Extracts from the executive committee minutes 1912-1932.
By Nigel Veevers, President.
On 24th May 1912 the Annual General Meeting disbanded Romiley Junior Cricket Club and Romiley Cricket Club was re founded. The ground was at Birch Vale Farm. The subscriptions were set at three shillings per year and matches arranged against Hatherlow, Hyde St Phillips, Elder Mill and Gradage?
Dr Blades was the first President (there is a trust provided by Dr Blades at Romiley Primary School.) The club joined the High Peak League in 1913 and bought a pavilion for £ 6.00. Later in the season a roller was bought for £2.15 shillings. Romiley played Compstall on May 17th 1913 when they were paying the grondsman six pence per week. In 1914 it was decided the club colours should be dark blue and silver.
In 1915 the First World War meant that there was no organised cricket but the ground was open for practice. In 1918 Dr Blades died and there was a proposal to join up with Hatherlow Sunday School Cricket Club. The club re opened on 11th May 1918 when J.C.Fellows was elected President and a junior player was asked to serve on the executive committee. In July 1918 one of the members was expelled for disgraceful conduct and Kingsley Lark? was elected as a Life Member of the club.
The club re-joined the High Peak League in 1919 and finished fifth in their first season. They also organised a Gala day with Romiley playing a President’s XI organised by J.C. Fellows. In January 1920 the club tried to buy the land at Birch Vale Farm for £800. The council offered some land at Cherry Tree Farm. J.T.Tyldesley and J.H.Schofield were made Life Members. Romiley Dramatic Society devoted the proceeds of a play to Romiley Cricket Club. A full time groundsman was appointed and Neville Cardus presented the prizes at the Annual Dinner. On 18th November1921 Captain Hudson offered to sell the ground to Romiley Cricket Club for £800. This was viewed as a very generous offer. Romiley Cricket club had a very active junior section at this time. 1922 saw the purchase of a portable refreshment pavilion for£33.15 shillings. Trustees were appointed, a horse drawn mower was purchased and a Ladies Match was proposed. In 1923 a new set of rules were written– all members shall provide their own bats and batting gloves. No member shall at any time interfere with the Groundsman in the discharge of his duties. J.R. Reims was appointed a patron of the club and the momentous decision was made to purchase a club horse for £15.00.
In 1924 Myles Kenyon –the Lancashire Captain (later High Sheriff of Lancashire) was a guest at a Social Evening and Neville Cardus was appointed a Patron of the club. A donation was made to J.T.Tyldsley as he was seriously ill. (He was Wisden cricketer of the year in 1902). The club decided to run a third team and a Ladies Hockey Team started to use the ground.
In September 1924, after much discussion, the square was re-laid on a bed of ashes and the eleven horse chestnut trees were planted. On 29th June 1926 it was confirmed that Captain Hudson had donated some land for a new pavilion. A Bazaar raised £1,424 to raise money to pay off loans and invest in the new pavilion. (£1,424 how much would that be today?)
In September 1926 there was another Gala Day to celebrate the opening of the new pavilion. Insurance against bad weather was taken out worth £25 with a premium of £2.13s 3d.
In February 1927 a stable was provided for the club horse and Romiley Dramatic Society hired a room in the pavilion for two shillings per rehearsal. Patron J.C.Fallows persuaded Neville Cardus to address the Annual General Meeting on the 5th April–again this raised funds for the new pavilion. The Second XI won the league in 1927 but this was saddened by the accidental death of the club horse! Any suggestions about how the club horse could die accidentally?
On 3rd April 1928 the Annual General Meeting must have been the major event of the year. Ernest Tyyldesley came along to talk about the MCC tour to South Africa and then Neville Cardus spoke about the future of cricket. ( Did he see the ground full of young cricketers on a friday night in 2015?).He would have been impressed by what we have today, mixed cricket for all from five year olds upwards.) J Ealow was appointed coach to the club and Romiley Dramatic Society gave a performance in aid of the club. In December 1928 there was a discussion about buying a horse pulled mower from the Golf Club. Ambrose Rowbotham- the groundsman-was only to be employed during the summer and for only 3 days a week. The Hockey Club, Greave Tennis Club and the Dramatic Society were all allowed to use the pavilion.
In February 1929 the horse pulled mower was purchased from the Golf Club for £5.00 and two hand mowers were repaired for£2.7s. What about the horse??
Neville Cardus was now a patron of the club and spoke at the Annual General Meeting. A collection was made to be handed to J.T.Tyldesley towards his efforts on behalf of Monton CC. The Gala Day had featured a match between Romiley CC and a J.C.Fellows XI and raised £58. 4s.8d.
In 1929 two dozen deck chairs were purchased and a nominal annual fee was fixed for the houses with a gate onto the ground. In 1930 a concrete practice wicket was laid and Mr and Mrs Hornby were made honorary Vice Presidents.
In 1931 the drains were cleaned and the main drain was replaced–a familiar story!
- Rowbotham received a presentation from Sir Neville Cardus to mark his twelve years as club treasurer.
In April 1932 biscuits and lemonade were stolen from the pavilion, at the time vice-presidents were charged 15 shillings per annum. At the end of the season J.C.Fallows, who lived at 5, Birch Vale Drive, was presented with a framed photograph of A.E.R.Gilligan that had been taken at the Gala Day. Prominent Committee members were J.W.Beesley of Church Lane and G.Booth of ‘Lyndhurst’ Compstall Road.
There is a photograph in the pavilion showing Learie Constantine, J.T.T. Tyldesley and Cecil Parkin all at the Gala Day in 1932. Learie Constantine caused some damage to local roofs however what a privilege to have these international cricketers on our ground. An article by Neville Cardus about Romiley Cricket Club is also on display in the pavilion.
The minutes from 1912 to 1932 reveal many of the familiar problems still discussed today. The club has been fortunate to have many dedicated helpers and obviously benefitted from an early connection with Lancashire County Cricket Club. With several of our juniors representing Cheshire I am delighted that the long tradition of successful, enjoyable cricket at Romiley continues today.