The Committee beg to present their Annual Report with a Statement of Accounts and Balance Sheet for 1934.
Nottinghamshire finished 9th in the Championship; 8 matches being won, 7 lost and 13 drawn. The matches v. Cambridge University and the Australians were drawn.
Three of the matches won at Trent Bridge had thrilling finishes, Warwickshire being beaten by 24 runs, Kent by 20 runs and Hampshire by 8 runs.
On the other hand, the neighboring Counties of Derbyshire and Leicestershire both won at Trent Bridge; while Derbyshire also won at Ilkeston, and are heartily to be congratulated on their high position in the County Championship.
Apart from our lowly position in the list, the County has had an extremely trying and far from pleasant season, and your Committee in addition to the usual routine service so willingly given to the Club by all its members, had much unpleasant work to do.
The County was much handicapped by illness and accidents to several leading players. Serious illness early in July kept Mr. Carr out of the game for the rest of the season, whilst S. Staples was unfit and only played in one match. His fine bowling and cheery personality were sadly missed. Walker’s sudden illness, which involved a grave operation, keeping out of the side after the first match until the second week in July, and Larwood, after bowling brilliantly with great success in the early part of the season became unfit to bowl, and in four matches in which he took part did not bowl at all.
The spirit of unrest which prevailed during the season appeared to affect our players, and in no department of the game did the side do itself full justice.
In batting, Keeton again headed the averages and had a good season, twice scoring a double century. He played in the 4th Test at Leeds after fielding, with distinction, as 12th man, in the 3rd Test at Old Trafford. Harris did exceptionally well and scored five centuries. Hardstaff, who obtained four centuries was an outstanding success of the season, his fielding in the deep being admirable. Mr. Carr up to the time of his illness had scored 437 runs, including one century with an average of over 24. Walker, handicapped by illness, scored 842 runs, including one century, with an average of over 31. Arthur Staples again had an aggregate exceeding 1,000 runs, and was more successful as a bat than as a bowler.
Voce, in addition to his success as a hard hitting batsman, bowled extremely well, frequently with very hard luck, and was the only bowler to take 100 wickets. Larwood who bowled so finely in the early part of the season, headed the bowling averages with 82 wickets at a cost of just 17 runs per wicket. G. V. Gunn in addition to scoring 922 runs, had more bowling to do than anyone except Voce and took 52 wickets.
Lilley, who shouldered the responsibility of Captain in July, has earned the gratitude of the Club. As usual, he kept wicket extremely well, and was fifth in the batting averages. The Committee have allocated the match v. Yorkshire in July as a well deserved benefit for him. Since succeeding Oates as wicket keeper in 1921, he has had the extremely difficult task of keeping to such fast bowlers as Barratt, Matthews, Larwood, Voce and Butler. He has never complained, although his hands shew signs of his strenuous work. As a batsman his place in the side would certainly have been higher, but for his more important and thankless duties at the wicket. Apart from this, he has been a loyal and valuable member of the side, and your Committee hope and believes that members of the Club and lovers of Cricket generally will do their utmost to recognize his work and make his benefit an outstanding success.
Butler bowled well at times, and in all obtained 53 wickets with an average of 32. Taylor, who obtained his first century, batted very soundly and proved most useful in Walker’s absence. Woodhead, who during his first season on the Ground Staff, played in 7 County matches and obtained 10 wickets.
During the season R. D. F. Bland and H. R. Cox again appeared in the side, and P. Vaulkhard played in 7 County Matches and obtained 10 wickets.
Speaking generally, the fielding of the side was poor, far too many catches being missed; and our bowling lacked variety and was much below the standard of previous years.
The first Test Match was played at Trent Bridge in June. The weather was kind and there were great crowds. Australia won a very keenly contested match by 238 runs.
The financial results of this match were highly satisfactory, seeing that after paying £3,334 as the Australians share,£2,428 Entertainments Tax and £1,108 expenses of the match, the sum of £7,812 was sent to the Board of Control.
Special arrangements had been made at great cost to cope with the large crowd, but it became evident that increased and improved lavatory accommodation for the comfort and convenience of members and the public must be provided.
The Committee has fully considered a well devised scheme to this end, but definite instructions to proceed have, for the present, been deferred.
Their Graces the Duke and Duchess of Portland entertained the English and Australian Teams and other guests at Welbeck on Sunday, 10th June. The weather was perfect, and a happy and friendly day was spent at the Abbey in exploring the wonderful grounds, picture galleries, etc.
The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Nottingham, Alderman and Mrs. John Farr, entertained the Australian Team and other guests at Worksop Manor, on Sunday 12th August.
The wickets at Trent Bridge have given cause for anxiety for some time. Over two years ago, on account of serious flooding, a considerable scheme of leveling and re-laying the turf, approved by your Committee, was carried out. Unfortunately since then persistent drought has so interfered with the success of the scheme that the wickets have not always lasted well throughout a three-day match. This has placed the County at a disadvantage with those Counties fortunate enough to have good spin bowlers.
A special sub-committee was appointed to deal with the matter and considerable work has been done, under expert advice, since the close of the season. This, it is hoped and expected will give better wickets during 1935. The Committee record with deep regret the passing on the 23rd November of their esteemed colleague Alderman H. E. Branston, J. P., three times Mayor of Newark. Alderman Branston, who was elected a Member of the Committee in 1919, has rendered valuable services to the club. They also regret to record the death, on March 27th, of Mr. Richard Parr Daft, who twice played for the County in 1887 and 1887. Mr. Daft was the eldest son of the famous Richard (“Dick”) Daft who captained the County XI from 1870 to 1880, and brother of H. B. Daft who played for the County for many years, originally as an amateur.
The Committee are highly gratified to report that the accounts shew a surplus of £3,440 16s. 10d. on the years working. This is the more pleasing, in view of the fact that there was a falling off of £738 in the gate receipts from ordinary matches, and also that £1,398 was expended in repairs, alterations, improvements etc., mainly in connection with the Test Match.
The receipts include £4,051 in respect of Test and Trial matches, the apportionment of which is shewn in the Statement of Account.
The total receipts for the year from Subscriptions, Donations, and Gate money were £16,869 14s., 5d., as compared with £10,283 in 1933. The total expenses were £14,257 1s., 2d., as compared with £12,593 in 1933. There was a decrease of £72 0s. 0d. in ordinary match expenses.
Subscribing members in 1934 were 4,656 who contributed £7,391 10s. 0d., as compared with 3,519 and £5,940 in 1933. Corresponding figures for the 1930 Test Match year were 5,062 and £8677 respectively.
His Grace the Duke of Portland, K. G., President, has made the generous donation of £100 to the Club and donations amounting to £546 were made by 518 members towards the reduction of the debt in connection with improvements.
The inland Revenue authorities have claimed for the first time for several years Entertainments Tax on Membership Subscriptions; similar claims have also been made on some other Counties. Your Committee are not yet fully satisfied as to liability. £169 0s. 5d. had to be paid, and a provision of £12 3s. 6d. has been made for the balance claimed to be due.
The Committee take especial pleasure in pointing out that improved results for the year shew a reduction of the Club indebtedness from £4,262 17s. 0d. in December 1933 to £849 14s. 1d. in December 1934.
The Testimonial arranged for the benefit of Messrs. Walter Marshall, G. Shaw and F. Dalling was disappointing as to the total amount obtained, viz. £399 17s. 1d. This was allocated by the Committee in accordance with the conditions stated in the circular appeal letter, i.e., upon length and value of service to the Club. It will be seen from the account that Mr. Marshall received £173 17s. 2d., G. Shaw £149 and F. Dalling £74 12s. 11d. These sums include subscriptions specially earmarked, or paid direct, to the beneficiaries.
A sub-committee of six was appointed to consider and report as to the Captaincy of the team, for so long held by Mr. A. W. Carr. There had been differences between the Committee and Mr. Carr, and, following the sub-committee’s report, it was resolved by the full Committee that Mr. Carr should not be appointed for 1935.
It was then decided to elect Messrs. S. D. Rhodes and G. F. H. Heane as Joint Captains for the year 1935, an arrangement made possible by the kindness of Sir Julien Cahn.
Your Committee fully realize the extremely valuable services rendered by Mr. Carr during his long career with the Club, which commenced in 1912 , and have, in many ways, always shewn their great appreciation.
Mr. Carr has been a great cricketer, an extremely fine Captain on the field, and has earned and received the highest honors the game has to offer. He will always be remembered in connection to Nottinghamshire Cricket as a brilliant fielder a fine forcing bat and a great judge of the game.
In the near future, an opportunity will be afforded to Members of the Club of giving expression of their appreciation for all Mr. Carr has done for the County.
The Committee are glad to report that the first of the five Test Matches, England v. South Africa, has been allocated to Trent Bridge, the date fixed for the match is the 15th, 17th, and 18th of June. The South Africans will also play the County at Trent Bridge in July.
A fixture with Cambridge University has again been arranged, and will be played at Cambridge in May. In the County Championship, return matches with 14 of the first class Counties have been arranged. Of the home fixtures at Trent Bridge 10 start on Saturdays.
Your Committee have the pleasure in stating that new agreements which cover to the end of 1937 season have been concluded with the following regular players of the County XI, viz: Walker, Lilley, Staples A., Larwood, Voce, Keeton, Harris, Gunn G. V., Hardstaff and Butler.
The services of the following players have also been secured, by new agreements or by those previously concluded, Wheat, Winrow H., Winrow R., Taylor, Castledine, Knowles, Barlow, Jones, Woodhead, Bradley and Walker G., the two latter being new engagements.
The Club and Ground and Second XI teams played several matches during the season under the Captaincy of Mr. J. K. Lane to whom the Club is greatly indebted. The expenses in connection with these amounted to £160 3s. 8d. as against £64 4s. 3d. in 1933.
At the Annual Meeting, on the 1st March, Mr. A. W. Shelton, retiring President, proposed the election of his nominee, His Grace the Duke of Portland K. G., as president of the Club for 1934. This was agreed with unanimity and acclamation, and His Grace, who was first elected in 1881, thus became President for the sixth time.
At this meeting Members unanimously elected Mr. A. W. Shelton a Life Honorary Member of the Committee in recognition for his long services to the Club, following a precedent created by the election of the late Mr. J. A. Dixon in 1910.
For the third consecutive year Sir Julien Cahn has generously met the cost of printing and presenting all Members (including Juniors) a copy of the Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club Year Book” for 1934 complied by Sir Home Gordon.
During the year numerous additions to the Pavilion Collection of pictures etc., and to the books in the library have been made. Your Committee have expressed the appreciative thanks of the Club and the several donors.
Since the close of the Club’s financial year, members will be fully aware of the controversy that has arisen between a large number of members and your Committee, and the supplement to the report gives an account of the actions of the Committee which gave rise to the controversy.
At a Special General Meeting of members held on January 16th, a vote of no confidence in the Committee was passed. Your Committee were far from desiring to remain in office contrary to the wishes of a considerable section of the members. Dr. G. O. Gauld immediately resigned his position as Hon. Secretary, and the Committee also resigned, but agreed to continue the work of the Club until a new Committee was elected.
A report of the proceedings as a meeting of the Advisory County Cricket Committee held on the 26th February last is included in the enclosed statement.
The business is to be transacted at the General Meeting of the Members to precede the Annual Meeting is stated in the notice convening such meeting.
By Order of the Committee, H. A. BROWN, Hon. Secretary.