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It was a touch and go decision as to whether to postpone our LADIES v GENTS match after listening to weather predictions last night. Opening up at 9.15am neither Gordon nor myself expected that there would be enough members turning up to play the match.

Why did we ever doubt it. Come 9.50am there were 40 members in the pavilion and brilliantly there were 20 ladies and 20 gents. What an amazing and enthusiastic group of members we have.

We completed 3 rounds of a snake format before retiring to the pavilion for hot drinks and mince pies. The first round saw the gents get off to a good start winning it by 7 games to 3. However the ladies decided recent losses against the gents were not going to be repeated this week. They came storming back to take the second round by a 6 games to 4 margin. The third round was looking very close as the teams had 3 wins each. However the gents won 3 of the final four matches to take the round 6-4.

Thus a final overall score gave the gents victory by 17 games to 13 with a plus 75 points difference. Although not winning the ladies did restore their self esteem by making the match a very evenly balanced competition. Is shooting still the only stumbling block to turning a close defeat into victory?

Of the 20 pairs playing only four were unable to gain a victory. Two Ladies pairings and two gents.

A brilliant performance by Georgie Fitton and Christine Appleyard got them three wins out of three with a plus 15 points difference.

For the gents three pairings scored three wins from their three games. Ian Fitton & Roger Farrar scored 3 wins and plus 22 points, Colin Child & David Whittington scored three wins and plus 25 points and Chris Hopkins and myself scored 3 wins and plus 27 points.

While the gents will be pleased with their narrow victory the ladies will be pleased to have shown that there’s not much between the teams. Roll on next year when it promises to be another exciting encounter.

Well done everyone and just hope you all got home safely. We did manage to finish in good time before the promised rain started.


Excellent XMAS LUNCH

Cleckheaton Golf Club served up yet another excellent meal last Wednesday for us to enjoy our sixth Xmas Lunch there. I hope everyone enjoyed their meal as much as I did. It was the largest gathering of our members yet and lovely to see so many attending who have relatively recently joined our club. It was brilliant to have the chance to sit and chat with folk as club days rarely allow such luxury time.

A massive thank you to our brilliant team of ladies on our committee, Janet, Jean, Carol, Jane, Kath and Alma for their efforts to organise the lunch and the raffle. A mention also for our talented town crier, Roger F. who quickly ensures order for our Chairman to speak as well as covering many steps while conducting the raffle draw.

Thankyou to all our members for the wonderful generosity shown not only by the brilliant array of prizes donated for our Xmas Raffle but also the kindness to buy the raffle tickets. The raffle raised £230 which has been divided equally between our club and our chosen charity, “Forget me Not”.

A note for your diaries that we have booked the golf club for next year on Wednesday 18th December.

As is our custom we announced the winner of our annual MONTH END MELEE competition which runs for eleven months of the year. We now have six different winners over the six years and this year it has been won by a lady who has had to cope with a quite worrying operation but is now on the road to recovery. She still managed some excellent boules this year and by scoring 36 points Janet Spencer is our Melee Champion for 2018. Well done Janet. In second place, and completing his first full year of competition with our club was Ian Fitton with 35 points. Well done Ian. Full results can be see on our blog RESULTS PAGE as can everyones’ results.

If Janet is looking a little apprehensive in the picture above it’s just that she’s pondering where to display the “magnificent trophy”, I use the term loosely, for a year. In fact she appears a little reluctant to take it from me.

The month end melee competition has seen a few changes in both format and scoring system over the years and it’s fair to say it can still be improved upon. If anyone has suggestions please feel free to contact me. One suggestion has already been proposed which is just to count games won and forget awarding points. Any comments welcomed. It will always be a competition that involves how your partners and opposition play on the day as well as how often you can attend to take part.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our members and their families a very Happy Xmas and a wonderful new year. To all those who have not had such a good year health wise please get well soon and if you’ve been unable to play lets get you back with us soon.

On the topic of Goodwill to all Men, will Ladies please remember this theme during tomorrows Ladies v Gents Xmas Competition. We are in need of love, kindness and 13 points each game. Thankyou




I’ve have given out some varied information to various members recently with regard to the time for Xmas Lunch next Wednesday. So I thought I’d better get the correct info from Janet and let everyone know.

It’s ARRIVE 1pm FOR A 1.30PM SIT DOWN TO EAT. It won’t be a problem if you arrive a bit earlier as you will have a good opportunity to sit and chat with a pleasant drink in hand.

Hope you all enjoy the lunch and set off an enjoyable festive season.

Also, while I’m owning up to my obvious incompetence as Secretary can I advise everyone that we now have a document with Advice and Information for Members. It’s something I know the numerous folk that have joined us in the last few months would have found helpful. Also we now have a policy for assuring members of the fact that we ensure complete confidentiality in the way we use their personal details.

Both of these documents can be read on the PAPERWORK PAGE of this blog. Please take the time to read them and contact me if you have any queries. There are copies on our noticeboards. While you’re wading down the PAPERWORK PAGE also take the time to read the H&S Guidance document and our GENERAL RISK ASSESSMENT. These are also on our club noticeboard.

Finally don’t forget it’s LADIES v GENTS next Saturday. Go easy on the alcohol at Xmas Lunch gents. We must be in peak condition for this match. Remember Goodwill at Xmas is ok except during this match.

REMEMBER NO PETANQUE NEXT WEDNESDAY – We’re having lunch instead.


Our November Month End Melee brought to an end this year’s competition and as usual with our three round format hopes of glory were high one minute only to be sunk in the next.

Over the year 70 members competed in at least one of the eleven melees but just two, Cath Clegg and Carol Hall stayed the course to play in all eleven. Well done ladies. Fifteen members played in nine or ten.

November’s melee was also notable for the success of three members gaining their first points. Thirty two players started the day. There was a 33rd present but he was feeling under the weather and so elected to let us play the melee with a handy even number. Thanks Roger for that and specially for the brilliant effort of clearing the mountain of leaves from the paths around the terrain. Hope you’re feeling better this evening.

Today we also christened our modified set of five pistes that we have recently made more “technical”. Other unrepeatable descriptions were overheard during the day but I’m sure we will become more accomplished players when we master it.

The addition of areas of 20mm limestone chips certainly makes you plan your shots more carefully.

After all of the matches 6 players managed to achieve the magic three wins.

Well done to Bill Barnett who scored his first points of the year. Although he won only two games it was enough to share 7th place with Trevor May and they scored a point each

Three wins and plus 12 points ensured Walter Bottrill and Stuart Bolton shared fifth place. In third place and gaining his first ever points with three wins and plus 21 points was Jack Colgan. As if we hadn’t enough tied positions, the joint winners today with 3 wins and plus 26 points were myself and our third points debut from Tony McDonald. Well done Tony on an excellent performance.

As we formally announce the Annual Melee Champion at our Xmas Lunch on the 12th December I won’t spoil the occasion here but we have another new name on our plaque and a very well deserved victory it is.

Our next significant event is on the 15th December when we hold the final LADIES versus GENTS of 2018. In full Xmas dress it will be a chance to kick off the festive season with an enjoyable competition that always brings out the best in folk. If the gents need a reminder of previous Xmas games to fire up our determination to continue our winning run see below.




As we draw towards the end of the calendar year you may want to give thought to either joining PETANQUE ENGLAND or perhaps just as an ASSOCIATE NORTHERN PETANQUE MEMBER. Joining or renewing takes place on 1st JANUARY 2019.


Joining as an ASSOCIATE NORTHERN PETANQUE member will give you full access to the Northern Region web site on which you can enter Northern events directly, cancel your entry if you need to. You will be eligible for FREE coaching when we organise for the Northern Coach to come to Heckmondwike a provide coaching. As we have had quite a few new members this year it may be that some would like to take part in a session. Please let me know and I will arrange one. You could enter the La British Open competition and silver and bronze ranked competitions. You could NOT ENTER any Northern competition that could lead to representing the Northern Region, eg the Qualifiers for Hayling Island National Regional, or Northern Pairs Championship, Northern Mixed Pairs Competition, Northern Over 50’s Pairs Competition.

Joining PETANQUE ENGLAND will give you automatic NORTHERN REGION membership with the above benefits.


A Petanque England member will be eligible for training to become a qualified UMPIRE or a qualified COACH. You can enter National competitions and Northern competitions that lead to representing NORTHERN REGION or even ENGLAND. It will allow you to be available for selection to represent HECKMONDWIKE in the EUROCUP competition.  You can enter as part of a triples team into the Northern Qualifiers to represent Northern Region in the National Regional Championships at Hayling Island. PETANQUE ENGLAND membership may also be required for some open competitions around both Britain and Europe. Membership also automatically provides you with Liability Insurance while playing at any club in the country covering you in the risk of accidental injury.

Entering neither of the above would still leave you eligible to play for Heckmondwike in the West Yorkshire League or in any social matches with other clubs.

MEMBERSHIP for 2019 will cost:-

PETANQUE ENGLAND – £30 (this includes Northern Precept of £8)


If you want to discuss or get further info while you deliberate please let me know during December.





First of all a big Thankyou to all those who had to dig deep to play four rounds today. While it wasn’t arctic conditions it can still be draining. Well done everyone for making the event an enjoyable day of petanque even if we didn’t win quite as many games as we’d have liked.

We played four rounds of timed games and with 20 pairs playing that made 40 games of which only four failed to finish with a 13 point total when the 45 minute bell sounded. A certain family surname starting with F featured in 3 of them. Well would you believe it. Just one game finished in a tie.

Five pairs managed three wins. An excellent performance by Jane Farrar and Audrey Barnett saw them take sixth place with 3 wins and plus 5 points. With 3 wins and plus 10 points in fifth place were Pauline Fenton and Roger Farrar. Just one point better off were Ann Bolton with Peter Wharton to take fourth place.

There was a tie for second place with Jean McCulloch and Alan Norfolk and the pairing of Christine Appleyard with me scoring three wins and plus 15 points.

However, stars of the day were the pairing of Alma Johnson and David Whittington who stormed home with four wins and plus 43 points. An excellent performance. Well done everyone.

Full results can be seen on the blog RESULTS PAGE.

XMAS LUNCH – There are still a few who have yet to pay Janet. Could you please do it ASAP as she is going to the golf club this week to confirm all places.

A big Thankyou to those who have donated raffle prizes so far. They don’t have to be expensive but any raffle prize that you can manage to donate will be gratefully received and will help make the day an enjoyable occasion.