SHORT MAT BOWLS IN ESSEX
The instigation of Short Mat Bowls began with a deputation from Bromfords Bowling Club to Outwood Common Community Association over 30 years ago.
Alan Pierce, Jim Walker and Brian Savage met Bob Poulson and John “the gimp” to talk about Short Mat Bowls which they had seen somewhere up North.
At Outwood Common we formed a small Bowling Section of 12 players, some like myself had never played bowls before.
Pitsea Leisure Centre were contacted along with S.T.C. of Basildon and before long Outwood Common had a membership of over 80 and the three other Clubs also increased their membership.
Matches between the 4 Clubs quickly led to the formation of the S.E.E.S.M.B. League. Natural progression followed and a County Association was formed followed yet again by membership to the E.S.M.B.A. and entry into the National Championships.
Over a period of time other Clubs sprung up throughout the County and eventually breakaway groups from these Clubs started new Clubs and we arrive at where we are today with 40 Clubs and a membership exceeding 1,000.
It has been my pleasure and privilege to have worked with some very hard working and dedicated people to help the Short Mat game to where it is today and fortunately to have been more solid people climb on board to help protect all that has been achieved over the years and long may it last.
Ideas change over a period of time. With each Committee different views mean changes, but so long as the benefits are covering the whole of the membership this must be a good thing. A fine example of this is the youth policy portrayed in Essex towards our young people who now boast National Champions in Singles and other disciplines – a force to be reckoned with in the near future.
I have purposely left dates missing, but thought it may interest people to inform us on the website as an ongoing update to any specific dates they feel are important.
Once again thanks to all those who have helped to build Essex into what it is today and good luck to the future of all the bowlers for success and fun in bowls.
First record was 1987 when 10 clubs registered with a total of 327 members. The clubs were Theydon Bois (64), Harlow Active Retirement Group(50), V.C.A. Riverview(20), Bancroft/Buckhurst Hilll(45), Courage(18), Outwood Common(34), STC(20), Bromford(30), Maplin Social(16) and Pitsea Welcome Centre(30).
For 2011/11 season we have 40 clubs and 1177 members.