Hampshire Cricket History

Not Acceptable?
May 22, 2017, 7:33 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

In advance, I apologise for the length of this. It seems necessary to be this long or not at all.

I’ve sat with this story for 10 days now, turning it over, writing it in my head, re-writing it, wondering whether it should stay with me. But I’ve decided to post it, not least because in a fairly light-hearted way, it’s already been raised here.

Before I start let me say that I am capable of being “bloody difficult”, but while that seems to be an acceptable criterion for being elected Empress of the Empire, it’s maybe not so popular when it comes to cricket history. I accept that, in my story that follows. Others might have a different tale but as you will see they have declined the invitation to reveal it.

I’ve been following Hampshire cricket passionately for almost 60 years. For about half that time I was a member/supporter and for the second half rather busier as committee member, archivist, commentator, author etc. It seems to me that I’m now entering a third phase – probably not as long as the previous two – where I follow Hampshire cricket mostly at a distance, contributing only when asked, in an informal way.

This isn’t particularly to do with my well-known views about the future of English cricket, the ECB, or Hampshire’s preference for signing ‘quick fix’ (Hah!) overseas players, although none of that helps. But I wield no power and any attempts I’ve made to influence any of that, have failed. I accept that – it’s no different from the fact that I voted Remain, and Brexit is where we’re at. That’s OK. Being a cricketer should mean – among other things – learning to accept defeat.

So, I’m capable of being “bloody difficult” and the roles of archivist and Handbook editor were often bloody difficult too. About two years ago, I informed Hampshire Cricket, through my ex offico membership of the Members’ Committee that I wished to give up the Editor’s role – always taken on somewhat reluctantly.

Then about 14 months ago I told the same body that I would retire as Archivist at the end of last season. I has been pressing for some time for someone to find a successor and – as with the Handbook – I was happy to contribute to the hand-over. In the final ‘Round Up’ I wrote my valedictory piece and thanked everyone, hoping to slide off into the sunset, while continuing to watch and maybe commentate occasionally.

That didn’t happen because of a rather loud and unexpected dispute on the last day of the season – certainly in part my fault, but certainly not entirely. Had it been earlier in the season it would have been resolved, but it wasn’t, and I no longer feel entirely comfortable around the Ageas Bowl. Nonetheless, I’ve been a couple of times and the people I’ve met have been friendly.

Then came the Handbook. My name has been removed from the list of officers, Vice Presidents etc. I don’t mean missed off. I mean removed, because they have clearly used the files from the 2016 Handbook and amended them as they see fit. The first point is that the record of those people from 2016 is now missing. The Handbook always records the previous year. You go to the 1962 Handbook to read about our 1961 Championship.

But for the most part, the officers, VPs etc recorded in the 2017 Handbook are for 2017. That allowed them to remove my name as Hon Archivist and ex officio on the Members Committee. It also means that anyone who died last year, such as Life VPs Jimmy Gray and Leo Harrison, do not appear on a list for 2016. Well that’s their choice, although in 50 years time, if there are any historians like me around, they might find that frustrating

EXCEPT having removed me from what is apparently the list of the Members Committee for 2017, Simon Young is still there “co-opted” whereas he was elected last year, and Jane Shinn there with the same status, despite the fact that she stood down. So why was my name removed?

But more significantly, I am alphabetically the first name on the list of Vice Presidents and along with the others, I was re-elected this year. But if you look for my name, it’s not there. I am absolutely sure that they took my files and amended them, which is why I was not simply missed off. The members have approved my ‘re-election’ as a Vice President, I have paid my £80 ‘sub’ but the PLC has removed me from history.

10 days ago, and again six days ago, I wrote to people at the PLC asking why. It wasn’t an unpleasant email and I said that once I had an explanation, I would forget it, but added “silence is not acceptable”.

Sadly, silence is all I’ve received. It’s a lot less than I deserve

Incidentally if you doubt that they used my files and amended them, as opposed to typing afresh, check the pen-portraits of players in the 2016 Handbook. During the winter, entirely by mistake, I missed out our new signing Reece Topley. I was dismayed and apologised in person – he was fine about it.

Now look for Reece Topley in our list of players for this season in the 2017 Handbook

He’s not there is he?




12 Comments so far
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Shabby. VERY Shabby.

Comment by Jeremy

Shocking really bad form!

Comment by Paul

I should add that Neil Trestrail, the Chairman of the Members’ Committee, did respond very kindly – but it’s not his/their issue. It’s the PLC that won’t speak to me.

Comment by pompeypop

My sympathies Dave. To be treated so poorly after so much service show once again that Hampshire Corporate Cricket know the price of everything but the value of nothing.

One tiny consolation must be that having the PLC refusing to speak to you will soon be seen as a badge of honour and something to be envied by those that have to engage with this group that are doing so much to ruin the hard earned reputation of our club.

Comment by James

Brilliant, sounds familiar and I sympathise with you as of course you know very well that I`ve been there and got the T shirt too. Seems the first day of that last game of 2016 against Durham was a swan song for both of us as I left the atrium at 1.40pm on that same day pretty positive it would be my last visit and for much the same reasons as you, being snubbed, ignored and unappreciated. Unfortunately I learnt over a few weeks surrounding that game that my, and my wife`s name, had been submitted over many years for inclusion in an annual booklet yet powers that be, missed us off. I also learnt that on two occasions, 9 years apart, my name was submitted for consideration of reaching the heady heights of becoming a Vice President but again it seems I wasn`t worthy of such a title.
I don`t match your level of time committed to the club and game Dave having only served on the Portsmouth, the Heritage and a couple of smaller sub-committees over a 24 year period, a mere novice in comparison and of course I`m sure I speak or write for both of us in stating that we dId it for the “love” of the game and indeed for Hampshire CCC with no intention of receiving reward or plaudits, however, it does leave a sour taste to learn that certain groups of people once thought of as friends were no more than associates unwilling to support you.
I`m sure you couldn`t possibly cost the hours you`ve spent being involved with HCCC either as a committee member, archivist or broadcaster as even on the minimum wage it would run into 7 figures and that`s without considering the plethora of invisible costs. The trouble is that volunteering, which in effect is what we`ve done, is taken for granted with an attitude that if we stop then there`s always someone else ready to take the helm, whether or not they do as well is immaterial unless of course there is a huge financial loss to the club, which in our cases there isn`t, or is there?
Maybe we should take up golf, learn a different handshake or perhaps it could be the sea air stopping our face from fitting and perhaps I should stop as I feel that bitterness welling up, know what I mean?

Comment by Brian Scrimshaw

Many thanks Brian. For those who might not know him (he’s far quieter and more modest than me) Brian took over from me as Chairman of Portsmouth Area supporters at that difficult moment when we lost all our cricket. 17 years later where once we had about 15-20 ‘Areas’, Brian’s is the only one fully active still and over the years he, with excellent support from his wife Linda and his small committee has raised lots of money to support local initiatives like disabled cricket and cage cricket. It’s all rather sad this, isn’t it?

Comment by pompeypop

So sorry to read that two of our most loyal members are so disenchanted with the present situation.
It was the friendly atmosphere at Northland road that first enticed me to get involved way back in the 60’s even though I
believe Desmond used to consider me something of a rebel!.
Altough I am still involved I miss the comradeship of the old ground, helping on the gate at big matches, helping Tony count the “gate” etc, obviously the new set up is more “professional” but far less fun.
It is a disgrace that people who gave so much of their time to help during those days are so shabbily treate.
I have practiced the handshake (as a non member) and played golf but it has not helped. Must be the sea air.

Comment by John white

Shocking Dave, but why is it that I’m not entirely surprised?

I still stick by my tongue in cheek comment made earlier when I heard you were ‘retiring’ – namely that, after all the wonderful work you put into making the Pavilion such a hospitable place for true Hants supporters to browse, the least ‘they’ could do was name the Pavilion after you – not RB.

Would you like me to set up a petition? Could be interesting.

Comment by Dave Wilson

Many thanks Dave but I think from now on (maybe earlier in my case) I’ll sing that old 60s song “Silence is Golden”! Cheers.

Comment by pompeypop

Dave, those of us who know you appreciate and will miss what you gave to Hampshire cricket. I do hope you will find the time and inclination to continue your skills in Kevan’s commentary box.

Comment by Ken Berridge

Beyond disappointing that you have been treated this way. It is very concerning to read of your treatment and that of Brian also. The club despite being a business still needs volunteers that care about the club and it seems they are shooting themselves in the foot by upsetting two loyal servants.

Just wanted to publicly thank you for introducing me to the HBA team and also for what I have learned from you about Hampshire through your work and time.

Comment by Ian

Thanks to everyone for these kind responses – they are much appreciated. I’m not sure where I am with Hampshire cricket these days, but at the very least I shall continue to follow everything and at a distance at least keep the Blog going and send my bits-and-pieces to Kevan. Enjoy the cricket, and let’s hope for something better in Taunton!

Comment by pompeypop

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