We regret to report the death during the year of His Honour Judge A. C. Caporn who had been a member of the Committee for four years. He showed great keenness and enthusiasm in the work and he will be missed.
The season 1953 brought the world to England for the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in London on June 2.
The first test match, June 11 to 16, was held at Trent Bridge and was attended by the Prime Minister of Australia and many other notable people, all of whom were full of praise for the ground, the arrangements for their comfort, and, in fact, everything except the weather.
We congratulate our captain, Mr. R. T. Simpson, on being selected for three test matches, and we are sorry that he had no luck and did not produce the sparkling from of which we know he is capable.
We are delighted to report a great improvement in the play of our county team. We moved up in the championship table from 16th to 8th place, and this is the highest position we have reached since 1936. We won nine matches and obtained 128 points. This was due to a wonderful improvement in the bowling. The batting failed on several occasions, particularly the middle order, for I had shown a normal reflection of its form in recent years we should have been pressing the leaders closely. We also congratulate the team on the new spirit it showed, and its determination to force a win. It is also noted with pleasure that we beat Yorkshire at Trent Bridge for the first time in 62 years. It was encouraging to see a big improvement in the fielding and the Committee trust there will be further improvement next year in this essentially important part of the game.
R. T. Simpson captained the side sportingly and well and was always endeavouring to obtain a decision. He made six centuries, and was selected to play for the Gentlemen. He batted magnificently and had an average, for the county, of 54.37. We are sorry he failed to obtain his 2,000 by 97 runs.
Bruce Dooland was an outstanding success. He revitalised the attack with a string of impressive bowling performances and gave the side a new outlook. He also batted very usefully and we are sorry that in his first year with us he just missed the double. His record in all matches of 172 wickets, averaging 16.58 per wicket, and 970 runs speaks for itself. This as the highest number of wickets taken by any bowler in 1953. Clay showed much improvement. He scored two centuries and fielded excellently at slip. Jepson, as the season advanced, recaptured much of his former fire and nip off the pitch, and he and Butler were the main striking force with the new ball until Butler wrenched his shoulder. Stocks made his 1,000 runs and bowled usefully on occasions. Hardstaff and Poole were disappointing and could not find their true form. Giles, after a century in the first match, met with little success. Meads, who has for many years given excellent service, took his benefit year. A. G. Baxter, Kelly and Rowe showed very promising form and the Committee have great hopes of their future.
The 2nd XI again played in the minor counties championship and the side captained by Mr. H. R. Cox and Mr. R. Forman to whom our thanks are due. Ten matches were played against strong sides, one won, four lost and five drawn. Martin and Smales were the backbone of the batting and Harvey of the bowling. The side was assisted by H. M. Cherry-Downes, B. H. Farr, B. Notley, J. B. Riley and F. E. Saxton, whom the Committee wish to thank for their services. Jim Parks, the new Coach, has worked hard and well, and several members of the staff are showing a great improvement.
The Coaching Scheme under the Notts Youth Cricket Advisory Council continues to progress successfully; four Coaches obtained the M.C.C. Advanced Coaching Certificate. Summer and winter coaching classed are being held at Trent Bridge for boys. A Youth County Team was selected and matches were played against Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and a Public Schools XI- two matches being won, one lost and two drawn. A course for Coaches commenced January 19 for ten weeks with the object of providing efficient coaching for youths in Clubs in all parts of the county. This is being enthusiastically attended, and must prove beneficial. It should considerably raise the standard of play.
The financial position of the club has shown the anticipated improvement and it is pleasing to report a record surplus. The spectacular transformation should not influence a complacent attitude because an examination of the accounts reveals considerable extraordinary income that must not be anticipated in future years.
Special appreciation is recorded in respect of the donations received from the Supporters’ Association that have enabled the carrying out of desirable Capital Schemes and provision of Reserves.
At long last the problem of the wicket appears to have been satisfactorily solved and it is not responsive to pace, spin and run getting. Many alterations were made to various stands. These very materially increased the seating accommodation. The dressing rooms were redesigned and decorated and all visitors, especially the Australians, expressed their approval of the alterations. The main structures were repainted before the test match. The press box is being redesigned to give better facilities. Plans are going ahead for increased stand accommodations for future test matches.
Mr. C. A. Hingston has been appointed a Vice-President at the club on his retirement from the Committee after many years of service.
On the whole we experienced a most encouraging season and we hope that is may be the first step to the return of the county to their rightful place in cricket at or near the top of the County Championship table.