Cow Pats and Cricket Bats by Maurice Barnett ©.
1908 saw the introduction of 'The Swan' as the clubs 'off field' headquarters.
The General Meeting was held there that year when a satisfactory 1907 season was reported:
Played 22, Won 11, Lost 3, Abandoned 7.
Subscriptions totaled £11-16-6, and in spite of heavy expenditure on kit and leveling the ground, a balance of £3-16-5 was announced. Matches were played on Saturday afternoons and Bank holidays.
In 1908 a new mower was purchased- a 'Greens' for £4-0-9, a best bowling and batting prize was introduced (not less than 15 wickets and 10 innings respectively) and in addition there was 5/- prize for fielding and general playing ability.
|Bowling Prize||J J Affleck||Av 8.3|
|Batting Prize||W Birch||Av 10|
|Two special prizes||W Jerromes|
It should be remembered that until about 1950, outfields home and away, more often than not, had relatively long grass. Consequently the ball would need a belting to reach the boundary. Thus an average of ten would probably be worth 30 on our current 'Billiard Tables'. the reverse must be said about bowling averages, however.
Back Row, Left to Right
H E Potter, P Welsh, Powell, Powell, C Dale, Ralph Affleck, H Edmonds, L Welsh and T Holl
Front Row, Left to Right
F Whitehouse, Tom Harrison, Jack Affleck, Rev Hubert Metcalfe, W Jeromes, Walter Birch, and W Leighton
Sitting Fred Birch
The first annual dinner recorded was held at the Swan on Thursday January 28th 1909, when 30 members attended. This included a smoking concert and prize giving.
The Committee considered the
purchase of a portable shed to store equipment and from three
quotations chose that from the local coffin maker Chris Bills-
£8-10-0, size 10ft x 8ft.
They also decided to purchase fourteen caps in the Club's colours (red and blue) for 13/3 the lot and three new balls for 12/6.
It is interesting to note the officials of the Club in 1910, as follows:
Vice Captain W Birch
Sec/Treasurer R Affleck
Committee Messrs PA Barnes, R P Welch, L Welch, W Leighton, W Powell, E Holl, W Powell,
F Whitehouse, C Dale, T Harrison, F Birch.
A new water ballast type of roller was purchased in 1913 for £4-9-3, taken from the profit of £8-0-4½ raised through a Whist Drive and Dance in the Mission Room. (I've flattened out a few worm casts with this in my time).
By this time the Rev, H Metcalfe had left the village and the new Rector Rev. J Fenn was elected President.
In the season before the Great War, 19 matches were arranged, 10 won, 5 lost, 1 drawn and 3 abandoned. We were victorious against Dosthill, Arcadians, Stechford, Saltley Baptists, Kings Heath Highfield, Saltley Brotherhood, Handsworth Wood, Erdington, Nomads and Fazeley.
Matches lost:- GWR Snowhill,
Aldridge, Saltley Brotherhood, Arcadians and Fillongley.
Drawn:- Aston Mutual.
The highest score was 149 against Saltley and the lowest 23 against Aldridge. (this low score was well beaten between the wars, when Polesworth dismissed us for 8).
The Arcadians have always made the highest and lowest scores against us, 108 and 20 respectively.
Half centuries have always been the target of aspiring village batsmen (a century being a golden bonus!) and the first entered in our available records is that scored by young Arthur Baylis against Handsworth Wood (57). The first of many more by Arthur after the war. J J Affleck topped the batting and bowling averages with 16.6 and 3.9 respectively.
Our balance sheet for 1913 gave several items of interest- anew bat 15/6, boys fielding 1/- , horse and brake fare to Stechford 6/6, advert in the Argus 1/-, and a balance in hand of £6-7-3½. There were 40 members that season, a number soon to be depleted.