committee autumn 2004

Almondbury Casuals Cricket Club

Autumn Committee Meeting 2004 Minutes

At the Royal Oak, Upperthong, 3rd Nov 2004 and Compo’s acclaimed Eatery.

Present  K. Jagger A. Priestley 

M. Davis  D. Walker (Hon Sec substitute)

M. Windale  G. Smith  (in the chair)

M. Longbottom  W. Ward

1. Apologies were received from R. Ellis, T.Hirst, D. Pedley (shooting in Bedale), P. Wood and J. Netherwood (Huddersfield RUFC ex-presidents dinner), S. Stier (shingles), B. Crossland (trapped in a sausage machine), S. Wilkinson (away somewhere with Umbers).

They’ll have a dinner for owt these days. At least herpes and industrial injury show more solidarity with the lads than getting shot at. Sam Wilkinson needs the odd bump felt or a medal.

2. Minutes of the Last Meeting were received and accepted – I think. I’m unsure whether this meeting was more anarchic than most, but anyway please forgive the not so occasional report that is out of order or totally irrelevant. One disconcerting diversion was the tendency to talk about people who were not present, or dead. The other major distraction was the repetition of old and worn-out jokes.

3. Matters Arising

Someone who cannot be mentioned in connection with a confidential topic was talked about for what seemed hours. Discussions terminated when The Chair slapped Marc Davis around the head.

Two substantial matters arose:

(1) The excellent guidance from Hon Sec as to being a match captain. Mark Windale wondered why he hadn’t been considered for the role this year. After all he was now fit, available and very keen.

(2) Sam Wilkinson has yet to pay his subs.

The first of the ‘Hilton’s prodigious appetite’ stories was told round about here, by Ken Jagger. It involved long journeys between cricket clubs up and down The Holme Valley and improbable amounts of food and drink. Has anyone thought of publishing an anthology? 

4. Treasurer

Marcus Longbottom, late and besuited, apologised for not bringing a report – ‘It’s on my desk awaiting publication as we speak’. From memory he informed the committee that there wasn’t a problem. A mere loss of £111, due mainly to room hire for The AGM and Dinner at Woodsome. A private discussion followed between the treasurer and Mark Windale about so many members here also being members there. Maybe some deal could be struck? (do they know of Woodsome’s financial plight?) This year’s low ball count because of cancelled home games helped, and, whilst it should not be regularly relied upon, the club was eventually bailed out the end of season raffle. 

Its not at all clear why the next item fits here, but The Chair, eruditely, wanted Woody and The President to be mentioned, thankful as they were that the old casuals tea party went well. 

Back to the suits and the money. The Autumn dinner is an onerous task and under subscribed. Will and Xara Ward are not willing to carry on. Thanks for trying.

Marcus announced the donation to the hospice of a £341cheque collected at The Casuals golf day. Winner – Marcus Longbottom.

The Chair thanked Marcus for his contribution and looked forward to reading the true accounts the following week.

5.  Election of Officers

After an extensive trawl for new blood and a lengthy assessment centre that reduced interviewers and interviewees alike to tears, the list of officers remains the same as last year.

6. Members List and New Members

‘Ken’s old one is still in working order’ I suspect is a claim that appears at every meeting. Ultimately no doubt, it, the member in question will qualify for The Guinness Book of Records.

GMC is now a London barrister so he may live just a tad too far away to pop down to Thongsbridge on a Sunday afternoon. For information, GMC stands for Giles Maynard-Conner and not the tosspots who are trying to regulate doctors. Having a hyphenated name doesn’t help though, does it?

By way of contrast Guy Millman is now resident in York and could play.

Are we to expect three new members from Old Almondburians?

Bobby Lott has paid his subscriptions. This was greeted with a welcome if unexpected silence. The season ahead suddenly didn’t seem quite so daunting. It was observed that The Casuals’ youth policy was progressing nicely. The older and less healthier might be allowed to watch a little more (apologies to The Chair and Hon sec sub).

Mark Windale reminded the committee that he was fit, available and keen to play again.

7.  Fixtures

William Ward, another suit and late arriver, also gave his report from memory.

Superb first half, poor weather for the second half.

Duncombe Park had no team and no ground. With A. Kent in charge better things are expected this year.

Darton was to be preferred later in the season. The Chair then shamelessly took advantage of his privileged position and boasted, nay gasconaded, of his catch during this season’s fixture.

Let’s just play The Rock once.

Wealdstone are touring here this year. A rare informal consensus occurred here – on the whole most people would rather be in Philadelphia than Wealdstone.

Amersham could be The Casuals tour.

The Cryptics could be a midweek fixture. Umbers as captain. (Selection will be enthralling. Could Bobby get Herschel instead of The Hon Sec sub?)

The Thongsbridge CC connection was brilliant and long may it remain so.

Mark Windale expressed joy at being back and fit. Whilst not said explicitly, he did imply that he wasn’t sure how The Casuals had survived during his absence

The Chair thanked Will – and all the officers come to that. As good a place as any. 

8. Match Captains and Allocation of Fixtures

A Spring Agenda Item. 

9. Equipment and Nets

‘No current inventory, but we always need balls’ was followed by the old chestnut of not peaking too early.

Then Will told this wonderful story about Stuart Larner’s indoor net. I can’t possibly do it justice. Apparently Stuart lives in a large old vicarage, with attics and cellars. Somewhere in the depths there’s an open space 22 yards long with a wicket at one end. A Heath-Robinson construction begins at the other. Made of guttering of a diameter suitable for a cricket or tennis ball, it is angled downwards and rifled so that speed and accuracy are imparted. After fifteen yards of diabolic apparatus, the innocently descending orb is transformed into a satanic missile. As fiendish a delivery that ever spits off a length. And Stuart is there waiting . . . 

10. AGM and Dinner

April 22nd.

11. Any Other Business

The second ‘Hilton’s prodigious appetite’ story fits about here and comes courtesy of Will who remembers well one balmy day at Upperthong. Hilton is next man in and can’t be found. He’s gone to his mother’s for his Sunday dinner.

There being a low turnout, no sandwiches or bowls of chips, the meeting was abandoned.

Maybe we should finish with guidance on “How to arrange a meeting”? Taken from “The ABC of Brief Management”.

(1)  Have a reason to meet. To pass on information maybe or even make decisions. If there’s nothing else on the agenda then allow reminiscences about catches and dead people. 

(2)  Send out invitations well in advance and divide them into three: the people who have to be there, those the Hon Sec enjoys a drink with and those he doesn’t like. Hon Sec then finds out when the first lot are free and books the time appropriately (ie. when the third lot can’t come). 

(3)  Send out agendas well in advance. Assuming literacy and capacity for logical thought, people can give some prior attention to the thorny issues. Alternatively,  send out numerous sheets of soft blank paper that burn well or can be stored on the hook behind the lavatory. 

(4)  If invitations and agendas are sent out very well in advance people can arrange their diaries that much more effectively. Or they can forget about the meeting completely.

(5)  Send out invitations and agendas by e-mail. Its so simple and quick. It’s the one surefire way The Hon Sec can ensure a low attendance without being blamed.

(6)  Encourage a prompt start and thorough preparation. Hon Sec and His Chosen People should make a good example by arriving on time, looking smart, carrying brief cases, filofaxes and any other evidence that gives the impression they know what they are doing. Failing that, arrive late looking smart and breathless. The masterstroke is for The Hon Sec not to arrive at all. Unread agendas and carefully crafted invitations should guarantee the low turnout that ensures no awkward questions need ever be answered.

(7)  A Chair with a military background is helpful. 

(8)  Make the venue as hospitable as possible – on top of a hill, no parking, no lighting. This further culls the happy few who’ve been invited at a time they can manage.

(9)  Organise sandwiches and lovely bowls of chips smothered in vinegar. Those who finally make it will have been dreaming about them all day. Failing that, arrange for The Chair to keep meeting going beyond closing time at the local chippie.

(10) Hon Sec gets on with the business of running the club, unmolested and undisturbed by the membership.