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