Happy New Year to all Benwell Hill Members – I hope 2019 is a fruitful one for you and your families and that our Club continues to thrive both on and off the field.
My sincere thanks go to all those valiant volunteers who put so much time and effort into the packed programme of activities over the last few weeks – the Bar has been thriving and we are in a much healthier financial position as a result. To keep Members informed we had no choice but to absorb some fairly severe financial hits in 2018 –as an example in the weeks just before Christmas we paid £2,000 for a new Cooler system for the Bar. Everything seems to cost a fortune but the steadfast efforts of Treasurers Larry Dawson and Bill Smalley continue to keep us on more or less an even keel.
Developing and investing in our facilities is a key element of our future. We are exploring sources of grant aid and formulating some outline plans but if you have any views on the direction we should be heading or have time to make a contribution please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Elsewhere on the website news of forthcoming cricket activity is prominent – pre-season practice is almost upon us and I have issued my annual edict that we require more adult cricketers at all levels if we are to retain our status in the top echelon of North East Cricket. Director of Cricket Kyle Coetzer is tireless in planning the way forward for our cricket and it will be an intriguing year as our predominantly young teams contend in the North East Premier League and the West Tyne League.
Those men of many cricket meetings messrs Shaw, Pearson and Haves are in full operational mode and Fixture Secretary Fenwick Marley is similarly engaged in trying to square the circle of a ground that can expect to stage in excess of 100 games in the summer. Geoff Chambers is of course his usual relaxed self as he contemplates whether his mini tractor has one more year before finally conking out....the tractor not Geoff I trust!
2019 will be the first year since the mid fifties that Tennis has come under our umbrella – we will be maintaining two of the courts and are considering ways of utilising the Tennis Pavilion. Again any ideas please come forward.
Martin Avery continues to do fantastic work in terms of developing the squash section – quietly determined and ever efficient, Martin epitomises all that is best about the Benwell Hill family.
We have a great deal to look forward to in 2019 – not least Philip Nicholson attempting to break the First Team Appearance Record a feat that seems unlikely to be broken. The further development of some of the best young players to have emerged from the Junior System in my 35 years of involvement will be vital as will the commitment of those true Benwell Hill stalwarts who provide leadership on and off the field.
The Annual General Meeting is scheduled for February 19th and I hope you can find the time to attend. Please watch the website and notice board for further information.
Email: Mobile:07791 683827