The Massingham Bowls Club is based at the Village Hall and has been an integral part of the village for more than 70 years and currently enters teams in two local Leagues, the Albert Victor League and the Silver Jubilee League. The outdoor bowls season runs from mid-April to early-September and Massingham has a good achievement record, particularly in the Albert Victor League, where it has either won or been runners-up in both the League Championship and the League Cup competition for the past five years and has only failed to win a trophy once in the past eighteen years.
Club members carry out all the maintenance of their green themselves, both in the closed season and the playing season.
During the summer months, from May to August, an informal session which is open to everyone takes place one afternoon each week, and in the winter months, from October to March, there are two sessions of short-mat bowls in the Village Hall. There is a league session on Wednesday evenings and an informal non-competitive session on Monday afternoons, both these sessions are open to all-comers but players have to register in advance for the Wednesday league sessions.
The Bowls Club is an affiliated club to the Village Hall but operates as a self-sufficient club with its own committee.
The committee currently is as follows:
Chair – Peter Wadham
Secretary – Martin Matthews
Treasurer – John Setford
Membership to the Great Massingham Bowls Club costs £10 per annum and is open to all age groups.
We are always looking for new players and in the first instance, anyone interested in joining us should contact the Secretary, Martin Matthews on 01485 520707.
Indoor sessions have resumed.
Roll-ups take place on Monday afternoons from 2 to 4pm. £2 per session. All welcome.
Competitions start on 19th October
Massingham Bowls Club Report 2017
Massingham Bowls Club league positions for 2016/2017 season:
- the Brewery League team led by Colin Whitmore won the second division romping home by a huge points margin without a single defeat.
- the Albert Victor A team led by Malcolm Hipkin were runners-up again in the league.
- the Albert Victor B team led by Martin Matthews was unfortunately relegated to Division 4. This was mainly due to adopting a policy of playing all B-team members as equally as possible so that all players had regular games. Hopefully the B team can bounce back next year.
The green did not fare well throughout the season partly due to a very dry spring and early summer. However, the autumn maintenance has been done by a contractor this year and should result in a better playing surface for 2018. Thanks again go to Malcolm Hipkin, Barry Goodings, and John Setford for their work on the green throughout the season. Thanks also to Bob Nash for his work on the flower beds around the green, including the area around the new Pavilion which greatly enhances the overall appearance of the green
The new Pavilion was completed by mid-April, just in time for the new season and the project was generally on budget but the electrical supply is yet to be installed. A huge vote of thanks to the Parish Council for their contribution to the costs, without which the project would not have been possible.
The old hut was removed during September by club members. Having failed to find anyone that would salvage it, it was dismantled and taken away to burn/scrap. Thanks to Bob Nash for arranging the disposal.
Massingham again hosted the Albert Victor League Presentation Night in the Village Hall in October this year, which also brings welcome revenue to the hall and club. Thanks for the organisation and success of this function should go to Malcolm Hipkin.
Malcolm Hipkin and Peter Wadham intend to continue as joint League Secretaries to the Albert Victor League next season if re-elected at the AGM in February.
Sadly, during last season another ex-member of Massingham Bowls Club, George Grief, passed away. According to George’s wishes his family have kindly dedicated a bench in George’s memory which is now sited near the new pavilion, and a trophy for a competition to be played to commemorate George. Unfortunately we were not able to organise this during this season but it has already been scheduled for next season
Derek Skipper Memorial Competition took place at Massingham on Saturday 29th July and involved the A & B teams from Massingham Bowls Club and teams from Houghton B.C. and Rougham B.C.
The 2017 competition final was again won by Massingham A who beat Houghton in the final. Lena Skipper and her family were invited to attend the event and Lena presented the trophy to Malcolm Hipkin, captain of Massingham A.
A friendly “challenge” match against the Tennis Club was organised by Peter Wadham on 13th August. About 12 bowls club members took part with a similar number of tennis club members. The tennis match was organised as 5-a-side so as not to be too strenuous and was followed by tennis club members playing bowls, all of whom really enjoyed the experience. This was followed by a barbeque and refreshments and a game of boules on an improvised pitch near the bowls pavilion afterwards. Thanks to Annie Lawton for her help with the planning and organisation. I think all players from both clubs enjoyed the day and it is planned to hold the event again in 2018
Another social bowls event was organised by Martin Matthews as an end of season friendly on 10th September against a team from Downham Market. Both clubs fielded 16 players and the competition was well contested with Massingham coming out on top by 8 points to 4.
More thanks for fund raising go to Alison Gagen, her Bingo in excess of £800 which was a tremendous achievement. and added to Mel Whitmore’s fundraising last year, raised more than the club’s contribution to the Pavilion fund. Thanks also to Malcolm Hipkin for the Race Night which raised in excess of £400.
The outdoor informal sessions were changed to Monday this season due to the change from the Silver Jubilee to the Brewery league. Again this year the attendance to these sessions was patchy but those who have attended regularly have enjoyed the friendly rivalry.
The winter indoor short-mat bowls sessions on Monday afternoons last season raised in excess of £550 in hall hire fees for the Village hall and is so far on track this season to at least match that figure. The Wednesday evening competitions, run by John Setford for the past few years, continued to be well supported and obviously helped with club bar trade. This year this competition will be run by Bob Nash who has stepped up to allow John to have a well earned break.
In terms of activities and fund-raising this year, together with the installation of the new Pavilion, has been a very successful season for Massingham Bowls Club and hopefully we can achieve something similar next year and that we can look forward to further success in the leagues and competitions.
Massingham Bowls Club are pleased to represent the village in the various leagues and are grateful for the ongoing support from the Massingham Village Hall and the Social Club, we all look forward to another successful season next year and I would like to thank all members for their continuing support of the club throughout 2017.
Peter Wadham – Chairman, Massingham Bowls Club – October 2017
Bowls Club Pavilion Opened in Time for the New Season
May 23rd 2017 saw the official opening of the new Bowls Club pavilion, a project that has been eighteen months in the making. It was provisionally expected to reach completion in autumn 2016 but took a little longer. However, the result has certainly been worth waiting for and is in time for the new season.
At the opening ceremony Peter Wadham, who has led the project from start to finish, welcomed everyone present and thanked all those who had ‘helped
make it happen’. At the outset, Great Massingham Parish Council had generously agreed to match fund the project with the Bowls Club’s own fund raising. The Club obtained a grant from Norfolk Community Foundation and together with fundraising by club members & non-members, a contribution from the Village Hall Trustees and the 50% matched funding from the Parish Council, the target amount was achieved.
With speeches and the ceremony complete, everyone retired for drinks in the Village Hall bar. All agreed that the pavilion has enhanced the facilities at the Village Hall and, most importantly, has provided a more suitable ‘home’ for the bowls club. All members expect it to serve them well in the years to come.
Thank you, Peter, for a great result.
Many thanks also to: The Parish Council and the Village Hall trustees, to Arthur Allen and Rob Burton with assisting with the planning application, to Colin Whitmore for initial help with the specification, installing seating and carpet and more, to Bob Nash for assistance with various tasks to complete the project, setting up the garden area and for doing a superb job over the past three years tending the greens, to Irene Allen as treasurer of the Social Club and John Setford as Bowls Club treasurer, to Alison Gagen and Mel Whitmore for raising around £1,500 between them, to all the Bowls club members who donated prizes for the bingo and manned the tables for the Race Night organised by Malcolm Hipkin and all the members who were on the wheelbarrows to move the readymix and, finally, thanks to Vic Cross for funding the reception drinks.
All of you played your part to help make this happen.
MASSINGHAM BOWLS CLUB
Chair: P Wadham Secretary: M Matthews Treasurer: J Setford
Massingham Bowls Pavilion Report June 2017
The new bowls pavilion was finally opened on 23rd May, about eighteen months after its initial conception. The opening was attended by Vic Cross, chair of the parish Council, Liz Foster, parish councillor, Phil Ward, chair of the village hall trustees, Arthur Allen and Robin Arbenz, village hall trustees, Peter Wadham, Chair of the bowls club, Martin Matthews, Secretary of the bowls club, and Colin Whitmore, bowls club member. Apologies were received from John Setford, Treasurer of the bowls club, and Robert Nash, bowls club member. Several other bowls club members were present to support the opening.
There were informal discussions about the project and Peter Wadham, who had led the project, thanked all those who had assisted him in various ways, which was followed by a couple of short speeches and drinks in the club bar!
In terms of timescale, the first few months of the project were taken up by the design specification, costing, sourcing, obtaining funding and planning consent. This combined with many other facets of the project and various complications took much longer than anticipated and resulted in not achieving the target for completion in the autumn of 2016.
At the outset Great Massingham Parish Council generously agreed to
match-fund the project, providing 50% of the cost on condition the bowls clube could fund the remainder. This was achieved by obtaining a grant from the Norfolk Community Foundation Trust and the Village Hall Trustees also contributed, with the remainder being funded by the Bowls Club. Most of the bowls club contribution came from fund-raising by club members and non-members.
It is obvious from the above that there are a lot of thank-yous in there and I will do my best to thank them all on behalf of the bowls club in no particular order.
Thanks to the Parish Council who’s funding provided the basis for the project.
Thanks to the Village Hall Trustees for their co-operation and support for the siting and specification of the pavilion.
Thanks to Arthur Allen and Rob Burton for their invaluable assistance with the planning application.
Thanks to Colin Whitmore for his help with the initial specification and for installing the seating and carpet in the new pavilion. Colin is also in the process of renewing the “boards” around the green which will further enhance the project.
Thanks to Bob Nash for his assistance with various jobs to complete the project and for already creating the garden area adjacent to the pavilion. Bob has been creating and tending the gardens around the bowls green for about three years now and has done a superb job of enhancing the whole area.
Thanks to Irene Allen, treasurer to the Trustees and Social Club, and John Setford, bowls club treasurer, for their help with the finances.
Thanks to Alison Gagen and Mel Whitmore for their fund-raising, raising nearly £1500 between them.
Thanks to all the bowls club members who donated prizes for the fund-raising bingo and for manning the tables at the race night organised by Malcolm Hipkin. Also the bowls club members who were on the wheelbarows when the readymix was delivered!
Thanks also to Vic Cross who personally funded the drinks reception after the official opening.
I think most people are in agreement that the provision of the pavilion has enhanced the facilities at the village hall and most importantly has provided a more suitable “home” for the bowls club and we hope it will serve us well for many years to come.
Peter Wadham – Chair, Massingham Bowls Club
Massingham Bowls Club Report 2016
2016 was another reasonably successful season for Massingham Bowls Club. We continue to achieve good results compared to some of our close rivals who have better resources. Our achievements this season were as follows:
- the Silver Jubilee team led by Colin Whitmore maintained their status in a very competitive first division with their highest league position to date.
- the Albert Victor A team led by Malcolm Hipkin were runners-up in the league and won the League cup, both for the second successive year.
- the Albert Victor B team led by Martin Matthews, having challenged for promotion early in the season, maintained their position in the third division finishing in a creditable third place.
The green fared well throughout the season after last year’s overhaul thanks to the work put in by John Setford, Malcolm Hipkin, Barry Goodings and those other volunteers that helped at various times during the season. The autumn maintenance has been done with further improvement work planned for early spring. I would again like to also thank Bob Nash for his work on the flower beds around the green and I’m sure we all agree that his work has greatly enhanced the overall appearance of the green.
All funding and planning is now in place for the new Pavilion. A grant for £2k has been obtained from the Norfolk Community Foundation Trust, Great Massingham Parish Council has provide 50% funding of £4k, the Village Hall Trustees have kindly donated £1k, and the additional £1k will be funded by fund-raising and a Bowls Club contribution. Sincere thanks go to Mel Whitmore and her team for raising over £700 towards this project from various entertainment functions in the Village Hall.
Unfortunately there have been a number of factors that have delayed the starting of the project and an EGM was held in September to resolve some of these issues. Almost all of these problems have now been resolved and it is now planned to commence the groundwork in March 2017.
Massingham again hosted the Albert Victor League Presentation Night in the Village Hall in October this year, which also brings welcome revenue to the hall and club. Thanks for the organisation and success of this function should go to Malcolm Hipkin who spends a great deal of time making sure everything is in place and that it all runs smoothly. The event was well attended and yielded a surplus in takings which will be added to the League funds.
Malcolm Hipkin and Peter Wadham intend to continue as joint League Secretaries to the Albert Victor League next season if re-elected at the AGM in February.
Sadly, early in 2016 Derek Skipper, a long-standing bowls club member of over 50 years who served the club in various roles over that time, passed away. As well as his role in the bowls club Derek was well respected within the community of Great Massingham and will be sorely missed by us all. The clubs condolences were sent to Lena, Derek’s widow, and her family and Massingham church was full to capacity for Derek’s funeral. Some weeks after the funeral an initial suggestion from Barry Goodings to commemorate Derek in some way led to the establishment of the Derek Skipper Memorial Trophy. Malcolm Hipkin, a long- time friend and fellow bowler of Derek’s, volunteered to organise the inaugural event and, after discussions with Lena Skipper and her family, it was decided it would be a 1-day competition would be organised involving at least two other local clubs that, over the years, Derek had also played for. A trophy was sourced and was kindly paid for by a donation from a bowls club member.
This Memorial Competition took place at Massingham on Saturday 30th July and involved the A & B teams from Massingham Bowls Club and teams from Houghton B.C. and Rougham B.C.
The inaugural competition final was fittingly between Massingham A & B teams and was won narrowly by Massingham A, the team that Derek played for most of his bowling “career”. The event was followed by a get-together in the Social Club with sandwiches etc. provided by members of all three clubs. Lena and her family were invited to attend the event and Lena presented the trophy to Malcolm Hipkin, captain of Massingham A. It is intended that this will now become an annual event in memory of Derek and his long service and membership of Massingham Bowls Club.
The outdoor informal sessions on Wednesday’s throughout the season helped raise some funds which will be allocated to the Pavilion fund. The outdoor afternoon sessions will be switched to Monday afternoons this season and will begin in late April/ early May. The indoor sessions, also on Monday afternoons in the village hall, will continue until the outdoor sessions start.
The winter indoor short-mat bowls sessions on Monday afternoons last season raised in excess of £400 in hall hire fees for the Village hall and is so far on track this season to exceed that figure. The Wednesday evening competitions continue to be well supported and obviously help with club bar trade. Thanks to Vic Cross for his help with the Monday sessions and to John Setford for continuing to run the Wednesday competitions. These are both well supported by club members and have encouraged several non-members to take part which has resulted in several new members joining the club.
All these sessions, indoor and outdoor, are open to all and are informal and friendly, so if anyone fancies having a go do contact Peter Wadham on 520796.
Massingham Bowls Club are pleased to represent the village in the various leagues and are grateful for the ongoing support from the Massingham Village Hall and the Social Club, we all look forward to another successful season next year and I would like to thank all members for their continuing support of the club throughout 2016.
Peter Wadham – Chairman, Massingham Bowls Club – December 2016
BOWLED OVER! Massingham Bowls Club wants to say a big thank you to Mel Whitmore and her team of helpers for allocating the proceeds of the recent DNA dance at the village hall to the bowls club Pavilion fund. The function raised a fantastic £500+ and we are all ‘bowled over’ that you have all supported the bowls club in this way. It will be a great help towards our funding target of £4,000.
Thanks also go to Colin Whitmore who slaved over a hot, smoky BBQ all evening on behalf of the bowls club!
Many thanks also Mel and for pledging the proceeds of the 70’s Disco later in the year.
Keep up the good work!
BOWLS CLUB NEWS
The drive to raise funding for the new Pavilion is ongoing. Now that Planning Consent has been granted (thanks to Arthur Allen for his valuable help in obtaining this) we are actively seeking funding from various grants organisations. This is a painstaking and slow process and so far has not yielded much success but we are plodding on and have all the necessary documentation in place for further applications. We have a pledge of £4000 matched funding from the Parish Council and therefore need to raise the same amount ourselves to cover the total cost of the project.
The need for the new pavilion is two-fold, firstly it will be necessary to remove our existing hut, which in itself has become something of an eyesore, to facilitate the planned redevelopment of the Village Hall. Aside from this, the hut would have needed to be replaced in a few years as it is becoming unserviceable due to its’ deterioration over the years. The addition of a new pavilion will, at long last, provide a decent facility for the club and hope-fully raise the profile of our small but successful club. The bowls club decided to take on the task of replacing it rather than leaving
it to the Village Hall Trustees which will, hopefully, relieve them of the cost and the added workload to include it in their plans for redevelopment.
Anyone out there who would like to help us in any way with this project, please let us know. As many people will be aware, we sadly lost one of our longest standing members, Derek Skipper, earlier this year and, after discussion with Lena, we are establishing a Derek Skipper Memorial Trophy in Derek’s honour. The trophy has been purchased from voluntary donations from bowls club members and it is planned that the trophy will be contested between Massingham and 2 or 3 other local clubs, all of which Derek either played for or was well known by members of these clubs.
The organisation of the tournament is in its early stages and we will publish the outcome at a later date. The 2016 season is now under way and we have again put in a lot of work on the green during the autumn and spring months. We are fielding three teams in two different leagues again this year and are hoping for another good season.