1981 CENTENARY SEASON
This year, Brentwood Cricket Club celebrates its Centenary, a milestone in its history and a special year for us all at the Club. Much has happened during those years; two world wars, many social and political changes and life is now very different from that in Queen Victoria's reign. The changes during the next hundred years will be just as dramatic, I am sure, but let us hope that the Club will be active and cricket still being played here in 2081.
This Centenary Brochure will hopefully link the past, the present and the future. It would be nice to think that our descendants will read it at times during the next hundred years and that in the 200th year of the Club, they will compare what we have done during this year with their own celebrations. By the time 2081 comes, we may well be playing away fixtures on the moon, which will probably present difficulties for the Brentwood batsmen, as I understand that there will be rather more bounce there than on our own wicket.
You may have heard little about Brentwood Cricket Club before, but by the end of our Centenary year, I hope that you will have heard much more (or you may well feel like my wife who at the moment wishes that she had never heard of it at all!). It has been my pleasure and privilege to be Chairman of the Centenary Organising Committee and during the last year or so a lot of planning and work has gone into preparing the events for this year. The very first work for the Centenary was done by Geoff Burnell and Boy Marshall and this progressed into a provisional committee which first met on 5th December 1979 when two basic objectives were agreed:
- to achieve a memorable and enjoyable year for all concerned and
- to raise funds to finance the events to be held during the year and for future cricket activities at the Club.
Eventually a smaller permanent committee was formed last summer and it has been its responsibility to plan and organise the production of this brochure, the Cricket Week, social events and general publicity for the year. (Details of the year's events appear later in the brochure). I would like to thank my fellow committee members: Paul Adams, Brian Baker, Andrew Johnson and Terry Simpkin for their enthusiasm, support and hard work during the many months of preparation.
The editorial content of this fine publication has been under the guidance of Paul Adams and the printing and advertising content under Andrew Johnson. It has required a lot of work but I hope you agree that the final result has made it all worthwhile. Our grateful thanks are due to the many contributors who have written some very informative and entertaining articles, and to the advertisers for their support, without which there would have been no brochure printed. Other companies have contributed to our year in the form of raffle prizes or cash donations, or by advertising during the Cricket Week, (a full acknowledgement list appears on Page 36) and I hope our readers will make full use of their services in the future.
I hope you feel that the events we have planned for the year are attractive, and that you will be able to join us during some of them. Our Centenary plans are ambitious but our feelings are that the Club and its members must aim high and make the most of it, as none of us will be around for the next one. I am very optimistic that the year will be a great success, despite the severe economic times we are passing through. If any motto applies, I would like to use a popular one at the moment: "Who dares, wins."
My own view of club cricket at the playing level and facilities that we enjoy in the Truman League and at our Sunday fixtures, is that if it is to continue, clubs will have to become much more commercially orientated in the future, as funds from subscriptions and match fees will be insufficient for the upkeep of the facilities. It is therefore important for this Centenary year to be a financial success as well. I hope it will prove to be a catalyst for future developments at the Club.
In saying this, we are all of course very mindful of the contributions made by the local Hockey, Tennis and indeed Rugby clubs, whose support in the late 1950's helped ensure the high standard of facilities and administration at the County Ground headquarters which we now take for granted.
It has been most encouraging that the initial response to the Centenary Appeal, aimed mainly at past members, organised by the Chairman of the Club, Alan Eyres, has been so good, and on his behalf, we would like to offer the Club's sincere thanks to those who have donated.
We would also like to thank Trevor Brooking for his generous assistance in arranging to bring his Celebrity XI to play the Club, Essex County Cricket Club, and all the players and organisers of the teams that will be playing us during the Cricket Week.
We very much appreciate the help given to us by Brentwood Sports Council in the early stages of our preparations. Our thanks also to Maureen Webb for the typing and to Malcolm Webb for the sub-editing of the script for this brochure, to those club members who have assisted us so far, and most of all to my wife and the wives of my fellow committee members for their continued, patient support during the last few months. If we have overlooked anyone else who we should thank for assisting in our year, my apologies, and finally, to you, thank you for buying our brochure and supporting our Club. I hope you enjoy reading all the articles and, with your participation, I'm sure the year will be a rewarding experience for us all.
GEORGE SMITH joined Brentwood from Goodmayes in 1976. Despite therefore having been involved with the Club for only 1/20th of its existence he has done more than anybody to organise our Centenary Year, and without his tireless enthusiasm many of our activities would never have been considered, let alone brought to fruition. George's greatest asset is his persuasiveness. He has spent months persuading people and companies to part with money or chattels on behalf of our Centenary; he can often be seen during the summer persuading otherwise sane and healthy batsmen to unaccountably miss his occasional straight one, and he is sometimes seen persuading a good length ball on his off stump towards mid-wicket.
Also featured in the Centenery brochure and on the website:
- The Early Days by Paul Adams.
- The Golden Years by Howard Wilkins.
- War and Peace by Joe Hodgson.
- Through the Fifties...by Charles Edgson.
- ...And into League Cricket by Keith Goodman.
- Forty-five Years in the Middle by Stan Wilmot.
- Brentwood and Essex C.C.C by Paul Adams.
- The Present - and the Future by Malcolm Webb.
- From Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 1969
- 1981 Centenary Season Photo Gallery