A NEW GROUP of bowlers have been accepted into the Northants Federation at the annual meeting in Peterborough this week, enabling them to play in county competitions both indoors and outdoors.
The Vanguard Bowls Club has adopted the Empingham BC green as its outdoor base and is the brainchild of former county secretary Mike Ramsden. It offers an opportunity to previously non-affiliated players to take part in both individual, mixed and team competitions without an attachment as full members of an outdoor club.
The club was accepted by a narrow majority, despite earlier concerns that it might undermine the spirit of the Federation by creating a fast track into competition bowls without the need to join an affiliated club with its own green.
However, the NBF management committee recommended its inclusion as it was keen to encourage any scheme which could initially introduce more bowlers into the federation family, bolster indoor competition entries among many who might never have experienced the code and who might eventually join a local outdoor club with its own green.
A precedent had been set some years ago in Derbyshire with the formation of the Phoenix club enabling crown green bowlers to compete in flat green competitions.
And in a bid to attract existing, non-affiliated clubs with their own greens, the Federation also agreed to invite some, at the discretion of the management committee, to take part in its Adams Cup competition – a summer knock-out tournament of three rinks of men’s or mixed two-bowl triples. The current holders are parkway BC who beat City of Peterborough in the final.
Retiring NBF president Bob Warters said that it had been ‘at times emotional’ and ‘a privilege’ to hold the office for the last two years during which time the county had won five national individual titles as well as the inter-county Adams Trophy premier team event and Victor Ludorum for the first time in its 82-year history.
He also paid tribute to the ‘tireless work’ of the management committee in support of the 17 member clubs.
“Without those prepared to work behind the scenes, we wouldn’t still be here,” he said handing over the President’s chain of office to his successor Tony Mace from Whittlesey Manor. (See picture above).
Among other new officials were Cliff Watson, former captain of the winning 2015 Adams Trophy team, who takes over the Newton Trophy squad from Brian Bassam.
Officers elected included: President Tony Mace; secretary Melvyn Beck; treasurer Les Sharp; fixture secretary Graham Agger; competition & results secretary Barry Lawrence; minutes Linda Toms; National delegate Alan Croxford; press officer Bob Warters; Adams captain Fred Richardson; Newton captain Cliff Watson; Derbyshire captain James Harford; CPO Neil Wright. BW