2019 - 2020 Club News

(Mid April 2019 to Mid April 2020)

All Items By Eddie Hawkins, Press Officer, Braintree Bowling Club


2019 April

Club Centenary Day

Tuesday 30th April marked the actual celebrations of Braintree Bowling Club’s Centenary Day. 

Centenary Roll Up Players

Past, present and new members, numbering over 100, gathered at the club for an afternoon of competitive club member bowls, followed by an enjoyable wine and cheese evening.

Click Here for Pictures of Wine & Cheese Evening

During the early evening festivities, three life members - Anne Beale, Una Gill and Malcolm Stark, unfurled and hoisted the newly purchased Centenary flag. 

Centenary Flag

Click Here for Further Pictures

This event marks another historical legacy which will be handed down from present members to future participants of bowls at the Club.


2019 June
100 Bowls Layout

Braintree B.C. v Bowls England - Centenary Celebration  


 Flowers for EBA Match

Following on from the Braintree Bowling Club's Centenary Day event in April, the club hosted a friendly match against Bowls England on Thursday 20th June. This was the second time that England Bowls Association had honoured the club by attending one of its anniversary celebrations.

The first was in 1994 when the club celebrated their 75th Anniversary, giving good account of themselves by winning on one rink, drawing on one rink and losing on two rinks with only 18 overall shots between the two teams. The very experienced national bowlers included many celebrities, namely Michael Swatland (EBA Senior Vice-President), Roy Peacock, George Firmin and Mel Hughes (England Team Manager and TV Bowls Commentator).

Braintree players on this 75th Anniversary Day were: F. Morgan, W. Whates, A. Brown, B. Simpson, P. Kelly, M. Riordan, K. Collett, C. Rowling, W. Cowell, A. Stewart, L. Dalton, R. Lovell, R. Moore, B. Wyatt, N. Barrett, R. Barnard, J. Wooding and B. Hayward.

Starting EquipmentThe warm, sunny weather on this Centenary Day was more in keeping for bowling than on the overcast, windy 75th Anniversary Day. There was good bowling on the 6 pristine rinks, appreciated by the bowlers and spectators alike. The result was a win for the hosts with an overall difference of 28 shots, narrowly beating the EBA score by 2 shots, winning on 4 rinks to the visitors winning on 2 rinks.

Braintree players taking part were :- G. Lowe, E. Hawkins, L. Hopkins, R. Dodd, D. Hart, V. Taylor, V. Cole, A. Beatty, C. Long, K. Rixon, G. Costin, M. Stark, O. Hawkins, D. Grice, D. Hunt, G. Easterbrook, I. Norgett, P. Costin, T. Heales, J. Kodz, J. Laidlaw, D. Fennelly, J. Heffernan and P. Stowe.


EBA BBC Teams Members of the EBA Team & Braintree Bowling Club

EBA Pennant to AndyThe 6 England Bowls Teams travelled from different counties across England, including Bedfordshire, Royal County of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hampshire, Herefordshire, Huntingdonshire, Norfolk, Northumberland, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Surrey and Yorkshire.


After the match, a meal was prepared for all the players and some visiting supporters, followed by speeches, toasts and presentations of memorabilia to other parties including the greenkeepers, bar staff and meal serving ladies.


The EBA President, Hazel Marke congratulated Braintree Bowling Club members for a splendid competitive and welcoming day and presented a Bowls England 2019 Pennant to the Braintree Club Chairman, Andy Beatty.


CMBL Presidents Day - Centenary Celebration

There was yet another prestigious Centenary match hosted by Braintree Bowling Club, on Thursday, 27th June against the Central Midweek Bowling League President's Teams.

CMBL Presidents Team

CMBL Paul and GillThe day began with a spider bowl (a toy spider with a jack under it) placed in the middle of the green and all the players stand around the edge of the green and bowl at the spider when a bell is rung. The winner is the player who gets the nearest to the spider jack, in this instance Gill Costin, who won a bottle of whiskey.

The weather was excellent and produced some good bowling on the well-prepared pristine greens, with teams of 4 players on 6 rinks.  What made this match noteworthy is that a member of Braintree Bowling Club, Paul Costin is currently the CMBL President and is the first from the club to hold this position.

Picture: Gill Costin, Winner of Spder Bowl and Paul Costin, CMBL President.

This match gave several new and experienced bowlers a chance to play against some of the past and present top bowlers of this CMBL organisation, including members of local clubs within the area.  Braintree players taking part were: Tony Day, Donna Fennelly, Rob Jones, Eddie Hawkins, Eric Hockley, Olive Hawkins, Gordon Currie, Albie Ayres, John Vandome, Sylvia Spratling, John Laidlaw, Gill Costin, Joan Day, Peter Stowe, Veronica Taylor, Keith Rixon, David Davies, Graham  Michaels, Jan Kodz, Ian Rubens, Nita Watson, David Grice, Dave Barker and Tony Heales.  The overall winners of the match were the CMBL visitors.

CMBL Paul CostinThere was an excellent meal in the clubhouse with speeches and toasts, and praise given to the organisers, executives, players, greenkeepers, bar staff and serving ladies. 

Picture: CMBL President Speech.


The players of Braintree Bowling Club can now look forward to hosting the Essex Executives match on Sunday, 7th July and playing the Royal Household at Windsor on Saturday, 13th July.


2019 July

Essex County Bowling Executives - Centenary Celebration

Braintree Bowling Club hosted another Centenary Celebration match on Sunday, 7th July, against the Essex County Bowls Executives.

Essex Exec

Playing on six rinks of four players, the home team took advantage of their knowledge of the greens, by leading in the first 5 ends on all six rinks.  However, the visiting executives gradually came to grips with the running of the greens and started to put pressure on their host's early lead.  As the matches progressed, the visitors took the lead on all rinks except one, played on by the Braintree Club's Chairman Andy Beatty, Jan Kodz, Tom Rackley and Gill Costin.  This situation remained throughout the match, with an overall shot score of 149 to the visitors and 91 shots to the hosts. 

An after-match meal followed the games, with speeches, presentations and praise from both County and Club Chairmen to players, catering staff and helpers.

Braintree players taking part were:

Albie Ayres, Les Crow, Lyndon Hopkins, Rob Doleman

Jan Kodz, Tom Rackley, Gill Costin, Andy Beatty

Dave Davies, Olive Hawkins, Keith Rixon, Richard Dodd

Barbara Taylor, Dave Barker, Eddie Hawkins, Tony Heales

Dave Threadgold, Ian Norgett, Carl Cheetham, Malcolm Stark

Danielle Gibbons, Graham Michaels, Vic Cole and Josh Heffernan.


Royal Household Bowling Club, Windsor - Centenary Celebration

This must go down in the history of Braintree Bowling Club as one of the most privileged and memorable days for all members / players who attended this friendly Centenary match at the Royal Household Bowling Club in Home Park at Windsor Castle on Saturday, 13th July.

Royal Household

The coach journey included a stop at Windsor town centre, where some took advantage of a relaxing walk along the River Thames or a stroll around the town. The coach party then entered the Royal Household Bowling Club facilities, close to their Golf and Cricket areas and Frogmore House, within the Crown Estate.  The Royal Household Bowling Club are affiliated members of the Royal County of Berkshire Bowling Association and will have their own Centenary year in 2020.

The Royal Household Bowling Club were excellent hosts making Braintree’s visit a notable occasion for all concerned.  There were 6 rinks on which teams of 4 from both clubs played.  Braintree started strongly on all six rinks, taking early leads, but the home team gradually took control, winning on 4 rinks to Braintree's success on 2 rinks, with an overall score of 136 shots to 91 shots.

After the game, the hosts laid on a meal in their clubhouse, where both parties made toasts and presentation to players and support staff.

Braintree Bowling Club players were as follows:

A. Beatty, S. Cannon, T. Cannon, C. Cheetham, V. Cole, M. Cowley, D. Davies, R. Dodd, R. Doleman, D. Fennelly, D. Gibbons, P. Green, D. Grice, P. Hart, E. Hawkins, O. Hawkins, E. Hockley, D. Hunt, K. Hunter, B. Jowlett, J. Kodz, F. Laidlaw, J. Laidlaw, S. Mayne, G. Michaels I. Norgett, T. Rackley, S. Spratling, B. Taylor and N. Watson.


2019 August

Braintree v Clacton Indoor Bowling Club

Clacton 3rd August

This was another hectic weekend of competitions on Braintree Bowling Club’s rinks.

Saturday, 3rd August saw their members hosting an annual match against Clacton Indoor Bowling Club.

This match is a continuation of matches played annually in the Winter months against indoor clubs, including Clacton.  This usually sees the home club comprehensively beating the Braintree club, most of whom are outdoor players, unused to playing on indoor carpeted rinks.  This reflected in the results, when the Indoor players from Clacton came to Braintree, who won partly through their experience of playing on grass rinks, with the result being Braintree Bowling Club scoring 99 shots to the visitors 51 shots on five rinks. 

Braintree Players involved in this match were: Sandra Mayne, Linda Butcher, Tony Cannon, Rob Jones, Sue Cannon, Dave Davies, John Vandome, Peter Stowe, Sylvia Spratling, Carl Cheetham, Les Crow, Barbara Taylor, Eddie Hawkins, Josh Heffernan, Eric Hockley, Olive Hawkins, Keith Rixon, Donna Fennelly, Danielle Gibbons and Richard Dodd.


Tribble Triples

Sunday, 4th August saw an internal club competition called the Tribble Triples.  So named, after the Pre‑ World War 2 Tribble brothers who dominated the club’s honours lists.  The match is for members only, who are randomly selected to play in sets of three in separate teams, who then play each other over 5 ends, gaining 1 point for a draw, 2 points for a win and zero points for a loss. The final two winning teams then play each other in the final over seven ends.

In this case the final two teams consisted of the following players:  Sandra Mayne, Keith Hunter, Dave Hunt versus Olive Hawkins, Keith Rixon and Tony Heales, with the latter team taking the trophy by scoring 12 shots to 2 shots. 

Tribble Triples Winners

This was an excellent club day which concluded with a Chinese take- away meal for a few members present at the club in the evening, who enjoyed an impromptu karaoke night.


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Tri-Centenary Match, Sawbridgeworth - Centenary Celebration

Tri Centenary Match

Club histories were made when three bowling clubs, Braintree, St. Albans Townsend and Sawbridgeworth celebrated their 100 years existence with a Tri-Centenary friendly match hosted by Sawbridgeworth Bowling Club on Saturday, 10th August.  This was the first time these clubs had ever met, with the common purpose of celebrating their achievement, which all hoped would be a traditional annual friendly event, hosted by one of the individual clubs each year.

Everyone had a most pleasant afternoon of bowls, marred only by the blustering high winds, which had some adverse effects on the bowling for all teams.  Braintree won on one rink and lost on one rink to both Sawbridgeworth and St. Albans Townsend, a satisfactory result for all parties on this occasion.

All were treated to a most enjoyable after match fare.  Each Club President gave a toast to their fellow visiting club members and hosts on their centenary achievements, accompanied by gifts to commemorate their Centenary year.

Members of Braintree Bowling Club who took part were Dave Threadgold, Ian Norgett, Keith Rixon, Andy Beatty, Peter Stowe, Jan Kodz, John Laidlaw, Tony Heales, David Davies, Steve Wilkinson, Eddie Hawkins, Tony Skingley, Lorraine Wilkinson, Freda Laidlaw, Olive Hawkins and Josh Heffernan.


Fixed Jack

Fixed JackThe poor weather of late, was not an issue when Braintree Bowling Club players competed for the annual internal Fixed Jack competition on Saturday, 17th August. 

The opening contest was played with six groups of four, playing eight ends, with a short jack at one end and a long jack at the other, both in a fixed position.  The bowlers try to get as close to the jack as possible to score, but If the jack is hit and moved off its spot,  it is returned to its original spot, making for some interesting results.

This was a knockout competition between the six groups, with the highest scorers being put through to the quarter final, semi-final and final.

The finalists, Carl Cheetham and Tony Heales, gave the spectators an enjoyable game over a 10-end competition.  The game started off close with both having a similar score until the fourth end, when Carl started to take the lead.  Carl continued his commanding play throughout the game, leading to him being the eventual winner of the final.

The final game ended late in the afternoon and was followed by a BBQ and an entertaining karaoke evening involving club members and guests.

Picture: Carl Cheetham (Left) and Tony Heales (Right)


2019 September

Club Finals Weekend

On the weekend of 31st August and 1st September, Braintree Bowling Club held the finals of their own Internal Club Competitions, being the perfect end to their excellent Centenary year activities.  During  the season, the club played Bowls England, The Royal Household B.C., Essex County Executives teams , CMBL Presidents teams, plus a Tripartite friendly against two other clubs, Sawbridgeworth B.C. and St. Albans Townsend B.C., celebrating their own formation, a hundred years ago. 

Club Finals weekend is a celebration for the finalists, sometimes giving less experienced players a chance to play against and with more experienced players.  Day One held the Hunnable Cup Gents Singles, Lovng Cup Open Pairs, Mather Handicap Open Singles, Novices Cup Gents Singles, Random Open Pairs and Senior Cup Ladies Singles.  One newcomer to the sport, Peter Stow, in his first year as a bowler, played both with and against very experienced County bowlers, making a worthy competitor in both matches.

Expectations were high for the second day of the finals and club spectators were not disappointed.  The morning started with the Keith Hunt Sets, Nicholls 2 Wood and Joan Taylor 2 wood matches.  The afternoon matches included the Dyson Cup and Veterans Cup and the nail-biting Daniel Robinson Self-Select Pairs contest which went into an extra end being played, as both teams were level after 21 ends with 23 shots each. Due to the number of games held over the weekend, there was also a third day of finals held on Monday, 2nd September, to hold the Random Ladies Pairs match.


As with any sport, there are winners and losers, but as always this is "part and parcel" of any competition, but well done to all those that took part. 


Timber Trade Benevolent Society - Keith Davis Memorial Shield


On Thursday, 5th September, Braintree Bowling Club’s use as a venue for the Timber Trade Benevolent Society's annual Keith Davis Memorial Shield competition, organised by Malcolm Cowley, was a great success in raising funds for this worthy charity. It proved to be, for the second year running, a convivial but competitive bowling atmosphere for all the teams concerned. The 10 competing teams which covered areas of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, were: Avalon Forest 'A', 'B' & 'C', Aveley, Boxford 'A' &'B', Braintree 'A' & 'B', Upminster and the Timber Trade Benevolent Society (TTBS). These 10 teams were divided into 2 Leagues of 5 teams playing matches over 9 ends, with 2 points for a win, 1 for a draw and nothing for a loss and the Winners of each league then playing in the final.

Finalists Avalon BraintreeUnfortunately, time was not on the players side as it was believed that there would not be enough time to play the final game due to bad light. This then involved a managerial decision to take into consideration how many games were won, drawn and lost and points scored.

The result was a win for the Avalon Forest 'A' team with the Runners-Up spot taken by the Braintree Bowling Club 'B' team.

All Avalon

Neither of these teams lost any of their games, but on a technicality, the Avalon Forest B.C. team took the Memorial Shield trophy.

The real winner though, in this annual benevolent event was the contributions to the worthy TTBS charity, with a total donation of £330 by all the participating players and supporters.



Essex County B.A. v Suffolk County B.A. Match & Awards

Two esteemed local bowling  personalities, Gordon Barrett of Witham Bowling Club and Malcolm Stark of Braintree Bowling Club, received a well-deserved award after their Essex B.A. versus Suffolk B.A. match at Braintree's Bowling Club's Green on Thursday, 12th September. 

For both players, who have served their County in many roles over the years, this was their 100th game for the County and they were awarded with a County Tie and a Certificate to mark the occasion by the ECBA President, Terry Mizen. 

Gordon Barrett   Malcolm Stark
Gordon Barrett & Terry Mizen   Terry Mizen & Malcolm Stark

The President went on to praise Braintree's greenkeepers for the excellent  playing condition of the green and to thank the ladies who had prepared and served the meals after the match.


2019 October

Awards Evening & AGM

With an attendance of over 70 members, the Club's Centenary Presentation Evening and AGM on 26th October, brought a fitting close to a memorable 100 years for Braintree Bowling Club. 


The awards centred around the internal club competitions, some of which were won by our less seasoned players, together with our more experienced players.

Special praise went to the Green Rangers and Green Keepers for their skill and hard work on the green over the past few years, which brought praise from both County and Bowls England officials.  This in turn has made the Braintree Bowling Club green one of the highly  sought-after venues for County and Regional Finals matches, leading to added income  for the club. Tony and Rob

To mark this, the two Green Rangers, Tony Heales and Rob Doleman were awarded the Stacey Mowle Memorial Trophy, for outstanding service to the club. 



The rest of the Green Keeping team were also acknowledged for their hard work.


Click Here to See 2019 Finalists

Annual General Meeting

Following the presentations and meal, the members remained for the Club's AGM, which highlighted that financially the club was in a good position, with an annual increase in its income over the Centenary year.  The current Management Committee members, Andy Beatty, Richard Dodd and Ian Norgett were re-elected  by an overwhelming majority of members.  Club Committee and Non-Committee members, including bar and catering members were congratulated for their hard work throughout the year, making a valuable contribution to the club.  Once again, it was emphasised by the Ladies Section Committee Chairperson and Captain, that they would like to see more of the ladies competing over the 2020 season.  The evening ended with an impromptu social evening with a karaoke theme. 


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