Buckinghamshire Short Mat Bowling Association

Home About us Member clubs Leagues Competitions Minutes Constitution Links

Buckinghamshire Short Mat Bowling Association   

Minutes of the BSMBA AGM

7:30pm Tuesday 9th May 2023, Wendover Bowls Club

The Chairman opened the meeting and thanked Wendover Bowls Club for their hospitality in once again hosting the BSMBA AGM.

1. Apologies for absence

Peter Coker, Eric & Ann Smith, Linda & John Thomson, Tony Short, George Hunt, Richard Fincher, Winslow short mat bowls club.

Attendees are listed below:

Name and Club:

Bob Hine, Chinnor. Ann Hine, Chinnor. Pauline Hobson, Wendover. Malcolm Hobson, Wendover. Sherron Renzy, Wendover. Peter Horn, Wendover. Belinda Horn, Wendover. Brian Laham, Bellingdon. Irene Roberts, Bellingdon. Carole Wagstaff, Hardwick. Terry Wagstaff *, Hardwick. Ian MacMillan, Wendover. Mike Greaves, Wendover. Ian Forbes *, Haddenham/Hawkslade. Brian Harrison, Wendover. Brenda Harrison, Wendover. Doris Brooks, Wendover. John Brooks, Wendover. John Everett, Marsh Gibbon. Ian Rutherford, Thame. Alan Egleton *, Amersham. Malcolm Warwick *. Chesham/Bellingdon. Malcolm Richards, * Beacon/Bellingdon.   

* Denotes Committee Member

2. Approval of previous minutes

No questions or comments were raised about the minutes of the last AGM of the BSMBA which was held at 7:30pm on 10th May 2022 at Wendover bowls club. They were approved unanimously.

3. Matters arising from previous minutes

Bob confirmed that the age limit of 16-80 applies to accidental injury cover in the group policy.

4. Correspondence

No correspondence has been received from clubs/members concerning the agenda for the AGM or any other matters.

5. Report from Officers of the Committee

The Chairman's report is attached to the Agenda as Appendix A and Malcolm Richards summarised the main points for the meeting. He commented that the committee continued to follow the principles of the constitution and that it was encouraging that the leagues seemed to be running with more support generally having attracted some new teams during the winter season. He also noted that there had been a short mat/long mat challenge at Handy Cross with each side winning at their own discipline. The Competitions Secretary noted a return match has been organised. There were no comments or questions from the floor.

The Competition Secretary's report is attached to the Agenda as Appendix B and Bob Hine summarised the main points for the meeting. He noted that the events at Handy Cross would continue although they often run at a small financial loss. Support from invited non-BSMBA clubs sometimes mitigates this. Events had been run in line with the wish to have half-day options but this would cease during the summer because players that made use of this were members of outdoor clubs. Bob said that for the next round of insurance (February 2024) he would see if individual clubs could negotiate better rates than a group policy and would make recommendations accordingly. There were no comments or questions from the floor.

The Secretary's report is attached as Appendix C and Malcolm Warwick reported that the committee had met regularly using the ZOOM license which the BSMBA holds. This allows more regular meetings than would otherwise be possible and had proven to be effective. He pointed out that the license was available to member clubs who needed to arrange ZOOM meetings on short mat topics and they should contact Bob Hine for further information. there were no comments or questions from the floor.

The Treasurer's report is attached as Appendix D and Malcolm Warwick summarised it briefly on behalf of the Treasurer. He noted that the report had been examined by Richard Fincher (Hardwick). The main items of income and expenditure covered the activities at Handy Cross and with expenditure of £1,655 income of £1,105.50 this represented a subsidy for the events there. He explained that subsidising Handy Cross events had been a conscious committee decision to foster as much player participation as possible. While this would continue to be reviewed, the BSMBA assets remained healthy at £4,491.32. There were no comments or questions from the floor. A vote to accept the report was proposed by Terry Wagstaff and Seconded by Ian MacMillan and was carried unanimously.

The Membership Secretary's report was made verbally by Malcolm Richards. He noted that there had previously been a survey of clubs thought to play short mat in an effort to identify new members for the BSMBA. He noted that Tony Short had prepared several issues of a Newsletter but that the level of interest and third party contributions had not justified the significant effort he had expended and no further issues are planned. Bob Hine noted that he advertises events through individual emails from a database he maintains. If anybody is aware of players who do not get this information they should let Bob know so he can add them to the database. Names on the database are removed immediately on request. There were no comments or questions from the floor.

6. Election of Officers.

No nominations for either officers or elected members of the Committee have been received.

Most officers of the Committee have indicated their willingness to continue in their roles. Malcolm Warwick is standing down as Honorary Secretary and Tony Short has stood down as Membership Secretary but is willing to serve as an ex officio member.

In the absence of nominations for the post, Peter Coker has offered to become Honorary Secretary to the Committee as well as Honorary Treasurer. Terry Wagstaff has offered to become Membership Secretary

Ann Hine and Ian Forbes have decided to stand down as elected members of the Committee.

Vote to re-elect members of the Committee

 Malcolm Richards (Chairman)

 Peter Coker (Treasurer)

 Bob Hine (Competitions Secretary)

 Alan Egleton (ex officio member)

 Chris Millard (ex officio member)

 Clive Cook (ex officio member)

Brian Latham proposed and Belinda Horn seconded a vote to re-elect en bloc and this was carried unanimously.


Vote to elect members of the committee to different posts

(Note that committee members may occupy more than one position on the committee)

 Peter Coker (Secretary)

 Terry Wagstaff (Membership Secretary)

 Tony Short (ex officio member)

John Brooks proposed and Alan Egleton seconded a vote to elect committee members to new posts en bloc and this was carried unanimously.

Open for nominations/vote

 Independent accounts examiner

Carole Wagstaff proposed and Bob Hine seconded Richard Fincher (with his approval) to examine the accounts for 2023/24 and this was carried unanimously.

7. Review of membership of the ESMBA

Since there has been no significant change in the number or interests of short mat players in Bucks, there is no impetus to affiliate to the ESMBA with the resulting increase in costs for clubs for no benefit. In response to a question from the floor about club members who might wish to become ESMBA members, Malcolm Warwick explained that the player would have to seek membership of a club that was in a county affiliated to the ESMBA. The BSMBA would have no concerns about that player continuing to take part in Bucks events/leagues since our objective is to promote the game not restrict it. In answer to a further question, Malcolm Richards said that other counties were not affiliated to the ESMBA although he was not aware of any that had actually left apart from BSMBA. It was also pointed out that there are many clubs nationally that play purely internally and belong to no county organisation.

There were no issues raised for discussion from the floor.

8. BSMBA Membership Fees for 2023/2024

The treasurer Peter Coker had proposed the club membership fee remain at £10 per annum. Malcolm Warwick said this was a nominal charge that did not cover the operational costs of the BSMBA but the committee felt this was appropriate. Ian MacMillan seconded the proposal and it was accepted unanimously.

9. Any Other Business

No items were raised for discussion.

10. Date of Next Meeting

Venue-  Wendover will host the next AGM on 7th May 2024 at 7.30 p.m.

Chinnor also offered their venue.

The meeting closed at 8:15 with Malcolm Richards thanking all present for attending the AGM.


We all decided to continue with the County organisation, the Buckinghamshire Short Mat Bowling Association,  after leaving the English Short Mat Bowling Association. The aims were to continue to provide an umbrella group for all the bowlers and leagues in the county, make insurance cover easily available to all clubs, arrange monthly friendly competitions for all our bowlers and visitors from adjacent counties and to be ready to rejoin the ESMBA and its national events if sufficient members were interested. Those aims remain.

We provide competitive insurance for many of our clubs, thanks to Bob’s efforts, and also thanks to him we run a friendly event at Handy Cross, High Wycombe, monthly throughout the year. These events continue to be just about viable and, while we did attract a few new bowlers this year, we would like to see more join in. They are friendly and they give prizes. We ran a survey last year to see if we could do better in our offerings and it pointed to Australian Pairs and Triples as being favourites, although only about 10% of bowlers helped us with responses.

A new event was to play against the Handy Cross long mat bowlers, each side playing both disciplines. It resulted in a draw. However, gratifyingly, they want a return match, booked for October. Hopefully this may become a regular event.

It is good to see the leagues returning to nearer normal last year. In the winter there is the Vale 2 mat league, with 9 club teams, won by Chinnor; they also recommenced their John Robinson competition after Covid, and again won by Chinnor. There is a healthy single mat winter league of 13 club teams, also won by Chinnor. The South Bucks 2 Mat league consists of 6 teams, won this year by Widmer End B. Congratulations to both of them. The single mat summer league of 7 teams has just started and plays until mid August.

Wingrave have a short mat bowls club and have asked us about playing friendly games and we hope to welcome them into the Association, with Thame and Long Crendon who joined last year.

There is a trend to running matches during the day, rather than in the evening, for venues that can arrange this, to avoid late nights and driving in the dark. All to the good as it encourages more bowlers to join in.

We have a good committee and meet online every month. Sadly, we shall be losing our excellent Secretary, Malcolm Warwick, and Tony Short is stepping back from Membership Secretary although he will continue to contribute to the committee. Our thanks to them for the sterling work they have done over the last couple of years. Also leaving the committee are Ann Hine and Ian Forbes.

We look forward to another season’s bowling. Have a good summer.

Malcolm Richards


Over the last 12 months, we have continued to organise monthly events at Handy Cross for the benefit of our members. We try to vary the games we offer to appeal to all players across the county.

Unfortunately, the support for these events has not been as high as we would like or expect when the number of member clubs and individual are taken into consideration.

During the Winter months, we trialled half day events which did attract a few additional players, mainly from the outdoor bowls clubs. These players are now playing outdoors and so we have reverted to all day events.

We also invite players from other Counties and have had support from Hertfordshire and Northants and this does help to bring in some welcome revenue. However, we continue to lose money on all of these events and whilst we have the funds available we will continue to run them.

We welcome any suggestions of different formats for these games and are willing to try anything to gauge its popularity.



We have again taken out an “Umbrella” policy with Norris & Fischer. 14 clubs have taken up the option of cover under this scheme and with the Association that makes 15 participants. We are constantly looking for other insurance options for our members and will always try to find the best value for money.

One downside of this scheme is the upper age limit of 80 under the personal accident section.

Bob Hine


The BSMBA has held 9 Committee meetings during the year and most committee members have attended regularly. The BSMBA holds a license for ZOOM meetings and of course this may be used for all relevant meetings for the association.

The minutes of committee meetings have been circulated to all BSMBA clubs via their representatives and they have also been published on the BSMBA website. The feedback to these minutes has been disappointing but some clubs have had modest success advertising for new players and it can only be hoped that this produces an upswing in participation.

As agreed at the last AGM, the BSMBA has not sought to re-affiliate with the ESMBA and for their part, the ESMBA has made no attempt to find a way of encouraging the sport in Bucks. Despite this, the sport has continued with local leagues and regular events although the level of participation remains disappointing.

Malcolm Warwick