I trust that all members are now aware of the very successful BIBC men’s team which won the Inter-Club Association Cup by beating all of the other three stadiums. Congratulations to them and the Captain Clifford Craig.

Congratulations also to Michael Bickerstaff, David Nixon, John Boyd and Michael Merritt for being called up onto the International Squad. One impressive aspect of our team performance was its relative youth; well done to the Club Selectors whose youth policy was largely vindicated.

The BIBC team - winners of the Inter-Club Association Cup

Captain: Clifford Craig with the trophy

Following on from the above success, our Selectors have arranged a ‘B’ team match against Co Antrim on Sunday 13th January. It will be a home match for us and consist of 6 rinks. Watch the notice boards for news of the team, and arrangements.

On the social front, the pool competition went extremely well, our new manager Richard showing he has hidden talents, but in a closely contested final, he lost to David Myles.  On the same evening, the poker night again was closely contested, with everyone enjoying the evening. Our Table quiz went well also, despite being on a seriously wet Saturday night.

Saturday December 8th saw a Night at the Races. All the races were sponsored, and all horses found owners! A good night’s fun was had.

On Saturday 22nd, the Club will have its annual Xmas Party; there will be live music and a late licence.  Come on members – make a note, make a night of it, support YOUR Club!!

Membership news

As usual there have been the Club Jeremiahs spreading gloom and doom about falling numbers.  As of December 1st- the Club membership stands at 1156, 131 of those being new members. Okay, there are some rinks missing in some leagues, but the situation is not as bad as some members are making out; so let’s be a lot more positive and see if we can all attract some more new members for next year. Let us all adopt a more positive attitude – the glass half full instead of half empty. Just in passing, the Suggestions Box in the foyer has dried up a bit of late. Any new ideas anyone???

I am glad to see that our appeal for members to adhere to white shirts and greys for league matches is now bearing fruit. Still on the Club front, can I appeal to members not to clutter up the areas behind rinks with their bowling bags? There was one fall recently, so this IS a health and safety issue.

Talking of falls, some of you are aware that Linda Brown slipped on our dance floor at Halloween and broke her ankle, but the good news is she is getting back on her feet.

It is also warming to see the number of short mat clubs taking advantage of our excellent facilities, especially those from south of the border. We are looking to further this connection.

Many members make use of our fairly extensive lending library; if anyone wishes to contribute spare books please leave them in the office to be stamped. Incidentally, there is now a growing video section, so the same applies!

An appeal from our cleaning staff – please do not put chewing gum in the urinals; last month we paid a plumber £100 to unblock one.

The first session of Coaching for beginners has now concluded – attendance varied from 13 to 18 per night, most of whom have become members. The second Coaching session starts on Monday 14th January.

We are also proposing something new : a Pairs and possibly a Triples league on a Thursday or Friday morning.  Information will be forthcoming very shortly.

Members will be saddened by the death of George Hamill, one of our longest serving Club members; more recently George was a constant House member and he will be missed.

AIIB Championships : the Club hosted these last weekend, and our own men did remarkably well, winning 5 of the 7 titles. All of these men (except the 2-bowl pairs ) now proceed to the British Championships next year.


1. Junior Singles : P. Burns (BIBC) beat K.Padgett (CAIBC) 21-12.

2. Pairs : J.Boyd and C.Craig (BIBC) beat S.Foster and N.Booth(CAIBC) 21-12

3. Triples : N.Gibson, J.Boyd, C.Craig (BIBC) beat M.Bickerstaff, J.Frazer, M.Kelly(BIBC) 16-6.

4. 2-Bowl Pairs : D.Copleland and P.McEwan (BIBC) beat W.McCaw and G.Kelly (PTIBC) 2 sets to nil.

5. Senior Fours : W.Watson’ s rink (BIBC) beat A.Gray’s rink(BIBC) 18-8.

6. Open Singles : J.Henry (PTIBC) beat N.Booth (CAIBC) 21-3.

7. Fours : N.Booth’s rink(CAIBC) beat J.Henry’s rink(PTIBC) 19-18.

These Championships saw some excellent bowling over the weekend, perhaps the best being Jeremy Henry’s demolition of his opponents in the Singles. Special congratulations go to Clifford Craig and his partners in winning two titles.

On behalf of the Management Committee, the Manager and Duty Officers, may I take this opportunity to wish all our members a Merry (but not too merry!) Xmas and a safe and prosperous New Year,

Ken Armstrong