"I am a Norfolk man and Glory in being so." Horatio Nelson

Kirby Bedon SMBC folds after 29 years

A special meeting of club members at Kirby Bedon SMBC last night brought 29 years of short mat bowls history in the village to an end when a vote was passed to close the club down. Declining membership had made team selection increasingly difficult so Kirby Bedon’s recent defeat against Wymondham in the NCSMBA Summer Cup Final has proved to be the last fixture ever for a club with an outstanding record in the sport. The club was formed in 1988 and entered the short lived Drakes Pride League for its first taste of competitive action. The following season saw the rapid expansion of the sport in Norfolk resulting in the formation of five new leagues with Kirby Bedon a founder member of the City of Norwich League. They remained in that league for nine years winning the title five times and finishing second in the other four years. In 1998 they left the City League and joined the Bure League as well as becoming a founding member of the new Tens League. They went on to win the Bure title eight times in their most successful period as well as winning the Tens League twice in its first three seasons. During this prolific period in the clubs history they won the Norwich Cup three times in four years as well as lifting the now defunct Norfolk County Cup. It was in the NCSMBA Summer League that Kirby Bedon enjoyed huge success dominating the league for a decade. Entering for the first time in Division Four in 1996 they won all four divisions in successive years bringing Bob Carter’s three year hold on the Division One title to an end in 1999. Ten Summer League Division One titles followed in an incredible run of success that culminated in 2009 when Kirby Bedon won the inaugural ESMBA National Club Championships in Rugby Thornfield beating Essex side Warren Heath in the same year that they also won the Summer League, the Summer Cup and the Bure League. For some of this period a second Kirby Bedon team also attained Division One status to produce some hotly contested local derbys. Club members also enjoyed huge success in Norfolk County Championship events and the old South-East Championships where many titles were won for the club. Having been there as a founding member at the birth of the club, and savoured many great moments during those twenty nine years, I must say it was a sad moment to be at the meeting that finally brought the Kirby Bedon SMBC story to an end. On a personal note it has been a pleasure to bowl with so many talented individuals over so many years and be a part of something very special.

Photos of Kirby Bedon shown below. An early team photo of Kirby Bedon SMBC, Kirby Bedon "A" National Club Champions in 2009, Kirby Bedon "A" during the years of Summer League glory and Selwyn Goldsmith of Kirby Bedon - National Singles Runner-up in 2000 

  Kirby Bedon early squad photo resize 30 National Club Champions resize 60

                                                                        

Kirby Bedon A Team early photo resize 30                               Kirby Bedon Runner up National Singles resize 30