This is the October copy of the Club's Newsletter

Message from the Chairman: Viv Sword

Having reached the end of the 2018 season, some members will certainly breathe a small sigh of relief!  We have just experienced one of the busiest seasons in our club’s history – County matches, Area finals, Cup finals and all things in between.  We may be on the border of Suffolk, but we have certainly figured prominently in the bowling calendar.  This is due to our excellent facilities, great green and the willingness of a small band of members to give up their free time (sometimes at the expense of other commitments).  It is a sad, but true, fact that next season we may have to refuse requests to host some events.  The members of this small band (you know who you are) are getting older and they simply cannot continue to support the club at the same level.  The work needs to be spread over a larger number of Club members and, once again, I am asking each of you to think hard about whether or not you could give some time to help next season. The list of jobs is endless – preparing the clubhouse, the green and surrounding areas for the new season.  Switching the green.  Working behind the bar.  Helping clear up the kitchen and on and on ……….Now to the main reason for our Club’s existence – the bowling. Congratulations to Barry Pegram and his team on promotion to the Second Division in the Thursday Bury League.  Congratulations also to the Tuesday Afternoon ‘A’ Team in the Stowmarket League, who have been promoted.  This team, in the absence of Captain Philippa Rixon, was ably run by Brian Shurmer and will make a welcome return to the First division next year.  The biggest coup for the club however, was Sandy Sargeant’s brilliant win at Skegness!  Sandy becomes our Club’s first National Champion.  On behalf of the Committee, can I thank everyone who has contributed to the Club’s success this year – on the green, in the background by coming along to support matches.  I very much look forward to seeing you at the Annual General Meeting on 5th December.  It’s your opportunity to have your say – don’t waste it! 

President, Maurice Costello writes:

The 2018 bowls season has now finished, but events at the Club will continue right through the rest of this year and into our new season starting in April 2019.  Please give your support to all these as they are a valuable contribution to the life of the Club.  My term as President is coming to an end at the December A.G.M. and this will be my last newsletter contribution.  My two years of office have flown (or bowled) by and I thank you for giving me the opportunity for the experience.  This season has provided many high points which our Chairman will have highlighted in her report.  All I wish to do is add my congratulations to all the winners at Club, League (I have a nice wine goblet), County and National level.  To those who did not win there is always next year.  To everyone at the Club, please come to the A.G.M. and give your support to all those who have worked hard to make bowling at St Botolph’s a pleasurable pastime with great facilities for bowling and social members.

Sandy Sargeant: Club Captain

This summer has been amazing, and the green held up well during the heat and lack of rain thanks to the hard work of Anthony Foulger and helpers. The bar reaped rewards thanks to David Maycock trundling around supermarkets clearing shelves of special offers. The catering has been very hard work and successful thanks to Julia, Christine and Viv and all who helped.  The many events held at the Club have been much appreciated by all using our facilities.  Congratulations to the Tuesday Afternoon B Team Captain Philippa Rixon and the Thursday Evening B Team Captain Barry Pegram for winning leagues and gaining promotion. Just to remind everyone, Thursday evening is the Club Night throughout the winter – it’s a lovely Clubhouse so do come along for a drink, socialize or do whatever takes your fancy. It’s good to stay in touch with friends till next season. 


Irene Pibworth: Monday Afternoon Bury League:

The Monday Afternoon Bury League Team had a really good season.  We gained 36 points and had some really exciting matches.  We all played well, and everybody enjoyed the matches they were involved in and I hope we will improve next year and perhaps we will gain some new members who joined this year.  The heat did not help in some of our matches as we faded in 29 degrees heat, but we all survived!  Thank you all for your hard work and I look forward to taking us further up the league next year. All have a good Christmas and a very happy and prosperous new year.

Viv Sword: Monday Evening Stowmarket ‘A’ Team:

There is only one word which adequately describes our result – disappointing.  We lost our chance for promotion on the last game of the season, taking only one point, at home, against Bacton.  This was a side we beat soundly (6/1) on their own green!!  We also failed to beat Bildeston away when they were languishing at the bottom of the league.  I am, nonetheless, very grateful to all squad members for their support throughout the season and, I know many of you were as upset as me when we fell so badly at the last hurdle.  Let’s hope for more success next season.

Philippa Rixon: Tuesday Stowmarket ‘A’ Team:

The team has enjoyed a wonderfully successful season for which I thank each and everyone.  Brian has done a fantastic job as Captain and I am truly grateful to him.  The team ended the season at the top of the league and will go up a division next year.  Rob and I attended the presentation at Needham Market – Brian was away.  I was presented with a cup trophy and a trophy to keep at the club and also a cheque for St Botolph’s Club.  So, what can I say but yet again thank you everyone for such a great performance.

Bob Giles: Tuesday Stowmarket ‘B’ Team:

Another season passes us by, and what a season it has been.  My first as a team captain, quite an experience!  Mistakes were there to be made, and rest assured I made them, more than once.  Another first was that the sun shone on us at every game.  (May that continue, please).  I attempted to emulate Margaret Brown’s calm, relaxed attitude towards the game, and I think the team responded to this by relaxing and enjoying a good game of bowls and improved as we went on.  We took some beatings along the way, but then don’t we all, but we also had wonderful moments as well.  So, to my team, I want to say a very big thank you for your support and willingness to turn out each week, and I am really looking forward to playing with you all next season.

Christine Foskett: Tuesday Area ‘D’ Triples League

We have played our games throughout the season in glorious weather, sometimes too warm but never wet.  We struggled at times, but with good spirit within the team we hung in there and finally finished in 7th place in the table, winning 6 games out of 11 and securing 33 points.  Sadly, this season we failed in our attempts to reach the final of the KO Shield being knocked out in the first round.  However, there is always next year to have another crack at it.  Many thanks to all the team for their support throughout the season and if you are going indoors for the winter, may I wish you all a good season and happy bowling.

Margaret Brown: Wednesday Stowmarket Triples

We only managed to finish second from bottom in the Wednesday League despite the team’s best efforts.  My thanks to the nineteen players who participated in these games.  My only success was the Moira Hayward Trophy in which we won both legs.  Many thanks to the 20 players who took part in these games.  On a personal note, I would like to thank members who sent Percy and I cards for our engagement.

Anthony Foulger: Thursday Bury League ‘A’ Team

Well the season is over, relegated as expected.  The last few seasons has seen the team bouncing up and down in the two divisions!  We appear to be strong in the second division but not strong enough to maintain a position in division one.  At the start of the 2011 season, whilst I was working down the Club I was approached by the then President and Chairman asking me to take over the captaincy. I agreed although I suspected that I was one of the last to be asked!  We finished the season runners up to Ixworth losing by half a point!!  We held a respectable position in the league for several seasons but over the years through various reasons we have lost many good players. Also, there is not the commitment or passion there used to be, nowadays there are a lot of distractions on players.  No doubt some of you will be pleased to know that I shall be standing down as captain next year.  I feel I have had enough! I accept that I have upset one or two players on my way with some of my after- match comments.  I have tried to be original and amusing with my after- match speeches.  I feel I shall scream the next time captains come out with the old chestnut ‘Good luck in any competitions you are in as long as it isn’t against us! Aaagh!  I have tried to be honest and only wanted success for my club.  As a captain, I have learned that you have to accept criticism, but you must not give it!  Hopefully next season I will be able to turn up ten minutes before the match and fully concentrate on my game and also advise the new captain who I would like to play with!  Many thanks to all those players who have supported me over the years.  Congratulations Barry and Philippa on winning their respective leagues.  A big thank you to all the ladies and gents who have in the past provided refreshments for my team.

Barry Pegram: Thursday Bury League ‘B’ Team

With another season over, it soon comes to an end, and a very good one it was for us, getting to the top of Division 3.  Well done to everyone who played for the team with help from players who came in to make up the blocks when we were short.   Many thanks to them. We had 21 players altogether.  Having 4 penalty points against us didn’t stop us from winning the top spot.  Also, we had three hotshots 4 rink of the week and games with 5 shots.  Well done to everyone.  Now it is up to Division 2 which will be a little harder but will possibly help to lift our game. The blocks we had out I think worked well for us and we all played well together.  This year, as last year we all enjoyed our games.  I look forward to you all playing again next year, maybe with some new players as well.  Thanks for all your help and support. Well done - A GREAT RESULT!

Competition Secretary: Anthony Foulger

Entries to the club competitions were slightly down this season.  Some of the Saturday afternoon competitions were poorly attended.  This may have been because of the extremely hot weather and the football World Cup!  I suggest we continue as usual next season then if attendances are poor again, we may need to rethink and change things.  Due to the football we did change the Mixed Pairs competition to an evening game.  This turned out to be very successful as an enjoyable social evening ensued!  This could be food for thought; it is up to you members to voice opinions. The same problems occurred this year with issues of dress code and lateness in completing competition rounds.  Also, members are entering competitions when they are unable to make finals day.  I go to great lengths putting up posters with all this information on, so please read them!  I have been reluctant to refuse players from competing for dress code violations, but the committee feel I should adhere to the club rules.  Finals Day went without any major problems, despite unsavoury weather.  A big thank you to all the markers and all who helped.  Congratulations to all the winners, commiserations to the runners up!  It’s great to see new names on the trophies.  Rumour has it that a property in Rickinghall Street has applied for an extension to accommodate all their trophies!  I look forward to seeing you all next year!  PS Anybody want a Competition Secretary’s job?

Green Committee Chairman: Anthony Foulger

After a hectic season we have finally closed the green.  It seems a pity closing the green as it looks in very good condition!  It has been quite a difficult season with early wet months then the drought.  We hosted many prestigious games this season.  The green held up well despite the drought conditions and problems with sprinklers. Over ninety-seven games were played on the green discounting individual games and rollups.  There are one or two gashes in the green imposed by some bowlers releasing woods from the hips!  We have scarified the green and decided to allow our contractor to do the top-soiling and seeding.  A big thank you to Rob and Derek for cutting the green, David, Keith, Preston and John Pibworth for switching and John Foulger for all his work and expertise keeping the machinery working.  We will obviously have to work on the green during the winter months.  Switching and the occasional mowing has to continue plus spraying to combat moss and any disease that may occur.Hopefully the green will be in good condition for all of you next season!   

Whist Drives: Fridays November 9th - December 7th  -  January 11th - February 8th - March 8th & April 5th                   

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