Latest news from the Executive Committee

June 2015

The Village Six-A-Side will go ahead as planned on Sunday 28th June, with the innovation that all teams can use one signed on player.

Volunteers are still being sought for the barbecue.

Trophies have been 'procured' from the multitude of junior trophies from yesteryear. Although these clearly state 'Juniors' it is possible that the stickers will be able to be removed quite easily and replaced with...

There is no progress with the unused land which has been deferred until the first meeting of the 2016 committee!

Golf day - guess what?

Under 19s competition. We will be toning down some of our mascots and look forward to plenty of support for our home fixtures.

There is activity around junior trophies with a view to personalising each and every one. Outside the committee there are other activities around procuring permanent trophies for the Players Player Of The Year award at all age groups.

The Club are endeavoring to obtain a Gift Aid bucket.

In light of comments at the May League Management Meeting we are to strengthen our recruitment process for signing on new players.

The mower has been repaired, as have both vacuum cleaners.

The High Peak Cricket Development Group is in dire need of new officers.

On 23rd June we will be hosting the Derbyshire U13 v Cheshire U13 fixture. Catering will be provided by Babka but volunteers in the day would be most welcome.

Mr Goddard is to procure new clocks for the pavilion as the existing ones are only right twice a day.

Mr Cutts is looking to improve the club website.

The Buxton Advertiser will no longer be printing the selected teams.

Mr Hambleton is looking at alternatives to a festival, involving local breweries selling their wares.

The sponsored walk will take place om 27th December.

May 2015

The scorebox is nearing completion.

The Village Six A Side literature will be circulated soon, and intriguingly, Mr Gibson and Mr Hambleton have the matter of bouncy castles in hand.

Unused land, Golf Day, WBCC Festival have one thing in common - there is no progress to report.

The junior match levy, previously raised from £4 to £7.50 has now been adjusted back down to £6.00.

The T20 is progressing well. It is our intention to run a bar and provide live music once the fixtures have been set.

All members should provide the Club Welfare Officer (Sarah Heyes) with a list of relevant qualifications, eg, CRB, first aid, etc.

The outfield mower is in need of minor repair, and Mr Goddard reported the road as a 'disgrace'.

The Drum & Monkey have joined the Bonus Ball competition.

March 2015

Reuben Cutts has been co-opted onto the Executive Committee.

There is little or no progress on the scorebox due to the pressure of work on Fid.

Caddy has produced a mailing list for potential entrants into The Village Six A Side from local businesses.

Steve Woolley is close to wrapping up the procurement of a new honours board.

Caddy is to investigate the prospect of raising funds via the exploitation of the land not currently used by the Club which is counted amongst the Club's property.

The senior presentations for the last two years may well take place after the first match of the 2015 season.

There is no update on the golf day, although Neil is struggling to see how this would make money, or the Festival.

The status of junior non playing captains is still unclear.

Sarah Heyes has attended a Safe Hands course and is now fully qualified for the role of Club Welfare Officer. We await Caddy's signs with eager anticipation.

News from the groundsman - there is no update on the drains, and the snapper's predicament is 'non trivial'.

We have been invited to host the DCB vs Cheshire boys Under 13s fixture on 23rd March.

Captains have not been formally selected!

The league have decided that only the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Secretary of clubs are allowed to attend League meetings. However, we had a cunning plan, and now everyone on the Committee who is not the Chairman is now Vice Chairman!

Match levies for 2015 have been set at £10.00 for seniors and £7.50 for juniors.

We have decided to dispense with the Jewson account as without delivery they have nothing of use to us.

Mr Goulden has the matters of match ball sponsorship and the bonus ball in hand.

There was a proposal from the newly co-opted Mr Cutts, and I think it best that I just reproduce the extract from the minutes verbatim. I wonder if we could raise funds by selling this to the English exam boards for A-level comprehension?

Mr Cutts proposed that the Club codify a position on the Selection Committee intended to represent the Junior playing membership. In principle, the suggestion was warmly received. This reception turned stone-cold when it came to practicalities. The Secretary attempted to explain how none of these in anyway constituted an obstacle to such policy, and that it was high time the Committee started legislating for future succession, as well as recognising the Club's failure to empower, enfranchise, and encourage stake-holding by sixteen-to-twenty-one-year-old members within the management apparatus of the Club.  Comprehension of these reasons was lacking in certain quarters on the assumption that the Club's current standards are sufficient – an attitude the Secretary genuinely appreciates; the logic of such reasons cannot be recognised within the context of a closed system of chauvinistic paternalism. Messrs TR Wild and D Cadwallader invited the tendering of a proposal for rule changes to the next AGM.

New ropes are required for the flag pole and the hatch.

And finally....(this one could run and run - no pun intended) there is evidence of animal erosion by the low wall in front of the pavilion. Caddy has volunteered to investigate.

February 2015

The league have decided that only the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Secretary of clubs are allowed to attend League meetings. However, we had a cunning plan, and now everyone on the Committee who is not the Chairman is now Vice Chairman!

There has been minor but substantial damage to the scorebox - particularly the door. Quite how something can be both minor and substantial is a bit of a mystery - but then it was reported by Caddy.

The 200 Club is in dire need of additional members - please spread the word.

The Pub Six A Side has been renamed the Village Six A Side. There have been some other changes, notably that each team can have one signed on player. Not sure if this is an attempt to improve the standard or to just get additional players up there on the day.

We are investigating the possibility of holding a "Ball" at New Horwich Park (something quite alien to our fielders). We are also looking to hold the 2013 and 2014 senior presentations at some point during the forthcoming season.

We are looking at procuring a club honours board.

There was no news on the golf day or the festival.

The David Beeley memorial match will take place on Saturday 11th April. IF, as expected, conditions are not fit, an alternative will take place at the Bowling Club.

Coffee Mornings have been arranged for Saturday 26th September and Saturday 5th December.

The sponsored walk raised in excess of £600 and there were contributions at the funeral of Ernie Dyer in excess of £300. However, funds are at a very low level and more fundraising is required.

News from the league, and the WBCC proposal to scrap the provision of teas (lets not go there) was soundly defeated after having been questioned by League Management! Also defeated was the motion to bring forward start times to 12.30.

The start dates for the juniors have been released, and sensibly the Under 17s will start at the end of April for 2 weeks, and there will then be a gap to allow them to get on with their exams.

January 2015

The scorebox progresses - the committee are now considering the size and type of aperture, shutters and door.

The matter of the contested fine is now closed - curiously, I have no details on the outcome.

The sponsored walk was very successful - with the total amount of sponsor money estimated at between £400 and £500. It was thought that as a first attempt it was very good, with a reasonable turnout on a cold day, and it is hoped that more younger and junior members turn out for the second incarnation.

The Christmas raffle raise well over £700 - and with a few logistical improvements this could be increased next year.

Mr Woolley is still looking at organising a golf day - more news when we have it.

The brothers Dyer have decided to stand down from the task of arranging coffee mornings. We are looking for volunteers to take on this role.

The next meeting of the Festival Committee will take place on the night of the AGM.

We are still looking for a volunteer to take on the role of Club Welfare Officer.

Whaley Bridge CC will entertain a touring side from Hawkesbury CC as a tribute to David Beeley. More details nearer the time.

Our Clubmark accreditation is up for renewal - watch this space.

Meanwhile - the League Management Committee have issued a strong rebuttal of the allegations of poaching to the League Cricket Conference. The league are currently suspended from this conference.

December 2014

The Score Box is progressing - the tiles are on.
The drains have yet to be worked on - nothing conclusive here. No progress on snapper - Rigger leaving it until 2015.
No news re sponsored walk - should be good to go on 28/12.
Neil Woolley is making progress on Golf Day.
WBCC Festival: aiming to keep to fewer than 500 guests/tickets (£10 per head). Number of bands canvassed and all happy to perform for beer. Committee to meet again in Jan/Feb.
Our current account balance is alarmingly low.
200 Club profits slipped below £2000 for the first time in 2014.
We are looking for volunteers to fill the role of CWO. Courses are available in spring 2015.

Proposed rule changes for AGM:-

Subscriptions shall increase to £60 pa,

Subscriptions shall increase to £75 pa,

Subscriptions shall increase to £100 pa.

Added Bonus: News From The League Management Committee October 2014

Correspondence. Charlesworth C.C. had e mailed the Hon. Secretary with proposals that in future, league matches should start at 12:30 pm. The proposal was well thought out and contained some sensible arguments in support of the proposal.  Having discussed this, the Committee was not in favour of a start time of 12:30 pm but recognised that such matters are for Clubs to decide. It is suggested that Charlesworth C.C. raise the matter at the November Executive Meeting and in the meantime, Clubs should discuss this proposal.

Junior Cricket. The Chairman will now collate the responses to the questionaire, not all Clubs have responded. When this is complete, a wide ranging discussion will take place to look at all aspects of junior cricket.

Club Recruitment. Offerton C.C. have now been invited to join the League. They have approached their own League to notify them that a decision will be made by Offerton C.C. at their AGM in November. The League of which Offerton are a part have indicated some changes to their structure and Offerton C.C. have requested details so that these can be circulated to the members.

They have asked the League Management Committee to write outlining the benefits of membership of the DCCL again so that their members can be circulated. The Chairman will be writing to Offerton C.C. in the near future.

High Lane C.C. have now merged with High Lane F.C. to form High Lane Sports Club and the cricket section has been restructured. The Club have been contacted to advise them that they will be allowed to return to the League. However, it is appreciated that a number of our Clubs would have been unhappy with the manner of the departure and it is planned to meet with High Lane at the earliest opportunity to discuss their return to the DCCL and to obtain assurances as to their long term viability.

League Dinner. The 2014 event will take place on Friday 7th November at Edgeley Park. Numbers are being received and arrangements are well advanced. Clubs are reminded to notify the Hon.Secretary of expected numbers as soon as possible.

Any Other Business.  The Vice Chairman has recently attended an ECB Seminar at Emirates Old Trafford. It was apparent that the problems faced locally with junior cricket are commonplace across the North of England. Whilst this League does have the odd non fulfilment of senior fixtures, it would seem that this is a more acute problem in other areas. The Vice Chairman was thanked for attending on behalf of the League and will report in more detail at the November Executive Meeting.

The Chairman had received a few comments suggesting that the League Management Committee was a closed shop. He pointed out that this is clearly not the case as Clubs are invited to nominate members for election to the Committee before each AGM. However, in the interests of transparency, with immediate effect, those members of the Management Committee who are not League officers will be asked to confirm their willingness to stand for re -election  on an individual basis and will not be re-elected en bloc as per previous years. Any Club member wishing to be nominated for election to the League Management Committee should obtain the nomination from their Club and this should be in writing whenever possible. Advance notice of the 2014 AGM will be circulated shortly.

The Hon. Secretary advised the meeting that whilst he was willing to stand for re-election at the forthcoming AGM, he did not intend to stand for re-election at the 2015 AGM.

October 2014

Score Box: progress is being made, albeit slowly.

Contested Fine: no progress has been made, but the Chairman is still pursuing the matter. The fine has been paid in the meantime to avoid the imposition of further penalties.

Groundsman's Report: repairs to the Waterhog are complete. Thanks for the hard work of Mr Latham, Mr Madden, and Mr J Crowley are duly minuted.

In Mr C Wild's absence, there was no report on the portable generator and it is assumed that no progress has been made.

Mr J Crowley confirmed that the sight-screens have been cleaned. Messrs TR Wild and Latham will pursue further repairs. Mr J Crowley noted that about 12 slats require renewal and volunteered to undertake the repairs were the Club able to procure them.

The proposed hosepipe experiment has been run on the outfield drain but the results were inconclusive. Mr Latham offered to fine tune the experiment and run it again.

Senior Presentation: this will take place on Sunday 16 November subsequent to the scheduled sponsored walk. The Selection Committee were directed to make its decisions on awards at the earliest opportunity.

Sponsored Walk: the event will begin at 2pm at which time it will cross the start-line at the Shepherds Arms. The walk is expected to return to the Shepherds Arms where it will finish in time for the Italy vs Croatia football match. Mr Madden intends that the big pan will make a further appearance.

Golf Day: Mr Woolley intends to organise an event on a Friday in June or July 2015.

WBCC Festival: after some onerous investigative work, Mr TR Wild believes this might be feasible. A number of operational points were discussed at some length, but all such decisions will be left to the deliberations of the new Festival Committee who shall report their proposals and decisions back to the Executive Committee for final approval. Concerns were raise which shall be taken under consideration, but they will not preclude preliminary work on the matter at this stage. The sub-committee shall comprise, but will not be restricted to, five Executive Members and Officers; these shall be Messrs TR Wild, R Hambleton, D Jones, N Latham, and N Woolley. The sub-committee will copy the Secretary into all communications regarding the matter and shall keep him informed of any meetings held.

Junior Coordinator's Report: there was nothing to report.

Treasurer's Report: the cost of groundwork has been significantly offset by the efforts of Mr Latham and Mr C Smith, to whom thanks are duly minuted. The Treasurer anticipates that forthcoming significant expenditure will include 2015's cricket balls in November. By January, the Sponsored Walk and Christmas Draw should have accrued sufficient funds. £2638.38 has thus far been expended on the new score-box, but this does not include the bill for Mr Fiddler's labour.

Teas: Mr TR Wild confirmed dispatch of the letter detailing the Club's proposal to abolish compulsory teas.

Welfare Officer's Report: Messrs Simmonds and Crowley have completed Coach Support Worker courses.

Coffee Morning: turn-out was good and the number of playing members in attendance impressed Mr Dyer.

Post-Season Ground Work: this was completed subsequent to the coffee morning.

Christmas Draw: this will take place on 19 December at the Shepherds Arms. Time of starting is to be confirmed.

Any Other Businesses

Mr Cadwallader is preparing the old scoreboard numbers for use on the portable scoreboard.

Mr Hambleton will turn the water off ahead of the next meeting.

Mr Cadwallader is pursuing the possibility of applying to High Peak Public Health Small Grants Scheme for a grant.

The Royal British Legion have approached the Club in order to attract guests to the First World War centenary commemorative events. The committee decided that this was an issue for individual members to consider for themselves and can give no indication of possible attendance levels.

Mr Cadwallader has applied to the BBC to submit a WBCC team for participation in the television quiz-show 'Eggheads'.

There are no intentions to hold a bonfire this year.

Proposed Rule Changes & Award Nominations

Life Membership: none thus far.

Rule Changes:            Subscriptions shall increase to £60 pa,

                                       Subscriptions shall increase to £75 pa,

                                       Subscriptions shall increase to £100 pa.

August 2014

200 Club Membership: 200 Club membership has increased ever so slightly. The overall conclusion remains that more could yet be done. (What is the "More" and who will do it? Ed)

Score Box: No report was forthcoming from the Score Box Committee. (Update: Tom Heyes was freezing in the old score box on Saturday. Update 2: Nothing appears to have been done since prior to the six a side).

Ground Report: Owing to a lack of rainfall we have not been able to test whether the drain is dysfunctional. We have agreed to use Bancrofts for end of season ground work (this does not include other stuff - a working party will still be required). We have also acquired a water hog from the recent demise of Burnage CC (and some covers). The hog needs some TLC! (Volunteers required for TLC)

Road: Some work has been done on the road - it is believed that DCC did this. Awaiting further news. (Update: Council going up this week)

Six A Side: The six a side made a reasonable profit but there are doubts about the future viability of the event without some new ideas. These include inviting local businesses to participate.

World Cup Night: This was a reasonable success and added to the club's coffers.

Relay: This could make a significant sum of money - volunteer(s) required to organise. None have so far been forthcoming. (Update: Volunteers?)

Sightscreens: John Crowley believes that he has enough materials to do this.

July 2014

Score Box: Work is progression but news of completion is, sadly, premature.

200 Club Membership: The overall trend is downwards, and it is up to the individual membership to come up with ways of sustaining interest in this vital fundraiser.

Ground: Mr Latham reported that the main drainage channel was free from water which could be a bad sign. Work may be required during the winter. A water hog was immediately added to the list of items for Cllr Goldfinch (see below).

Scoreboard: A portable scoreboard is to be added to the list of items for Cllr Goldfinch (see below).

Juniors: Mr Gibson reported that the Under 9s tournament at Chapel was a success, although we lost all three of our games.

Six A Side: There exist implications which suggest that the Club would be advised to reassess the nomenclature of this event for the future. (bet you cant guess who wrote that little gem)

Any Other Business: The Secretary is to write a letter of thanks to Mr Grant Ford regarding the Blanche Ford Memorial Bench

Items for Cllr Goldfinch:

Water Hog


Portable Score Board

Sight Screens

June 2014

Unofficial communiqués had been received by Committee Members regarding the incidents which took place during the Cup Game between Whaley Bridge and New Mills First XIs. Once all opinions had been expressed, it was concluded that unsavoury conduct was forthcoming from many parties and thus it would be unfair to single out any one protagonist in the regrettable and unfortunate sequence of events. In respect of outstanding payments due to New Mills Cricket Club for the cost of players’ teas, it was confirmed that Mr Madden had settled the matter satisfactorily

Score Box: work is progressing and the matter is in hand. Mr Cadwallader confirmed procurement of the new numerals. The prospects of Perspex windows are to be investigated.

Dog Racing: It has been suggested that this is not practical as a fundraiser but could be an end of season trip anyway.

Ground: Mr Latham expressed concerns surrounding the appearance of a trench across the playing surface which approximates the course of the main drainage duct. It is under investigation. Meanwhile huge amounts of praise were heaped on our groundsman, and deservedly so, particularly for preparing a wicket for the cup match v Woodley. Just hope his back holds out with all of the extra weight on it.

Fid is looking into the tackle shed ramp issue.

No progress on the road up to the ground.

We still have authority to purchase a water hog. Mr Latham is looking into this.

Mr Yates praised the Secretary's annual report, suggesting that it has taken this amount of time to eventually get through it.

Mr Cadwallader was made aware of some unfortunate errors in the handbook, I have opined on this before!

Mr Goddard offered to refurbish the Don Cooper memorial bench.

200 Club membership needs a boost.


May 2014

A synopsis of the salient points from the last meeting...

Fid has started work on the new scorebox - but it may require a lot of manual labour to get the raw materials to the place where Fid needs them

Meanwhile, the new mower is in place looking like a vicious extra from an alternative version of Thomas The Tank Engine that never quite saw the light of day.

It would appear that covers will be the next major expenditure - but whatever happened to the water hog?

The six a side has been scheduled for August, but we have a lot of bills due for payment in July! So we need more fundrasing efforts. Might be time to dust off the Ordnance Survey maps and get your running shoes back on for the relay!

In other news...A club trip to the Dog Races will take place at a time yet to be established: most probably at the end of the 2014 season

I repeat this verbatim, and would like you to pay special attention to the word "will". Watch this space!

If anyone wants to take an active interest in the club, I have a limited supply of CRB forms. Dont all rush at once. And on that matter the Under 15s and Under 17s still require official non playing captains, and next season it is likely that the under 13s and under 11s will require the same.

The tackle shed ramp still requires repairs. In spite of the onset of better weather, no progress has been made. Mr Goddard reiterated his extreme dissatisfaction.

April 2014

A synopsis of the salient points from the last meeting...

We have a duck problem and a moss problem. The duck problem appears to have spread to the senior teams!

Mr Gibson has taken up the role of junior co-ordinator - though as yet I have seen no evidence that this has been effective.

The tuck shop is well and truly stocked. Overstocked if anything - expect a sale soon!

The senior presentation awaits organisation.

We have had to forego the possibility of hosting a Derbyshire junior game on 8th June as both teams are still in the cup!

The problem with the tackle shed ramp is to be reassessed in fairer weather - so that will probably be August.

More news soon!

January 2014

Secretary’s Report 2013/14



During the 2012 season, the weather proved a major hindrance to cricket and all the Club’s activities. Perhaps as many as a third of that season’s matches, if not more, were abandoned and it is a testament to the hard work of groundsmen everywhere that more games were not lost. Mr Latham again worked tirelessly in 2013, and New Horwich Park continues to be a ground in which to take pride. The new score box will make it even more complete. In light of the severe weather which has battered the country recently, it may be difficult to recall that the 2013 season provided a clear demonstration of the transient nature of such meteorological concerns: as clear as the skies that graced many of the season’s cricket games, in fact. True, temperatures could have been higher and the sun stronger, but it was to our greater fortune not to have to endure a repeat of 2012. This notwithstanding, clouds of a very different nature have gathered along the Club’s collective horizons.


There are two prescient issues and they are no doubt linked. The first is the growing problem of falling numbers of playing members of all ages which is endemic throughout the league. Some clubs are quite evidently struggling to turn out 22 players on a regular basis. Fortunately, Whaley Bridge continues to boast an extensive junior section. The hard work which has gone into creating this in its present form will need to be sustained in order to ensure the health of the junior establishment in perpetuity. For the present, whilst complacency must be held at bay, it is perhaps safe to place these concerns in a lower priority: the threat is not immediate; it has been much recognised; it has also been much publicised and well documented elsewhere; more importantly, measures are coming into action at a League level that are intended to prevent local emergencies from becoming a general crisis. This is not to say that the problem should be ignored. The League’s Clubs would be well advised to scrupulously hold to account those within the League management whose responsibility it will be to confront these issues. Management exists to serve cricket; it is not an end in itself. For the Whaley Bridge Cricket Club at any rate, these problems are far from being of existential significance.


The second issue, however, whilst actually being more pressing, has not been given as much time. The imbalance shall be redressed here. Whilst the fundamental cultural and sociological issues – the perceived root cause of cricket’s dwindling appeal – are long term actors, a financial crisis could spell disaster almost over night. The Committee has suffered occasion to glimpse this problem’s foothills through the ominous clouds. Between October and December 2012, overall Club funds increased by ten per cent. By unhappy contrast, In October 2013 alone, overall club funds fell by over sixteen per cent. It should not require mentioning that such extensive fluctuations, were they to become common place over the period of a financial year, would bring vicissitudes undoubtedly indicative of our endeavouring to operate a coherently managed cricketing structure upon a compromised fiscal foundation. Surely such a position’s untenable character and unsustainable nature need not be made explicit, it being self-evident.


The prognosis need not be entirely dour, however. Indeed, from the perspective of cricket’s sharp end, 2013 should go down as being a very fine year for our Club. There can be no better nourishment for optimism than the attainment of promotion by the First XI from the Second to the First Division. This is fitting testament to a hard fought campaign of sustained energy, executed by players brimming with confidence and ambition, driven on by the enthusiasm and élan of their Captain, Dale Jones. With 53 wickets and 366 runs, it is clear he continues to enjoy leading from the front. Edward Ford also took 53 wickets and the duo make Whaley Bridge’s bowling attack a force to be reckoned with. In 2013, there was a second front-line spin bowler in the squad: Edward Kitchen struck at a rate roughly eight or nine balls slower than either of the afore mentioned, but his contribution of 24 wickets was just as telling as his bowling was parsimonious. Furthermore, the regular appearance of two spin bowlers gave wicket-keeper Luke Schofield an abundance of opportunity – which he seized with both gloves. His final haul of 48 victims for the season was 15 clear of his nearest rival in the League as a whole. Once again, his success, the success of the Club’s spin bowlers, and the success of the Club, will continue to be interdependent.


Concerns and disappointments were given voice regarding the failure to finish at the top of the Second Division. In particular, four significant defeats at the hands of Woodley and Newton quashed hopes of achieving the prerequisite supremacy. The losses to Woodley should not disappoint too much – they were eventual divisional champions. Whilst some have opined that the WBCC First XI is superior to that of Woodley, it was Woodley who produced the performance levels necessary for victory on both corresponding days. Simply, the First XI must continue to find ways of converting its significant latent potential into match winning performances. Conversely, both losses to Newton demonstrated a similarly latent fragility. That energy and drive which facilitates massively when deployed against the opposition from positions of strength has had occasion to become counter productive when it is not properly harnessed or when it is misdirected. Under such circumstances, the capacity for decision making can become overtly strained while the batting can be imbued with a nervous freneticism; whether or not those problems manifest themselves in 2014 remains to be seen. The great challenge will be in increasing the weight of runs scored on previous years in order to secure consistently satisfying margins of victory in the First Division.


This is not to say that the batsmen have abrogated their responsibilities. Neil Woolley was closing on the 500 run mark by the season’s end, eventually finishing on 481 runs. His batting was impressive at times. The sight of him dispatching Hadfield’s fast bowler over wide long-off for six during a clinically executed run chase – which may have proved problematical on another day – will not quickly be erased from the memories of those who witnessed the display. Lee Jones struggled through the early stages of the season but rediscovered the sort of form that, in 2012, brought him his fist century. He finished as the only other First XI batsman to pass 400 runs. In what he insists was his final season, Darren Crompton was also a steady contributor, finishing the season with 378 runs. To come back to my earlier point, though, one of the aims has to be to increase these totals by a significant order of magnitude in the First Division in 2014.


To end the analysis of the First XI positively, it is elating to see a corps of generally youthful players – or, at any rate, players who have yet to reach cricketing middle-age – make their mark and define themselves through their own unique brand of cricket. They are very successfully finding their own way through the trials and challenges that the great game offers, whilst responding duly to its demands of skill and patience. Long may it continue, and long may this team go on developing and growing. 


The Second XI did not meet with the same level of success. At times, it appeared as if the lower third of the Fourth Division would be its ultimate resting place in 2013. A series of quite stunning performances, however, ensured that a place in the top half of the table was attained with as many games being won as were lost. Three matches in particular will no doubt leave an indelible mark in the memory, and for many reasons. Different players contributed on different occasions making them genuine team performances. The first saw a brilliant bowling and fielding performance restrict the eventual Fourth Division champions, Broadbottom, to a paltry score of 53 runs which were chased down with relative ease. A few games later, Chapel, having amassed a total of 215, took to the field with confidence. Elliot Simmonds redressed the balance with a rapid century so dominating it ensured Whaley Bridge’s control of the successful run chase. In the very next game, however, all the confidence which had been gained from such a famous victory seemed to evaporate in the course of the first innings as Birch Vale posted 223. Skipper Michael Madden played the anchor role in a chase which looked increasingly doubtful. Wickets fell regularly before Sam Slack and subsequently David Marchington launched a sparkling counteroffensive that breathed new life into the match. In the light of a second collapse, tension mounted, but the Captain carried his bat and victory came by the narrow margin of two wickets. These victories should hold a source of confidence for the Second XI as they make their way through 2014.    


Closely paralleling the First XI, the Second XI are themselves beginning to find their feet and are starting to make their own way. This is in spite of the unique operational challenges presented on the field during the course of the season. How well the team continues to perform, its unshakeable positivity, how immaculately its members comport themselves, how closely it works as a unit, all stands testamony to its Captain. Mike Madden continues to lead from the front and by example. Through it all, his vision – which continues to inform his captaincy – has not waned. It may yet prove decisive in shaping the future of the Club, something every member must relish. With 515 runs for the season, he has outstripped all other batsmen, not just in the Second XI, but in the club. He continues to be a consistent performer. Otherwise, the runs were spread around quite thinly. If there is a need for the First XI to increase its aggregate weight of runs, with the Second XI, the need is felt much more acutely. The wicket taking capacity has been similarly problematic. Colin Wild took 30 wickets and Andrew Gibson, 28.  Greater penetration will be required from all the bowlers. 


These observations are not the whole story, however. As previously stated, there are signs that the team and its members are finding their feet and important match-winning contributions have been forthcoming from a younger generation of cricketers. Dave Marchington, Peter Crowley, Elliot Simmonds, and Sam Slack all made a difference at crucial moments. The same is also true for Alasdair Bailey, Matthew Slack, Luke Schofield, and Declan Ryan in their efforts for the First XI. What is required now is much greater consistency. In 2014, more will be expected of this generation, amidst a more challenging environment, and with older players beginning to move on. Indeed, with a dwindling pool of playing members, the 2014 season may prove to be a great challenge. Sustaining the First XI in the top division whilst the seconds are in the bottom will be another aspect of that challenge.


Fortunately, the Whaley Bridge junior sections boast considerable potential and talent. The trend in the senior teams is one of falling average ages. The number of juniors is increasing whilst some more senior players are appearing less frequently. When juniors do break into the senior sides, it is because they are talented enough and not just because of necessity. One only need cast one’s eye over the statistics and it should not be long before one comes across a junior who has made the most of his opportunities. The merit of those juniors who consistently appear for the senior teams is doubted only by those who have not witnessed their potential first hand. Harry Bold scored 254 runs in the season with the Second XI, second only to Michael Madden. He was progressing impressively as a wicket-keeper before the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune struck, preventing him from continuing in that role. Ole Madden passed 100 runs while Ben Stones, Bruce Glover, Rueben Cutts, and JJ Goldfinch were also regular contributors. Perhaps most impressive were Callum McIlveen and Henry Holden, both of whom have cemented their respective places in the First XI.


It was not surprising then that the Under Seventeens should have been semi-finalists in their respective competition. What did surprise to some degree was their exit at that stage. An overtly nervous batting performance on a sun-soaked evening at Hawke Green prevented them from progressing to the final. That change of fortune will have been a sobering experience, from which it is hoped this closely knit corps of junior players will have learned much. In 2014, they will no doubt again carry with them the hopes of the Whaley Bridge Cricket Club as they continue to progress along Cricket’s learning curve. The Under Thirteens also acquitted themselves extremely well and demonstrated that there is another well of talent – yet to come into fruition – which Whaley Bridge will have the capacity to call upon in time if all concerned are willing to be patient.


That the junior season should run so smoothly was not always certain. In the aftermath of a very sudden decision by Mr and Mrs Milner to leave the Club, certain members stepped into the breach to offer a near perfect example of crisis management. Two factors prove illustrative. First was the hosting of the representative match which was, like so much else in 2013, a qualified success. Secondly, Elliot Simmonds started well as manager of the Under Seventeens. It is too his credit that he helped engineer success under such difficult circumstances.  He performed well in the role and made an obvious impression on the team he led. It is a shame that the bureaucratic quagmire should obstruct such an enthusiastic and talented young man from contributing to the sport and Club that he clearly has a passion for. It begs the question: are priorities well enough established? Furthermore, the Club’s gratitude should also be expressed to the other junior managers, non-playing captains, and all those individuals who helped in whatever small way to weather the crisis. Particularly, Andrew Gibson, Edward Kitchen, and Charles Holden are deserving of appreciation in recognition of their effort. The roles they fulfil are not as undemanding or as uncomplicated as some might imply.


But if there is one member especially deserving of our gratitude for his contribution to the 2013 junior season, it is Michael Madden. The task before him was a daunting one. Almost over night, and with immense personal effort, he became qualified to take over the roles of both Welfare Officer and Junior Coordinator whilst continuing in the role which may be best described as the Club’s public relations officer. Surely, if he continues to extend the same ethos and philosophy which guides his captaincy to his efforts to manage the juniors, then the Club’s future can be in no safer hands. He knows as well as anyone, however, that now is not the time for complacency. There is still much work to be done if the Club is to ensure the medium- and long-term security of its Clubmark status. Under the present financial circumstances, it would be a grave error on the Club’s part if it were to turn its back on Clubmark and the funding opportunities it brings. Thanks must also extend to all those parents and carers who gave whatever help they could through the season’s course.


If only more members had been willing to share the burden that was a consequence of Mr and Mrs Milner’s departure. With so much responsibility already at his door, and with few volunteers forthcoming to assist, Mike Madden’s usual efforts towards fundraising were adversely affected. Thus, the prospect of replicating 2012’s fundraising initiatives – such as the relay or the beacon – quickly evaporated. Simultaneously, prospects of duplicating the junior supermarket bag-packing and raffle vanished with Mr and Mrs Milner. If the membership demands an account for the hole that is appearing in Club funds, it may find the underlying truths extremely uncomfortable.        


Subsequent to 2012, warnings were publicised that too much might come to fall upon the shoulders of too few. 2013 certainly exhibited concerning signs in this direction. Fortunately, there are ways and means. This may be neither the time nor place to discuss stakeholder management, but our esteemed Chairman’s solution to the problem of players’ teas could be described as a prime example of this. With ever fewer volunteers available to provide the required service, with a Refreshments Committee having lain in effective disbandment for years, with the prices of customised catering packages prohibitively expensive, and with a playing membership consistently unwilling to engage proactively with the issue, the Executive Committee resolved on the only course of action available: functionality first. A repeat of 2012’s situation was not an option. To this end, a deal was agreed with an exterior service provider that met the basic requirements at an affordable price. It did not, however, fit the taste or aesthetics of the playing membership who finally intervened and made the provision of teas their own responsibility. The Committee, needless to say, has never looked back. Moving forward, the prevailing modus operandi will continue to require management so as to certify sustainability. In particular, it needs to be ensured that preparation is made in good time in order to mitigate the need to call upon unsuspecting non-playing members at the eleventh hour. Time may yet betray the policy as being little more than a modus vivendi. Once again, the Club is indebted to all those who have contributed to organising, preparing, and providing teas of especially high quality during 2013. Unfortunately, such a solution to the deteriorating quality and quantity of ground duty observed by the playing membership has yet to be formulated. Responsibilities, as ever, need to be recognised.


This is also true in the case of fundraising. The centre-piece of the Club’s fundraising initiatives during the financial year, the Pub Six-a-Side, was infinitely more successful in 2013 than it was in 2012. Providence brought fair weather, although not necessarily the crowds, thus the success was not unqualified. Incontrovertibly, there can be no blame attributed. In the balance of probability, the qualifications were the consequence of the discontinuity incurred as a result of the tournament’s absence from the 2012 schedule. It was both gratifying and disconcerting to witness the increased involvement of people from outside the playing membership – indeed the Club as a whole – in making the event a success. The Club is grateful for every individual contribution, small or large, towards this key event, but the membership cannot expect extrinsically sourced input ad infinitum, it can only be asked for ad hoc. We need to do more ourselves. We cannot abandon the fate of such events to happenstance.


Unfortunately, the 200 Club has continued its chronic decline. Towards the 200 Club, the attitude from the Club, the Executive Committee, its participants, and its prime-mover, Robert Yates, continues to be of a mould best described as philosophical. It has been argued that the original intention of the 200 Club was not necessarily for it to be the mainstay of Club funds quite as far as it actually became. The Club should, therefore, be glad that it has been such a great success for such a long period of time. Our expectations for its future contribution should also be tempered by this philosophy. To some extent, this philosophy is derived from a realistic analysis of the available facts. For example, the decline in senior membership incurs a similar attrition upon the aggregate capacity for networking. Consequentially, there are fewer 200 Club members. Simultaneously, the prolonged period of economic difficulty, along with the perceived squeeze on living standards in general, reduces the average contribution from that reduced pool. Implicitly, the prognosis derived from these beliefs anticipates a period of normalisation, and assumes that the 200 Club’s decline will eventually level at some future time. This cannot be considered in any way guaranteed, for there are no signs of the decline abating. Finally, the philosophical turn notwithstanding, it is sad to see the 200 Club deteriorate.


One factor which undermines the outlook delineated above is the continued apathy amongst elements of the playing membership; and this goes some way to explaining the shortfall between the ideal and actual levels in the 200 Club’s productivity. Mr Yates may be correct in his assertion that younger generations do not necessarily perceive the 200 Club as a viable – or fashionable – method of funding. The truth is, however, those same generations have yet to produce or propose a practicable alternative. Excuses, therefore, should not be so readily made.


Overall, there was much in 2013 that satisfied, impressed, and which instilled pride. The Club’s cricketers have met with success and their operational concepts and methods have been largely vindicated. 2014 will bring a new set of on-field challenges which the playing membership should relish confronting. There remain off-field issues with which elements of the membership still need to engage. Running a community amateur sports club is not an easy task.


The reader shall be forgiven for feeling that the tone of this report is somewhat pessimistic. The aim has been to portray a realistic impression that will make an impact upon the readership. Ultimately, the Whaley Bridge Cricket Club is in a healthy state, and appears well placed to weather the gathering storms.


Reflect upon the rapidity with which all that exists and that is coming to be is swept past us and disappears… Substance is like a river in perpetual flow… the immeasurable span of the past and the yawning gulf of the future, in which all things vanish. Then how is he not a fool who in the midst of all this is puffed up with pride, or tormented, or bewails his lot as though his troubles would endure for any great while?*


These words should serve not only as a source of comfort, that ultimately the issues which the Club confronts foursquare as it progresses though 2014 and beyond are not insurmountable, but also as a sober reminder, that the enormous efforts that sustain it will be required of its constituent membership in perpetuity. Last year’s report alluded to the conceptualisation of a club being no more or less than the sum of its membership. It is that membership which has within its capacity to dictate a club’s course. It is the membership who will define how successful or otherwise the Club will be. What good is property, community, heritage, or memory without a membership to respect it? Whether or not our Club deserves ongoing success is behoved upon the membership’s attitudes, wishes, and actions.



Peter Crowley


Hon. Secretary

* Emperor Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 5. 23, trans. R. Hard (1997), p. 41.

February 2013

1. Mrs Milner will continue as Club Welfare Officer until such time as Mrs Shaw can be confirmed.

2. Alistair Bailey is now the first team vice captain, and as such will need a CRB check, as will any scorers over the age of 16 who are likely to be scoring with children under the age of 16.

3. There are new arrangements for teas, but thankfully some of our noble tea ladies still wish to provide their exemplary service on a five week rota basis. When the ladies are not in attendance the team captain (or their designated teabody) will have to step in.

4. Our groundsman, the venerable Mr Latham, has joined the Groundsman's Association, and we are to pay his fees. We are also to pay the fees of certain qualified coaches (names not provided) who have joined their relevant coaching associations.

5. We are still actively looking for grants, and Caddy has obtained forms for the Professional Fundraisers 4 Grants (Yes there is such a thing). Suggestions for what the grants might cover are the outfield mower that is on its last legs, new scorebox, and new covers, presumably with professional cover movers to move them into position.

6. Fid is on the roof - or at least he will be when he gets round to doing the repairs.

7. We are to deal with the problem of thistles using weedkiller as soon as these come through, as they will not come out in the cold weather we probably don't have to worry about them until August.

8. Mr Goddard reported that he did not think that there was any gas up at the ground. Colin is to check. On another unrelated matter, Buggy had a mower stolen. It was suggested that ours is safe as no one would want it in its current state.

9. The Chairman is to contact the council regarding the state of the road up to the ground.

February 2012

1. Following the break in we are looking to replace various tools and a generator.

2. The Club has received a grant of 550 from Sports Action thanks to Mr Cadwallader.

3. The Club is to pursue the matter of securing a grant for the electrification of club buildings.

4. The Cricket Club will not be pursuing any plans to host the Whaley Bridge bonfire, however, the editor is certain that the Cricket Club bonfire will continue to burn brightly.

5. Thompson's and Simbal have given sponsorship for Cricket Club shirts and jumpers for the new season. These will be substantially subsidised to members.

6. Thanks go to  Les Dyer for his efforts at the coffee morning on 11th February that raised #188.

7. We may well apply to host the Under 13s final on 15th July.

8. Mrs Milner, the Club welfare officer, has volunteered to be a CRB verifier.

9. We are hoping to get Clubmark sign off in May.

10, It is proposed that junior subscriptions are raised from #10 to #15. This will be voted on at the EGM on 20th March.

11. There has been damage to the dry stone wall and Mr Bailey is to be consulted.

Mr Cadwallader reported that another section of wall is compromised by a Sycamore Tree.

13. The Club has agreed to host the Derbyshire v Yorkshire Under 12s match on 12th August.

14. The Club has committed to providing 60 hours of coaching  to local schools as part of the Chance To Shine program. Thanks go to Mr Milner. 

November 2011
1. Tackle shed & scorehut
It has been proposed that the new tackle shed and score hut has electrical sockets and lights fitted that could be powered by a portable generator.
2. Left over stores
These have either been sold or consumed.
3. The next coffee morning is on 10th December.
4. Bonfire
The bonfire was a splendid success once again, and there is a possibilty that this could become a much bigger event in the future.
1. Tackle Shed 

Second stage payment was to be made.   Progress could be seen by all present and the doors were to be painted green. 

2. League Meeting 

Mr S Milner had attended; there were Junior cricket problems particularly with Teams not fulfilling fixtures. 

In particular it was thought that certain Teams were not fulfilling these because they could not put forward a Team capable of winning which was not in the spirit of matters.  

The next League Meeting was to be at Dinting and Mr Milner confirmed that he will attend on behalf of Whaley Bridge. 

4. Six a side 

The Chairman reported that he had indeed obtained a Licence for the 17th of July.  Raffle prizes were requested as were refreshments.   

There was a check to be made that the Barbecue had been organised.

The meeting was aware that the forecast for the weekend isn’t good and the next available date, on the basis of needing ten working days for a Licence, would be the 7th of August.    

There was a general consensus that an application should be made for that earlier date rather than waiting initially for the bank holiday weekend, because failure to run at bank holiday weekend would not give the Club any options for a further attempt. 

All members are to be requested to attend. 

5. Mower

Mr Latham reported to the meeting that he had been to an equipment sale.   The cheapest second hand mower capable of working our ground was in the region of £5500.     

It was agreed that we need to keep looking but we also need to keep fund raising.

6. Welfare Officer’s Report 

Nicky Milner reported that with regard to Club Mark Mrs Maden and Mrs Glover, the latter of whom has experience in writing the policies that Club Mark seem to need, agreed to form a working group with the approval of the Committee – this was given – with a view to trying to obtain Club Mark for next Season. 

7. Junior Presentation 

This is pencilled in for the 4th of September. 

8. Week long coaching course in August 

Mr Milner has this in hand. 

He did also request that someone obtain the Play Cricket web site details from the former secretary.

9. Further matters arising 

Mr Thompson agreed to obtain certain domestic items, ie paper towels, bin liners and toilet rolls through his business connections in time for the Six a side weekend. 

It was also reported by Mr Ford that Mr Milner and Mr Crowley had stepped down from the selection committee due to other commitments.    The Committee had co-opted Matthew Slack and Lee Jones on to the Committee which met the Executive Committees retrospective approval.  

Thanks to the Groundmen 

There were recorded in particular by Mr Milner for his efforts for the Junior Teams this Season and fully endorsed by the Committee. 

Thanks to Mr R B Yates 

The final draw for the 200 Club for the 2010\2011 Year had been made with the successful £500 winner being Mrs Irene Wild.

This remains the Clubs absolute life blood and thanks were recorded by the Chairman on behalf of the Club and endorsed by the Committee. 

Work has started on the score hut and tackle shed. A grant has been received from the council for planting.

The nets are now operational, and the middle net should be erected!

We now have roughly 50 junior members. Unfortunately we had three accidents on three consecutive practice nights. It is unclear at this stage whether one of them involves Milly's dog biting the coach.

We may have just one operational shower.

The six a side has now been rearranged for Sunday 17th July. It may be that we could get a license for the cup quarter final against Tintwistle at the same time that we apply for one for the six a side.

We are to remove the thistles from the lower bank.

There is an under 9s competition scheduled for 19th June. That will go down well on Fathers Day.

The secretary wishes to apologise for misspelling Mr Goulden's name in previous correspondence.

The six a side will take place on Sunday 22nd May. All players are required to assist. For further information please contact Russ Wild or Russ Hambleton.

The presentation night will take place on Friday 22nd April up at the ground starting at 7pm. 

We are finally in a position to proceed with the tackle shed and score hut - expect improvements throughout the season.

The outdoor nets are still out of use.

Watch out for a shiny new Junior Notice Board that should soon be in place at the ground.

No news on Mr Atkins catering, which is a concern!

Under 13s practice at the ground Friday 22nd April 3pm
Junior registration and practice Friday 29th April
Senior practice Thursday 21st April 6.30pm and Friday 22nd April 5pm

10th May 2011

posted 15 May 2011, 06:51 by Mike Madden

There are some planning issues with the new tackle shed and score hut. We are to hold a meeting with the planners to resolve this.

The outdoor nets are now fixed and ready to use.

Our welfare officer, Mrs Nici Milner, reports that junior signings for the season are increasing. The new membership forms are complete; all that remains is for one or two very minor details to be reviewed. However, more support is required to ensure the smooth running of the Under-11s junior team.

We are in need of new mowers, and we may well be able to use the England and Wales Cricket Trust grant scheme for this.

There may be a problem wit the boiler. Two of the four showers are reported to be not working. The kettle is also broken. Any replacements would be gratefully accepted.

Milly's football cards have so far raised £80 towards the cost of a water hog. It is quite likely that the club will purchase the water hog whilst the fund raising effort continues.

Latest News (April 17th)

posted 17 Apr 2011, 06:45 by Mike Madden

The six a side will take place on Sunday 22nd May. All players are required to assist. For further information please contact Russ Wild or Russ Hambleton.

The presentation night will take place on Friday 22nd April up at the ground starting at 7pm. 

We are finally in a position to proceed with the tackle shed and score hut - expect improvements throughout the season.

The outdoor nets are still out of use.

Watch out for a shiny new Junior Notice Board that should soon be in place at the ground.

No news on Mr Atkins catering, which is a concern!


posted 30 Mar 2011, 04:40 by Mike Madden

The nets are still in a state of disrepair. Watch this space for when they will be available for use.

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