update you on the Illuminations Classic – we now have permission from the BCGBA to be able to stage the Festival at host clubs in the Blackpool and Cleveleys areas, which is great news. However, it does throw up some questions which we will address in the next few weeks eg

** Pairs competitions and how we can hold them with only 30 people total allowed at the Green including members.

** Each club will have to do its own Risk Assessment

** Bowls meetings, Presentations, Check in.

These are all solvable, and we will get our heads round these issues in our planning.

We are now asking for Britannia Hotels to confirm that Government regulations will be relaxed sufficiently for an event with more than 30 people can take place. This is hoped to arrive around August 1st. The hotel is open and keen to take us, so we will let you know as soon as we have clearance.

We really hope to make this work, so keep an eye on our Facebook page and website for news!

UPDATE – 10.07.20

Update re The Illuminations Classic Bowls Festival

Having spoken to the Hotel (Norbreck Castle) this week, the Hotel is now open, so it is looking very positive that our event in September can take place.

However, we still have to get 100% confirmations from the local clubs we can hire their greens (most have already said ‘yes’!), get details from the Hotel: how the Hotel will operate eg meals, cleaning, leisure complex etc.

Therefore, we will contact you all as soon as possible when you will need to send in your balance payments.




In the last few weeks, we have lost 2 great supporters of our Bowling Festivals, Brian Gee and Maureen Brough.

Brian and Maureen were good friends and not only came to the Blackpool Festivals but also to the North Wales Festival at Prestatyn. Brian was very recognisable in his full suit and Russian Hat, and together with close friend, Dave Downey, Brian and Maureen were great characters who will be sorely missed.

Rest in peace, Brian and Maureen.

UPDATE – 09.05.20

The Illuminations Classic 2020

As we are now starting to receive signs that the country will be slowly moving out of lockdown as the Summer progresses, our attention is turning to the Illuminations Classic at the end of September.

By then, we expect many of you will be ‘desperate’ to get some Bowling in before the 2020 ‘season’ ends, so we are letting you know that we hope to be able to stage the event as in previous years.

We are now starting to see deposits coming in again, after a very quiet 2 months in March and April, where nobody knew where the world was going, and although we can not give 100% cast-iron guarantees that the event will take place yet, we can give you a guarantee that none of your deposits will be withheld if we can’t go ahead. This is a totally different scenario to our Spring Festival, where guests had paid their balances, which we had forwarded on to the Hotel, and the Hotel not being able to return funds to us to refund guests who didn’t want to transfer their booking to 2021 – no monies will be passed to the Norbreck until we know categorically that the event is definitely going ahead.

Therefore, if you want some competitive Bowling and you are free, come join us in Blackpool on September 20th!!

UPDATE – 09.05.20

Cliffs Classic 2020

As of May 5th, 2020, it has been agreed between Dunrig Promotions and the Cliffs Hotel, that it is not viable or safe to run the 2020 Cliffs Classic Bowling Festival.

The Hotel itself will not be open until June 1st at the very earliest, but with no guarantees that it will be open on time, or if the Bowling Greens will be open, willing and/or available to us. Therefore, the event is postponed until the 6th June, 2021, at the same tariff.

Guest have 2 options –

  1. To transfer their booking to 2021 and leave their deposit as is ie with the Hotel. This is potentially useful for those guests who have secured a single room, or
  2. Claim a full deposit refund, To do so please email with your account name, number and sort code and we will aim to refund your deposit in 48 hours. 

Please note, especially for guests who had booked for the Spring Festival 2020 at the Hotel Sheraton in March, that the circumstances are totally different with regards to the Cliffs, as we are only at deposit stage, and full balances haven’t been transferred to the Hotel yet.

If you were unable to book for the 2020 event, but want to attend in 2021, booking forms are available below.

UPDATE – 16.03.20, 15:30pm

We have been advised today by the Hotel Sheraton, that any guests who would still like to go to Blackpool next week are welcome to stay at the Sheraton’s sister Hotel , the Elgin, without additional charges, subject to availability, and Esselle will refund the £35 per person contribution to the Bowling costs.

The Elgin is a lovely hotel and is reviewed very positively – and is a 3* Hotel whereas the Hotel Sheraton is currently a 2* property.

Please let us know if you want us to switch your booking

Steve Rigby

Esselle Sports Management

UPDATE – 16.03.20, 10:30am

To explain the situation further, the Government are already considering preventing gatherings of as few as 5 people together before the end of the week, so regarding the Festival, that could already of been out of our hands by the time of it being held.

The Hotel has received 99% of all your payments, totalling some £32,000+, it is not being held by Esselle Sports, and they need some time to assess the impact of the Coronavirus on their employee health, livelihoods, National Insurance and VAT payments to ensure. Some of their employees are unable to pay their rents, and are temporarily being housed in the Hotel itself. I am not sure anyone can perceive the real impact on people’s lives fully at this moment,so this is why a level of empathy and compassion is needed.

We will continually assess the scenario with the Hotel over the coming weeks and, to an extent, it is likely to get worse before it improves. So far, the support we have had from the majority of our Bowlers has been very encouraging,thank you and we hope you continue to trust that we have the best of intentions in the steps taken.

Thank you


Coronavirus Update

Esselle Sports and the Hotel Sheraton are committed to maintaining the good health of our guests in avoiding potential needless risks, and, unfortunately, having 200 guests in the Hotel and on the Greens for our Spring Bowling Festival, we believe, would be reckless and ill-advised. These are unprecedented times, and we need to take unprecedented measures.

Therefore, the Spring Festival is being postponed to March 21 – 26, 2021. We do not have a crystal ball to foresee how long this state of emergency will last, but we expect that your own leagues will have to reschedule Club fixtures as well as those Clubs we use in the Blackpool and Cleveleys area, so we cannot guess when they will be available to us again, or when the Hotel will be clear to accept guests in safety.   

To facilitate this decision –

** All bookings for next weeks’ Festival are transferred to 2021 exactly as they are booked at present ie room types, and rooming list all remain the same.

** Any guests who have still not paid their final balances can choose not to pay that balance, but as the due date for paying that balance has expired, would forfeit their deposit. However, by paying the balance before the 22nd March, 2020 they would retain their guaranteed places and rooms for 2021

** Any guests who hold Holiday insurance and who prefer to claim on their insurance rather than have their funds carried over, will be provided with a Cancellation invoice to allow them to process that claim, but otherwise no payments can be refunded. Please contact our office if you require a Cancellation invoice.

We sincerely hope that you agree and understand the steps laid out above which are taken with the well-being and continued good health of our guests in mind. We wouldn’t want to lose any of you for the sake of a few games of Bowls! Let’s hope that if we meet up later this year at other events that we can reflect on a wise decision for everyone’s benefit.

Hope to see you soon,

Steve Rigby

Esselle Sports Management Ltd

Blackpool Illuminations Classic 2020

What a great end to your Bowling Season! Come to Blackpool for our excellent Illuminations Classic Festival based at the Norbreck Castle Hotel.

3 Course Dinner, Bed & Breakfast, Entertainment every night and great drinks offers. Top quality greens throughout the event, and transportation to and from the venues if required.

TARIFF: £197.00 per person.

Booking Form

The Cliffs Classic 2020

7 June – 12th June, 2020

Lovely en-suite rooms, fabulous food including a 4 course dinner for five nights at Blackpool’s renowned Cliffs Hotel, with top-class evening entertainment and free use of all leisure facilities await you when you book for this event. Hosted by Brian Duncan and Steve Rigby, competitions lead to a superb Finals Day at the Waterloo Hotel. Quiz and bingo nights, together with a chance to player Brian Duncan on the famous Waterloo Green!

TARIFF: £279.00 per person.

Booking Form

Blackpool Spring Bowling Festival 2020

22 March – 27th March, 2020

Up to £6300 in prize money!

Join us at the North West’s premier corwn green bowling festival based at our brand new venue, the Hotel Sheraton. 3 Course Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Entertainment every night and Happy Hour bar prices all day. Top quality greens throughout the event, and transportation. to and from the venues if required. Excellent bedrooms, with attractive lounges and entertainment rooms, and leisure facilities.

TARIFF: £197.00 per person.

Booking Form