A MESSAGE from NWBF president Vivienne Hempsell and the Executive Committee.

This pandemic is something which in our lifetime we have never had to experience. However, what is emerging from the situation is we must all accept unconditionally the need to work together and support each other.

The NBF and the NWBF executives are working closely with the EBF to ensure the best outcome for the safety of all its members, sometimes making strong decisions for the continuation of bowling and your personal safeguarding.

Can I ask you whenever possible to regularly check the EBF and the NBF websites for information and updates on the way forward, ensuring that members who cannot access the internet are also kept up to date.

The NBF and the NWBF are also in discussions regarding the various county and competition fees paid and full details will be forwarded to club secretaries shortly. These will also be posted on the NBF website in due course.

Decisions, sometimes unpopular, will have to be made, and we ask you to be understanding and to adhere to these for your protection physically, mentally and financially if bowling from grassroots upwards is to survive. Please make an extra effort to keep in contact with your club members and make sure no one is left isolated during the difficult months ahead.

We will be monitoring the situation closely, and if possible will try to arrange a get-together later in the year.



THE English Bowling Federation have announced the cancellation of all county games and competitions for this season.

As a result, the Durham Centenary competition will be carried forward to 2021.

The statement from EBF secretary Dave Woods reads:

"To be able to achieve the national finals at Skegness, counties would have to start playing their competitions in early May, but with advice coming from the Government it looks impossible for games to start that early.

We have been inundated with calls and emails from bowlers, who have concerns about playing with the Coronavirus doing its rounds.

It is hoped that our members will continue to support their county and clubs and be ready to play when we are given the all clear to resume.

Although we will not be playing the 2020 national outdoor championships it is hoped that we will still be able to play the indoor national finals at Newark in September (provisional dates September 21-27).

With all the uncertainty we have also decided to cancel the Reg Jackson tournament and anyone with an entry will be carried forward to the 2021 tournament.

We are very sorry we have had to take this stance, but the health and safety of our members is more important than the game of bowls."

* Please continue to check the website for updates or contact your club secretaries who will be kept informed of any developments once the management committee have had chance to meet and discuss the matter with regard to county competition fees etc.



THE English Bowling Federation indoor finals scheduled for the end of April at Newark have been suspended.

A provisional date of September 21-27 is now on the table assuming that some sort of normality has returned to the country.

As yet no decision has been taken with regard to the NBF and NWBF outdoor competitions.

Please keep checking the website for updates.

Ketton bowlers’ legacy for next generation

Ketton bowls club will be operating from a new clubhouse in the forthcoming season (see images below), the product of intensive fund-raising and support from sponsors within the village and in Rutland.

A refurbished cabin, supplied by Cabins GB based in Alconbury, has been installed to replace the previous clubhouse which was purchased shortly after the club was formed in 1974 and which in recent years has shown serious signs of wear and tear including a leaking roof and crumbling exterior.

The club has been fund-raising through car boot sales, dances, quizzes and coffee mornings but soon discovered the clubhouse project was out of its financial reach until three local grant funds came to its rescue.

The Healthy Rutland Scheme, which provided £5,400, funds projects promoted by local community and voluntary organisations designed to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities. The scheme understood the importance of the clubhouse in enabling the club to meet its ambitions of reaching into the community to provide a facility and service that supports and promotes health and well-being accessible across all ages.

The Ketton-based Whitbread Trust also spotted the potential to provide an improvement for the village, and made a valuable contribution of £4,000. Additional £500 funding and support was also provided by the Rutland Trust.

Pre-furnished with heating, lighting, fitted sink and draining board and specially formatted double picture window to provide visibility on to Ketton’s professionally maintained six rink green, the cabin was delivered by Bedford-based hauliers D & G Noble.

Despite the very close proximity of a metal telegraph pole and gate post, the new cabin was deftly edged into position with a hydraulic crane to replace the its predecessor in less than two hours with the help of volunteer Ketton members.

Said chairman Bob Warters: “The arrival of the new cabin is the culmination of at least two years of intensive fund raising by our dedicated members and committee, together with the fantastic support we have received from our sponsors.

“It will give the club a great boost for the new season – in which we will be hosting the Northants Federation county championships in July for the second time in our 46-year history. It will also be the current members’ legacy for the future.”

President Charlie Underwood, who quickly organised the replacement of the club’s distinctive crest on the cabin frontage, added:” It has been a great team effort ever since we decided we needed to replace the crumbling old cabin which had stood us in good stead for 40 years. It is our gift to the community and the next generations of bowlers and will provide a vital benefit to our money-raising galas and competitions.”

Charlie went on to say: “The club will now be able to cement its position as a great health and wellbeing asset for Ketton, and will work to encourage people to visit and engage to build friendships, to connect with others and to participate in some decent physical exercise.”

Ketton Bowls Club aims to improve on its current membership of around 40 players and social members and currently puts out seven teams every week in the Stamford and Peterborough Leagues as well as friendly matches. It is also able to provide practice sessions for potential new members during certain evenings and afternoons.

The club in Pit Lane, is affiliated to the Northants Bowling Federation and will be running at least two gala days in the summer, as well as staging the Northants finals on July 15.

The club’s registration day will be held on Sunday, March 8 (11 am) when current and potentially new members will be able to inspect the its new home.

FOOTNOTE: Ketton, like every other club in the county Federation, is hoping that the current coronavirus outbreak will not deeply effect its preparations for the new season, in which it also competes in the Stamford and Peterborough Leagues with upto seven teams fielded every week.


CHRISTINE Ford claimed a hat-trick of titles at the Northants Bowling Federation men’s and women’s indoor finals at the Peterborough & District club on Sunday.

There were also title doubles for Martyn Dolby, who like Ford had qualified in four events, Adam Warrington, John Earl, Stephen Harris and Shirley Suffling.

But the winners will have to wait until April 3rd before a decision is taken by the English Bowling Federation on whether the national finals can go ahead as planned at Newark later in that month, otherwise they may be deferred until later in the year.

Ford opened with a 21-4 victory over Margaret King in the singles, followed by a 20-13 win in the pairs with Suffling, having trailed Marlene Osborne and Hazel Bass 10-4 at one stage.

She completed the treble in the triples with Suffling and Jan Want against Joan Robinson, who had earlier won the senior singles 21-4 against Fiona Richardson, singles runner-up Margaret King and Margaret Bloxham, the match being conceded at 26-9 with three ends remaining.

The one that got away for Ford came in the mixed rinks with Dolby and Warrington, where they were beaten 19-18 by holders Moira and John Holroyd, playing this time with Wayne Aspinall, Warrington trailing the jack for four on the last end with five required for an extra end.

Dolby suffered mixed fortune in both singles, beating county president Dick Noble 21-4 to retain the veterans category before crashing 21-3 to Warrington in the open version.

Dolby and Warrington joined forces with Earl to retain the triples, defeating Michael Jeapes, Neil Wright and Roger Martin 23-11.

Earl’s other title came in the mixed pairs with heavily pregnant partner Katie Bailey, a dramatic last end 18-17 victory over Cliff Watson and Liz Hext, recovering from 13-4 down to snatch the spoils with a double on the 21st and final end when trailing 17-16.

There was also a last end thriller in the men’s pairs, where Stephen Harris, who had dashed back from Wales after featuring in England’s successful senior indoor squad, and Wayne Morris pipped Chris Ballard and Earl 17-15, Harris drawing shot with the last bowl to prevent an extra end.

Earlier Harris had retained the under 25 open singles title with a 21-5 defeat of ten-year-old schoolboy Ollie Jeapes, who impressed the spectators with the quality of his bowls against the England international and he looks set to be a name to follow in the future.




Singles: Chris Ford bt Margaret King 21-4.

Senior singles: Joan Robinson bt Fiona Richardson 21-6.

Pairs: Shirley Suffling & Chris Ford bt Marlene Osborne & Hazel Bass 20-13.

Triples: Jan Want, Shirley Suffling, Chris Ford bt Joan Robinson, Margaret King, Margaret Bloxham 26-9.


Singles: Adam Warrington bt Martyn Dolby 21-3.

Veterans singles: Martyn Dolby bt Dick Noble 21-4.

Under 25 open singles: Stephen Harris bt Ollie Jeapes 21-5.

Pairs: Wayne Morris & Stephen Harris bt Chris Ballard & John Earl 17-15.

Triples: Martyn Dolby, John Earl, Adam Warrington bt Michael Jeapes, Neil Wright, Roger Martin 23-11.


Pairs: Katie Bailey & John Earl bt Cliff Watson & Liz Hext 18-17.

Triples: Moira Holroyd, Wayne Aspinall, John Holroyd bt Martyn Dolby, Chris Ford, Adam Warrington 19-18.

Mixed triples winners Wayne Aspinall, John and Moira Holroyd.

Ten-year-old Ollie Jeapes played in the under 25 singles final.

John Earl, Adam Warrington, Martyn Dolby retained the triples.

Jan Want, Chris Ford and Shirley Suffling won the women’s triples.

Mixed pairs finalists Liz Hext, Cliff Watson, John Earl and Katie Bailey.

Joan Robinson (left) beat Fiona Richardson in the senior singles.

Pairs winners Stephen Harris and Wayne Morris with beaten finalists Chris Ballard and John Earl.


IN the light of the worsening situation with regard to the coronavirus outbreak, the Northants Bowling Federation and Northants Women's Bowling Federation have decided to postpone the Race Night scheduled for the Whittlesey Manor club on Friday, April 3rd.

It is hoped the event can be re-staged later in the year.


BOTH Martyn Dolby and Chris Ford will be playing in all four sessions at the Northants Bowling Federation men's and women's indoor county finals being held at the Peterborough & District club this Sunday (March 15th) from 10.00am.

Dolby defends both the veterans singles and the triples, and has also qualified for the singles and mixed triples, while Ford bids for success in the singles, mixed pairs, triples and pairs.

Dolby's opponent in the singles will be Adam Warrington, who he will be playing alongside later in both the triples and the mixed triples finals.

John Earl has also qualified in three events – mixed pairs, triples and pairs.



Women's senior singles: Joan Robinson v Fiona Richardson.

Women's singles: Chris Ford v Margaret King.

Men's veteran singles: Dick Noble v Martyn Dolby.

12 noon

Mixed pairs: Liz Hext & Cliff Watson v Katie Bailey & John Earl.

Men's singles: Adam Warrington v Martyn Dolby.

Women's pairs: Marlene Osborne & Hazel Bass v Shirley Suffling & Chris Ford.


Under 25 open singles: Stephen Harris v Ollie Jeapes.

Men's triples: Adam Warrington, John Earl, Martyn Dolby v Michael Jeapes, Neil Wright, Roger Martin.

Women's triples: Jan Want, Shirley Suffling, Chris Ford v Margaret King, Margaret Bloxham, Joan Robinson.


Mixed triples: Moira Holroyd, Wayne Aspinall, John Holroyd v Adam Warrington, Chris Ford, Martyn Dolby.

Men's pairs: Chris Ballard & John Earl v Stephen Harris & Wayne Morris.


The NBF dress code rule for finals reads: Dress for county finals shall be outdoor registered club shirts, white trousers or white tailored shorts, white belt or braces (if worn), white undergarments, white ankle or trainer socks and flat-soled bowling shoes. Failure to adhere to this rule may lead to expulsion from the finals.

The NWBF dress code for finals reads: White or cream standard bowling skirt or white or cream long or cropped tailored bowls trousers. Plain white short or long-sleeved top with collar or registered outdoor club shirt (all must wear the same). White zip-up or cardigan. White bowls shoes. Beige tights are optional, ankle highs, white trainer socks may be worn with trousers.

In mixed competitions women must wear their own outdoor club registered shirt or plain white top, as above, which may differ from their male partners.


RAFFLE prizes would be appreciated with the monies raised being shared between the NBF and the NWBF.





NORTHANTS have won the Top County award at the English Bowling Federation's annual bowls week at the Potters Resort in Norfolk for the second year running.

Three of the five mixed rinks representing the county reached the quarter-finals, with two of them advancing to the semi-finals, where the rink of Anne & Peter White, Margaret and Mick Linnell were beaten on an extra end by a rink from Nottingham.

The other rink of John and Shirley Suffling, Elizabeth and Martin Wallace, who were beaten finalists last year, lost to a rink from Bassetlaw.

The rink of county president Dick Noble, with wife Sheron, Carol Hunter and Rosemary Roberts, reached the quarter-finals, where they were also beaten by Bassetlaw.

The county are indebted to Dick Ford for organising the party and details of next year's Bowls Week will be issued to club secretaries in the near future.

Dick Ford with the Top Team Trophy at Potters with EBF national presidents.


SAD to report the death of well known bowls enthusiast John Harvey at the age of 80.

Although a long-term medical condition restricted his appearances on the green in latter years, he was an avid supporter of local bowls events, along with wife Jenny, also a member of the Peterborough & District club.

He was also noted for the number of sets of bowls he had acquired, and many local bowlers have benefited from his collection over the years.

The funeral takes place at Peterborough Crematorium on Wednesday, March 11th at 10.30am.



A PIECE of county history was made in Norfolk at the weekend when Northants A reached back-to-back Derbyshire Trophy finals for the first time.

The current holders of the English Bowling Federation's indoor county championship are now set to face Durham in the national final at Newark on Saturday, April 25th following a last-gasp one-shot victory over Norfolk at the Gallows club in Fakenham.

Three-time winners of the championship since its inception in the 1984/85 season, Northants required seven points to guarantee a fourth appearance in the final, but it took a nail-biting last bowl from Brian Martin to prevent the county having a nervy wait until the outcome of Norfolk's last match against Lincolnshire. 

With three of the four rinks completed, Northants held a slender 98-96 lead, but Martin, who had earlier switched positions with namesake Roger, held his nerve when four shots down to draw second shot and guarantee his team the southern section title with a 10-4 points success and a five-match 100 per cent record.

His rink, which also included Richard Allam at lead, had earlier held the advantage before former world indoor singles champion Mervyn King switched from skip to lead and began to smother the jack.

Elsewhere, Wayne Aspinall, Martyn Dolby and team captain James Harford struggled early on against Danny Cawthorne's rink, trailing 8-19 until they reshuffled positions to great effect to run out 28-20 winners.

Michael Humphreys, Paul Dalliday and Simon Law secured the other rink win for Northants with a 27-23 defeat of King's son Sam.


Northants A 98 (10), Norfolk 97 (4) – (Northants rinks only):

Wayne Aspinall, Martyn Dolby, James Harford won 28-20; Michael Humphreys, Paul Dalliday, Simon Law won 27-23; Richard Allam, Brian Martin, Roger Martin lost 23-25; Nick Wilkie, Trevor Collins, Tristan Morton lost 20-29.



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