Welcome to my final epistle of 2018 – a chance to reflect on a busy year and to look ahead to 2019.
Before then there have been a number of events since my last communication. The Junior Presentation was a great night superbly led by Barry Pearson and Kyle Coetzer supported by the best group of volunteer coaches one could ever wish to meet. Greats of BHCC past - Evans, Hounsome and Hamilton were remembered in the trophies awarded and a new Trophy presented by the British Legion was awarded to the `best trier`. Gareth Harte of Durham CCC gave freely of his time to address a full Club House and could not have been a better representative of the game and of his profession.
I missed my first Dinner in 36 years with a feeble excuse of making my singing debut in the Royal Albert Hall. My thanks go to all those who put the function on and to all those who spoke. I know there are some who are advocating a change of format in 2019 so we will give this some thought in the New Year – I would welcome the views of members.
The British Legion has also presented the Club with a commemorative bench which will be placed at the Countess Road end in the Summer. It really is special.
The Great War has been in all our thoughts – remarkably a local historian Barry Greenbank has been in touch with David McKay to inform of us of a further cricketer from the Hill who lost his life – Andrew Murray Shannon played for the Club in 1905 and died at Cambrai on December 3 1917 aged 37 years R.I.P.
There have been a number of excellent `do`s` in the Club – special congratulations go to Tom Murphy and Margaret Gradwell who celebrated significant birthdays and to William Archbold who hits the big 18 this month. The more of these functions we have the less stress the Chairman, the Treasurers and the new Owner feel!
The Tuesday Quizzes have had a new lease of life with some new teams and Ummagumma have had to look to their laurels. The new Tennis team are definitely worthy opponents.
Looking back on 2018 it has been a year where we underachieved on the field – it is a long time since no trophies were won by any of the senior teams and whilst there were many near misses – too many to bear really- it is important that we learn from the experience. We have no divine right to win things – the competition is fierce but I am confident that 2019 will see us back on track – playing the game in a hard but fair fashion, enjoying the game for what it is and making our Club the best it can possibly be.
Our young players have it all to do but they are really promising – to see Max Williamson and Luke Mussett enjoying success `down under` is incredibly encouraging and you have to admire the enthusiasm of Director of Cricket Kyle Coetzer in heading to Nepal to get some practise. In the old days some of us struggled to get to Indoor Nets round the corner at Benwell. Whilst on this subject that man of many cricket meetings Barry Pearson has been busy teeing up Indoor Nets which will start in early February on Wednesdays at South Northumberland . Junior nets will start at St Cuthberts High School at the end of January. In both cases keep your eyes on the website for further information.
2019 will be a challenging year on and off the field. The Club Committee are pondering `what next` in terms of development and the views of all Members are welcomed. Catch me in the Club or email me on if you wish to pass on your views. Even better PLEASE contact me or one of my colleagues if you want to volunteer your services in any capacity. This Club is largely built on voluntary endeavours and we can never have enough people chipping in. Truly many hands make slightly lighter work.
My thanks go to Scott Williamson for reviving and revitalising the website – for us Luddites it was amazing how much it was missed. Please keep an eye out for forthcoming attractions – there is certainly a packed programme in the near future.
Finally – A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Directors and Committee of BHCC.
Simon Lunn December 2018