Bintree Bowls Club

In September 1924 a cup was presented to Bintry (note spelling) Bowls Club. How long the Club had been operating then we do not know but at least we know the Club must now be at least 91 years old.

Initially the Club operated from a Green at Manor Farm, Bintree, then from a Green at Twyford House and then moved in the late 1960s to a Green adjacent to the sports field in Bintree where the Bintree Village Hall is situated. This Green was rented from Bintree Parish Council to whom we paid a small annual rent. The Green was small by most standards and most of our league games were played to a cast length of 19 meters. Accommodation for us at the Green was very sparse. A small wooden hut was erected at some unknown date. Lighting was obtained by the installation of a car battery and there was no water connection. A water supply was at some date connected to an outside tap and this was used to water the Green. Our hut was not large enough to accommodate both teams when we played matches and 2 or 3 benches were supplied and placed outside under the trees for visiting players to change their shoes etc. Obviously there was no question of being hospitable and providing tea and biscuits for visiting players, and toilet facilities were rather basic. For gentlemen there were 2 sheets of corrugated iron standing on end in a ditch at the far corner of the Green and the ladies had the luxury of travelling over the sports field to the village hall. The Club owned a mower and various other essentials so that the Green could be maintained. Club members would ‘volunteer’ to be part of the Greens Party and from time to time we did have a person we could look upon as the Greenkeeper. The state of the Green often reflected the ability of the Greenkeeper ! Over the years the membership has varied between about 15 and 26 playing members. We have entered local leagues such as Dereham, North Elmham, North Norfolk, Fakenham and Age UK and others.

In 2009 the arrangements between Bintree Parish Council and The Holkham Estate (the owner of the whole site) changed and we were unable to continue to use the Green. The Bintree Bowls Club members at the time were anxious to ensure that the Club continued and discussions took place with Bawdeswell Bowls Club with a view to us being allowed to use their Green. Largely through Mr Paul Digby agreement was soon reached so that the next season we could start to operate from Bawdeswell. This arrangement has continued and we are grateful to Paul and others who have been instrumental in ensuring that the arrangement has become mutually beneficial.

Currently we have a playing membership of 36. We play in the Elmham League, the Cawston League and the Age UK League. The Elmham and Cawston League games are all played in the evenings and the Age UK league games played in the afternoons. We have a Roll up session every Tuesday afternoon for all members who wish and any newcomers are always welcome. We hold friendly matches with other clubs 3 or 4 times a year generally at weekends and we have our own cup competitions running throughout the bowling season for our members. Cups and Trophies for the winners of our club competitions are presented at our Annual Dinner held at the end of each year after our bowling season finishes. Fund raising events include raffles, a football card, a 100 club and various social events.

We have an active Committee consisting of Chairman, Club Captain, Secretary, Treasurer and Members’ Representative. The Committee meets regularly and our Annual General Meeting is held in the autumn when the bowling season has finished.

Those members who were with us when we moved to Bawdeswell remember the rather primitive conditions at Bintree with affection but we all appreciate the much improved conditions we have experienced over the last few years. We, now with Bawdeswell and others, move a stage further in sharing the experience of the facilities in the new Village Hall. We add our thanks to all those who have put so much effort into this project and we hope the move from the portakabin to more amenable accommodation will enhance our bowling activities.

June 2015

5 club competitions are played for each year. The mens, ladies and mixed singles, mixed pairs and the Foxley Cup (affectionately known as the loser’s cup). All winners of these competitions in the history of the club are listed below:

The St Margarets Cup, Presented to the Bintry Bowls Club by James Hare Esq, September 1924.

As at August 2019, there have been 79 winners in it’s 95 year history.

1924  E Hendry  1925  J E Watson  1926  C M Sexton  1927  W J Hare  1928/29  —  1930  F Dawson  1931  F Dawson  1932  R Harvey 1933  J Newstead  1934  R J Spooner  1935  H Wright  1936  J Mesney  1937  J C Beck  1938  J Mesney  1939  W Mesney  1940  F Dawson  1941 – 46  —  1947  B Newstead Jnr  1948  W T Mesney  1949  F G Bird  1950  G Graver  1951 – 55  —  1956  C Lambert  1957  H Mears  1958  F A Seaman  1959  F W Seaman  1960  A Noy  1961  L C Seaman  1962  J O Oldman  1963  F W Seaman  1964  L C Seaman  1965  L C Seaman  1966  H Abel  1967  L C Seaman  1968  —  1969  K Galley  1970  F W Seaman  1971  J Oldman  1972  A Pitcher  1973  F W Seaman  1974  D Mears  1975  R Lambert  1976  R Lambert  1977  J Mesney  1978  —  1979  R Lambert  1980  H Money  1981  J Farnham  1982  —  1983  J Mesney  1984  L C Seaman  1985  J Mesney  1986  M Tombling  1987  L Seaman  1988  L Seaman  1989  L C Seaman  1990  J Elliott  1991  J Elliott  1992  J Mears  1993  W Potter  1994  J Mesnay  1995  D Mears  1996  M D Tombling  1997  J Mears  1998  B Shorter  1999  J Mears  2000  B Tomblin    2001  M A Tombling  2002  M A Tombling  2003  S Tomlin  2004  B Shorter  2005  J Andrews  2006  M D Tombling  2007  G Whitmore      2008  G Whitmore  2009  R Blyth  2010  R Blyth  2011  R Johnson  2012  S Cormie  2013  A Hunter  2014  N Mears  2015  R Johnson   2016  A Hunter  2017  G Whitmore  2018  A Hunter  2019  A Hunter

The Ladies Cup

1994  B Shorter  1995  M A Tombling  1996  M A Tombling  1997  M Webb  1998 M Webb  1999  M A Tombling  2000  B Shorter  2001  M A Tombling  2002  B Gathergood  2003  M A Tombling  2004  M A Tombling  2005  M A Tombling  2006  K Williams  2007  B Gathergood  2008  A Cormie  2009  R Whitmore  2010  W Van Beuningen  2011  R Whitmore  2012  M Tombling  2013  R Whitmore  2014  P Catchpole  2015  M Collier  2016  R Whitmore  2017  R Whitmore  2018  G Holmes  2019  H Mears

The Frank Seaman Memorial Trophy (mixed singles)

1992  R Myhill  1993  W Potter  1994  M A Tombling  1995  J Thomas  1996  L C Seaman  1997  L C Seaman  1998  B Shorter  1999  J Mears   2000  L C Seaman  2001  M D Tombling  2002  M D Tombling  2003  B Tomlin  2004  L Andrews  2005  M D Tombling  2006  R Dewing  2007  M A Tombling  2008  R Johnson  2009  G Whitmore  2010  R Whitmore  2011  R Blyth  2012  S Cormie  2013  A Hunter  2014  A Hunter  2015  G Whitmore  2016  N Mears  2017  N Mears  2018  A Hunter  2019  A Hunter

The Win & John Elliott Trophy (mixed pairs)

2004  J Thomas/W Andrews  2005  B Shorter/J Shorter  2006  M A Tombling/J Shorter  2007  R Whitmore/R Dewing  2008  B Gathergood/S Cormie  2009  —  2010  G Whitmore/W Van Beuningen  2011  S Clayson/C Van Beuningen  2012  M Tombling/R Johnson  2013  M Jarvis/G Whitmore  2014  S Catchpole/R Johnson  2015  G Whitmore/C Ledbury  2016  N Mears/R Blyth  2017  W Van Beuningen*D Beresford  2018  G Holmes/C Ledbury  2019  M Tombling/W Van Beuningen

Foxley Cup

2014  Ray Johnson  2015  Ray Johnson  2016  D Beresford  2017  A Hunter  2018  N Mears  2019  N Phillips