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 85.

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.


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


ENTRY forms for next year's Northants Bowling Federation and Northants Women's Bowling Federation county competitions are now available from your club secretary.

Players are requested to fill in the forms as usual, including the total, and then deduct their 2020 county fees, if applicable, pay the difference (cheques payable to Northants Bowling Federation or Northants Women's Bowling Federation) or alternatively apply for a rebate, marking the amount on the bottom of your entry form.

Return forms to your club secretary who can then establish the total amount of rebate required which will be claimed from either the NBF or NWBF.

The deadline for NBF entries is October 14th, the date of the scheduled annual general meeting, while NWBF entries close on November 7th.

As reported earlier, there will be no indoor county competitions this coming season owing to the continued uncertainty surrounding the opening of indoor clubs due to the coronavirus pandemic.



THE English Bowling Federation has decided to postpone November's annual general meeting and both the national executive and delegates meetings, scheduled for October, until early next year.

Explaining the decision, EBF secretary Dave Woods said: "The Department of Culture, Media and Sport say meetings should be discouraged unless it is of vital importance and then only a maximum of thirty people would be allowed.

"If we had decided to go ahead with the meetings, we would have had to put restrictions on the numbers attending and also the wearing of masks would have been mandatory.

"The venue would also have to put in place steps to follow COVID-19 Secure guidelines and with social distancing in place, this would have been near impossible with the numbers we have attending."

Regarding the indoor championships, the secretary explained: "If the counties who have not played their finals could complete them by the end of the year, this will give us a chance to decide how we go forward with the 2020 finals in April.

"At present we would not be able to go forward with them, because of the numbers involved, but by April, hopefully, this will have changed. 

"At the moment indoor clubs are allowed open, but again the restrictions will be for thirty people in the club at any one time, and this will include any staff on duty."




WITH no sign yet of indoor bowls club being allowed to open, the English Bowling Federation have decided to delay the 2020 national indoor finals until April next year, which means there will be no national indoor competitions this coming indoor season.

Following the postponement of the finals in April following the lockdown, a September date had been provisionally arranged for the re-staging of the championships.

However, with the opening of indoor clubs not included in the latest round of the lifting of restrictions, the relevant Government department could not offer any guarantes as to when they will be allowed to open, and even then social distancing regulations may still apply.

With seven counties still to play their 2020 indoor finals, the EBF had no real option but to delay them until next April, including the Derbyshire Trophy final, in which Northants are due to play Durham.




THE Government guidance now allows clubs to consider alternate formats with reduced numbers per rink – for example, singles and pairs – in order for social distancing to be more easily maintained, rinks of three would be allowed, but you must have procedures in place to maintain social distancing.

Clubs may wish to allow spectators, however their attendance must be in line with Government guidelines on social distancing and the ability of the club to accommodate the additional numbers.

Clubs will need to communicate clearly and regularly with members and participants setting out what they are doing to manage risk and what advice they are giving to individuals to do likewise.

Ideally clubs should publish an action plan detailing their plans to re-open safely and the steps they are taking to avoid confusion.

Clubs should also communicate clearly opening times and how people can safely access a facility, if relevant, for example through a booking or queuing system.

It is more important than ever to consider inclusive guidance for people who need support to be active and organisations should consider this as part of their work to encourage people to return.

The Government is clear that sports participation should be restricted to participants exercising by themselves, with members of their same household, or in a group of five other people from other households, while observing social distancing guidelines. The police have been given powers to enforce these measures.

To help everyone maintain good hygiene, consideration should be given to:

Using signs and posters to build awareness of good handwashing technique, the need to increase handwashing freqeuency, avoid touching your face and to cough or sneeze into your arm. Consider how to ensure safety measures reach those with hearing or vision impairments.

Providing regular reminders and signage to maintain hygiene standards.

Providing hand sanitisers in multiple locations in addition to washrooms.

Setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets to ensure they are kept clean and social distancing is achieved.

Enhancing cleaning for busy areas.

Providing more waste facilities and more freqent rubbish collections.

Using disposable paper towels in handwashing facilities.

Minimising use of portable toilets.

Provision of automated hand sanitising dispensers in public places.



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