A SHORT HISTORY OF REDWELL BOWLS CLUB
Author - Ted Guiver (Founding Secretary)
The Club was formed on January 18th 1995. Initially play was once a week on a Sunday. After a few weeks we also played on Thursdays. The members involved in running the club were Pat and Bob Brown, Brenda and Fred Crisp and Jean and Ted Guiver. The next members list shows that Mary Boddington, Yvonne Woodley and Tom Todd had joined us. Around this time Fred Banks became our first club Captain and started arranging friendly matches with local clubs on the outdoor rinks.
The steering group at the beginning of May 1995 was Bob Brown, Ray McGill, Fred Banks (Captain), Brenda and Fred Crisp (Treasurer) and Ted Guiver (Club Secretary). The minutes record that a number of members suggesting the introduction of a social element to strengthen the club. Brenda Crisp was invited to become our first social Secretary. It was the middle of May 1995 when Peter Boulden kindly accepted the post of Honorary President of Redwell Bowls Club.
This was followed by a Presidents evening on 17th August 1995 when Peter Boulden brought a team from Wellingborough BC which included Paul Brodrick (England international). Needless to say, we lost but had a most enjoyable evening. The first trophy presentation was held on 27th September at the Redwell Centre followed by a day trip to Hunstanton in the following month. These events seemed to set the pattern for a very friendly group of bowlers who met and enjoyed each others company. At that time the club was increasing its contacts and at the request of the centre management, a game versus the Royal British Legion was arranged on Bank holiday (August 28th). The centre presented a cup and provided free refreshments!!
So the first year of outside bowling was a great success with a very enjoyable social programme in support. This had not happened by accident as the committee had put in many active hours to get the balance right. All this laid the foundation for future of the then “small” club; there were 21 members.
In October ’95 Fred Banks (Captain) produced the fixture list for 1996 season and a social calendar was prepared. The flower festival at Spalding, a two day trip to the Cotswolds and our first visit to the National Tramway Museum. On the membership list dated 2nd November 1995 the names of Sid and Ken together with Betty and Peter Pengelly appear for the first time.
At the first AGM held at Redwell on 18th January 1996 a sad note appeared, Tom Todd who had been so helpful and encouraging was no longer with us. The minutes also recorded that the club lost all but one of the outdoor games. Various ideas were put forward to drive the club forward both socially and on the bowls front. The funds stood at over £400 and we looked forward to our second year with roll-ups on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Following a meeting with the centre management in February 1996 the concession for the free use of the centre’s bowls was withdrawn and were advised that we were not allowed into the apparatus room (where the mats were being stored on end and so damaging them). The club was encouraging the centre to purchase some new mats (there were only three at the time.
The long-standing question of the equipment needed for outdoor bowling was still being raised. However, relations with the centre staff had to be handled in a sensitive manner.
The club received an invitation to enter teams in a Short Mat competition to be held at Redwell. This was from Comsport, a Northamptonshire County Council organisation whose aim was to bring Short mat to the villages of the county. (No record of success of failure available). In the summer of 1996, the first Tom Todd trophy was held, involving ten triples teams, this started in June and the final took place in September.
A two day trip to the Cotswolds on 18th/19th June was a great success with the members staying overnight in Cheltenham. On day two Gloucester docks were visited and after lunch the return to Redwell.
A committee meeting was held on 22nd August 1996 and Fred Banks (Captain) and Brenda Crisp (Social Secretary) both indicated they would like to step down and rest awhile from their duties. Eleven members went on a 5 day Short Mat break to Gunton Hall. Suffolk (Warner’s) in October and acquitted themselves very well. This was the first of many such breaks the club were to participate in.
The club was approaching the end of its second year and seemed to be thriving with a variety of activities to entice and titillate the member’s interest.
What some happy members say:
I had just retired and found the club welcoming and fun
Just moved into Wellingborough and find the club friendly and a fun atmosphere
We were feeling bored and restless so joined to make new friends and have fun