Update from Harpenden Cricket Club – December 2021
Christmas approaches, England is one nil down in the Ashes, and the pandemic…… no, there will be no further gloom in this bulletin, the first of a monthly communication to all members which we hope will both entertain and inform.
Our Annual General Meeting was held in late November, with lots of members making the effort to attend, which is appreciated. Much was discussed.
Notably, our Chair of seven years, Simon Wade, stood down. He was warmly thanked for his fantastic contribution to the club, and later confirmed as a Vice President. He is replaced by another outstanding servant of the Club, Simon Caunce, who will no doubt build on the successes of his namesake.
Another HCC stalwart, Geoff Newman, who has held pretty much every role at the Club during his 35 year association, also stood down as President of the Club as he and his wife have moved to the south coast. He remains a Trustee, and he knows he will be welcomed back with genuine warmth whenever he’s in the area.
The Club was also happy to recognise Jim Gill, who stood down after a long spell as skipper of both the 4thand 5th teams, who becomes a Vice-President. Mike Arnold, who has been both umpire and scorer for many years, was elected as Honorary Life President as all present acknowledged his extraordinary service to the Club. A similar honour was bestowed upon Martin Wade, who was responsible for much of the development at the Cricket Club in the 1990s, most crucially the levelling of the ground. Gentlemen, we thank you all.
On the Pitch
There was much to celebrate on the cricket field in 2021. Nick Lamb’s men’s first team won its first ever Herts Premier League title with many graduates of the Club’s Colts teams featuring regularly. Meanwhile the second team is the highest ranked 2nd XI in the County. The fact that we continued to field six teams on a Saturday remains hugely satisfying.
We’re just as proud of our Women’s team, which had a successful first season in the Home Counties Women’s league.
And across age group cricket, participation is higher than ever. Both under 11s and under 13s boys and girls teams were County Champions. We have a waiting list of youngsters wanting to join, and we are only constrained by access to pitches and finding the right number of adults to manage the different age groups.
We’re in good shape. Subscription income rose, although bar takings were reduced for obvious reasons. We’re looking to improve existing facilities at the St George’s School ground, which is used by our third and fourth teams, and junior teams. We’re also bringing an additional pitch on Rothamsted Park up to scratch following a ten year agreement with the Town Council, which will be reserved for junior cricket. So your Club is doing its best to enhance cricket facilities in the Town and increase access for all.
Scorers and Umpires
With so much cricket taking place during the Summer, we also need to widen the pool of umpires and scorers. We would be happy to train you up if you would be interested in supporting the club in this way, so for an initial chat, do please email Rupert Garrett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cricket in the wider world
Whilst we’re delighted with the progress at Harpenden Cricket Club, the game of cricket in general in this country has had a difficult few months. It is not our intention to look backwards. We cannot change that. But we can look to the future.
We all watch or play cricket for different reasons. It’s a sport that has the potential to be a great unifying force for our country. It’s loved by men and women, boys and girls. It’s enjoyed by people whose families came to England from other parts of the world. People should be able to love and enjoy the game regardless of their gender, age, race, sexuality or ability.
We want everyone who is a member or visitor to Harpenden Cricket club to feel welcome and comfortable, regardless of whether they are a regular or occasional participant. Goodness knows we’ve all faced more challenges and uncertainties than normal over the last couple of years, so we want Harpenden Cricket Club to be a happy, safe, fun and friendly environment, and its beholden upon us all to make sure that’s always the case, and hold each other to account to ensure the very highest standards of behaviour.
So with that in mind, all that remains is for us to wish you and your family a Happy Christmas. We can also look forward, we hope, to a better 2022 for us all. Before long it will be getting lighter in the evenings, our wonderful groundstaff will be cranking up the lawnmowers, and we’ll be playing and watching cricket again!
We’ll be back in touch in January.
With best wishes, from the Executive Committee:
Simon Caunce (Chair)
David Washington (Treasurer)
Cleve Belcher (Secretary)
Lucy Skinner (Welfare Officer)
Rupert Garrett (Director of Cricket)
Nick Lamb (Men’s First Team captain)
David Josephs (Communications Director)