I have thoroughly enjoyed the cracking matches that I have had the privilege of umpiring and it has been salutary to see the spirit of Brigands cricket, the welcoming atmosphere and the sheer fun of playing on our hallowed turf. While newspaper headlines make much of cricket’s problems elsewhere we should be proud of the Club’s achievements this year. I thank those who did so much to support the 250th Anniversary matches and make them such a success.
We have had some very welcome new fixtures this year, but we should also take comfort from those teams who keep coming back because they enjoy playing the Brigands at Broadhalfpenny Down so much. Rioteers are a case in point, not only because they have been instrumental in enabling a stand of 3 new oaks to be planted down in cow corner, but they were back for the 58th Year! Their Club records go back to the formation of the Rioteers, and they asked if we could verify the first fixture as they are keen to mark the 60th anniversary in 2024. I had to point out that early records were not a speciality when the Brigands were run from HMS MERCURY.
As an example, I recall on taking over the Club in 1972 arranging a meeting with our, then, two active founders Bill Wren and Bob Coomber at the Bat and Ball (where else!); armed with notebooks and pens we compiled, from memory, the list of playing members over a couple of pints. There was no other repository to fall back on! Thankfully, the committee does rather better these days and we have an excellent website for non-playing members to keep in touch.
Meanwhile, there is still plenty of cricket to come including the match against MCC on 11th August after which we ease our way to the season’s end and perhaps turn our minds to some golf. Yes, having had a brief taste of BOGS (Brigands Off-Season Golf Society) last Winter I am aware of several members who wish to keep these meetings going. If you are interested, please get in touch with either the Chairman or myself (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that we know would like to join in. Enjoy the rest of this season.
Bryan Burns, President, with Broadhalfpenny Brigands CC Chairman Nick Harris; umpiring in front of The Bat & Ball, and presenting a trophy to Harry Bates.