At the Royal Oak, Upperthong 31st Oct 2001


Present: David Pedley, Richard Ellis, Bill Crossland, Will Ward, Greg Smith, Tony Hirst, Alan Priestley, Ken Jagger, Marcus Longbottom.

1. Apologies were received from: Tim Beaumont, Marc Davis, and John Parry 

2. Minutes of the Last Meeting were digested. 

3. Treasurers Report 

The new Treasurer presented his first report. For the first time in living memory the Premium Bonds had failed to deliver, income was down and the Casuals investment strategy was given serious consideration. Brewery shares were felt to be a sound investment in a liquid market and another round of Black Sheep was speedily sanctioned. The Chancellor of the Exchequer revealed his proposed solution of hitting the OAP’s in the bank balances, as they constituted the largest part of the Casuals constituency. Jack Wade in particular was thought to be a prime target for a further few standing orders. His enthusiasm was greeted with reservation by the OAP’s present. 

4. Election of Officers  

The Presidents offer to stand down was unanimously and magnanimously refused, despite the string of poor playing performances since he took up office and stopped playing. Rupert’s long tenancy of the position of fixtures secretary was finally overthrown by a younger member (not too difficult), and Will Ward took on the role. 

5. Members List 

Following the Chancellors trawl through the members list, a surprising number of non-paying new members were identified. This came as complete surprise to harassed match captains who were unaware of the depth of talent available, albeit most of them could only turn out on Wednesday afternoons when there was an r in the month. Fifteen playing members not currently signed up would be contacted by the secretary with an offer they would find it hard to refuse. 

6. Fixtures

Fired with missionary zeal, the new fixtures secretary asked for revolutionary new ideas. Chatsworth, Thoresby Hall, Bolton Abbey and Tusmore were all fondly recollected and the gradual descent into maudlin began. When order was restored, the chairman revealed the restoration of the Pudsey Gents fixture. This was thought to be a good move but only if they promised not to beat us. Other ideas included Low Bradfield, Follifoot, Birstwith, a Duncombe Park fixture at home, and the Thongsbridge Wreckers.

7. Equipment and Nets

Will reported his equipment was in working order, but dusty. Minor expenditure on balls, keeping gloves and inners and a scorebook would be required before the next season. The old Duncan Fearnley bats from the last century were still mouldering in the gloaming, and were to be offered to Mr T Hirst who has been heard to lament their passing on frequent occasions when returning from a short but meaningful occupancy of the crease. Nets would be sought for the few in Spring.

8. Autumn Dinner

This would take place at the Old Grange in Almondbury and currently had 69 confirmed attendees. This was greeted as a considerable success and Sara Ward voted the “Casuals Business person of the Century so far”. 

9. AGM and Dinner 2002

Woodsome Park, having survived two massed Casuals attacks, had been persuaded to host the 2002 fixture with a suggested date of April 19th. Richard Ellis, having assumed the mantle of Dinner Secretary, undertook to arrange the detail, and he and Greg would seek diligently for a speaker to match Geoff Copes masterly performance. 

10. Any Other Business

The tie mountain rumoured to exist deep in the bowels of the chairman’s residence failed to materialise when the said residence was vacated, and it was generally agreed that it was time for a new design. Artistic temperaments were allowed full rein, resulting in a long silence until Ken finally requested one featuring a big duck. A fashion committee would be convened to worry about how long and wide the modern Casuals appendage should be. Naomi Campbell would be asked to model the result at the next meeting, which, for obvious reasons, would be held behind closed doors and by invitation only.

The Casuals history and parentage was also discussed and it was felt that an update to the first chapter published 20 years or so ago would be appreciated. Greg and Bill took on this onerous task.