2016: Once more the Captain’s reports at both the Section and Club AGM’s described the ups and downs of the playing season, starting with the Opening Bowls Drive having to be cancelled due to snow on the green, and closing with the Men’s versus Ladies Charity game - which this year the LADIES WON! (Yey!) It was played in good spirit and a substantial amount was handed to the ‘Cotswolds Friends’ Charity. Thank you to all involved.

We welcomed two touring sides during the season, St. Margaret’s Co-op and Meon Valley. Both were very enjoyable occasions and both were won by Moreton. If you have friends or relatives playing in other parts of the country, why not see if you can encourage their club to visit us for a tour day/weekend?

A now regular Memorial Shield Competition against Enderby BC (Leics), unfortunately resulted in us being roundly beaten both home and away. Enderby created this challenge between our two clubs to honour the memory of one of their Senior players, so they are quite competitive when they play, but they do remain a really welcoming club. We always enjoy the banter and competitive nature of these games despite the outcome this year.

Congratulations go to Brenda Dix for being re-elected as the Club Captain for a further year, and we welcome the three new Club Vice-Captains – Steve Aldridge, John Meadows and Rita Gerry. The Club also thanks Rod Dix for his support as Vice-Captain during 2016.

The club mixed matches now divide into three distinct strands: ‘friendlies’; North Cotswold League and Kineton League games.

Friendlies: As Club Captain, Brenda Dix captains these games. We played a total of 40 mixed ‘friendly’ matches, won 20, and lost 20 with shots of 3350 for and 3243 against, and we cancelled one match against Carterton because we couldn’t raise a team. Only 8 people volunteered.

Brenda also captains the North Cotswold League and we returned to our winning ways this year winning with 68 points. Chipping Campden came second with 65. Well done and thank you to all those players who played.

MBC entered teams into the Kineton League for the first time this season. David Stanfield acts as Captain, and Moreton finished 7th out of 12 which is a great performance. We also managed to win the Kineton League President’s Trophy Competition - the Joe Edkin Trophy. As a first time entry this was a great result! Well done to Rita Gerry; Rod and Brenda Dix; Allan Ferguson; John Meadows; Charles Chapman; Mike Wainwright; and Clive Marcham.

The Ladies played 9 fixtures, winning 3 and losing 4. These games are always enjoyable and give the ladies the opportunity to try out different roles, and to experience playing ‘back end’ (3/Skip) positions. Our newer players did fantastically well in these positions despite their lack of experience.

The Ladies welcome Linda Bennett and Hilary O’Callaghan into the Ladies Captain and Vice- Captain roles respectively. Many thanks go to the outgoing Ladies Captain Jane Clarke for her enthusiasm and commitment for the past three years. Ladies Captain Linda would like to wish all the lady bowlers a happy and successful year in 2017, and she is looking forward to playing alongside all our ladies and leading them to some successful matches.

The Gent’s welcome Rob Taylor as the new Vice Captain and thank Allan Ferguson for his commitment last year. They had eight games in the fixture card, but played only four, winning 2/4. Both games against Blockley were rained off and it wasn’t possible to rearrange them. Moreton also had to cancel 2 other games because we couldn’t raise a team on either occasion.

As with the Club Captain, the Men’s Captain has on-going problems in achieving full teams. There are 35 men paid up as Full Members for 2016, but only around 23 add their names to the team lists and commit to play with any regularity. Many thanks to those that do play.

Please commit to playing. The Captains are now being forced to telephone almost every week to fill the team sheets. This is unfair. The games are for you after all! It’s disheartening not only for them, but also for the Fixture Secretary who goes to great lengths throughout the previous season to get the fixtures finalised well before the February print deadline.

We set the fixtures to allow as many Members as possible, to play as often as possible, in a format they like. PLEASE - take the time to come to the club to add your name to the game sheets. You don’t even need to wait until the sheet goes onto the board. The sheets for the whole season are in the folder near the notice board, and you can add your name well in advance even before the season starts!

The Burma Star Memorial Cup was resurrected this year, and Brenda and Rod Dix; Tom and Peggy Harrison played on behalf of MBC, winning the whole thing by 7 shots. The trophy is now proudly displayed in the clubhouse. The raffle money raised on the day was donated to Help the Heroes as the charity nominated by our winning team. Well done to four of our Senior bowlers! All that practice in Portugal really paid off!

The 2015 Club Competition Finals were eventually completed during the first part of the playing season, followed by the 2016 Competitions which fortunately went through without too many problems.

The winners for both years are as follows:
Comp. Winner 2015 Winner 2016
 Men’s Singles  D Stanfield  M Wainwright
 Ladies Singles  J Stanfield  R Gerry
 Men’s Handicap  D Stanfield  Not played
 Open Singles  R Gerry  Not played
 Men’s Pairs

 M Wainwright 

 A Ferguson

 M Wainwright

 B Whamond

 Mixed Pairs

 P Harrison

 R Dix

 V Higton

 V Rowledge

 Triples  J Marshall
 D Stanfield
 A Morgan

 N Biddlecombe

 J Kemp
 R Biddlecombe

 Freddie Wheeler  B Whamond  C Marcham
 Men’s 2 Wood  J Kemp  J Kemp
 Ladies 2 Wood  R Gerry  R Gerry
 Nominated Pairs

 R Gerry

 J Kemp

 Not played

Fewer people are now entering for the competitions – particularly from the Ladies section - which means that some do not take place. It is, however, important that a Ladies Singles competition takes place in order for our winners/runners up to be able to play for the County should they so wish. Even if you know you won’t win, it is perhaps a way to experience the singles game, and in the process, give those more competitive ladies an opportunity to enter for County selection. You never know – you may even beat one of them!! It’s all on the day as they say!

Allan Ferguson did another great job in organising the competitions, and in sorting out the presentation of the trophies at the Presentation evening on Saturday October 22nd. The 2014/15 Men’s County President David Hopkins attended to present the trophies. (He had agreed to do the same at the 2015 evening which had to be cancelled.)

Jane Clarke, and the team of club Members that helped out, once more provided a lovely meal and the evening was another successful event. We are always very grateful to everyone for the time and effort invested on our behalf.

Clive Bennett will be President of Gloucestershire Men’s Bowls Association during 2017 and brings 7 prestigious County games to the club as a result. Our Members will be playing as a club in one of them, but when we act as host to the others, we will need lots of input from both the ladies and the gents to ensure that the County see us at our best. Clive will be depending on us and I’m sure we’ll all do our best both for him and the club.

Our annual Open Day brought in several new players who are turning out to not only be good bowlers, but also loyal and very supportive club Members. We made a concerted effort to pepper the surrounding villages with fliers and did a door drop to the houses in both Moreton and Bourton. This is a time consuming and logistically challenging thing to do.

Sincere thanks go to Ann Chapman as our PR/Publicity volunteer for managing this. (She continues to promote the club by sending articles to the local publications each month and keeping us in the spotlight.)

We also now have large re-usable publicity posters to stand in strategic areas (and Geoff Cox also somehow managed to put them on the roof of his car) to promote the event. Charles Chapman kindly donated the huge Moreton in Marsh Bowling Club banner that now adorns the perimeter fence, and we managed to put up a metal sign on the lamp post as a permanent fixture. Thank you to everybody that made the effort to publicise and attract attention to the club. Job well done! Unfortunately - it all needs to happen again in April/May this year! All hands to the pump again.

We hosted another successful Gala Day in August; and a day of bowling for the Stow Primary School, both of which were great fun. The Cotswold Friends also tried their hand at bowling and had a small social gathering in the clubhouse thanks to Sheryl Murray and her connections with the charity.

The Green Sub Committee continues to do a magnificent job on the green, particularly with its challenges against the hedge ditch. The Club would be all the poorer without your generous efforts and time spent monitoring every blade of grass!

The development of the site next door will hopefully offer up a few solutions if management of the hedgerow and trees receives attention. We put in several comments to the planning application on behalf of the club, and the Council is very supportive in raising concern with the developer. We now can only wait and see.

Thanks again go to Charles Chapman for being proactive in sorting out a proposal to change the club uniform shirt. We held an important Extraordinary General Meeting to discuss his proposal. This was well attended and very useful, all be it a bit disappointing for Charles and those Members that wanted to change to shirts with some colour. It did actually settle what we didn’t want, and set in motion the formulation of a new proposal for what the club did want.

A further Proposal relating to the shirts, this time formulated by Rob Taylor, was put to the Men’s AGM, and accepted at that meeting. This in turn was put before the AGM. With a few tweaks (and an extension) we finally cleared up the issue of our club uniform that has been ongoing for around a decade!

We now have agreed to wear all white, collared shirts, with the club name and Redesdale Hall logo on the left chest, and grey or white clothing below the waist in accordance with BE requirements. We can take our shirts and anything else that you may wish to put a logo onto e.g. sweaters, jackets, cardigans, wets etc. to WREAL Sports on the Bourton on the Water Retail Park.

(We welcome a retailer – Chris Young Sports – to the club at the very start of the season for Members to purchase anything from chalk to woods. He usually brings a wide selection of stock and the club gets a small percentage of the profits for allowing him to do so. He will be attending once again before the 2017 season get under way, probably on the second Monday of the season.)
The AGM was very well supported. The full list of Officers appointed at the AGM for 2017 is on-line and on the notice board in the club. However, we struggled once again to get people to step up to be elected for certain posts. We already know that come the next AGM, David Stanfield is stepping down as Men’s Captain; Jenny Stanfield is stepping out of Fixtures Secretary; Brenda has already been re-elected for another year beyond the Constitutional guidelines and may well choose to step down completely, and I will definitely no longer be Secretary. Without active Members we cannot continue as a club. Please think about joining the Committee.

We couldn’t present the Financial Report at the AGM. We had had difficulty in closing out the financial year due to the 2015/16 Club Treasurer walking away from the club very suddenly. Despite the Committee managing to submit a set of accounts to the Auditor, he was unable to rectify and sign them off in time for the AGM.

As a result, we have now set an EGM to set out the financial report to Members on Wednesday February 8th at 7:00 p.m. This will lead into an Information Evening during which you can raise any topic for open discussion

Short Mat: We now have two mats on which to play short mat bowls and players meet at the club on Wednesday and Friday afternoons from 2:00 p.m. (A Tuesday evening practice is also due to start up soon).

The club is keen to develop this form of the game and hopes to get enough people involved to the point where more fixtures against other clubs can be played. You don’t need to have bowled at all to join this group so if you fancy a go why not just turn up?

The club is short of coaches and markers. Noreen Biddlecombe does a sterling job (thank you Noreen) but it is a huge commitment for her to be present at every Monday roll up and to teach/coach every new player. There are often courses run by both Gloucestershire and BE for those interested in developing this side of their interest in bowls. Please take a look at the BE web site, and speak to Noreen for a bit of an insight.

Finally, for this section, two loyal club Members, and kind and lovely ladies died this year– Beryl Fletcher and Helen Tuff. Not only were they both very good bowlers, they contributed a huge amount to the club. They are sadly missed.

Helen spent many years as our Fixtures Secretary and ultimately became the Club Chair. She played until she was too ill to cope, worked tirelessly acting as administrator in various ways, and was a demon raffle prize seeker. Her death was a blow to us all.

Beryl too played for us for many years at a very high standard. Latterly,, Ted and Beryl were ever together spending many hours watching us play, particularly supporting the players in the club competitions. Ted is still our Club President, and I know he like the rest of us, misses Beryl’s company and her dry wit! He has kindly presented the club with a beautiful wooden bench in Beryl’s memory.
Social Activities

This section kicks off with the Bowls Tour since it bridges the Social and Full Member sections. The 2016 Tour – organised once again by Beryl Ferguson and David Stanfield – used Thoresby Hall, a beautiful Nottinghamshire venue, as a base.

This was once again a very enjoyable Tour – although we weren’t too successful on the playing front! Fortunately, we go on tour to have fun and a relaxed time, to experience playing at other clubs and to visit some interesting places, so the poor results weren’t too upsetting. Well done Beryl and David for arranging this again.

The 2017 Tour is booked once again with a Warner’s Hotel – Sinah Warren in Hampshire - from Monday 11th to Friday 15th September. This includes 4 nights bed and breakfast, a 3 course evening meal every evening, and daytime and evening entertainment.

There is still the possibility of joining the Tour, so if you are interested contact Beryl (01451 822281) or David (01451 824338) for more details a.s.a.p.

At the start of the season we decided to hold a Pre-season Tea for the first time, instead of the usual lunch. It was well attended by both Full and Social Members. Many people were involved in making the sandwiches, and cakes and in making this as enjoyable as it was. Thank you again to the Members that pitch in to pull these events together.

Redesdale Hall. The total for this year’s three coffee mornings comes to £678.91. Huge thanks to Val Higton (and Martin) and all of the Members that provided cakes/biscuits and time, to make the public coffee mornings a success. Next year’s dates are as follows:
11th April (Second Tues)
22nd August (Fourth Tues)
12th Dec (Second Tues)
Hilary O’Callaghan has agreed to lead on these now that Val is moving, but will need help please.
Club Coffee mornings. We are attempting to keep these mornings going on the first Wednesday of each month, although the attendance is a bit low now. We have opened them up to the public and have run the odd advert in the local news sheets, but it is still a bit of a struggle to build the numbers. Any support is always welcome.

Family Day/Tombola/Duck Race. Jenny Stanfield and the Bourton on the Water ‘crew’ fund raised and promoted the club through three separate event this year.

Jenny Stanfield took a small stall at the Bourton-on-the-Water Family Day on June 12th for the first time providing promotional information about the club to the public. She did this on a trial basis to see if we could generate interest and attract new members. It wasn’t particularly successful, but well done Jenny for trying something new.

Usually the Tombola and the Duck Race are run together but for some reason we couldn’t get both on the same day in 2016. The Tombola Day was run on 6th August and made a grand total of £1116.86. Well done to everyone who helped by supplying prizes, bric-a-brac, plants, cakes and scones, making sandwiches and rolls, and generally helping out on the day. The profit was down on 2015 but there were two Tombola’s happening on the green that day. We also didn’t have the Duck Race pulling in the public.

The Duck Race happened on August 27th. Our intrepid Bourton Members and friends put another £316.67 into the club coffers from this annual event. They had to stop at 2.30 as there was an horrendous thunderstorm and they were flooded out. The 7 Members who helped all went home soaking wet, but made a terrific profit in that short time. Well done again to the few involved.
We depend heavily on the major public fund raising events to provide everything we need for the club. The club subscription still does not entirely cover off the on-costs for running our clubhouse and without significant input from the fund raising we would soon run into debt.
Fortunately, it’s something that MBC do well, and we’re a very sociable club, so it’s no hardship to join in, but if you can take over some of the organisation it will really relieve the pressure on those that have been doing it for some time.

Film matinee: Geoff Cox showed a short film called ‘Crackerjack’ in the clubhouse with a small afternoon tea thrown in. Those that were able to attend enjoyed the afternoon, and the film was certainly food for thought. If anyone has any more ideas for regular events- bingo for e.g. – and would like to set up an event, please talk about dates with the Committee.

Donnington Brewery visit: Nobby Clarke organised a visit to our local brewery, attended by about a dozen or so Members. Attendees said it was interesting and enjoyable to see the brewery working as it has done for decades and to taste the beer. Everybody received a pint glass from the Brewery as a gift.

Christmas Tea: We held an afternoon tea for our Christmas event instead of a lunch this year. Three North Cotswold U3A groups entertained us – the Ukele Group, the Choir and the Recorder Consort, and Ann Chapman came up trumps with some party games – including pass the parcel!

We sang lots of Christmas Carols and had a lovely afternoon tea prepared and served by Jenny Stanfield, Angela Turner, Geoff Cox, and several others who pitched in at various times.

Monday evening club nights: are still well attended by many Members, with Mexican train dominoes, darts, board games, jigsaws, card games and short mat amongst the pastimes of those that attend. Everyone is welcome from 6:00 p.m. The bar is open and tea and coffee always readily available – and occasionally cake as well as the biscuits!

The Art and Craft Group continues to meet on a Thursday morning from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Anyone who fancies painting/drawing/sewing/crocheting/knitting or indeed doing any craft whilst in good company, is more than welcome to attend. Friends and relatives are also very welcome. The N. Cotswold U3A Art Group join the club group every other Thursday.


All in all, we have had another successful year and are all set to take the club on to even greater things in 2017, but first we have to close out the finances for 2016:

                                           SIGNIFICANT DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
EGM February 8th at 7:00 p.m. (clubhouse.)

Men’s Section Meeting: 8th March

Opening Bowls Drive: 22nd April

Public Open Day: 13th May

Club Triples Competition: 3rd June

Club Pairs Competition: 9th July

Club finals: 28th August, 2nd, 4th September

Club Tour: 11th – 15th September
Please remember to pay your subs in good time as of April 1st

Full Membership £80
Social membership £15

Burma Star memorial cup goes to Moreton-In-Marsh
The Burma Star Memorial Cup competition was played at Adderbury on Wednesday July 27 in honour of former servicemen who served in the Burma Campaign between 1941 and 1945.
Eight clubs – Adderbury, Banbury Central, Banbury Borough, Bloxham, Woodford Halse, Middle Barton, Byfield and  Moreton in Marsh. – took part.
Moreton in Marsh won a closely-fought tournament and received the trophy from Mrs Orchard (see pic above). Adderbury came second.
In addition to the trophy as the winning club we received  £174 – money raised from entry fees, a raffle and a whisky draw – the money to be given to a charity of our choice.  It was decided that the money should go to Help for Heroes.
The cup was originally bought by the Burma Star Bowls Club and for many years was played for by Banbury area bowls clubs.  The competition was last held in 2012 and since then the cup has been in the safekeeping of Banbury Burma veteran Alan Orchard – himself a keen bowler who played for Banbury Central, Banbury Chestnuts and Burma Star.  Alan died last year and it was his wish that the tournament should be revived. His widow Sheelagh asked Adderbury to run the competition     
Stow Primary School visits Moreton -in-Marsh Bowls Club
Trish Wainwright
On July 1st Moreton in Marsh Bowls Club took great pleasure in playing host to 22 children from Stow Primary School and two of their staff.  For once the weather behaved and we were able to stay outside on the green all day.
The day was set up a ‘taster’ day to enable the children to have some first-hand experience at bowling. Around 16 of the MBC Senior bowlers helped to supervise and show them what to do during a full day of activities, and the club also provided a buffet picnic lunch.
The Head Teacher Mrs Scutt can be justifiably proud of them all. They behaved beautifully and made the day enjoyable for everyone with their enthusiasm and willingness to participate. (The teachers also joined in – fairly competitively at times!)
We hope they all enjoyed it sufficiently to want to come back to us with parents and friends on any Monday evening until the end of the season. (September) Contact details for the club: Club Captain Brenda Dix, Tel: 01451 821020 or simply come to the club behind the fuel station in Moreton from 6:00 p.m.
Open Day goes ahead despite poor weather
After many weeks of hard work promoting the MBC Open Day (May 21st) in almost every hamlet and small town surrounding the Bowls Club, when the day dawned the weather was poor. Despite our reservations as to what the public response may be, we all stayed optimistic and kept our fingers crossed!
In fact, we had a good number of people calling in throughout the afternoon, and we recruited four new Members immediately. We continue to offer trial sessions to the public at any of our Monday evening roll up evenings, and this has also brought more people into membership. To date we have 8 new Members – two of them Juniors (this for the first time in several years). We continue to promote the club to the public whenever and wherever possible.
Flood alleviation causes damage to club perimeter fence
The good old English weather has challenged the Town Council flood alleviation managers in Moreton for several years. They have spent years upgrading the flood defences and instigating an alleviation scheme.
The site on which the bowls club is situated has a flood drainage ditch running along one side. Last year, as part of the alleviation works, a small dam was installed in it to hold back the storm surge from the houses on the far side of the A 429; to slow the water down, and keep it in the flood zone in the fields behind the clubhouse. Unfortunately for us – and for the Council - one day of severe storm force rain created such a surge that the water over spilled the dam instead of holding it back. As a result, it eroded beneath where the club fence was inserted at the corner of the car park. The bank collapsed and took the fence with it.
With the fence breached, we grew concerned that animals (and possibly children) could get into the grounds and onto the green. We did in fact find animal droppings on the green one morning. After several increasingly urgent calls to the Council, the fence has now been repaired and the grounds are now secure. Lawrence King and his team at the Town Council have done a good job, and MBC hope that the repairs to the dam will avoid a similar event occurring during the next storms.
Captain's Updates from the Last Committee Meeting - May 19th
Club Captain
8 Mixed games have been played so far: Won 2 Lost 6.  Points For: 570  Points Against 601
We won the 1st NCL match v Blockley –  6 points to us. Well done to the Ladies because out of 12 players only 5 were men.
Ladies Captain
We beat Bishops Cleeve in the Ladies Top Club 3 points to 1.
Gents Captain
MBC lost the 1st Kineton League (KL) game v Fenny Compton on 25th May by 2 points to 6.
The 1st two Gents matches were lost:  26th April v Broadway 53 – 61; and 28th May v Chipping Campden 23 - 34
An update of the Gloucestershire Bowls Association 2016
Last year we managed to win back the Punchard Cup, of which, two of the team were from our club. This year we have retained the cup and three Of our club bowlers were part of the team. Not only that, Mike, Charles and Clive were part of the highest winning rink.

Charles Chapman has recently been awarded his full County badge.  Congratulations ''Chas'', who is known in the County squad of bowlers as '' Charlie Chaplin''. Chas has become a very popular member of the squad and is well respected.

We now have five current County bowlers from the Moreton Club. Add to this the four current County lady bowlers and we can proudly say the club is representing the County well. I'm sure there will be more in the next few years.

The County Middleton Cup team have not had the best results so far, but we are building a virtually new squad.  A lot of them are still in their teens and have many years together to build a successful team.  The County Under 25 team is also getting stronger. They beat Wiltshire, a great win over a much more established team. Again they will be able to bowl together for some years as the majority of them are again still in their teens.

One of them, Nathan Kitchen, has been selected to represent England in September in the under 25 International Tournament in Scotland. We are all very proud of him obtaining his first England cap.

From a personnel point of view, my year as the County Senior Vice President is going well and I really am enjoying it, even if it is much more time consuming than I thought it would be.
Things are continuing to move forward with some positive changes and I'm looking forward to next year.

It should not be long now, before I can confirm how many, and what County games, I can bring to be played at our club next season. When we do know, please put the dates in your diaries.
We will, as a club, need to give our full commitment, to showcase our club and to offer support to all who play for the GBA.

Please don't be shy, shout, encourage and support them vocally, it really does lift the morale of the teams.

There should be two games where our club will be playing too.  More of that soon.

Finally, from me, thank you for all your support and encouragement,

Clive Bennett.
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