The First Annual Dinner

At a Committee meeting held on Monday 27 August 1906 at 7.30pm a Sub Committee was formed consisting of Messrs Cuthbert Brown, Walter Debnam and Frank Clist to see what could be done towards arranging a social gathering of members at the end of the season and to report to the General Committee.

No report back is recorded in later minutes but there is a very full description as to what was arranged by these gentleman. Their actions in this the first season set the trend for the social gatherings of members in out of season months in an effort to celebrate their successes and to preserve a spirit of comradeship amongst members.

The first Annual Dimmer was held in the Picture Room of the Shire Hall, Duke Street on Tuesday 6 November 1906 commencing at 7pm. The meal was supplied by a member Harry Stuman Bausor, the proprietor of the Red Cow Temperance Hotel, Broomfmeld Road, at a cost of two shillings and six pence each. (12.5p). Eighty four tickets were sold and 76 people attended the dinner on that evening.

Decorationshad been arranged within the Picture Room with one window being covered with red baize on which were pinned paper letters reading “Success to Chelmsford Bowling Club”. On another wall, “Good luck to the Invincibles”. This reference to the Invincibles refers to a team organised by Canon Lake the Rector of St Marys Church and a Vice President of the Club. Bowls were placed on the dining tables and some were suspended from the ceiling in onion nets. 20 menu cards were placed on the tables.

Present at the dinner were some of the leading citizens of the town at that time. The dinner menu was extensive and is recorded in the minutes as Roast Beef, Boiled Beef, Roast Mutton, and Boiled Mutton with Potatoes, Carrots and Turnips. This was followed by Plum Pudding, Apple Tart and Pastry and to finish Cheese and Celery. All joints were placed upon the dining tables hot.

The Essex County Chronicle of 9 November 1906 (price 1d) printed a report of this first Annual Dinner and provided additional information about the Clubs formation.

Chelmsford Bowlers At Dinner

At the Shire Hall, on Tuesday evening, the Bowling Club held its first annual dimmer. The Club, it will be remembered, was formed recently in connection with a new bowling green laid down by the Corporation in the Recreation Ground. Remarkable success was attained by the organisation, a large number of members being enrolled in a very short time. Mr Cuthbert Brown, the Borough Surveyor, who comes from the north of England, introduced the idea of bowls and a bowling green to the municipal authorities, and his advocacy of the scheme and his energetic work in making it an accomplished fact have earned for him the gratitude of many local residents who afore time were at a loss for a pleasant exercise and amusement for the summer evenings.

For the dinner capital fare had been provided by Mr H S Bausor, of the Red Cow Temperance Hotel. The President, Aid. Whitmore, was in the chair, supported by the Rev. Canon Lake, several members of the Corporation, and other gentlemen. The attendance numbered about eighty. Mr J H Rowe acted as toastmaster — Mr W Debnam, in proposing “The Recreation Ground Committee,” said a great deal of progress had been made in Chelmsford in recent years, and many improvements had been carried out in the Recreation Ground. The bowling green had come to stay, and it would not be long before they needed a bigger one. (Hear, Hear) Mr Debnam then read a brief sketch of the history of bowls. The Chairman, who responded, considered it a great compliment to have his name associated with the Recreation Ground. It was during the year in which he had the honour of being Mayor that, with the generous assistance of many friends, he was able to collect £1800 for acquiring that ground. Now he often wondered what they did when they were without it. (Hear, Hear) It had been a pleasure to the Corporation to provide the bowling green and find it so much appreciated. They were much indebted to Mr. Cuthbert Brown, and he believed that in a few years time the ground would be the best in Essex. (Applause). Councillor Wailer submitted ‘Success to the Club’ in an amusing speech. Mr Cuthbert Brown, the Borough Surveyor, received an ovation. He said they had between sixty and seventy members, and he did not see why bowls should not become as popular in the South of England as either cricket or football. The committee intended next year to invite gentlemen from Great Baddow and Springfield — perhaps he might say Chelmsford ‘over the Border’ — to come down and have a game with them. After that, they would doubtless go back and advise their neighbours to withdraw all opposition to the proposed extension of Chelmsford, would join their happy household, and live under the paternal roof for ever. (Laughter and applause) Mr F Clist, the Hon. Secretary, having also responded, the Chairman handed out the prizes. Mr W J Dyke next proposed ‘The Prize Donors,’ the Chairman and Mr. G Orams acknowledging the toast. Councillor Gowers proposed ‘The Visitors,’ Alderman Taylor and Mr Hugh Sharman responding. The toast of ‘The Chairman,’ vas proposed by Mr H Kemp. The Mayor, (Ald. F Chancellor) on arrival from another engagement, was warmly received. His health was cordially drunk, and he returned his thanks. Songs were rendered by Messrs F C Rowe, EJ Towndrow, J O Thompson, G J Bolingbroke, E H Rowe and G Jeffkins. Mr F J French gave some gramophone selections, and Mr Orams contributed a violin solo. Mr F K Sydos played the accompaniments. During the proceedings Alderman Bond, Alderman Taylor, Mr W Debnam, Mr H S Bausor and Mr G Sargent offered prizes for next season.

Fully detailed in the minutes are the Dinner Expenses. It was resolved at a later committee meeting that they would pay for the Toastmaster, Piano, Pianist, cards, tickets and advertising. Mr Cuthbert Brown himself paid £2-0-0 towards the deficit.

Mr H.S. Bausor’s Bill

£ s d
100 members at 2/6d 12 0 0
Toast Master   5 0
Piano   12 6
Pianist   10 6
Dinner Cards     8
Advertising (2 ads) & Dinner Tickets   12 6
Total 14 11 2
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