Grantchester Cricket Club Secretary’s Report 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to present the sixth Secretary’s Report of the reformed Grantchester Cricket Club.

A change to our constitution last year altered our financial year to coincide with the calendar year. This also necessitated moving the AGM to February. Hence there was no AGM in 2016.

We also have a change of AGM venue to The Orchard Tea Gardens. We thank the new manager Patrice Pollet and the owner Charles Bunker for having us here.

We have completed our fifth playing season at Spring Lane which continues to improve under the stewardship of Steve Wilson and Jerry Greggain. The outfield is kept fast and short by Nigel Heath. We are indebted to the many hours of dedication they put in. We now have a very good collection of machinery and equipment with no urgent requirements. There is currently a discussion underway among the Committee concerning the purchase of covers. The low fencing at the Archer End has been extended but our main boundary problem lies at the opposite side of the ground. The hedge is of such a size that we cannot get over the fence to search for a lost ball. The only solution is a drastic cutting back which requires special machinery. During one game we lost at least six balls! One problem to which we would like to find a solution is how to house our roller nearer to the field. This would save the curators a massive amount of time driving it to and from the barn. We thank our landlord TFC for their continued support and in particular Antony and Richard Pemberton and Farm Manager David Knott.

The Orchard Tea Garden has once again been most supportive in its provision of tea for home matches. We have been delighted to meet Patrice Pollet the new Manager who has continued the enthusiastic assistance we have enjoyed in the past. Charles Bunker the owner remains firmly in our camp.

If I had to highlight a single area of improvement in the Club’s activities, it would be in the realm of technology. More than half of our subscriptions were paid by direct transfer last season and I will be encouraging this trend. For the first time we used the website to register availability which made selection a lot easier to manage. Also, registration for the Charity Runs, The Quiz and the Dinner were all done online. There were a few hiccups but on the whole these innovations have been most successful. We thank Christie Marian in particular for implementing these changes with such tireless good humour.

We welcome the new sponsorship from Penguin Insurance represented by John Anderson. In addition we thank John Bailey and Rod Bishop for their personal sponsorship. Also Penguin subsidised the provision of club shirts bearing their logo. The smartly dressed Member can now sport a tie, cap, scarf, jumper and shirt.

Once again, the Charity Runs were a considerable success. We used the new course for the second time and the fact that there are no road crossings and a varied route proved very popular. There were a number of new features including medals and trophies. Timing was better though not perfect and we raised more money for charity than in previous years. We added an additional charity, East Anglia Children’s Hospice, as well as supporting ACT. The weather was excellent and there were few problems. The main organisers are Steve Wilson, Christie Marian and Justin Fairhall to whom we offer our sincere thanks. We thank Jerry Greggain and Tony Kennedy for their help in course maintenance. We could still do with more helpers including marshals. We thank our sponsors, Flair Catering, HotelRes, Cambridge Bike Tours, Cross Fit and Sports Corrective Therapy. We also thank Francis Burkitt for providing the Village Car Park and Lizzie O’Beirne Ranelagh for the use of her paddock for assembly, registration and refreshments. A full appraisal took place afterwards from which we will try to make this year’s event even better.

The Annual Quiz in the Village Hall, of which there have been two since the last AGM, has again proved a valuable fundraiser. These are most enjoyable and popular occasions with a tried and tested format. Our Quizmaster Peter Hain always produces an interesting and challenging array of questions. Again, we thank Justin Fairhall of Flair Catering for his support.

The Club has 19 Life Members of whom 5 are Honorary Life Members. The latter category now includes John Roos and Karolin Rejniak. In 2016 there were 6 Family memberships which included 7 players. There were 10 Social Members and 13 paying Player Members. We had 12 under 25 playing members who do not pay a subscription. I will mention now my concern that we do not have enough playing members. There were several occasions last season when we struggled to raise a side. Though it was amusing to see our President gamely offering to bat at 11 on one occasion that is probably not the way forward. We have put recruitment articles in both the Grantchester and Trumpington Parish Magazines and hope this bears fruit.

Your committee has met on 12 occasions since the last AGM. There have been two Club Dinners, the most recent of which at The Green Man was most successful.

Now I come to the most important aspect of my report, the 2016 playing season. We had 20 fixtures arranged but of these 6 were lost to the rain which as you will recall was particularly bad in June. Our tour to Derbyshire accounted for 2 of these cancellations. The Tour was a complete washout which meant that we were confined to indoor activities. Hopefully I will be able to report more positively on our forthcoming tour to Norfolk from the 9th to 11th of June this year. This new venture is being meticulously organised by George Hill. Of the remaining matches we won 9 and lost 5. There were again some beautiful sunny days at Spring lane and some pleasant away fixtures. Three batsmen scored centuries, Dan Farman, John Anderson and James Menzies but it was Dan Farman who topped the batting averages with 8 innings at 58.7. Chris Morrison topped the bowling averages with 17 wickets at 17.1. It is with great sadness but with great thanks that I have to report that AP Stafford is standing down as skipper. He is not only a tremendously talented cricketer both with bat, ball and in the field but he is also an astute and generous captain often spurning opportunities to perform himself in order to give his team mates a chance. He will still play and we wish his successor well.

Finally I record our thanks to our scorer Angela Wray and our umpires Nigel Heath and Frannie Wray and our Tea Team particularly Maxine Este and Lorna Wilson. To help the latter we will be trying out a slightly different system for tea contributions next season. I would also like to mention Sam Ludford who continues to improve our fixture list and is an enthusiastic supporter of all Club activities. Likewise Tony Kennedy is always on hand helping out in numerous ways to ensure things run smoothly and Jonty Este is trying to get us all more familiar with the mysteries of Facebook and Twitter.

Next year I hope to report on the visit of Heligoland Cricket Club from Germany who will be playing us on 20th May. Who knows where that connection may take us!

If I have omitted to thank anyone please accept my apologies.

David Foster – Secretary
presented to the AGM on Sunday 26th February 2017

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