The Brigands AGM took place on Sunday, October 8 2023.
Key items discussed and agreed were;
Minutes of AGM in 2022
Relationship between Brigands and the Trust
The "Jay Report" presented some compelling recommendations for the future structure of the Brigands. The report would be reviewed in due course, once the structure and workings of the Trust had been reinvigorated. The relationship with Hambledon CC continues to strengthen.
Tribute was paid to the ground staff, umpires, and scorers for their efforts at supporting cricket in 2023.
Acknowledgement was made of the contribution of outgoing Club President, Bryan Burns.
Honorary Secretary’s Report
Confirmed that all players were insured whilst involved in games at Broadhalfpenny Down.
Friends of Brigands amended to Member of the Brigands (Friends may still be used for Sponsors etc.) and annual fee remains at £15.
Match Managers to emphasise the importance of visiting teams bringing an Umpire.
Honorary Fixtures Secretary Report
T20 fixtures are proving popular with local teams, especially as many of these teams do not like paying a full afternoon match fee. 3
2024 fixture cards will feature only Brigand’s games and be a mixture of hard and soft-copy versions. The additional space will now allow the list of serving Life Vice Presidents to be reinstated. The current attractive cover will also be retained.
Discussion on whether the increased number of matches was placing too much strain on the ground and resources. With 15 wickets, 3 games per season on each was about right, giving a ground capacity of 45 games per year. The number of adult games programmed for the ground in 2023 was 47, of which 5 were T20 games and at least 5 games were cancelled. Junior games have specific strips allocated at the end of the square or are played on the artificial.
In 2024 it will be 60 years since the Rioteers club first played at Broadhalfpenny Down and a special event could be planned for the game.
Ground Member’s Report
2024 will be Harry Bates last year as Ground Member; a tribute to the late Rod Price and thanks to Paul Jackson and Pete Tomkins were given.
An anti-mole plan is ready to execute.
Discussion on whether to lower or remove the hedge directly across the road from the Bat & Ball to allow patrons to watch cricket from the beer garden but past difficulties with the Campaign for Rural England when similar schemes had been mooted in the past.
Honorary Treasurer’s Report
Match fees remain at £14 per game for adults and £7 per game for others, Annual Subscriptions remain at £72 per year, Opposition teams are charged £150 per game, Non-playing members are renamed ‘Member of The Brigands’ to enable flexibility with subscriptions.
A review of those with access to the Club’s bank account to follow.
Request for more content and more contributors to the website to ensure that the workload of keeping it updated and engaging didn’t fall to just a few members.
BDPT Representative’s report
The BDPT has had a relatively quiet 2023, following the successful events in 2022 and did not arrange any additional fixtures on BHPD.
Over the past year, the facilities on Broadhalfpenny Down had suffered an increase in petty vandalism although MB did receive regular reports. He thanked the often maligned local ‘dog walkers’ for being an effective ‘neighbourhood watch’.
The Pavilion requires work on the clock (parts are to hand & it should be repaired within a few weeks), boiler and effort to ensure it is fully watertight. The covers (wheel tyres) and sightscreens are also in need of work over the winter.
‘Memorial stones’. The minimum order for stones has not yet been reached but there are enough for the 1st tranche (c.32 stones). The initial plan for these 32 is to lay them in a line across the W side of the memorial.
The TV personality, Susan Calman visited the ground recently and filmed a short segment for a programme highlighting places to visit in Britain. I
The focus for the off-season 23/24 would be to work on the Pavilion to ensure it is in a fit state for the start of next season. A decision will also be made with respect to fund raising to pay for the work.
Election of Committee Officials
Harry Bates was elected as Ground Member.
Any Other Business, by permission of the Chairman
A vote of thanks for all those on the Brigands Committee for their work over the past season.
Concerns over the availability of volunteers for club, including scorers.
Closing address by the President
I am sure many of you will have seen the 6 hit story on the website of Wally Rothwell hitting Ray Lindwall over the pub car park and trees during a Taverners match in 1961. It was posted on 15th August, and I am very sad to report that we heard from Australia that Wally died just 4 days later. Through friends here he kept in touch with the Club’s progress and sent us a warm message of congratulations in our Golden Jubilee year in 2009. There will be a new post on the website about him shortly.
On a lighter note, I thought the end of season dinner last night was excellent. A good turnout of members, a very happy and warm occasion for the Club. Congratulations to Richie for his organisation of the whole event.
I usually begin my end of AGM address with thanks to our umpires and scorers. This year Clive has taken charge of the umpires union and I am sure I speak on his behalf as well when I extend the Club’s thanks to all umpires and scorers for another successful year. Next year he will have his own opportunity as he fills this spot and I am delighted he is taking over as Club President. Clive has worked tirelessly in the background not just as Club Treasurer but in producing the template for the future of the Club together with Roy Newman when MERCURY closed. He was also involved with me in arranging all the events of our Jubilee year in 2009.
After all the excitement last year, this has been a challenging season, especially with the mix of weather and matches cancelled. But it’s happened before and we have come through in good fettle with a healthy number of playing members and Club finances in good order. My thanks and congratulations to the new committee.
I have probably said enough about fixture congestion and giving the ground staff time to prepare pitches properly for Brigands matches during the course of the AGM, but we as a Club have preserved and nurtured this ground for over 60 years and I believe we must ensure that Brigands cricket has the priority it deserves.
Last year I emphasised the combined efforts of the Committee, members, the Trust, ground staff, many other supporters and the Bat and Ball who make this Club a success and we must never lose sight of the interdependence we all have in one another. To this, I would add that the soul of this Club has always been that we dig in when needed and my disappointment was aired on WhatsApp that there were so few playing members, notwithstanding the usual regulars, and no one from the Trust to help in putting the ground to bed.
For the future, the Chairman has already outlined his priorities and I would support these wholeheartedly even if I will only be watching from the boundary. Thank you for allowing me the honour of being your President for the past 13 years and I will continue to support the Club, of which I have been a member for 54 years, in any way I can.
Bryan Burns now reverts to Life Vice-President with Clive Barnett taking over as President.