After the fine summer of 1959, last season’s weather was disappointing and, as a result, attendances at matches were down. It is to be regretted that the county XI was unable to show a marked improvement on their performance of 1959, although they managed to vacate the bottom position in the Championship table. Possibly their best performances were the defeat of Lancashire at Southport, and Northants at Northampton. Exciting finishes occurred in the home matches against Kent and Sussex, the latter game being lost by one run, when Atkinson was LBW to Thomson off the last ball of the match. It is considered opinion, however, that if some members of the team had shown more `fight’, several games might have ended in victory for Notts especially at Trent Bridge, where we failed to win a match. Brian Wells, in his first year with the club, proved to be as good a bowler as we had been led to believe. Bowling more overs than any other player in the country (1354.3) he took 120 wickets at a cost of 24.25 each. In addition he fielded admirably, making some excellent catches. He was ably supported by John Cotton who took 82 wickets. Apart from these two, not other bowler looked hostile enough to bowl out a side, though Tom Atkinson and Ian Davison tried hard. Cyril Poole had one of his best seasons since joining the club scoring 1701 runs, including centuries against Sussex (133) and Surrey (109). It is most disappointing that his benefit was not supported by the public.
The captain, R. T. Simpson, scored 1511 runs including two not out centuries against Leicestershire (120) and Sussex (102). Although not so fit as he would like to be, he was still capable of making many runs and on occasions gave glimpses of that form which has always made him a delightful batsman to watch. Norman Hill was unfortunately out of the side for several games due to injury, and his steadying influence at the start of an innings was much missed. He had, however, the satisfaction of making his highest score, 171, v. Surrey at Trent Bridge. Geoffrey Millman was late in finding his best form, but then scored centuries against Warwickshire (105) and Kent (131 not out), the latter being one of the best knocks seen at Trent Bridge. Neither John Springall nor Mervyn Winfield scored a century, but they had some good innings and each mustered over 1,000 runs, while John Clay, recalled to the side late in the season, gave some stability to the batting when badly needed. Of the others, Maurice Hill scored a fine 109 v. Warwickshire, but still remains one of the game’s enigmas; a player of much potential, he so often promises great things, only to disappoint those who know his capabilities.
Members are aware that at the end of the season Mr. R. T. Simpson relinquished the captaincy of the county XI, a position in which he has conscientiously filled since 1951. He has not been able to call on the best of teams but always endeavoured to see that Notts, play attractive cricket, and the Committee warmly appreciate his efforts in this direction. It has been that members and others be given an opportunity of showing their appreciations of Mr. Simpson’s services of the club and cricket, and details will be given at a later date. T. Atkinson was offered a renewal of his contract, but decide to take up an appointment with the West of Scotland Cricket Club. We take this opportunity of wishing him well in his new position. Always a great trier, he was unable to produce that `little bit extra’ which might have made him a much more successful bowler. It was decided not to retain the services of C. Lindo and J. E. Ward. Owing to injuries incurred at his winter employment, Joe Walters was unable to play any cricket last season, but it is hoped that he will have made a good recovery and be available in 1961.
County colours were awarded to J. Cotton, J. Springall and B. Wells, to whom we offer our congratulations.
Mr. A. J. Corran of Oxford University and Norfolk will be joining the club and is expected to be available from the end of June. He is a good right arm medium fast pace bowler and should considerably strengthen our resources. In view of the fact that he will be available only for part of the season, he expressed a wish not to be considers as captain of the 1st XI this year, and the Committee have, therefore, appointed J. D. Clay to this position for 1961.
The 2nd XI had another disappointing season, but despite this, some of the young professionals notably Robin Billbie, Carlton Forbes, Ian Moore, Alan Gill and Pat Oakden, put up some useful performances. The Committee wish to tender their warmest thanks to Mr. J. W. Baddiley, who captained the side throughout the season. In addition, they are most grateful to many local Amateurs including, T. D. Barber, W. Charlesworth, P. Cullen, M. Hall, E. Lawrence, E. Martin, C. Shaw, P. Shipston, K. Smith, M. Palfreman, J. Self, B. Ward and R. Williams who accepted invitations to play often at short notice.
In 1961 two county matches, Somerset and Lancashire, will be played on the Worksop ground, and in addition the game with Sussex will be staged on the delightful ground of the Steetley Co. Limited, Shireoaks.
The Committee is indebted to the following clubs who so kindly made their grounds available for 2nd XI matches- Boots Athletics Club, Nottingham City Police, Wollaton, Worksop, Ransome & Marles, Retford, John Player & Sons and The Steetley Company. In 1961 two new venues will be used for 2nd XI games, Collingham and the County Police Sports Ground, Epperstone.
The Committee again wish to record their most grateful appreciation to the Notts County Cricket Supporters’ Association. Without their continued financial assistance, which this year has amounted to £13,248, it would be extremely difficult for the club to function. Match receipts for the past year showed a decrease on those of 1959, while match expenses continued to rise. Each year it is necessary for your Committee to spend money on repairs and maintenance to the stand and various buildings. 1960 was no exception and a sum, exceeding £4,000, was paid out for repair work to the Reinforced Concrete Stands alone. In view of the financial position it is absolutely vital that the membership of the club be increased and all members are asked to do their utmost to achieve this. Its membership is the life-blood of a club.
It is with regret that we record the death of Mr. A. Barber, a member of the Committee since 1945. Having recently retired from business, he was able to give much of his time to watching the game, and participating in the administration of the club, where his helpful suggestions will be very much missed.
Messrs. D. P. B. Morkel and D. H. Vaulkhard having resigned, it was decided not to co-opt any new members on to the Committee, but to ask the members of the club to fill the three vacancies by vote.
As forecast in the last year’s report, a pension scheme for members of the playing staff has been inaugurated; this will give much greater reward to a player than the uncertain receipts of a benefit match, which depend so much on so many factors for success. In this connection we would mention that the match receipts for Poole’s Benefit amounted to only £108! It is still intended to continue with collections and appeals for contributions to the Players’ Welfare Fund.
After two years in office, Mr. G. N. B. Huskinson retired from the presidency of the club, and the Committee place on record its appreciation of his valued services, not least of which has been his cheerful enthusiasm during the difficult time through the club is passing.