We Are Heading In The Right Direction

By Chairman, John Heatley, 1980

Throughout a period of important change at Trent Bridge, we have always insisted the club has only one aim and that is to be successful on the field. I am therefore very pleased that 1980 has seen further steps in the right direction and my congratulations go to Ken Taylor, Clive Rice and the playing staff on finishing third in the Schweppes Championship.

This result, the best Nottinghamshire position for many years, was achieved by playing attacking cricket and the captain’s aggressive attempts to achieve positive results. Attacking as he did, Clive found that results did not always go his way but on balance, his uninhibited approach deserves high praise and was certainly refreshing to see.

Our friends from the Nottinghamshire Cricket Association, the Coaches Association and the Umpires’ Association have continued to give us unending support. Their aim, like ours, is to interest as many youngsters as possible in cricket and through their efforts that number is increasing all the time. Our thanks go to Carol Minkley and Nottinghamshire County Council whose continuing support in the most important area of schools cricket is invaluable. It is at school that we get our first taste for the game and develop a love for it.

With this strongly in mind we have appointed John Cope, a fully qualified advanced coach and Minor Counties cricketer, to be responsible for liaising with schools and the Notts C.A. at all levels. His job is to encourage and stimulate the growth of cricket throughout the county. He has a very important role to play and replaces Frank Woodhead, who retired last season. Our sincere thanks go to Frank for his enthusiastic approach over the years.

Our newspaper, Trent Bridge monthly, goes from strength to strength and certainly maintained its high standards during the summer. It is very encouraging to see members eagerly waiting for their copies on the various publication dates. We led the field in this area and it is interested to note that other counties have now taken up our idea.

We are pleased to announce a record profit of more than £27,000 and in a summer of bad weather, it was encouraging to see an increase in match receipts. The large increase in subscription income has come mainly from the introduction of the Executive Suite.

When this project was undertaken, it was realised that it would not please all members, in particular those who were used to sitting in the cock-loft. The decision was not taken lightly but based on two main criteria. First it would have cost a considerable amount of money to make the old cock-loft safe for members and second, it was felt that if an additional boost to subscription income could be provided by the new facilities then many other improvements could  be introduced for the membership as a whole.

I am pleased that these predictions have materialised as we have been able to completely refurbish the Long Room and lower area of the pavilion. We have also been able to undertake, on behalf of our members, to pay the levy for admission by members to Test Matches at Trent Bridge. Incidentally, membership of Executive Suite is open to individuals and is certainly not restricted to companies as is sometimes thought.

Our thanks must go to all ground advertisers and local and national sponsors and to the Test and Country Cricket Board’s Public Relationship and Marketing Committee, who increased the distribution to each county considerably. It can also be seen from the accounts that maintenance salaries and repairs have more than eaten up this increased T.C.C.B distribution of £58,000 but we must maintain and improve the upkeep of Trent Bridge to retain our Test Match status.

The commercial department, under David Pullan, now has 12 months experience to work from. The setting up of this department was an entirely new venture for us and we would like to thank all members who have supported our fund-raising schemes. We are looking for considerable further improvement in this area.

Sadly, the beginning of the season was marred by the death of our President Jack Elliott, whose contribution to Nottinghamshire cricket will be badly missed. As Jack would have wished, the President of the Nottinghamshire Cricket Association, Dr John Cochrane was appointed as his successor. The club is grateful to Dr Cochrane, who has carried out his duties with dignity and flair.

Continuing on a sombre note, we also lost our last secretary Group Captain Bob Wilson and that fine stalwart Barry Stead. We are indeed fortunate to have had these three men with us in their various capacities.

We are well aware that 1981 will be difficult year financially and we are pleased that our spending of £151,000 on improved facilities has been completed. At this moment, we have no expenditure and we are looking to further increase the profitability of the club. Success on the field is an important route to financial security and we wish the manger, captain and players all the best for 1981. We must maintain traditions while retaining an awareness of the ever-bustling world of commerce and the changing needs of the 1980s.