Buckinghamshire Short Mat Bowling Association

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Chairman                            Secretary                        Treasurer                          Match/Fixtures Secretary

Malcolm Richards               Malcolm Richards           Bob Hine                           Dave Barber

Minutes of AGM held at Stewkley Bowls Club 7:00pm Tuesday 16th May 2023

Members attending

Beacon: Linda Coker, Peter Coker, Malcolm Richards

Chinnor: Bob Hine

Marsh Gibbon: John Thompson, John Everett

Stewkley: Sue Neale, Sandy Flewin, Julia Corkett, David Williams, Dave Barber

Thame: Ian Rutherford

Wendover DG Ian MacMillan, Pauline Hobson, Malcolm Hobson, Belinda Horn, Peter Horn

Bierton: Trevina Smith, Mike Smith, Bessie Rice, David Rice, Nigel Hyde

Winslow: Mary Arnold

Committee: Malcolm Richards, Bob Hine, Dave Barber



The Chairman welcomed those present. Good to see so many attending.

He thanked Stewkley Bowls Club for hosting the evening.

1 Apologies

George Hunt (Wendover LG).

2. Minutes of last AGM held at Winslow  17th May 2022

The minutes were presented as a true and accurate record.

Approved by unanimous vote.

The minutes were duly signed.

3. Matters Arising

Thame joined the Vale league but not the John Robinson.

Long Crendon joined the Single Mat league

The John Robinson Final venue is to be discussed under Resolution 3

Insurance – age limits 16 to 80 for accident insurance cover. No option to change with current insurer.

4.  Correspondence

An exchange of emails regarding the John Robinson Cup Final venue that resulted in Hawkslade being used but a discussion is to be held at this AGM and a Resolution 3 to decide the location in future.

5. Chairman’s Report

We have had a good season with normality returning after Covid.  9 clubs played in the League and I hope Thame enjoyed their first foray into competitive, but friendly, short mat bowls.

Congratulations to Chinnor on winning the league once again, to Marsh Gibbon , the runners up, and to all who took part and made the games so enjoyable.

The John Robinson Competition was restored to the calendar with 8 clubs taking part. The new format of playing both home and away is welcome and we saw an exciting final at Hawkslade between Chinnor and Wendover Light Greens. Congratulations to both on reaching the final, and to Chinnor on their win.

We are intent on keeping the league “friendly” and encouraging as many teams to join as possible. We recognise that some clubs are still short of members able to play in league games, some always short, others temporarily, and for the past couple of years have helped them by relaxing the rules temporarily on numbers that can play a full match. You will see from the formal business that there are proposals, for both the league and the JR, to make these rules permanent to help these clubs and, hopefully, to recruit new and lapsed teams. It is for you member clubs to decide whether this is what you would like, or not.

We had an extremely well attended and successful Presentation Evening, hosted by Chinnor and Haddenham in Haddenham Village Hall. Thanks to Haddenham and Chinnor for setting up the venue and providing a great buffet. We played the usual 4 games of 3 ends, had a big raffle and the League and John Robinson trophies were presented to Chinnor. Around 60 players joined in with all clubs represented. The winner of the evening’s bowling was Beacon – well done to them. A great evening.

All our clubs have joined the BSMBA and most have benefited from the insurance arranged by them. Thanks to Bob Hine for his hard work once again in organising this.

While mentioning the BSMBA they are still scratching their heads to understand why they cannot get more people joining in the monthly events. New people who have come along have thoroughly enjoyed them. They will keep trying. The monthly friendly games at Handy cross will continue for the next 12 months.

My thanks, on your behalf, to Bob Hine for looking after the league’s finances.

The League and the John Robinson Memorial Cup would not be the success they are without the hard work that Dave Barber puts in to putting the fixtures together and in publishing the results almost before the games have finished. He also keeps our excellent website looking good and up to date. Please watch the website; it has the up-to-date results and copies of the Constitution and the Rules – the latter document well worth being familiar with! So thanks again to Dave.

I had decided to stand down as Chairman after quite a few years in this post because I thought it was time for fresh blood. But no one else came forward so I decided to put myself forward for another year.

I would like to thank all Member Clubs for their support for the league and JR, all members for their friendship and for their help in keeping the VSMBFL going, particularly in the difficult times we all experienced.

6. Secretary’s Report

There have been no committee meetings during the year.

There was an exchange of views by email between committee members and others on the venue for the John Robinson final. There is a proposal in the formal business for how the choice of venue should be handled in future.

I am glad to see that there is, at long last, a nomination for the post of Secretary, a role I am relinquishing with great sadness – hmmmmm. I just hope he is elected.

7. Match/Fixture Secretary’s Report  

Back in 2015 Dave Gander was the fixtures secretary and he had a very manual Excel process recording scores and updating league tables from the scores sheet sent to him via the post.

It was a huge laborious job which was prone to error and needed him to constantly check that the numbers added up across the various sheets. I have several years’ experience with Excel so I offered to help him. Over the next year or so I created and refined an Excel process that required him to just enter the shots for each game from the score sheets, not the totals, just the shots. The system then calculates all of the scores and league tables automatically. Then in early 2017 he asked me if I would take over as fixtures secretary which I agreed to do, with some limitations.

That process has evolved so that it is now an all-electronic process and the clubs just need to email a photo or a .pdf of their score sheets to me. This usually enables me to produce the reports the day after the last match has been played. The system works well BUT I do have some difficulty with some emails.

Sometimes the photo is inserted or embedded into the body of the email and is so large I can only see a small portion of it and trying to convert it to a usable form can be tortuous.

Can I please ask you to ATTACH your photo to the email and not INSERT it into the body of the email. My preferred option is for you to save the score sheet photo as a .pdf and send that to me.

Now the 22/23 season was, I think, a successful year. There was only one match not played and that was down to insufficient numbers of players.

The fixtures worked out well with just a few matches needing the captains to agree a new date and it was good to have the JR competition back again, although, it was disappointing that there were objections to the final being played at Stewkley.

Wing had been expecting to host the final but it proved impossible to get a response from anyone to confirm the venue was available. But this year I have been able speak to Sue Underwood, the Wing club secretary, and she has confirmed it is available for the 2024 JR Final and they would be pleased to host it.

Generating the VSMBFL and JR fixtures will again be by a random number process which leaves me only needing to ensure that the two Wendovers don’t have home matches on the same night. Everything else is just a random selection.

Does anyone have comments or suggestions regarding the fixtures?

Does anyone have comments or suggestions regarding the VSMBFL website?

I expect the new fixtures lists will be published by the end of May.

8.Treasurer’s Report

The last set of published accounts was for the AGM on 17th May 2022 when the balance stood at £680.79. The closing balance as at 1st May 2023 stands at £569.15.

Income received during this period was £45.00 which is the annual subscription from 9 club members of the league.

There was just one outgoing payment of £95.84 made for the maintenance of the Vale website. However, there were 12 payments made to the bank totalling £60.80. Due to this lack of activity, I received notification from the bank that unless further transactions took place, the account would be frozen in the interests of security and to prevent fraud and money laundering. For this reason, I transferred £25 from the Chinnor BC account and then returned it the following day, thus having a nil effect on the account but at least kept it open. This transaction was a repeat of last year.

This situation is likely to repeat in coming months, and so I am proposing that the existing funds be withdrawn and the account closed. The balance can be held in cash with the records maintained in exactly the same way as they are presented today, and any monies to be collected or payments to be made can be via a third-party bank. This will save the league a minimum of £60 a year and with the current level of annual subscriptions, will enable us to maintain the website, without seriously depleting the funds.

As treasurer of Chinnor Bowls Club, I am happy to use our bank account for these transactions in the same way that I use it for collecting the BSMBA insurance premiums. There is no monetary advantage to Chinnor but it would benefit the Vale League.

It has been suggested that an alternative bank be used for the League, but for the small amount involved, I personally, am not prepared to go to the hassle of changing account. Therefore, I would appreciate your support for this proposal.

I have provided a copy of the consolidated accounts, one for each club. If you would like to receive a dedicated copy I will be happy to email one to you. Just let me know at the end of the meeting.

Acceptance of accounts:

Proposer: John Thompson (Marsh Gibbon)

Seconder: Peter Coker (Beacon)

Vote: Unanimous in favour

9. Fees for coming year

In view of website cost it was proposed to continue to levy an annual fee of £5 per team.

Proposer: Bob Hine (Treasurer)

Seconder: Peter Coker (Beacon)

Vote – Unanimous in favour

10. AGM Business

See addendum

11. Election of officers:

All the existing committee members were prepared to continue with the exception of the Secretary who wished to stand down. It was proposed that they all be re-elected en bloc.

Proposer:  Julia Corkett (Stewkley)

Seconder: Mary Arnold (Winslow)

Vote: Unanimous in favour

David Williams (Stewkley) was nominated as Secretary

Proposer:  Sue Neale (Stewkley)

Seconder:  Dave Barber (Stewkley)

Vote: unanimous in favour

The following are thus elected to the committee for 2023-24

Chairman:    Malcolm Richards (Beacon)

Match/Fixtures Secretary:  Dave Barber (Stewkley)

Treasurer:    Bob Hine (Chinnor)

Secretary:    David Williams (Stewkley)

No clubs submitted representatives for the committee.

12. Any Other Business

a. Bob Hine (Chinnor) – In the Summer some clubs have expressed a wish to play competitively – e.g. Marsh Gibbon - so friendly games are being informally arranged. Other clubs who might participate possibly: Haddenham, Wingrave, Wendover. Numbers of players not important. Suggested play “all change triples”.

Action – Bob Hine to email Club organisers to see who would like to play and set up a line of communication to arrange games.

b. David Williams (Stewkley) raised the late evening finish of League and JR games. Shortening the evening was discussed as follows:

- start as early as possible (constrained by people working).

- play through tea break – 2nd half teams take tea while 1st half playing.

- if raffle, place winning tickets on prizes rather than announcing winners

- JR – as soon as Singles selected start play while other disciplines being drawn

Clubs/teams can implement suggestions as they choose.

13. Date of Next AGM: -

Tuesday May 14th 2024 7:00pm at Wendover       

Belinda Horn to check availability. Mary Arnold offered Winslow if Wendover was not available.

14. Close of AGM

The chairman thanked everyone for attending and for their contributions, wished all a good Summer and looked forward to seeing everyone next season.

The meeting closed at 8:20 pm.