The warmest congratulations are extended to Mr. R. T. Simpson on finishing at the head of the First-Class batting averages for the whole country and also in having scored over 30,000 runs in First-Class matches. Only two other Nottinghamshire men - G. Gunn and J. Hardstaff. Jnr. - have exceeded this figure. Geoffrey Millman who was appointed senior professional is to be congratulated on his selection for the first two Test Matches v. Pakistan. Unfortunately, his form was not as good as in previous years and he lost his place. Ill health, which may have affected his play, forced him to withdraw from the Gents. V. Players game and this could have cost him his place to Australia. Mervyn Winfield and Ian Davison were awarded their County Caps. Both are good Club men. John Cotton showed that he was much fitter but still fell short of what is expected of him.
Carlton Forbes, who had expressed a wish to bowl slow, discovered that he was not as successful and reverted to medium pace. To say, as some critics would have us believe, that he bowled slow on the instructions of the coach is emphatically denied. Maurice Hall scored a very good century against Yorkshire whilst Cyril Poole did not enjoy the success he had the previous year, and the same applied to Brian Wells. Billy Rhodes made a very able deputy for Millman when called on to do so and scored a useful 132 against Cambridge University at Trent Bridge.
Perhaps the most encouraging feature of the season was the successful debut as an opening bat of Alan Gill. On this showing he gave promise of being a very competent opening batsman. Norman Hill, who has been one of the batting mainstays of the term, decided that he could not accept the Committee’s terms of re-engagement and has taken up an appointment with the Nottinghamshire County Council. The Committee wish him well in the future. In addition A. Siddons has not been re-engaged and P. Oakden left the staff during the season.
The 2nd XI, although finishing at the bottom of the 2nd XI Championship, had a better season. John Clay as captain did an excellent job. He has shown himself to be a very worthy holder of this position and his advice and encouragement to the young players will be invaluable. The Committee have been pleased to grant him a testimonial this year which it is hoped will be well supported. The most promising young player was Barry Whittingham, who scored 689 runs and created a favourable impression in his first season on the staff. He will be qualified to play in Championship matches this coming season. Robin Billbie also batted well while Barry Stead bowled well and could strengthen the bowling resources at the club.
The Club has engaged Brain Bolus and Keith Gillhouley who have been released by Yorkshire. Both have created a good impression in First Class cricket circles and should do much to strengthen the team which is now the prime objective of the Committee. The decision to run a Junior XI in the Notts Amateur League proved to be successful and promises well for the future. A team of promising young cricketers, whose aim, is to play for their County was organised and under the experienced leadership of Frank Woodhead, they played some good cricket. From this source the Club could well enlist some of its future playing members.
The warmest thanks of the Committee are extended to Mr. G. T. Barnes, of the Notts Schools’ Cricket Association, who undertook the organisation of the team and other administration duties. In addition the Committee express their appreciation to the East Midlands Division, The National Coal Board and the Nottinghamshire Constabulary, through whose good offices the ground at Sherwood Lodge and Epperstone Manor were made available for the Colts XI to play their games on. In 1963 these will be played at Trent Bridge and it is hoped that the fixtures will be available for inclusion in the Membership card.
Receipts from County matches were the lowest in any post-war season, and the number paying for admission was only 21,242 the lowest for the whole country. This was partly due to the fact that every home match commencing on a Saturday was affected by the weather, resulting in poor gates on days which are normally most profitable. In addition, due to the unsatisfactory fixture list, the majority of home games were played in the early part of the season. A succession of home fixtures such as we had on two occasions and all played on the same ground, it is not a good arrangement and representations have been made to the fixtures sub-committee to try to avoid a repetition of this in the future.
The county fixture versus Pakistan was the poorest against a touring side for many years and the fourth test match, although lasting five days, due to limited play on the first day, could not, by any description be considered a success. The small income derived from people paying admission through the turnstile, emphasises how very important, and necessary, it is for the club to have a sound membership. If the club is to continue with a playing staff which is for 1963 the minimum number on which it can safely fulfil its programme and maintain Trent Bridge as a first-class ground able to provide all the amenities for test matches, then it is vitally important that the main source of the club’s income be considerably augmented. Both the Lancashire and Warwickshire authorities have spent a considerable sum of money on their respective grounds and should we fail to maintain Trent Bridge on a similar scale, there is a danger that the ground could cease to be a test match venue.
The Committee of the Supporters’ Association continues to support the club by their generous donations. The County Committee wish to place on record their grateful appreciation of the magnificent support given from time to time and especially to those members of the Supporters’ Association Committee by whose personal efforts involving much of their time, they continue to operate so successfully.
At the end of the year, Ald. B. L. Maule announced that it was not his wish to continue as a member of the Committee. Due to the commitments of his business and public work, he did not feel justified in offering himself for re-election. First appointed to the Committee in 1946 he has ably served the club, especially in matters relating to finance, and since August 1952 has been Chairman of the Finance Committee.
The Committee, on behalf of the members, record their warm appreciation to Ald. Maule for the valuable part he has played in the administration of the Club’s affairs.
As will be seen from the accounts there is a loss on the revenue account of £7,558. The principal reason for this is not difficult to see when the figures for receipts are analysed. These show a large decrease in the amount received from test match profits and match receipts, while expenditure has risen mainly through an increase in amount spent on necessary repairs to the West Wing stand. The Committee are making every effort to stabilise and reduce expenditure where possible. At the same time they emphasise that unless more support is forthcoming through increased membership, the future position of the club is bound to be uncertain.
Financial stability is essential for the welfare of the club and this can only be provided by a steady basic income, sufficient for year-to-year expenses and the provision of adequate reserves. To this end the Committee have decided to engage the services of Fund Raising Directors Limited who have successfully conducted membership campaigns for other county cricket clubs with a view to securing a spectacular increase in the club’s membership. The club appeals to the members fully to co-operate in the activities of the campaign and to endeavour to obtain at least one new member each during the coming season.
Although this report makes gloomy reading, never at any time since the war have our hopes been so high. Your Committee has taken action to strengthen the playing staff and there is every reason to believe that as a result of their efforts of the players, who will all be competing fiercely for places, the season of 1963 will see the beginning of a revival which will gain impetus each year.