It gives me great pleasure to present the second Secretary’s Report of the reformed Grantchester Cricket Club.
This has probably been the busiest and most exciting year the club will ever see. This time last year our square had been laid only 2 months previously; now we have completed our first season playing on it. It has been a remarkable journey and a remarkable achievement. On a match day the ground is a picturesque sight and all our opponents have thoroughly enjoyed their first visit to Spring Lane.
It would be appropriate here to pay tribute to the immense amount of work put into the ground by Steve Wilson. He has been on several courses and is showing signs of the perfectionism exhibited by the true Groundsman. He is ably assisted by our ingenious mechanical wizard Jerry Greggain and the always willing Neil Woods and Sam Ludford.
We have an impressive collection of machinery including a motorised roller, outfield cutter and 2 square cutters. We have a marquee, tables and chairs, a scoreboard made by Andrew Houston, numbers donated by Toby Joseph portable sightscreens and a hose and reel. The latter 2 items were bought with a grant from South Cambs Council for which I record our sincere thanks. We have been given machines by generous members and been offered some real bargains by Chas Simpkins. Owen Maddock kindly gave us a trailer to transport the square cutters. Trumpington Farm Company has provided a home for all our gear in a secure barn near the ground. This in turn has enabled us to get it all properly insured. We are grateful for Richard Pemberton’s ongoing support and delighted that he has taken life membership of the club. Following the invasion of cows on to the square Richard not only got a gang of his men to repair the damage but provided a secure removable fence around the square. Richard has also offered to put a chicken wire barrier along the 2 short sides of the ground to minimise time wasted looking for balls. We have also formed a good relationship with the new Farm Manager, David Knott. Lee Milburn has been most generous in loaning us machinery when necessary.
Another massive thank you must go to The Orchard Tea Garden for their generous provision of tea at our home games. We are indebted to the manager Pauline Holmes and to the owner Mr Callan to whom we have presented a club sweater.
The largest part of our finances this year has come from our own fundraising efforts. In particular there have been 2 Fun Runs, The Ringing the Bull World Championships and a Paella and Sangria Afternoon. The recent Fun Run was a great success from which we have learnt many lessons to apply next year. Our thanks go to Francis Burkett for planning the route. Our fundraising team of Steve Wilson, Justin Fairhall and Sarah Fitt have worked tirelessly to ensure the success of these events. Justin has been most generous in making the resources of his company, Flair Catering, available for our events and Steve has driven everything along in his own inimitable way.
The season itself started with the opening match at Spring Lane on Sunday May 20th. The ground was opened by Adrian Frost and Richard Pemberton. In very cold conditions and wearing our new club sweaters we played our friends from Conington. Neil Woods bowled the first ball, Barnaby Perks hit the first run and Tony Kennedy took the first wicket. Grantchester won the match and the pitch played very well. It was a memorable day.
The club played 13 matches, winning 10, losing 2 and one was abandoned as a draw. The champagne moment of the season came at Stiffkey when Alex Stafford hit 117 not out, a club and ground record. The ball only went into the river once, when we were playing St Radegund, whereupon one of their fielders stripped off and went in after it. We now know for sure that cricket balls float.
The club has about 50 members of whom 26 are players. If I have a concern it is that some of us, though still showing traces of skills honed long ago, are certainly in the veteran category. It would be great to have some youngsters from the village in our ranks. We are keen to be inclusive and to this end the Fun Run will be promoted as a community event and our annual Quiz will be held in the Village Hall rather than the Blue Ball. The date of Friday 22nd February has been fixed for that event.
The square has been scarified, top-dressed, seeded and fertilised. It just remains to be aerated and it will be ready for season 2013. Winter nets are being arranged by Sam Ludford and details will go out in due course.
Your committee under the chairmanship of Ben Travers has met 10 times during the last year.
Can I thank our scorer Sarah Fitt for her unfailing good nature and for her willingness to keep the valuables in her handbag.
Dave Crowther, our webmaster, though now resident in Den Haag, has shown that in the modern world distance is no object. His work on the Fun Run was most efficient. Tony Kennedy has been an admirable steward of the finances. Steve Bowller continues to help out with the storage and transportation of materials for which we thank him.
Our special thanks go to John and Karolin for their continuing support and for the warm welcome we always receive at headquarters.
Last season was a very wet one and we never really got to see how a hard, dry pitch at Spring Lane would play. Here’s hoping that next season we get that opportunity.
If I have omitted to thank anyone please accept my apologies. Thanks to you all for your continued support.
David Foster – Secretary