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Barrie Plowman and Albert Horton were great servants to Stamford Indoor Bowls Club

Bowls locally is in mourning following the loss of two legends of the game within days of each other.

Barrie Plowman died in Peterborough Hospital, aged 79 on New Year’s Eve, while Albert Horton passed away on January 2.

Both were recognised as two of the best in the game in the area during the latter part of the 20th century, representing both clubs and county with distinction.

Barrie Plowman.
Barrie Plowman.

They were great servants to the Stamford Indoor Bowls Club, where they claimed many domestic titles but were perhaps best known for their achievements on the outdoor grass greens, where in their day, they regularly reached the national championships at Skegness.

Husband of Pam, Barrie had been suffering with Parkinson’s Disease for several years but, in his playing days, was one of the best singles players in the area, winning several Northants Federation county titles and was a great mentor to up-and-coming bowlers, passing on his advice and experience.

A winner of the NBF indoor senior singles a decade ago, he was a prolific winner of outdoor titles too. He won the NBF two-bowl singles on three occasions – 1990, 1991 and 2004 – and was runner-up in 2010. He also won the four-bowl singles in 1993, the champion of champion singles in 2003 and was runner-up the following year.

A loyal member of the former Great Casterton outdoor bowls club, Barrie was almost unbeatable on its quirky three-rink green and won the county mixed pairs twice with Pam in 2003 and 2006. The duo also made it to English Championship finals at Skegness in 2012 in the senior version.

After having to give up the game because of illness he was a keen spectator in recent years when later confined to a wheel chair, offering humorous anecdotal stories and advice to fellow bowlers.

Yorkshire-born Albert served in the RAF and was known as a decent footballer.

Albert Horton.
Albert Horton.

After switching from the crown green bowls format in his home county, he proved a fierce competitor when he moved south, playing to both EBA and Federation flat green rules.

He represented Hunts EBA and Northants Federation respectively in the Middleton Cup and Newton and Adams Trophies in the 1980s and 90s.

Rarely out of the bowling headlines, he reached the EBA national outdoor championships at Worthing on multiple occasions having also won the Hunts four-bowl singles in 1987, the triples in 1984 and the rinks in 1989 playing at the Peterborough South Ward green.

Albert won the Federation singles and pairs (with Dan Duffy) in 1991 and retained the mixed pairs title with Joyce Holden in 1990.

As a member of Ketton Bowls Club, he qualified for the English Federation championships with Peter Edwards when they won the county senior pairs in 2011 and was twice runner-up with Doug Want (2007) and Edwards (2012).

Husband of Dorothy, he will be remembered as a tough, fair and formidable competitor whom even in later years was always hard to beat. The game will be poorer for the passing of Barrie and Albert.

They competed at the top level locally when bowls popularity was at its height in the eras of David Bryant and Tony Allcock.

They added colour, spice and character to a game when only black or brown bowls were used and white shirts and ties were part of the formal dress on the green.

Stamford Indoor Bowls Club is also sad to report the death of Harold Binks, aged 93.

‘Joe,’ as he was better known, was also a member of Greetham Valley Bowls Club and played for them in the Stamford and District outdoor bowls league.

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