IT'S sad to report the passing of another Northants Bowling Federation stalwart in life member and former county president Ean Eagle at the age of 86.

His loss comes just weeks after the passing of fellow contemparies Albert Horton and Barrie Plowman.

He died in hospital on March 2nd having been in failing health since last October.

Ean had the distinction of winning the same English Bowling Federation singles title as his son Nigel when he won the two-bowl singles at Skegness in 2007 when in his early seventies.

What made the situation even rarer is that he won it 15 years after his son's triumph which was actually achieved during his tenure as county president in 1992.

Ean has been part of the local bowling scene since the 1970's, representing Conservative, British Rail (now Parkway) and finally West Ward and figuring regularly in the county's Adam and Newton Trophy teams.

Apart from winning the county outdoor two-bowl singles title in 2007, he also won the veterans singles two years later, having been runner-up in 2004, the mixed triples in 1997 and the three–bowl triples in 1985. He also won the indoor pairs in 1987.

He also appeared in the inaugural final of the senior mixed pairs with Janet Garner in 2009, losing to the late Danny Duffy and his wife Janet, who was actually women's president in 1992 when Ean began the first of his two years as men's president.

It was during that presidential year that the first annual ladies v gents indoor challenge match was staged and one of the guests at the county dinner was none other than eccentric British Olympic ski jumper Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards.

 Ean was one of the sport's gentlemen, a popular and highly respected figure on and off the green, but he was also a tough competitor with a steely determination to succeed. He will be sadly missed.







THE English Bowling Federation men's and women's county competitions will be going ahead as scheduled this summer with Skegness as the climax at the end of August.

At a time when good news has been in short supply, it's great to record something positive for bowlers who have been denied access to competitive sport for over a year.

The rule of six will be in operation until May 17th,which means no more than six players per rink playing on adjacent rinks as last summer, but after that date the figure will rise to thirty before restrictions are finally relaxed on June 21st – we hope!

A further update from the Government is expected at the end of March with regard to any other restrictions that might be in operation in the early part of the season, such as the use of clubhouses and travelling etc.

However, the county team events – Adams, Newton, Donald Steward and Silver Jubilee Vase – are in jeopardy as matches in these competitions would exceed the maximum limit of thirty.

The EBF are canvassing counties for their opinions on whether they should be scrapped for a second year running or whether they could be adapted to meet the restrictions.

It's unlikely that the Durham Centenary Trophy and the Reg Wright under 25 county competition will be affected as not so many players are involved.




NORTHANTS Bowling Federation are pleased to announce that Roger Martin has been appointed the new Adams Trophy team captain.

Vastly experienced at county level, both indoors and out, he replaces John Earl, who stepped down following last year's abortive season, and he has named another highly experienced campaigner Mick Linnell as his vice-captain.

So it means the two county teams will have new men at the helm this summer, with immediate past president Dick Noble set to lead the Newton Trophy team, having seen his takeover from Cliff Watson delayed by a year because of the pandemic, his vice-captain being Dave Corney.


A JOINT communique from the English Bowling Federation and the English Women's Bowling Federation has been received with regard to their plans for the 2021 outdoor and indoor seasons assuming bowls gets the green light from the Government to resume in May.

The 2020 indoor finals, which were provisionally arranged to start on April 19th this year, have been postponed again, and have been rearranged to start on Monday, October 4th, subject to permission from the Newark club's board of directors. Apparently five counties are still to complete their 2020 indoor finals.

If they go ahead, it will mean two national indoor finals during the next indoor season, with the 2022 finals scheduled to start on Tuesday, April 19th, with the Eversley Trophy earmarked for Sunday, April 3rd, owing to the Monday of the finals being a Bank Holiday.

The EBF/EWBF are planning to go ahead with the outdoor programme, unless further Government restrictions are imposed, with the finals at Skegness beginning on Saturday, August 21st.

The EBF Potters Bowls Week, scheduled to start at the beginning of March, has been cancelled, the start date for next year being Monday, February 28th.



JUST days after the death was announced of Barrie Plowman, Northants Bowling Federation lost another stalwart from the same era with the sudden passing of Albert Horton at the age of 87.

Yorkshire born, he served in the RAF and was a decent footballer. After switching from the crown green format in his home county, he proved a fierce competitor playing EBA and Federation codes, representing Hunts and Northants respectively in the Middleton Cup and Adams and Newton Trophies in the 1980's and 1990's.

He reached the EBA national championships at Worthing on multiple occasions, having also won the Hunts four-bowl singles in 1987, the triples in 1984 and the rinks in 1989 playing at the South Ward club.

He won the Federation singles and pairs (with the late Danny Duffy) in 1991 and retained the mixed pairs title with Joyce Holden in 1990. He qualified for the EBF championships with the late Peter Edwards when he won the county senior pairs and was twice runner-up with Doug Want (2007) and Edwards (2012).

He will be remembered as a tough, fair but uncompromising bowler whom even in later years was always hard to beat.


SAD to report that Barrie Plowman, a great servant to Northants Bowling Federation and the Casterton club, died in Peterborough City Hospital on New Year's Eve aged 79.

Husband of Pam, he had been suffering with Parkinson's Disease for several years, but in his playing days was one of the best singles players in the area, winning several county titles and was a great mentor to up and coming bowlers, passing on advice and experience.

A former winner of the NBF indoor senior singles, he was a prolific winner of outdoor titles too. He won the NBF two-bowl singles on three occasions – 1990, 1991 and 2004 –  and was runner-up in 2010. He also won the four-bowl singles title in 1993, the Champion of Champions singles in 2003 and was beaten finalist the following year.

He won the county mixed pairs twice with Pam in 2003 and 2006 and the duo also made it to Skegness in the senior mixed pairs in 2012.

He will be fondly remembered as a great servant to the game of bowls locally, both as a competitor and a keen spectator in recent years when confined to a wheelchair, offering humorous anecdotal stories and advice to fellow bowlers.

Prior to the funeral on February 1 at Marholm Crematorium ( by invitation only) bowlers will be able to pay their respects at Stamford IBC car park at 1.15pm when the funeral cort├Ęge passes through. Donations to Parkinson’s UK.


DUE to the restrictions currently in place, it is regret that the Northants Women's Bowling Federation have been left with no alternative but to cancel the 2020 annual general meeting scheduled for Wednesday, November 4th.

The officials currently in place on the NWBF committee will continue to carry out duties until the 2021 annual general meeting.


WITH current Government restrictions likely to remain in force for some time, the Northants Bowling Federation have been left no alternative but to cancel the 2020 annual general meeting scheduled for Wednesday, October 14th.

In the light of this any presidential duties next year will be undertaken by members of the county's management committee.



NORTHANTS Bowling Federation are on the look out for a new team captain for the Adams Trophy squad next season following the decision by John Earl (Blackstones) to relinquish the role after three years.

Current president Dick Noble will be leading the Newton Trophy team next year and as a result the home fixtures will be played at his home club of Whittlesey Manor, with the Adams games going to City of Peterborough, previous hosts of the Newton team.

Anyone interested in taking the reins of the Adams Trophy squad should contact the president or county secretary as soon as possible.






LADIES – It's almost time for my year as your President to end. A very eventful and exceptional year, a new experience for us all, one which will be long remembered, perhaps not for the best of reasons.

I do hope you all have been keeping safe and well. My grateful thanks to all those who have found it possible to support their own clubs and managed under the Covid-19 Safe guidelines to play outdoor bowls.

Most grateful thanks to all the dedicated club committee members and willing groundstaff who have worked tirelessly and unselfishly ensuring continuity for their clubs and greens throughout the summer, under very restricted circumstances.

I understand there are plans in hand for those who prefer indoors to restart at club level, albeit a very different way of playing in the forthcoming winter season. I wish you all good luck and a successful season.

Vivienne Hempsell

NWBF President 2020

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