The operational and management format of our Club is volunteer led. We have a long and proud history and heritage of “self help” club development that has taken us an enormous distance since 1975, away from no pavilion and changing and eating in the Village Hall.
Superb Club facilities, a great wicket and well drained outfield, use of a second ground, 4 x Saturday Xl’s, a 1st Xl well established on the very edge of the Hertfordshire Premier League (without a £30K p.a. Budget!), a National Village Cup “in the locker”, and the DVD footage of our Lords Final win based on a team comprising 3 x pairs of brothers and 10 x ex Colts brought up through the club to reminisce over for all eternity!!
This is my 36th Year of membership of Reed Cricket Club since my wife Annette and I moved to Royston in 1980. This is my 35th year of sitting on what has always been a responsible, hard working and vibrant General Committee of Reed Cricket Club. I have been Club Chairman, in 2 spells, for a total of over 30 years. In those 36 years we have overseen significant ground, pavilion and facilities improvements, and have always been prudently managed and had money in the bank.
In addition to all that, Subscriptions and Match Fees at Reed are ridiculously amongst the very lowest in the Saracens Herts League – but is everything in the garden rosy?
Both the Cricket grounds that we maintain and manage play well and always “look a picture”. We are hugely fortunate that somewhere along the line Richard Robertson, who joined the Club within a couple of years of myself, developed an interest in cricket pitches and cricket ground maintenance. I do actually believe that he considers sitting on the Triple Mower mowing the outfield to be a form of relaxation! Richard is now retired from work and virtually a full time groundsman for us, and such is his drive and enthusiasm that he has in recent years been elected to become the Chairman of the Hertfordshire Association of Cricket Groundsmen. Lucky, lucky, Reed to have him!!!
Richard is supported in his routine wicket and ground preparation by a “Band of Brothers”. They prepare the wickets and outfields for 3 x Home Matches each weekend, and ensure both our grounds are well manicured. Their average age is – at my guesstimate – 68!!
Our aforementioned Club General Committee is 21 strong. Despite the inclusion of many playing members my guesstimate of the average age is around 46!!
A few weeks ago on an obscure satellite television channel I watched (once again!) a re-run of that ancient “Classic” film “Casablanca” – starring Humphrey Bogart. The film had an equally famous “lead song” played on a piano by “Sam”!! The song was called “As Time Goes By”. A lot of time has been going by very quickly at Reed Cricket Club and for our Club to maintain its status and quality we need to recognise this and act accordingly to preserve our future.
The elder statesmen of Reed Cricket Club are not Dinosaurs. Whilst they remain committed to help support and manage the Club, and most will volunteer to do so as long as they breathe, none I know will stand in the way of younger persons happy to take more responsibility and take over the reins.
My last “View from the Chair”, a couple of weeks ago, focussed on recalling a few “wise” old sayings from the past. Continuing in that vein, the thought “Time and Tide wait for no man” comes to mind. as does “Ask not for whom the bell tolls … it tolls for thee”!!
In relation to several recent instances of seeming reluctance to support the “assist requests” of our Ground Manager, another phrase “The Straw that broke the Camels back” seems appropriate!!
As most of you probably know by now, at the last RCCGC Robbo quite rightly had a major “Rant” focussed on the lack of response from playing members to several requests from him for support with ground maintenance tasks!! I think some were genuinely shocked! IT WORKED though – and over the next few days THREE urgent jobs requiring “younger labour” were completed.
So – a short term fix!
But – for the longer term?
It has to be back to the film “Casablanca’, and for a take off of the most famous Bogart line.
“Here’s looking at you Kid(s)”!!
(This Occasional column is written by John Heslam Club Chairman of Reed Cricket Club. The views expressed in the article are his own and do not necessarily comprise those of the Clubs General Committee)