Some Interesting Highlights from the Minute Book

Introduction by Catherine Coles (Secretary 2006 to 2016)

During my years as Secretary of the club I have been custodian of the minutes which contain an interesting history. I wish to share the achievements of this club with fellow members and have compiled these records as a celebration of 25 years of bowling in Hadnall.

I have attempted to include as many members, past and present, who have made an impression on this club. We have been most fortunate, not only in having talented bowlers, but also many members and non members who have given of their time and skills in building the facilities that we all enjoy today.

Ours is a short history, but as years go by we are creating our own history. It is important to ensure that this is not lost or forgotten. I do hope what is written below will encourage young or future members to record the club's progress in 25 years time.

August 23rd 1988 - Inaugural Meeting

The following committee was elected: Chairman: Wyn Morris Treasurer: John Weaver Secretary: Peter Brammer Green Superintendant: Peter Maguire Committee members: Ruth Owen, Alison Dytor, Dave Barre and Alan Ball were duly voted in. Membership forms were produced (£5 for adults and £2.50 for senior citizens). Within two months, membership of the Bowling Club (which had consisted of a patch of scrubland which was littered with household rubbish) had risen to over 100 - quite an act of faith! Planning permission from North Shropshire District Council was applied for and a sub committee was formed for fundraising consisting of Alison Dytor, Dave Bebb, Mary Jennings, Malcolm Davies, D. Owen and Reg Heaton.


150 members had raised £2,446. Planning permission was finally granted with English Heritage agreeing to the site, which was close to a moat and land of historical significance. This refurbishment (the moat) was a side issue. Mr. Pat Strefford from the County Council Technical Department kindly visited to plan the work needed to be done. Excavation, laying of drains, several layers of good drainage materials and by the end of 1989 the turf was laid. The club were indebted to Mick Butler who provided the equipment, his skill and expertise for only token payment. Much work and materials were donated by members including a clubhouse (shed at a subsidised price) and seating. Grants were received from North Shropshire District Council, the S.P.F.A. for turf, Community Council for the shed provided by a resident who had moved away. All club officials were voted for a second term at the October AGM. The membership had reached 168 including 40 juniors and 58 seniors. £6,000 had been raised in the first 12 months.


Play unofficially started in May. An Official Opening was held on 3rd.June. which was attended by, Dick Merrick (9 times Shropshire County Merit champion), Colin Young from Radio Shropshire and Ray Bourne the Shropshire County Captain and a member of the county team for many years including the successful Crossfield Cup team.  Following a roll-up during the afternoon a buffet was served in the New Inn pub. The first of the club competitions were played.


The Shawbury Sunday League team were very successful - a good introduction to doubles team play. In the Shrewsbury Senior Citizen’s League our team of veterans had soon made their mark. Affiliation to the Whitchurch League was applied for. Our winning entry in Shropshire’s Village Ventures competition provided welcome funding. The competition organiser stated “The striving together of a whole community, young and old, is just as important as the final result.” It was agreed that a toilet, lighting, seating and a markers shelter were required.


Peter Maguire was custodian of a Bowling Club Tote with Tony Smith as organiser. In their first year, the Whitchurch League team finished second and were promoted to Division 7. Planning permission had been granted for a clubhouse, toilets and lighting.


Grants had been received from North Shropshire Playing Fields Association, North Shropshire District Council and the BCGBA. The pavilion was completed, thanks to John Tanner, Peter Maguire and Mick Butler. The kitchen was donated by the family of Jack Jackson. The Whitchurch team were promoted to division 6.


The club was running six league teams: Shawbury Sunday Evening mixed doubles, Shrewsbury Lady Veterans team, Shrewsbury Seniors team, Shrewsbury League; Shrewsbury Reserves and the successful Whitchurch team who were promoted to division 5.


Hardwick Estate agreed to forming a new, safer entrance to the green higher up Station Road. Standard tungsten lights were purchased. The Whitchurch team were promoted to division 4.


Wyn Morris built the marking shelter. A donation for club funds was received from the Ramblers. Ideas of building a larger green on the area bounded by the moat were first considered with the estate’s approval. English Heritage were consulted but there were too many stipulations enable us to proceed. The old diseased oak tree was felled with NSDC’s approval. Promotion for the Whitchurch team to division 3.


Team shirts (navy) with a logo were produced. Once again, promotion by the Whitchurch team to division 2.


Seven club honours boards were designed and made by Bryan Thomas and the sign writing has been skilfully produced by Dennis Hopkins each year since. (In 2015 two of the boards were extended by Bryan and Dennis). A second team entered the Whitchurch league and were promoted to division 7 in their first year.


A lottery bonus-ball scheme was started. The pavilion carpet tiles were donated by Mr & Mrs Shuker.


Promotion in the Tanner’s league Kerry Dance picked to play for the North Shropshire County Ladies. New floodlights fitted.


Shrewsbury Seniors team, under Mervyn Haynes, won division 2. Paul Walker had his best season finishing in the finals of each club competition he was entitled to enter. The pavilion was given extra protection from the wind and rain for spectators.


New mower purchased, with new security cage for storage.


Green widened on Station Road side, during John Gibson’s chairmanship. Once again Mick Butler was thanked for his generous pricing, which enabled the Osprey irrigation system to be installed.  Grants were received (thanks to Phil Price) from:  Awards for All, North Shropshire District Council, Muller  Dairies, Shropshire Playing Fields Association and  Enterprise Inns. A team was entered in the Barlows over 60’s league.


April saw the official opening of the extended green by he Shrewsbury league President Dave Card.  A car park to be considered. The Village Shield was donated by Phil & Jackie Price. A most successful outing to The Waterloo, at Blackpool, was arranged by Ian Bowser for approximately 50 members. Winners of division 2 in the Barlows but no promotion as a third division was created. John Tanner the best gentleman and Pam Bourne the best lady in Barlows division 2.


Green extension grant received from BCGBA. Whitchurch “B” team promoted to division 6. Pam Bourne won the best lady and John Tanner the best gentleman in Barlows division 2 again. Barlows team promoted to division 1. A second team was entered in the Barlows league.


Kerry Dance was best lady in division 3 of the Whitchurch league.


Web Master Grant Bebb, with the help of his father, Brian, put the Bowling Club on the www. Photos, fixtures, news, rules and history were all included. Joe Adderley, a Captain at the time, produced news of his matches. The winning reports were sent in by “Mr Jack Header” and the loosing ones by “Mr. Matt Carrier”.  Child & Vulnerable Act - Colin Horobin volunteered to liaise with the county producing our policy and has acted on our behalf ever since. Rachel Weaver & Grant Bebb were selected for the Inter-Youth knock out squad.


Kerry Dance won the best lady bowler in division 3 of the Whitchurch league. Pam Bourne won the best lady bowler in the Barlows league division 1.


Winners of SPFA “Best Kept Sports Club” competition, thanks to the work done by – Les Fowles, Colin Horobin, Mike Pemberton, John Tanner, Ernie Garrett, Gordon Corbett and Mervyn Haines. Whitchurch A team won division 3 and Kerry Dance won the best lady bowler. Lucy Baggley won the under 25’s consolation cup in the Whitchurch league. Purchase of two free-standing score boards.


Chairman Phil Price starts negotiations with the estate regarding future development of the club and a longer lease. Winner of the S.P.F.A. “Best Kept Playing Surface”. Promotion of Shropshire league team to division 3. Whitchurch “A” team playing in division 2. For the first time a Presentation Luncheon, rather than an evening meal, was held for the annual prize giving.


Bryan Thomas extended the pavilion pigeon holes which he had previously built. The Whitchurch “A” team just missed out on promotion to division 1. Kerry Dance won the best lady bowler in division 2 of the Whitchurch league.


Phil Price presents the committee with ideas for club development. A lease for the land behind the pavilion was obtained for a car park. Planning permission was granted following ecology and archaeology approval. Chris McDonald and the Parish Council assisted and grants from Shropshire Council, the Local Joint committee & the Parish Council were much appreciated.


The car park was completed, Phil Price starts plans and discussions for a new pavilion. Bernard Cotton won the best gentleman bowler in the Barlows league division 1.  Kerry Dance and Jackie Price were selected to play for North Shropshire County Ladies. Peter Sargeant’s Saturday afternoon inter-league competition started.


Four new floodlights following the collapse of one in a gale and concern over safety of the others. Whitchurch “B” team were promoted to division 5. Kerry Dance won the best lady bowler in division 2 of the Whitchurch league and selected again for North Shropshire County Ladies. The Whitchurch league team reached the final of the President’s Cup. Hadnall school had regular coaching sessions during the Summer term, thanks to Steve Dance, Ernie Garrett, Colin Horobin, Mike Pemberton and Phil & Jackie Price.


Finalists again in the President’s Cup, this time losing by 4 chalks. The team wore new pale blue club shirts which were sponsored by Salopian Brewery. Kerry Dance won the best lady bowler in division 2 of the Whitchurch league. Our application for a team in the Wem league was accepted for 2016. Phil Price continues to negotiate, on behalf of the club, with James Thompson and the Hardwicke Estate Trustees.