An illustrated account

1950 – 2020

Longthorpe Bowls Club

70th Anniversary

1950 – 2020

On February 16th 1945 it was unanimously agreed at a Public Meeting ‘to institute a Welcome Home and War Memorial Fund’ to provide a Village Hall and a Recreation Ground for children and adults of Longthorpe (including tennis courts and bowling green). The War Memorial Hall as it was to be known, was officially opened by Capt. T. W. Fitzwilliam, later Earl Fitzwilliam, on March 6th 1947. He had previously donated the land. Some bowling took place in 1948/49 as the new green settled down, but the fully constituted Bowls Club first paid its dues to the Memorial Hall in 1950.

For generations bowling seems to have been a popular pastime. The original gardens of Thorpe Hall contained a bowling alley and in 1870, a newspaper report on the annual fete held at Thorpe Hall, listed bowling amongst the many attractions!

In 1935 Mr. E. W. Canham (Bill) built Milwood House next to the ‘Fox and Hounds’ and included a Bowling Green in his garden! He was the Hon. Treasurer of the ‘Welcome Home and War Memorial Fund’ committee and in the minutes of a 1946 meeting, it was noted that ‘bowling was well attended on Tuesdays and Thursdays!’ (At Milwood House?) He was a member of L.B.C. until 1977 and also served on the committee. In our anniversary year, it seems appropriate to record Bill’s likely role in the provision of a village Bowls Green and the formation of L.B.C.

Apart from the Memorial Hall, a playground, 2 tennis courts and a 5 rink bowls green were provided. The cost of excavating the site of the bowls green was £121-17-6.

Bird’s Eye View circa 1963

The bowlers were asked to raise funds for equipment – ‘ bowls, mats, overshoes and for the joint use mower.’ A subscription of 10/6d for the opening May – September season for Villagers, £2.2.0 for others, was recommended by the Memorial Hall.

1970-1980

Earliest surviving L.B.C. records date from 1972. Maintaining the Green was a constant struggle with few members and much of the equipment hired or borrowed. Help was often sought from others e.g. Golf Course personnel and the vicar who would lend his Flymo to cut the surrounds.

March 1972 AGM

Mr Auld retired as Chairman, his successor was Terry Griffiths who continued until 1982. (He was also Team Captain 1974 – 78).

Mr A. Butler remained as Treasurer. (He was elected an Honorary Member in 1973 and was Groundsman until 1979.) Mrs Butler remained in charge of refreshments with Mrs Beck taking over in 1973.

Austin Palmer became Secretary. He played an important role in L.B.C.’s history, serving in many capacities until 1995.

Finances

Annual Subs./Membership. In 1973, 29 Men each paid £1, 2 Ladies each paid 50p – (a special rate introduced to encourage Lady Bowlers) and a Visitor’s Fee of 10p was also introduced.

Annual Rent – £25       Net Annual Income – £26.91

By 1979 the Annual Rent was £49 and the Net Annual Income £32.45 including a £20 donation from Thos. Cook (see below). There were just 15 Men; 2 Ladies and 1 Junior Member of L.B.C.

Roll ups and Matches

‘Club Nights’ were Mondays and later on, also Fridays. Friendlies were usually in the evenings. 11 Home matches were played in 1977.

Teas were held in the Memorial Hall and with a raffle raised significant income for the club.

Knockout Competitions began in 1974. (Jim McLachlan was an

organiser in 1977.)                      The Memorial Hall 1947 – 2008. The side annexe and porch were added 1979/80.

October 1979 : A.G.M.

Ronald Lloyd became Secretary/Treasurer, a position he held until 1986. It was noted that no progress had been made on a new pavilion.

A bonus this year had been Thos. Cook moving to the area and using L.B.C.’s Green until theirs was ready. Ron Vassallo was one of the Thos. Cook employees who took advantage of this!

The Thos. Cook groundsman subsequently offered his help with the ‘very necessary work’ required on our Green which needed ‘drastic action!’

Green Developments

The 5 original rinks were made into 6. In 1976 L.B.C. became responsible for mowing the green instead of the Memorial Hall, posing additional burdens on finances and members able to do the work! The surrounds might not be cut all season and the green cut only once a week! There were regular pleas for volunteers particularly to help with the ‘heavy’ jobs – scarifying and hollow tyning.

In 1974 Austin Palmer threatened to resign as Secretary/Treasurer because of the state of the Green! A Greens committee was then established!

1980-1990

In 1980 Thos. Cook played on our Green again, donating a welcome £150. In 1981 a secondhand prefabricated building was provided through the generosity of one member, Derek Crowson and the Memorial Hall. It was initially referred to as the Pavilion, but later as the shelter. See the picture below and notice the level of both surrounds and the Green!

March 1982 : General Meeting

Austin Palmer was elected Chairman and continued as such for most years until 1989. The provision of water and electricity in the Pavilion was considered but could never be afforded!

Net Annual Income –  a deficit of £82.55.

Annual Subs./Membership – 20 Men each paid £6;

3 Ladies each paid £3.                      Annual Rent – £75

Activities

For a while, Whist Drives were run jointly with the Memorial Hall to raise income. In 1981 it was agreed to hold some Bowls Drives on Saturdays to stimulate interest.

A special Bowls Tournament was held in June 1983 as part of the Longthorpe Festival. A donation of £100 was then received from the Festival Committee.

Finances

Several years recorded deficits. The provision and maintenance of equipment was a constant drain on resources. A secondhand mower was purchased in 1982 for £60, helped by a grant from the Memorial Hall, but needed repairing most years!

In 1985 members were urged to recruit new people ‘20 was hardly enough to run the club properly!’

These were difficult times recalled by Lesley and Andrew Shaw who were members for a while. Lesley took over as Secretary/Treasurer in 1985.

1988 – 1989

In 1988 the whole committee resigned and a new one formed with Fred Cole – Chairman;

Austin Palmer – Treasurer; Joe Gallagher- Secretary; Tony Giblin – Joint Captain with Fred Cole.

However, the membership was slowly growing. Those who joined at this time and have had continuous membership since then include –

Geoff Bridgefoot, Brian Kingston, Eric Peachey, Jim Pigg, Bill Wright and Bob Young.

Subs. /Membership. In 1988, 15 Men each paid £15,

10 Ladies each paid £10.            Annual Rent – £83

1990-2000

During this decade the membership increased considerably, no doubt due to Longthorpe’s expanding population. With more members able and willing to be involved in maintaining the Green, and supporting activities, the club was invigorated! New social events were organised, new facilities provided and gradually the Green was improved! (In1988 the AGM had been attended by 16, in 1996 by 60!)

October 1990 AGM

The office of President was created and Austin Palmer became our first President, a position he held until his death in 1995. He celebrated his 90th birthday in 1994 – see picture below. Chairman/Team Captain – Tony Giblin Secretary – Joe Gallagher Treasurer – Jim Pigg (who introduced a far more professional approach to bookkeeping!)

Joe Gallagher organised the first Strawberry Tea and another mower was purchased with the help of a £400 loan, again from the Memorial Hall.

A 50p Green fee for Home Matches was first introduced this year.

Members – 30                           Annual Rent – £87

Green Developments

Eric Peachey became Greenkeeper in 1992, a position he held until 2004. He inherited a Green which was in a poor condition, heavy and uneven. He sought advice and Yaxley’s Greenkeeper proved the most helpful!

Unsterilised soil had been used on the Green, weeds thrived! Eric and John Knowles spent ages on hands and knees applying weedkiller with small handsprays!

With help from Ray Ames, Arthur Hunt and Ken Cobley the Green was regularly mowed. Its condition slowly improved! To cope with the grassy surrounds, Eric used an electric mower, power from the Hall and a pole to carry the cable over the intervening footpath.

Austin Palmer’s 90th Birthday.  (He is in the centre of the front row)

In the evening celebrations continued in the Memorial Hall.

1993/1994 Seasons

The provision of a Pavilion had become the priority with members donating/lending money for the project. Arthur Hunt who was Vice Captain, learned a Portakabin on the District Hospital site was no longer required. The club agreed to buy it for £850. In November 1993, at a cost of £352.50, it was transported to the sports field behind the Bowls Green where a crane lifted it over the hedge. It stood on legs 4ft off the ground and during the winter months Eric Peachey and Ken Cobley crawled underneath to paint the underside and to reinforce it before it was rolled into position in the April.

For some Friendlies Jean Gower would bring flasks of hot water to make the tea!

Ron Jackson was in charge of this operation helped by a great band of volunteers including three from the Railway Club who provided the telegraph poles! (However as Ron recalls, these were tapered one end making the Portakabin slide sideways as it was pushed forwards!)

The old building was then used as a shelter/storage area. Work on fitting out the Portakabin continued for many months. Eric created a new door in the end wall facing the Green and shutters for the windows overlooking the tennis courts. (These would be closed whilst the bowlers had tea so the tennis players would not see or be distracted by the bowlers!) The external walls were painted green, a wide step provided for the front door and furniture acquired.

However, once more no electricity or water was connected! For major events large Jerrycans would be filled in the Memorial Hall, carried to the Green where kettles would be boiled on a camping stove provided by Ray Ames!

In 1994 Club Officers were Chairman – Ken Cobley; General Sec. – Joe Gallagher; Fixture Sec. – Ray Ames; Treasurer – Jim Pigg; Greenkeeper – Eric Peachey; Team Captain – Derrick Caunt; Vice Captain – Arthur Hunt; other members – John Knowles; Tony Giblin; Jean Gower.

Subs. – £20                                  Members – 66                                           Annual Rent – £109.

L – R Back row –  Bill Wright,  John Constable, Stan Hogg,  Joe Gallagher

Middle row –  Derrick Caunt,  Gordon Watson,  Jim Pigg , Tony Giblin,  Ken Cobley Front row –  Arthur Hunt, 3 chaps from the Railway Club,  Ron Jackson,  Eric Peachey

The Portakabin was initially referred to as the Clubhouse and later as the Tearoom. Being secondhand however, it constantly required attention! The roof was stripped and totally refurbished in 1997 and the floor regularly needed repairing.

The shed to the left was originally a cricket scorebox, with a pull down flap and scoreboards, somehow acquired for the Bowls Club!

1998 Season

Club Officers: Hon. President – Joe Gallagher; Chairman – Ron Jackson; Treasurer – John Constable; Fixture Sec. – Ray Ames; General Sec. – Dorothy Neave; Greenkeeper – Eric Peachey; Team Captain – Arthur Hunt; Vice Captain – David Jones; other committee members – Margaret Tennison; Pat Decamp; Jim Pigg.

A Special Meeting was held in October to consider possible future developments e.g. the provision of electricity and water, an automatic watering system, pre-cast concrete ditches, raising the surround level of the Green to meet EBA/EBF standards, paved surrounds and a purpose built Pavilion! Once agreed, Ron Jackson and John Constable lead the onerous work of applying for grants and Lottery funding, encouraging loans and donations, acquiring planning permission and obtaining quotes etc. etc.!

Subs. – £27                            Members – 66 + 3 Honorary members                          Annual Rent – £295

Rinks were marked out using strings attached to hooks in the boards holding the Green in place. The surround side of the ditch was not boarded and people standing here caused the edges to fall in! So Eric Peachey acquired old bargeboards and with Ken Cobley and Ray Ames secured them to the outer wall. A white marker in the ditch indicated the centre point of the rink. (Just visible in the picture).

Events

The first of the Fish and Chip Suppers and Cheese and Wine Evenings were held in 1995 and the Austin Palmer Trophy competition commenced in 1996.

Ray Ames first organised a Spring Plant Sale in 1997 and with Eric Peachey and others also grew the plants! He ran Spring and Autumn Plant Sales for 20 years, and is still involved!

David Jones started the Gala Days in 1998 handing their organisation to Richard Harrison in 2011.

Quiz Nights began in 1999 under Patrick Clare, Ron Jackson organised the following 30, usually holding two a year! Terry Moon took over in 2017.

Finances

Many ingenious ways were devised to save money! Ken Cobley, Ron Jackson and Eric Peachey liberated nails from pallets and straightened them for re-use! Redundant wood was acquired to repair the shelter floor when it collapsed!

During this decade apart from the Portakabin, a new scarifyer, shed and mower were purchased!

In 1998 Ray Ames chaired a fund raising committee with Arthur and Pat Hunt providing the additional catering required! It was noted that ‘more income was derived from events than from subscriptions.’! (Plant Sales and Quizzes have raised thousands of pounds for the club over the years!)

2000 – 2010

In 2000, L.B.C. celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a ‘Bangers and Mash’ supper after the first roll-up and a Grand Bowls Drive with lunch in September! Sadly the application to the National Lottery Sports Fund had proved unsuccessful, although a grant was given by the Millennium Festival Awards Scheme for two wheelchairs adapted for use on bowling greens. These arrived in the Spring, see below. One was subsequently given on long term loan to Peterborough Indoor Bowls Club.

L – R  John Constable, David Jones, Ron Jackson, Jim Pigg, Michael Taylor (Memorial Hall Chairman), Eric Peachey, Dorothy Neave, Jean Gower, Ray Ames.

Club Officers in 2000 were Hon. President – Joe Gallagher; Chairman – Ron Jackson; General Sec. – Dorothy Neave; Treasurer – John Constable; Greenkeeper – Eric Peachey; Team Captain – David Jones; Fixture Sec. – Ray Ames; Social Sec. – Arthur Hunt; Hall Committee Rep. – Patrick Clare; other committee members – Pat Decamp; Jean Gower; Jim Pigg; Margaret Tennison.

Subs. – £30                       Members – 89 + 3 Hon. Members                   Green Fees – £354

Donations from members and grants from the Memorial Hall and the City Council enabled the surround level to be raised, the corners of the Green to be squared off and new concrete ditching and paving to be installed. Modern rink markers and scoreboards were then introduced.

EBA/EBF standards having been met the club entered a team in Peterborough and District’s Club 60 Bowls League (now Club 55!). A second team ‘Longthorpe ‘B’ was entered in 2002. In 2004 Longthorpe ‘A’ became the ‘Tower’ team and Longthorpe ‘B’ the ‘Green’ team. (The ‘Woods’ team was entered in 2006 and the ‘Manor’ team in 2010. In 2013 a team, later named Romans, was entered in the Midweek League followed by the Saxons in 2015).

Importantly this year, electricity was finally connected to the Portakabin/Tearoom! (Water was connected in 2002 when a watering system for the Green was also installed!)

2003 Season

Eventually it was agreed that replacing the old shelter should have priority over a new tearoom. It was finally decided to have two small wooden structures instead of one large one to avoid the necessity of meeting detailed planning requirements and would thus be cheaper!

Subs. – £33                                                  Members – 97

Annual Rent –

£394.30

The 50p Rink Fee was extended to Roll-ups and a £10 Joining Fee for new members introduced to improve finances. (The Rink Fee was increased to £1 in 2008 and extended to Away matches in 2012).

The foundations were laid in November 2003 and once the buildings were completed electricity was installed, the internal walls panelled and the adjacent areas paved.

In 2004 they were opened by Cllr. Geoff Ridgway seen left, with Ron Jackson in centre and Eric Peachey far left.

Geoff and his wife June subsequently joined the Bowls Club

The old shelter was replaced by these two Pavilions – now the Home and Visitors changing rooms.

2005 Season

The first match against Cromer Marrams was organised by Midge and Barry Venters in June 2005. In 2008 the Cromer Marrams Crab Trophy was donated for presentation to the winners of what was now an annual match! We commenced playing against Sheringham Morley in 2009 and Erpingham in 2012 – the latter replaced by West Runton in 2017. The club gathers together for dinner on the Saturday evening. The Norfolk Bowling Weekend is an established and popular event with some 30 members regularly participating.

The first match against Cromer Marrams

L – R Back row – Michael Kennedy; Barry Venters; Ron Vassallo; Alec Barrett; Dick Gill; Roy Hibbard; Front row – Carol Kennedy; Mirella Vassallo; Jenny Hibbard ; Olive Freeman (Gill); Midge Venters; Eileen Barrett; Margaret Gill.

The 2008 L.B.C.Team with Cromer Club’s President and the Cromer Crab Trophy .

Club Officers in 2005 were Hon. President – Eric Peachey; Chairman – Ron Jackson;  General Sec. /

Vice Captain – Ray Ames; Treasurer/Hall Committee Rep. – John Constable;       Team Captain –

Geoff Bridgefoot; Greenkeeper – Barry Venters;  Social Sec. – Arthur Hunt;  Fixture Sec. – Tony Beal;

Minute Sec. – Jenny Hibbard; other committee members –  Jim Thacker ; Pat Hunt; David Jones;

Pat Morrison (Wedley) and John Dawson.

Subs.    £35                                     Members –    105                                            Annual Rent – £525

Eric introduced the President’s Competition and donated two cups – one for Ladies and one for Men. L.B.C was proving almost too popular so a limit of 112 was placed on the number of members!

It was agreed to play Friendlies against Peterborough Indoor Bowls Club during the winter months with the first match taking place in February 2006. .

In June2007 Eric Peachey celebrated his 80th birthday by holding a ‘Fun Bowls Match’. He explained the format of the afternoon in the above picture.

In the evening he invited everyone to ‘The President’s Social Event’ in the Memorial Hall. Ken Cook provided music for dancing and Mirella Vassallo baked and iced the birthday cake.

Other Developments during this decade

New leylandii hedging and secure metal gates were installed and in 2002 two benches were purchased to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

Sadly in 2006 John Constable died, his generous bequest of £5,000 enabled all loans to be paid off and he is remembered each year through the John Constable Triples Competition.

The Longthorpe Amenity Venture (LAV) spearheaded by Richard Harrison and based on the National Lottery Bonus Ball, was formed in 2007. The following year £1,448.85 was formally transferred from LAV to the Development Fund set up firstly to provide a tearoom and then for other improvements. (To date £27,680.17 has been raised and a further £22,845.00 given in prize money.)

However in November 2007 it was agreed a new mower costing £5,500 must have priority!

The same year Joy Harbour designed L.B.C.’s Logo.

Above, Ray Ames serves customers in the old Memorial Hall at the 10th Spring Plant Sale in 2007.

Below, taken in the new Village Hall in 2010, the event’s popular refreshment area!

The first Charity Fun Day was held in 2006 raising £300 for the Sue Ryder Hospice. Above picture was taken in 2008.

These other Pictures taken at the 2009 event show-

  1. Harry Baldwin and grandsons;
  • Ron Vassallo, Roy Wedley, and Peter Harradine.
  • Pat Wedley.


2008 Season

Club Officers: Hon. President – Eric Peachey; Chairman/General Sec. – Ray Ames; Fixture Sec./Assistant General Sec. – Roy Wedley; Treasurer – Jim Thacker; Minute Sec. – Jenny Hibbard; Team Captain – Geoff Bridgefoot; Vice Captain – John Dawson; Greenkeeper – Barry Venters; Membership Sec. – Pat Morrison (Wedley); other committee members – Richard Harrison; Jean McGill; Ron Vassallo and Ron Jackson who having served ten years as chairman, retired and took on the role of Hall Committee Rep. (During his chairmanship some £85,000 was raised and spent on improvements).

Members – 92                                        Subs. – £35                                             Green Rent – £458

The old Memorial Hall was knocked down (hence the reduction in rent!) and subsequently replaced with the new Village Hall. Portaloos for our convenience during the season were provided by the Community Association! Plans for a new tearoom, continued!

The first BBQ was also held in 2008 following a Bowls Drive. L – R Barry Venters, Stuart McGill, Richard Harrison and Ray Ames. That year other social events such as the Quizzes, the Strawberry Tea and the Fish and Chip Supper were held in Longthorpe Primary School.

2010 – 2020

This decade commenced with a social in the Village Hall to celebrate our 60th Anniversary and finally witnessed the provision of a purpose built Tearoom! A marquee was also purchased to provide additional shelter from sun/rain! New ideas to raise money for the Tearoom included a Beetle Drive, a Race Night and an Open Spring Triples Competition. L.B.C. has always been fortunate to have social members and bowlers prepared to help with events by making tea, baking cakes, washing up etc!

60th Anniversary celebration in the Village Hall

2011 Season

Club Officers: Honorary President – Eric Peachey; Chairman – Richard Harrison; Vice Chairman – Jenny Hibbard; General Sec./Fixture Sec. – Roy Wedley ; Treasurer – Jim Thacker; Club Captain – Ron Vassallo; Vice Captain – Gordon Steels; Greenkeeper – Barry Venters; Pat Morrison (Wedley) – Minute Sec.: Hall Committee Rep. – Ron Jackson; Membership Sec. – Jackie Knaggs; Ray Ames retired as chairman but continued to serve on the committee.

Members – 94 Bowlers, 16 Social members           Subs. – £42           Green Rent – £680

A local artist, Mr A. Martin, painted a picture of the Bowls Green, see below, which the club purchased. The picture was then used to illustrate L.B.C. publications and notelets which were sold to raise funds. (The picture was subsequently auctioned at the 2012 Race Night).

2012 Season

2012 was particularly busy commencing in the February with the first Race Night masterminded by Audrey Scotney. (She has since organised a further four!) Seen above with Geoff Bridgefoot and centre, Matthew Pudney who was the M.C. for the evening.

Some 110 people attended the event which was held in the Village Hall. £1,850.20 was raised.

Arthur Hunt oversaw the catering arrangements seen here with Bridget Jay one of the many helpers!

This year the dream of a new Tearoom also came closer to reality when Gordon Steels presented the committee with a detailed plan. He proposed a structure to be built ‘in house’ giving precise details of the construction method and materials to be used. The committee unanimously accepted his proposal and held many meetings to plan the process. It was agreed a reinforced concrete foundation would be provided and a veranda built facing the Green. Rainwater and waste water would be filtered and recycled for watering the Green. Mark Benns, Tony and Gillian’s son, prepared architect’s plans from Gordon’s drawings for submission to the P.C.C. Planning Department. The L.B.C. was delighted to receive £2,000 from the Fitzwilliam Charitable Trust for this venture.

The first Open Spring Triples was organised by Richard Harrison in the May, raising £859 for the new Tearoom. 72 players participated with lunch and tea being provided by the merry bunch below!

L – R Gloria Harrison, Audrey Scotney, Hazel Young, Jackie Knaggs, Jenny Hibbard, Mirella Vassallo.

In July, to celebrate the 2012 Olympics L.B.C. joined in the nationwide Bell Ringing event!

L – R Barry Venters; Ron Vassallo; Richard Harrison; Roy Hibbard; Richard Jay; Peter Knaggs.

To mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, a special Bowls Drive was held on the 4th June followed by a celebratory tea.

Dress Code : Red, White and Blue!

Left, Richard Harrison and Eric Peachey explain the rules!

Midge Venters and Harry Baldwin won prizes for being the ‘best dressed’ lady and gentleman!

Later that year, Richard Harrison compiled a Sports Quiz – ‘60 years; 60 questions; £60 prize’! The winner was presented with the prize at the Annual Dinner.

This same year the Gala Day was renamed ‘Gala Day : Roy Wedley Trophy’ in memory of Roy Wedley and a special trophy was donated for the event.

Seated left, Richard Harrison, helped by Stuart McGill work out the scores!

Winners were – Eleanor Creek; Ron Jackson; Gordon Steels and Pat Wedley

Picture above shows everyone having their tea in the old Tearoom/Portakabin after this event.

Lads v Lasses Matches

These were first held in 2009 and combined with the Charity Day in 2014. The Dress Code was usually pink for the Lasses, blue for the Lads but occasionally fancy dress took over! Pictures below are from 2013 – 2016 events.

Left, Gloria Harrison, Audrey Scotney, Phil Hickey, Ray Ames, Jenny Smith.

Below, Carol and Michael Kennedy, Alan Giblin, Terry Wilson.

Below, L – R Rob Charles, Lynne Henson and Jane Lilley, Jackie and Alan Perks.

2013/2014 Season

Work on the Tearoom commenced in July 2013 in the Hibbard’s garage! It was completed in Spring 2014 when decking, plus a ramp and steps were added to the front of the main entrance. Pictures show –

Gordon with his plans.

L – R  Richard Harrison, Roy Hibbard and Gordon Steels.

L – R Richard Jay, Stuart McGill, Roy Hibbard and Richard Harrison transferring the structure to the bowls green.

L – R Richard Jay, Peter Knaggs, Richard Harrison and Stuart McGill working on the roof.

L – R Gordon Steels, Peter Knaggs, Richard Harrison, Richard Jay, Stuart McGill, Roy Hibbard, Harry Baldwin having a well earned break.

2014 Season

Club Officers: Hon. President – Ron Jackson MBE; Hon. Vice President – Ray Ames; Chairman/Greenkeeper – Richard Harrison; Vice Chairman/Club Captain – Jenny Hibbard; General Sec./Fixture Sec. – Ron Vassallo; Treasurer – Richard Jay; Vice Captain – Stuart McGill; Membership Sec. – Jackie Knaggs; other committee members – John Douglas; Lynne Henson (taking over catering from Jenny); Audrey Scotney; Gordon Steels.

Subs. – 91 Bowlers paid £45,    24 Social Members paid £5;                        Green Rent – £700

The highlight of the year was the official opening of the new Tearoom by Sir Philip Naylor Leyland Bt. which took place on Sunday 27th April.

Mirella Vassallo’s spectacular cakes!

The first annual match between the President (Ron Jackson MBE) and the Chairman (Richard Harrison) was held immediately after the Opening Ceremony see above.

Then four weeks later the Spring Open Triples Competition took place!

See right and below.

Longthorpe Bowlers relax on the brand new decking!

L – R Dick Gill, Carol Kennedy, Peter Knaggs, Michael Kennedy, Ron Vassallo, Richard Jay, Mick Reed.

Other activities and developments of this decade

Social events have always played an important role in the life of the club and well supported by both bowlers and social members. Apart from those mentioned there have been our annual Strawberry Teas, Social Evenings with Guessing Games such as ‘Call my Bluff’, Cream Teas and Judy Scotney’s Beetle Drives and Bingo Sessions. The Fish and Chip Evenings have always been popular, particularly since the availability of Mobile Fish and Chip vans with freshly cooked items! Various events pictured below!

Above            Bill Wright;

Below    Mac Warwick and Jackie Knaggs

Due to demand a second team, the Saxons, was entered in the Midweek League in 2015.

In 2017 Phil Hickey proposed and organised an evening Pairs Mini League which proved very popular, becoming a regular activity.

However in 2017 the Green Team was reluctantly withdrawn from the ‘Club 55 League’ and two years later the Saxons Team was withdrawn from the Midweek League, both through lack of support.

John Douglas; Tony Benns; Gillian Benns

A packed marquee!

This decade has witnessed a number of changes in the fortunes of the club.

201595Bowlers24 Social Members
201684Bowlers29 Social members
201973Bowlers37 Social Members

Fewer Friendlies were played – with 32 in 2010 but only 19 in 2019.

Sadly, Knockout Competitions also declined in support and were not held in 2018. However the Mixed Singles Knockout was reinstated in 2019.

However, LBC teams have triumphed by winning or coming second at other clubs’ events i.e. Barnack and Yaxley Clubs’ Galas and the Conservative Club’s Ladies Days!

Lynne Henson, Jackie Knaggs and Sandra Harradine

Behind the scenes

Busy in the kitchen

Dilys Reed, Carol Boyall on the Charity Stall

Above – Richard Harrison with drop spreader

Above – Greg Boyall, Roy Hibbard, Peter Knaggs, Richard Harrison and Stuart McGill.

Above right – Peter Knaggs in a hole! Richard Harrison and Richard Jay.

2018 Season

Club Officers: Hon. President – Ray Ames; Vice President – Arthur Hunt; Chairman/Greenkeeper – Richard Harrison; Vice Chairman/ Club Captain – Jenny Hibbard; Vice Captain – Stuart McGill; Fixture Sec. – Ron Allen; Treasurer/General Sec. – Richard Jay; Membership Sec. – Jackie Knaggs; Catering Organiser – Lynne Henson; Hall Committee Rep. – Ray Ames; other committee members – Terry Moon, Audrey Scotney, Malcolm Warwick.

Subs. – 74 Bowlers paid £45     37 Social members paid £5                Green Rent – £790

The honour of becoming the 2018 President of Peterborough Bowls League, was bestowed on Dick Gill who joined L.B.C. in the 1990’s. He commenced his bowling career at Thos. Cook’s Bowls Club with wife Margaret in 1984.

All the 2018 League Competition Finals were consequently played at Longthorpe.

President Ray Ames chose EACH, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice, for L.B.C.’s 2018 President’s Charity. He presented the cheque for £1,500 at our Annual Quiz where Terry Moon was Quiz Master – see below.

2019 season

Arthur Hunt became Honorary President and Pat Wedley, Vice President (also Hall Committee Rep. as well as continuing as L.B.C.’s Minute Sec.!). Jane Lilley took over as Fixture Secretary and Gloria Harrison became Catering Organiser. Ray Ames retired having first served on the committee in 1994!

During March/April 2019 the old metal equipment hut was replaced by a brick built one. It was constructed by Terry Dullea, not only a bowler but also a builder! Seen here on the right helped by Richard Harrison and below, standing behind a crowd of members who had been admiring his handiwork!

Jones Heating sponsored the prizes for this year’s Spring Open Triples Competition. 18 teams participated raising some £731.

Mrs. Cecile Jones presented the First Prize to the captain of the winning team, Harry Baldwin.

       
       
       
President, Arthur Hunt, and Chairman, Richard    
    
  Brian Kingston and Ron Jackson 
Harrison, announce their teams’ names for the   
    
 annual President v Chairman’s Match.  celebrate their 90th Birthdays! 
       

2019 Winners of Club Competitions

John Constable Triples:

Richard Harrison and Terry Moon with winners David Longworth, Jean McGill and Bob Young.

Mixed Singles:

winner Terry Moon, runner up

Gloria Harrison, with Richard Harrison.

Above, Jenny Hibbard and Pat Wedley officiate.

Knockout Triples:

Pat Wedley with winners

Richard Jay, Jean McGill and Peter Harradine.

Gala Day:Roy Wedley Trophy winners:

Ron Harris, Jean Harris, Eleanor Creek, Ted Creek

with Pat Wedley.

Knockout Pairs:

Pat Wedley with winners

Dorothy Roddy and Gordon Lilley

The Final Weeks of this Decade

The 2019 Annual Presentation Dinner took place at the Milton Golf Club in October, often held here in the very early days. All Club Competition winners and runners up received a personal trophy, see below.

Unfortunately there has not been room to include all previous Club Winners and players in the League Competitions! For some further information see longthorpebowlsclub.org and the Honours Boards in the Tearoom.

The December Quiz was the next event to be held and planning then commenced for the March 2020 Race Night. (This actually took place 9 days before the first ‘Covid 19 Lockdown’!)

Longthorpe’s Bowls Club’s 7th Decade draws to a close with thoughts now turning to celebrating our special anniversary, but a certain Pandemic intervened! However with support for the club remaining high we can look forward to the future with confidence.

Members

We all as current members of Longthorpe Bowls Club, carry on a tradition that was started by the founders of the club in 1950, creating a happy, friendly, community facility. It started from humble beginnings and has evolved over the years to what we have today. Our Green and facilities are the envy of many clubs in the area which has been brought about by the hard work of all our members over the years. We have always been fortunate in having amongst our members, skills and hidden talents, be that carpentry or cake making!

Jenny has done a fantastic job in researching the foundation of our club and the milestones along the

way. I along with many of you have known the Green as we see it today, but I guess that few have

given much thought to what it was like before people such as Ron Jackson, Eric Peachey, Arthur Hunt

and Ray Ames became involved. Jenny with Roy’s assistance has brought this together to give us a

concise readable account celebrating the History of Longthorpe Bowls Club. She is to be congratulated.

Thank you

Richard Harrison

Chairman