We are saddened to learn of the passing of Margaret Ashford-Hull, former President of the English Women’s Indoor Bowling Association (1987/88) and the English Women’s Bowling Association (1989), at the age of 85.
Margaret was an Honorary Member of Bowls England and a Life Member of the English Indoor Bowling Association and was well respected across the sport for her many dedicated years of service, being the only women to hold the position of President for both the indoor and outdoor national associations.
Margaret had been an enormous part of women’s bowling in Suffolk over many decades, both on and off the green. Her bowling career brought her a great deal of success, with numerous county titles in singles and team events with subsequent qualifications to the National Finals. One of Margaret’s biggest achievements came in 1996, when having been County runner-up, she went on to become National Two-Wood Singles Champion.
Margaret was the President of her county association in 1984 and 1987, and was very proud to become President of the EWBA in 1989. Her ties with the EWBA and Bowls England remained strong thereafter, being a member of the Friends of English Bowling, and maybe most notably her strong and enduring ties with Women’s Bowling Benevolent Fund, where she served as Honorary Secretary and Treasurer for almost two decades, spending many an hour trying to drum up support around the greens at the National Finals. The gifts Margaret sent to bowlers all over the country were always received with pleasure and gratitude.
Margaret was heavily involved with organising the bowling activity at Potters Resort for many years and was also a highly respected umpire, both at County and National level. When it came to the laws of our sport, we can assure you that what Margaret said went!
She may have been a woman of small physical stature, but Margaret certainly had a personality that was larger than life. Margaret gave so much of her time to bowls, both within Suffolk and at national level, and she gave her time willingly, without any real desire for recognition – her goal was simply to give something back to the sport that had given her so much joy. When she reached the point where she could no longer get onto the green herself, she continued to get so much excitement from watching and supporting Suffolk’s bowlers from beside the green, and being able to share in the joy of their successes.
Our thoughts are with Margaret’s daughters Christine and June, son Michael, and all of her family and friends at this sad time. She will be missed greatly and her contribution to our sport will never be forgotten.
With thanks to Diane Stannard and Norma Hazzledine for sharing their memories of Margaret in order to prepare this obituary