There was plenty of drama at this year’s Peterborough League annual meeting.
Chairman Peter Cooke dropped the first bombshell by announcing his resignation as soon as the proceedings began, and then Martin Garfield later announced he would be vacating one of his two roles – he was secretary and treasurer – because of the workload.
The chairman cited a combination of disagreements over some decisions taken by the management committee and so-called ‘phone flak’ from club officials over league rules and regulations.
A rather shell-shocked vice-chairman Terry Corney took the chair on a temporary basis, but later managed to persuade Peter Cooke to resume his duties as chairman, saying that any differences there might be could be sorted out in committee and that it would be a shame for him to walk away now in such circumstances as his heart and soul was in the league which he had served for 16 years.
Andy Cox, who had already announced his intention to stand down as fixture secretary because of business pressures, agreed to resume his former duties as treasurer, leaving Martin Garfield as secretary, which he had inherited last year when a replacement for Richard Harrison couldn’t be found.
Tony Coe is the new fixture secretary and will enlist the assistance of three volunteers to run each of the three leagues during the season.
Melvyn Beck (Whittlesey Manor) was inaugurated as president, receiving the chain of office from outgoing president Wilf Redhead (Peterborough & District).
Fred Addy and John Thurston, who was immediate past president, didn’t seek re-election to the management committee which now comprises Peter Cooke, Terry Corney, Jeff Clipston, Margaret Hadnam, Derek Reedman and Wilf Redhead, as immediate past president, plus the officers.
The league made a profit of £896.58 on the year compared to a loss of £396.08 the previous year, the difference in the main being a saving on league trophies, with all league winners and runners-up this year deciding on club shields as opposed to the more expensive individual replicas.
It was agreed that there will be one vote per club from now on as opposed to two and that clubs will be able to bring forward fixtures if both captains agree.
The league have meanwhile called for a decision to be made as soon as possible by the city council on their proposal to withdraw maintenance from four of their seven greens so that next year’s league fixtures can be worked out.
Eight clubs use the greens at Itter Park, Werrington, East Community, Bushfield, Bretton and Central Park and they are keen to learn which of them are on the hit-list.
The council will look at the proposal again early next year after a huge response from concerned players.
The clubs, who have been lobbying local councillors, writing to the local MP and enrolling the support of other interested parties, have now joined forces to present a united front for the preservation of bowling greens under the city council’s control.
As a result, representatives from all the clubs under threat were scheduled to meet with council officials yesterday to discuss the proposed closures and how they might be avoided or minimised.
The clubs under threat are: Werrington, Bushfield, Bretton, Itter Park, East Community, Park Crescent Bowlers (formerly GPO), Central Park and Itter Park Senior Citizens.
Any further delay in decisions being reached would give the clubs concerned precious little time to make alternative arrangements, if that were possible, before the start of the league programme in early May.
Huntingdonshire Bowls are re-opening their Under 18 singles competition next season to bring it in line with the Bowls England event that proved so successful at Leamington last year.
The matches will be played over two sets with a one-bowl shoot-out to decide the winner if the sets are shared.
It is the intention to split the entry by gender so that the final will be played between the winner of the boys competition and the winner of the girls section.
The winner will receive the trophy donated by county officials Keith and Freda Thomas and the two finalists will receive a free entry into the national finals at Leamington should they wish to compete.
The deadline for entries is January 16 and entrants must be under 18 on April 1 next year.