Above: David Foot and Graham Russell's joint 90th Birthday Celebration in Bristol, May 3.
BULLETIN - MAY 2019
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR - ALISON MITCHELL
Firstly, welcome to the new Members who have joined the Club in this last year. It is a privilege for me to take over from Mark Baldwin as Chair of CWC, particularly given the history of the club and the names who have gone before. Stan leaves the club in a very healthy position, particularly with regard to the role he played in the introduction and growth of the ECB Reporters’ Network and the establishment of the annual ECB Domestic Journalism Awards. Both have kept domestic cricket coverage visible and helped to keep journalists employed when squeezes were being made to regional media in particular.
I aim to carry on Stan’s good work in growing the membership, projecting the Club as an inclusive and welcoming organisation, and continuing to further the interests of our Members and of cricket as a whole through the work of our sub-Committees. Over the coming weeks I’ll be looking at the structure and make up of our sub-Committees, as a couple of Members who have done good stints are stepping down from roles, and a number of others have indicated a willingness to get more involved. If you are keen to help out on a sub-Committee, do drop me a line, and even if it turns out there isn’t an opportunity right away, there will always be something in the future.
I hope you all enjoy a bumper summer of cricket. Do spread the word of the Club as you go about your work. The Men’s World Cup means we welcome an enormous number of overseas media to the UK, many of whom are already our Members. I also look forward to welcoming them and seeing as many of you as I can over the course of the season.
LEAD SECRETARY - WILL MACPHERSON
I’m delighted to have taken over from Vish Ehantharajah as the Lead Secretary for a very busy 2019 summer. Vish did a sterling job in 2018-19 and will be sticking around to help out, along with the rest of the secretarial team, Alan Gardner, Bruce Talbot and Julian Guyer. Please do get in touch with me if you have any questions, and you’ll hear from me soon enough I’m sure!
MESSAGE FROM THE OUTGOING CHAIRMAN - MARK BALDWIN
First, my heartfelt thanks to all those who have sent kind messages about my five years as CWC Chairman - either by email, for inclusion in a book of Members’ comments given to me at the AGM, or written on the bottles of Haresfoot beer which made up a further part of my ‘leaving present’. The beautiful, CWC logo-engraved tankard and 1960 Wisden were also much appreciated, plus the bouquet of flowers for my wife Michele who suddenly and unexpectedly - from my perspective - appeared at the end of the AGM.
It was also great to see a packed Writing Room at Lord’s for my final meeting in charge, and a similarly well-filled Long Room Bar afterwards, although I am sure the great turnout for the AGM was more to mark Ali Mitchell’s arrival as your new Chair than my own departure from high office! As I have said before, it was a real privilege to be able to lead the Club as Chairman - and I aim to support Ali as best I can from my position on the Committee and as I am still involved (for now!) in a couple of sub-Committees.
As you will see from the AGM Minutes, which are sent to you as part of this Bulletin package, the April 29 meeting will be remembered not just for the handover between myself and Ali. For me, it was a memorable day not least because it afforded the chance to look back over what has been achieved during the last five years. That I was able to lead the Club forward in this time was due specifically to the efforts before me as Chairman of both Pat Gibson and Graham Morris, of Wendy Wimbush’s work over many decades - and also to the support all three gave me, in addition to the help of my two Presidents, ‘Plum’ Warner and Mike Selvey, and all those involved on either the main Committee or the sub-Committees.
The three social gatherings that have accompanied the last three AGMs, as part of the ‘on the road’ experiment of taking them around the country in order to include as many Members as possible, have been a successful initiative and one I hope the Committee will look to take forward.
Indeed, I count the ‘new-look’ AGMs as one of the many positives achieved in my time as Chairman. Ali has kindly mentioned the establishment of the Reporters’ Network and the annual Domestic Journalism Awards, which I believe have both already proved themselves to be a force for good in our game, but I think everyone involved in the Club’s internal processes should be proud of the way we have re-organised our structure to include a new-look secretarial team, an expanded Committee, the appointments of a sizeable number of new officers and sub-Committee members, a re-drawn Club Constitution, the introduction and success of the Sponsorship sub-Committee, the 70th anniversary celebrations in 2016 and continued Annual Lunch growth as a major Club occasion.
May I wish Ali Mitchell all the very best for her time in the Chair. Please give Ali and Will Macpherson, now our Lead Secretary, as much support as you can in the weeks and months ahead.
LUNCH SUB-COMMITTEE REPORT - MARK BALDWIN
Please see the AGM Minutes for the confirmation of ticket prices for this year’s Annual Lunch on Tuesday October 1. Please note, in particular, the new introduction of an Early Bird rate for both individual Member and exclusive Media organisation tables of 10 (or pro-rata). This applies to anyone booking - and paying for - their ticket or tickets before June 30. Please contact Shilpa Patel or Marcus Hook if you want to book a place or places at this year’s Lunch.
The AGM Minutes also details why it has been necessary to change the venue for this year’s Annual Lunch, which will now take place at the Marriott Grosvenor Square.
Because of this late change of venue, it is not yet possible to give details of this year’s Menu and menu choices. That will follow in mid-summer, and so will be included in the next Club Bulletin in late July.
DAVID FOOT, GRAHAM RUSSELL AND NIGEL FULLER
A group of CWC Members visited Bristol on May 3 to see David Foot and Graham Russell. A cake commemorating their 90th birthdays (Footy in April and the remarkable Russell back in July 2018) was organised by Richard Latham and his wife Martine, and presented to them prior to a lunch gathering. Footy’s wife Ann and son Mark were also in attendance. Other CWC Members present were Richard Walsh, Anthony Gibson, Mark Easterbrook, Graham Morris, Paul Weaver, Bruce Talbot, Pat Gibson, Mark Pennell and Mark Baldwin.
Nigel Fuller is due to mark 50 years of covering Essex CCC in July this summer. Nigel is still a regular presence in the Chelmsford press box, working alongside Paul Hiscock, and would no doubt relish being reminded of this landmark by visiting CWC Members throughout the season!
There are other sub-Committee reports in the AGM Minutes, and the Committee also thanks Brian Scovell for a lengthy report on media facilities at the Newclose ground on the Isle of Wight and at Radlett, with both due to host Specsavers County Championship matches in the near future. Those travelling to report on the Hampshire and Middlesex fixtures at these two grounds may be interested in the following edited report:
FACILITIES SUB-COMMITTEE REPORT
Brian Scovell (Chairman, South region) writes:
On March 27, I visited Newclose, Newport (Isle of Wight) and met Hugh Griffiths, the former secretary of Sussex who now lives in Bembridge on the island and is helping with arrangements at Newclose, to find out about the proposed press facilities for the Hampshire v Nottinghamshire four-day game starting on May 20.
I’m pleased to report there is good Wifi at Newclose. There were three options for a press box, and the ideas rejected were a marquee which Hugh thought was unnecessarily expensive, and a partitioned-off area of the main dining hall in the pavilion. The best option, it was decided, is a room marked “The Brian Gardener and the Trustees” (commemorating the man who bought the ground in 2008).
Unfortunately it is rather small and five Oval-type office chairs would fill the front row. I suggested they put in a foot-high construction with two tables at the back to enable around 8-10 further seats to be positioned there. I felt no more than a dozen or so press would be in attendance, but if that happens they will partition off an additional area in the dining room. Incidentally, you can open windows at the front of the pavilion but late in the day the sun might hinder those with computers.
The venue is only four miles from Osborne House, where Queen Victoria spent more time there than at most of her residences, and where the TV series “Victoria” was filmed. Hugh Griffiths said it is hoped to stage a Q&A dinner during the Notts game with Jack Russell, Rod Bransgrove and possibly Stuart Broad and James Vince as speakers.
There are 300 parking spaces and some will be designated as Press, next to the Disabled Badge holders by the pavilion. There is a Premier Inn 400 metres away, towards Newport. The club is laying on lunch and tea, courtesy of the ECB, for the press. Anyone covering the match and in need of further details, please contact Hugh Griffiths on 07768 552682.
On March 30 I visited Radlett CC, along with Charlie Randall, a longstanding member of CWC. Middlesex are staging two one-day fixtures there this season, plus a championship match against Somerset on June 16-19. It is a well-established and highly-regarded club and they have put on Middlesex one-day matches previously with some success. As before, there will be separate tents for radio and written press next to the scorers’ tent. Wifi is fine.
The front row of the written press tent will have around ten seats but if the demand exceeds that another row will be put in behind. A large car park is situated on the right of the pavilion with an area for the press. Another field adjacent is available if necessary.