For those of you who are tough ‘outside’ bowlers, I trust you enjoyed the sunshine of May; hopefully, the remaining months of our Ulster summer are as good. For everyone, I hope you all come back refreshed in September for another indoor campaign.

The club has been busy sice the end of March – bookings for rink use are up substantially on last year; the Club is still hosting the Chartered Accountant exams. Painting is still going on as I write, and other cosmetic improvements also.

Lookingh back for a moment to March, we hosted the end of season Charity Tournament in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Research – this raised £600 and our Chairman, Ian Bamford and Betty Craig handed over a cheque – see below

Our summer Mixed Pairs league has been going very well, and this has boosted numbers on Friday evenings. It will be interesting to see the response, if any, to the proposed new pairs and Triple Leagues (see enclosed forms).

Another end of season was the various Cups for the Novices; young Jeffrey Montgomery won the Singles match in a very close contest, and he teamed up with his dad, Mansell, to win the pairs – so Bob’s genes are being carried on! Thanks to Ian Bamford for donating the cups. Still with novices and beginners – there are four Open Nights from 9th to 12th September – these are always well attended, so if you know of any potential recruits, let them know. An additional incentive to new members is a 25% reduction on membership – but only those who turn up on the Open Nights! The usual incentive for Club members is that for introducing new members, they receive one voucher for 4 sessions bowling. Outdoor Clubs have been notified. Coaching will resume in October.

League News: good news first! The Committee has agreed to keep the rink fees at £3.00; they have also agreed to retain the £10 entry fee for all Leagues. The annual Subscription will be decided at the AGM. A Mixed Triples League will start on Thursday October 2nd; a new Mixed Friday Pairs League will start on October 3rd. Get your applications in!

The big news is that there will be a new premier Men’s League on Friday nights – restricted to the first 10 rinks who meet the necessary criteria.

The Men’s International squad will be practising at BIBC on Wednesday evenings, so the normal Wednesday League will consist of 18 teams (maximum).

Another proposal is for a Ladies’ Rinks League on Saturday mornings – but this will depend on numbers and Club bookings – so watch this space.

The Committee has agreed to reduce the daily rink fees from 4pm to 6pm to only £1 only – this will also apply to Saturday afternoons – but this does not cover postponed games or Club Competitions played at those times!

Clarification to Substitute rules: if there are 4 or 5 players named on your League entery form you can use any 3 and still play a sub; should one of your rink be ill you will be allowed to add 1 more name to your League entry form for that period of time, thus allowing you to still play a sub. Please inform the Manager or Competition Secretary ifyou have to make any changes.

Can I say at this point that over 40 suggestions were submitted by you, the members, and some of those have been implemented. I will address this at the AGM, but thank those of you who took the trouble to use the facility of the Suggestion Box. I look forward to seeing more next year! Talking of the AGM, I look forward to a good turnout on Tuesday 19th August. As usual, there will be a draw for one year’s free subscription for those attending. This AGM is only open to full members. I enclose the Agenda for the meeting.

We ran a very successful Macmillan Cancer Research coffee morning last year; the date for this year is Friday September 26th – so please make a note of this for your dairy.

There will be a full Newsletter in September. In the meantime may I wish you good bowling, both indoor and out.