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North Yorkshire Short Mat Bowling Association



MINUTES OF THE 15th AGM AT EASINGWOLD - Friday April 28th 2006


CHAIRMAN         Noel Clark         


SECRETARY             Roger Green          

TREASURER        vacant

CAPTAIN          Ralph Parsons            

VICE CAPTAIN     Arthur Jackson

COMP. SEC            vacant                      

ASST. COMP. SEC Eileen Bunting

PUBLICITY             (as Secretary)


Barn                      Bob Crowther                 

Boroughbridge     Jean Calvert                     

Branton           Peter Goldsmith  

Campsall          John Gascoigne                          

Crossgates        Clive Scholefield                   

Easingwold        Barbara Topping                                        

Gristhorpe            Derek Dowson                      

Hambleton            John Bunting                        

Helmsley          Len Bradley               

Kirkbymoorside    Don Glensor

Knaresborough    Judith Haffenden

Marton           Ray Goodbold

Raskelf           Dennis Jarvis

Riccall            Noel Herbert

Strensall         Harry Welch

Yoredale         Colin McKay


Also present – Jean Crowther (Barn), Ken Calvert (Boroughbridge) Dennis Mather (Easingwold), Andrew Mather (Easingwold), Ivan Topping (Easingwold), Fred Wood (Easingwold), Audrey Wood (Easingwold), Derek Williams (Hambleton), Danny Brown (Hambleton), David Buckley (Helmsley), Ken Brailey (Knaresborough), Maureen Lilliman (Raskelf)


Representatives from sixteen member clubs, five officers and twelve others were in attendance – thirty-three people in total.


The meeting was opened by the Chairman at 7.32pm who asked the meeting to observe a silence in memory of the late Vice Chairman, Reg Tilley. He then welcomed several new faces including the representative from one of our newest clubs, John Gascoigne from Campsall SMBC.


(1) APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Apologies were received from Janet Clark (North Duffield), Richard Kay (Boroughbridge), Ian Battersby (St. Cuthberts), and David Randon (Escrick). Further apologies were received after the meeting from Rose Haynes (Great Ouseburn).


(2) MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING: The last AGM had been held on 18th April 2005 and draft minutes had been distributed to all clubs shortly thereafter. No points requiring correction were raised so these were signed by the Chairman as representing a true record of that meeting.


(3) ANY MATTERS ARISING: There were no matters arising from the previous minutes.


(4) CORRESPONDENCE: (RG) Of the 22 items of correspondence sent/received since the last Committee meeting on February 3rd, the Secretary commented on the following 3 items.


(A) “Whitehead Bowls” had sent details of an electric trolley/winder for mats being marketed at £2995, Some clubs had apparently purchased these with the assistance of grants. The company were prepared to give a demonstration if there was enough interest.

(B) The ESMBA had sent details of proposed changes to its Constitution that will be put before their AGM on 8th July.

Inclusion of Berkshire as a recognised county

Removal of the post of “National Organiser” (Nationals to be organised by a sub-committee in future)

Addition of the post of “Coaching Director”

Remove the requirement for the bi-annual “Rules Revision Meeting” (changes to the Rules to be made by the ESMBA Committee in future after any proposals had been considered by a standing sub-committee).

Remove the word “clubs” from the FEES AND SUBSCPTIONS section. (They are also intending to levy a membership fee on each County Association as already allowed in this section)

The “rationale” given for each of the above was read out by the Secretary. In answer to a question from Fred Wood, the Chairman advised that our counties votes on these proposals would, as usual be determined by the Executive Committee prior to the AGM, after taking in to account any guidance received from this meeting. Fred felt that the proposal for the removal of the “National Organiser” was a good one and should be supported by our county. There were no comments relating to the other proposals.

(C) The Secretary read out a letter from Jill Newsome (North Duffield) in which she praised the bowlers across the county who had encouraged her two sons in their bowling over the past year and had made them welcome wherever they played.


(5) CHAIRMANS ANNUAL REPORT: Noel Clark started a brief off the cuff report by saying that he felt it was not his happiest year. He paid tribute to Brian Bennett the former Treasurer who he felt was always a voice of calm during sometimes lively Committee discussions. He continued by saying that although they disagreed, he felt that his Executive Committee had gone behind his back with regards to the possible move of the County teams home venue. He was also sorry that his efforts in supporting the team at Bubwith had not resulted in himself being offered the chance to play in the team. He had received a suggestion from some of those who wished to continue playing at Bubwith that the Association should field a second team and he felt it was something to be considered. Finally, (assuming they will be elected) he wished the proposed new members of the Executive Committee well.


(6) SECRETARIES ANNUAL REPORT (including membership report):

The Secretary read out his written report in which he paid tribute to the late Reg Tilley and also the work done by both Brian Bennett as Treasurer for the past 5 years and also by Eileen Bunting during her first season on the Committee as Assistant Competition Secretary. He was pleased to report that membership had at last topped the 1000 mark and after reviewing the various activities of the Association during the past season he concluded by urging all members to speak out and have their say if they felt the Executive Committee were not organising things to the benefit of the majority of members. (The full report is attached to these minutes).

Arising from this report, Clive Scholefield asked whether any pressure could be brought to bear on the NESMBA to improve the organisation of their Championships in order to prevent the very late finish experienced this year (after midnight). He felt that if each discipline had been played through to its conclusion (rather than the overlap in the final stages that occurs now) some delays would not occur. The Secretary explained that there had been a move last year to start the Championships on the Friday to give more time but that this had not been carried at the AGM. Len Bradley then proposed (seconded by Judith Haffenden) that the Championships should be based on fixed time games (whistle stop) rather than on fixed ends but this was defeated by 10-5 with 5 abstentions. The Secretary said the problem of late finishes had been around for years and was the result of trying to cram in 4 disciplines of 32 finalists over one weekend. Using 2 weekends or only having 2 disciplines each year were other possibilities but were not likely to be popular.



2005/06 - The Captain reported that although the season had started well with a good draw against last years Champion County (West Yorkshire), the rest of the season had been disappointing. Two other matches had also been drawn but only 1 match had resulted in an outright win. Derbyshire had “crucified” us both at home and away. The team finally ended the season in bottom place so next year, after two years, they will once again be playing in Division 2. The Captain then handed over to the Secretary to explain the consideration that was being given to the team’s home venue for next season.


2006/07 – Since moving to Bubwith in 1999, there had been concerns expressed intermittently with some aspects of using this venue as the team’s home base. Therefore, with Executive Committee approval, all those who had played more than a single game for the County over the past 2 years had been sent a questionnaire asking whether they would prefer to play their home games at Easingwold or remain at Bubwith. The questionnaire also asked each team member whether they would be prepared to donate money towards the cost of mats and also gave space for comments. George Crosby asked why the Secretary had replied to his questionnaire before it had been discussed by the Executive Committee. The Secretary replied that there were in fact 5 questionnaires with comments on that he had felt warranted an immediate reply as much to clarify things as anything else. All his replies together with all the original comments had subsequently been discussed by the Executive Committee who had not suggested that his actions were inappropriate.


The overall result of the survey was that although 5 felt no change of venue was necessary and 3 did not care which venue they played at, 21 members of the team had voted for the Galtres Centre as a preferable venue.


There was then a long and protracted debate over whether it was purely up to the team members to decide their home venue or whether it should be a general decision of all clubs at the AGM. Colin McKay finally asked that a vote be taken to prevent discussions going on for ever. When put to the vote it was decided by 17-3 that those present at the AGM should make the decision. Ken Calvert then proposed (seconded by Bob Crowther) that the team should return to Easingwold and this was passed by 14-4 with 2 abstentions. A subsidiary proposal by Fred Wood that Swinton should be used was not seconded.


(8) FINANCIAL REPORT: (RG) The Secretary, who had been Acting Treasurer since Brian Bennett’s resignation in January, presented the annual accounts in two formats - Profit/Loss and Income/Expenditure. These had been inspected and checked by Andrew Mather (Easingwold). The closing balance of £1568.38 was down over £300 on 2004/05 but this was largely due to the fact that at last years close of business we had been holding over £400 of ESMBA Draw receipts. This year the Draw money had been sent in to the ESMBA before the end of the financial year. In general, the Associations balance had been slowly growing over the past few years and the Secretary saw no reason to ask for any increase to the annual subscription of £0.50p for 2006/07. The ESMBA had confirmed their affiliation fee would remain at £2.00 and there was no reason to expect the NESMBA affiliation of £0.30p would be increased at their AGM. The annual combined subs for 2006/07 would therefore remain at £2.80 per member. The balance sheet was accepted by the meeting after a proposal by Clive Scholefield was seconded by Jean Calvert.


(9) CONSTITUTION CHANGES: It had been agreed at the last Committee meeting to remove the responsibilty for co-ordinating the annual calendar dates and the arrangement of the inter-county fixtures from the Competition Secretary and give these to the Secretary and Captain respectively. Proposals to change the Constitution to reflect these and another to correct an error in Section 10 TRUSTEES had been tabulated. John Bunting proposed that all these changes be accepted and after being seconded by Jean Calvert they were passed unanimously.


(10) ELECTION OF OFFICERS: A full Executive Committee of 9 was elected as follows.

Chairman Noel Clark                     proposed John Bunting seconded Clive Scholefield

Vice Chairman John Bunting         proposed Ken Calvert seconded Harry Welch

Secretary Roger Green                proposed Len Bradley seconded Derek Dowson

Treasurer Andrew Mather           proposed Noel Clark seconded Jean Calvert

Competition Sec. Eileen Bunting    proposed Ralph Parsons seconded Ray Goodbold

Asst. Comp, Sec. Clive Scholefield proposed George Crosby seconded Ken Calvert

Captain Ralph Parsons                    proposed Ken Calvert seconded Roger Green

Vice Captain Arthur Jackson         proposed John Bunting seconded Clive Scholefield

Publicity Officer Roger Green      proposed Ralph Parsons seconded Jean Calvert


(11) LEAGUE REPORTS: Reports were presented for Selby (Noel Herbert), Scarborough (Ray Goodbold), Yorkshire-North (Jean Calvert), Kyle Valley (John Bunting) and the White Rose (John Bunting). There were no reports from the Ryedale, Vale of York or Nidderdale leagues.


(12) DATES FOR 2006/07: The Secretary pointed out that a full diary for next season had been published on the WebSite at the end of February. Most club/league competitions were on the equivalent days to last season. Les Hardcastle had agreed to some minor changes to the Yorkshire (North) fixtures which had now been sent to the regional captains. The decision at the last Committee meeting to amalgamate the National Heats with the County Championships had allowed some of these to be re-positioned. There are still 4 inter-county games to be arranged with only 4 free Sunday dates available but if these can be used there will once again be no clashes next season. The following should be noted.

Scarborough Top 10 now on September 24

Inter-County “warm-up” day now on September 17

Vale of York Tournament now on November 11th

North Duffield Triples – tba

Scarborough Pairs reverts to its usual position – December 30th/31st

County Pairs & Fours Championships now on December 2nd/3rd

County Junior Championships now on November 18th

Heats for the ESMBA Mixed Fours now on January 20th

Pre-season Committee meeting will be on September 22nd

Mid-season Committee will be on February 2nd.

2007 AGM will be on April 27th

For the Inter-League Cup, the Y&DIBC had said that the equivalent weekend would be available should we want it as well as the previous one. After a short discussion it was decided to bring it forward to April 14th so as not to impinge on the start of the outdoor season.


(13) OPEN FORUM: The following items were discussed.

Deadline for Handbook copy – end of August at the very latest

An increase in the Secretaries Honorarium in recognition of computer costs

Honorariums for the new posts of Publicity Officer and Assistant Competition Secretaries

The purchase of additional cups to be awarded to the runners up in all County Championships

The development of a written Child Protection Policy for the Association

The need to be wary of taking and publishing photos of members who are under 18 and the need to obtain parents permission of such.

The concerns of some clubs with regards to members of the Association talking directly to U18 members regarding bowling opportunities for Juniors.

No other business was raised either from the Chair or from the floor. The Chairman therefore thanked all those present for attending and closed the meeting at 9.50pm.


NOTE: Although there was a vote taken on some of the above topics, these have been ruled as invalid as it had been stated prior to the meeting that no decisions could be taken in the Open Forum. Specific proposals will be placed on the Agenda of the next Committee meeting.



NYSMBA - Secretaries Report to the 15th AGM 2006


We entered our 15th year with Eileen Bunting joining the Committee as Assistant Competition Secretary. From personal experience I can say she has done an excellent job in assisting the other committee members in organising and running all our 11 Competitions. I am glad to say that in spite of the work involved she still feels that she would like to carry on next year, this time as Competition Secretary. Just after Christmas, our Treasurer, Brian Bennett had to retire earlier than expected for health reasons. Brian had looked after our Finances for the last 5 years as well as making a valuable contribution to the running of the Association and I know we all wish him well for the future. Then in February we were all saddened to learn of the death of our V Chairman Reg Tilley after a brief spell in hospital. Reg’s health had been very up and down for several years but he always seemed to bounce back with renewed enthusiasm and vigour but this time it was not to be. Reg had been involved in the Short Mat game in North Yorkshire from the early days in the mid 80s and had been an influence not only at the Ampleforth and St. Cuthberts clubs but also in the Ryedale league where he was their Chairman for several years. I remember him best for his tremendous enthusiasm on this committee in which he played a significant role for the last 10 years. He and I often crossed swords when discussing bowling issues but we always remained on friendly terms and I know that I and the rest of the committee and many of you here tonight miss his presence.

This year, 19 of our clubs registered an increase in their numbers and with Branton, Campsall and Kirklevington joining us during the season I am please to report to you that our membership finally broke though the 1000 barrier during the course of the season. We end the year tonight with 47 clubs and the final total of 1025 registered members and increase of 41 over last year.

Throughout the season, all these clubs and the 8 leagues that they have formed continued to provide the local bowling that the vast majority of our members regularly take part in. On top of this solid bowling base the Association itself has continued to provide several additional opportunities at a county wide level for those that want it.

One of these is the County Team run by our Captain and Vice Captain which once again provided a small but committed core of players with the opportunity to play against some very good players, some of National Standard from across the other 7 counties of Northern England. Ralph will report on how they fared in his report in a moment but remember, anyone in the county can put themselves forward for selection in this team – it’s just a question of letting Ralph or Arthur know they are interested.

For those wishing to enter the ESMBAs annual flagship event, local Heats for the National Championships were organised by Eileen and Reg at Bubwith during November/December. Once again there was a reasonable entry in the Singles (12), Pairs (10) and Fours (6), but the Triples entry (5) was disappointing and with only 2 Mixed Fours entries, the Heats for this discipline unfortunately had to be cancelled. The Finals were held earlier this month and proved to be a good one for our qualifiers. Our Pairs, Triples, both our Fours and one of our U18s all made it through the round robin stage to reach the last 32. However from then on it was only Geoff Whiteheads Foursome who kept the North Yorkshire flag flying. With good wins against several teams of England players over the next 3 rounds Geoffs team eventually found themselves in the Semi-Finals where they fell to the eventual Champions. Their run of 6 consecutive wins was the best effort ever by our county in this National Competition and it would be nice to think that their success will inspire more of our members to have a go and enter the Heats next year.

Just after Christmas our 3rd County Championships were held at Swinton and these attracted nearly 300 individual entries across the four disciplines - a new record. Congratulations are due to all those who triumphed for the year - Simon Holtby in the Singles, Richard Clark/Dennis Jarvis in the Pairs who clocked up their second win, Jill Newsome and her two boys Joseph and David in the Triples and last but not least, Brian Flinton, Brian Higgs and Harwood and Mary Bonas in the Fours. From the top performers at these Championships a team of 44 then went on to represent us in the Northern England Championships at Barnard Castle. In these, Richard/Dennis and Mick/Anne Ridge both did well to reach the Pairs Semi-Finals whilst Simon went all the way to reach the Singles Final. Here he eventually lost to Humbersides Steve Danby in a game that did not finish until after midnight. If you are going to do well at these Championships you need stamina as well as skill!

In February, our small band of under 18s were able to enter the 4th Junior Championships held here at Easingwold. These were organised by Eileen and Nobby and once again attracted 16 entries including 3 nine year olds. I think they all deserve a pat on the back for the way they played especially, David Newsome and Gareth Townend who met in a high quality Final that would have put many adult players to the test. These two also qualified for the National U18 Championships in which they had some narrow defeats which prevented them from reaching the final stages. In March, Gareth and his sister Jacinta travelled down to Southampton to play in a National U18 side against Hampshire County. This game was one of several being used by the ESMBA to select a final England Junior Team and both of them have now been invited back by the ESMBA to play in a further game in September. Finally, the Newsome brothers and the Townend twins nave entered the Woodbridge Trophy - an ESMBA U18 Fours Competition. This is the first time NY have taken part and we wish them all the best when they travel to Milton Keynes in 2 weeks time.

Our final competition, the Inter League Cup was held last week in York. The format used for the last 8 years had been revised to make arrangements for mats and lunches simpler and also to ensure that everyone played in alternate sessions. The match still accommodated 36 triples with everyone getting 4 games of 50 minutes and I believe the changes were well received. Congratulations go to the Kyle Valley League who seem invincible having won the Cup now for 6 consecutive years. As committee members know the novel Cameo Shield competition which had followed on from the I/L Cup on the Sunday was discontinued after 4 years.

Apart from all these competitions, the Association once again published its annual Handbook, at 52 pages the largest one ever and also continued to maintain and update the NYSMBA WebSite which now contains over 60 online pages of current and historical information. We continue to support the ESMBA and NESMBA and as usual sent 2 delegates to their AGMs last summer. For the Northern England Finals, Nobby organised the collection and return of the ESMBA trailer containing their 16 mats for use at Barnard Castle. For the 5th year running, all but 4 of our clubs took part in the ESMBA Draw selling a total of over 1200 tickets. I am pleased to be able to report to you that this total was at last good enough to earn us the £100 prize for top selling county and means that together with the commission we receive on our sales, we have received back nearly £300 this year. This was a magnificent effort and all those involved in selling tickets are to be congratulated on their efforts. I would also like to congratulate Derek Williams from the Hambleton club who was selected to form part of the team of Umpires who officiated during the World Championships at Potters last month. Derek has been our most active Umpire for several years now and his selection was a just reward for his dedication and contribution to the game. Maybe his recognition will inspire others to come forward to qualify as umpires.

In conclusion, can I just ask all clubs to remember that this Association is YOUR Association. One of our purposes is to organise things for YOUR benefit. This means that the County Championships are YOUR Championships, the County Team is YOUR team, the Handbook is YOUR Handbook and the website is YOUR Website etc etc. A lot of effort is spent on our various activities and none of us on the Executive Committee want to run things in a way that does not meet with the approval of the majority. So if you do not like the way things are run or organised or have suggestions for improvements we really would like you to say so. There is an Open Forum at the end of tonights meeting which provides a good opportunity to do this so please do speak up.

That concludes my Report for this year.