Bures & District Cricket Club -
Auction of Promises
(Auctioneer - Lewis Chambers MRICS)
to be held at The Eight Bells on Friday 19th September 2008 at 8.00pm.
A refurbishment scheme in respect of our unique thatched pavilion has been formally launched and the club is actively fundraising to finance it. Please support this fantastic initiative by bidding in person or by proxy.
Nothing much newsworthy happened in 2007.
25/10/06. Yet another season has come and gone and once again we have lived to fight another day. As far as friendly games over the course of the season are concerned, Bures has won 3 games, lost 4 and drawn 3. Disappointingly, a further 5 games were lost either to the weather or cancelled for other reasons. In the League, the combined Earls Colne & Bures team has won 8 games and lost 5 with 3 lost to weather. It would appear that promotion to division 2 is likely. The "League" side also won its maiden friendly, against Wickham Bishops. We have all played some excellent games, a disappointing May weather-wise being balanced by a glorious September to round off the season
As I write, the thatched roof of the pavilion is being repaired (re-ridged, in fact), an expensive but necessary liability of retaining the thatch. Once again this year, a most generous donation from the Bures Music Festival has helped make this possible.
At a meeting of the committee recently it was agreed that the club should embark on a programme of improvements to the facilities offered and profile presented by the club. A sub-committee has been formed to investigate funding options. Areas requiring priority action are
1. Renovation and improvement of the toilets and kitchen area within the pavilion
2. Improvement of the practice facility provided by the net
3. Consideration of the provision of a youth facility to encourage participation on the part of the youngsters in the village.
19/04/06. The season commences on 23rd April. Preparations for the new season are almost complete. The pavilion has been cleaned, tidied and repairs effected in respect of damage caused by two winter break-ins. New kit, scorebooks and balls have been purchased. The playing surface has been scarified, mowed and rolled ready for action. Fixtures have been arranged and confirmed and fixture cards printed and distributed. Financial accounts for the previous year have been prepared and approved at the AGM. The mowers have been serviced and repaired. A good-looking picket fence has been erected in front of the pavilion. Arrangements for teas have been made. Meetings have been attended, decisions made and policies implemented. Arrangements are in place for repair of the thatched roof of the pavilion. Soon - very soon now - the hard work will begin!
01/03/06. Spring is in the air at Bures (actually, as I write this it is starting to snow!) and another season of cricket is soon to be upon us! A list of fixtures for both PDQ League and friendly sides is here.
22/12/05. The annual Christmas draw of the club took place in The Eight Bells at 9.00pm on Wednesday, 21st December. A total in excess of £400 was raised for club funds and thanks are due to all who supported and/or contributed to the event, especially Chris Chambers who (once again) got saddled with the organisation!
20/10/05. The season has come and the season has gone! As usual, some very enjoyable cricket has been played but a few games have disappointingly had to be cancelled due to lack of players. As befits the Bures tradition, an early season tour to Norfolk was much enjoyed socially despite inclement weather which curtailed some of the on-field activities. The Ian Fisher trophy was reclaimed by Essex allowing the return of this prestigious item to the correct side of the river after two years abroad.
The combined Earls Colne and Bures league side has played a full programme of fixtures with a number of younger players contributing to player numbers alongside the familiar, older faces. The enthusiasm, energy and improvement on the part of the younger players over the course of the season augers well for the future. Early season results were disappointing but the season ended on a promising note with two very tight games against league-leading opponents (sadly, both lost!). The PDQ league is to be reorganised for 2006, including the setting-up of an invitation-only Premier division, with the larger clubs now able to concentrate on the serious business of disposing of each other without having to endure the tedium of entertaining village cricket. Hurrah! Earls Colne & Bures will play in division 3 within this new structure, and we look forward to playing other grass-roots clubs similar to ourselves.
20/04/05. The season is almost upon us. Our lovely thatched pavilion has been cleaned internally and renovated externally. The square is looking as good as it has ever looked. Behind the scenes, the e mails have been sent, the fixture cards have been printed and distributed, and the members and vice presidents have been written to. We have a busy fixture schedule starting this weekend and lasting until the middle of September. Here's hoping for a successful season ........
Christmas Draw 2004
The 2004 Christmas Draw took place on Wednesday, 22nd December in The Eight Bells, Bures.
Just over £430 was raised for club funds, with thanks due not only to everyone who bought or sold tickets, or donated a prize, but also to organiser Chris Chambers whose efforts and vast stationary cupboard made the event possible. The star prize, a bottle of 1989 Blue Nun which has benefited from careful cellaring and considerable bottle age, was passed into the grateful and surprisingly sober hands of Mark Shennan.
Jazz by the Stour 2004
30/09/04. Following another hugely successful festival, a substantial financial donation has been made to the cricket club as well as many other worthy local charities and causes. It is a tribute to the dozens of volunteers who work so hard on an unpaid basis that these donations are possible! At a presentation ceremony in The Eight Bells last week Patrick McKenna, newly-appointed fundraising officer, gratefully accepted the donation on behalf of the club and gave a brief outline of the club's successful season and its ambitions for the future. Unfortunately, nobody could understand a word that he said but we are hoping that a translation will appear soon.
29/09/04. A most successful season for the club, with both the friendly and combined Earls Colne & Bures league side enjoying considerable success both on and off the field. The friendly side played 17 games over the course of the season, bagging 11 victories, 2 draws and suffering just 4 defeats. The league side played 18 games, winning 14 times and coming second-best on only 4 occasions. And once again, the club reached the final of the Halstead 20-over village knockout cup, suffering the narrowest of defeats in the final at Halstead Star Stile. The club has enjoyed excellent support from its members with games often oversubscribed and several new members have been recruited. Our lovely cricket ground has served its purpose as usual, with the now excellent playing surface ensuring games of a high standard. Perhaps most importantly, games have as ever been played not only in accordance with the Laws but also within the spirit of the game.
The alliance with near-neighbours Earls Colne Cricket Club to field a side in the PDQ Cars North Essex Cricket League has been a great success and will continue next year.
Mike Clarke - The Grass Roots "Squaremaster"
01/10/03. The second of three annual treatments to the playing surface at Bures has been carried out. Mike Clarke of Mildenhall is our consultant in these matters and he has once again removed a large quantity of grass and other dead material from the square, followed by a generous spiking-in of loam. If the improvements in the quality of the wickets on which we play at Bures continue, we can be assured of cricket of a high standard in the years to come.
League Cricket to return to Bures in 2004
01/10/03. Agreement has been reached for Bures & District Cricket Club to field a combined side with Earls Colne Cricket Club in division 3 of the Osborne Garages cricket league in 2004. We are all pleased that league cricket is to return to the village in a co operative venture with our neighbours. The new side, entitled Earls Colne & Bures, will play half of its home fixtures at Bures and the other half at Earls Colne and will feature players from both clubs. The venture does NOT constitute a merger of the two clubs; each club will retain its individual identity. Bures will continue to play a non-league programme of cricket under the name "Bures", and Earls Colne will continue to field a side in the Two Counties League under the name "Earls Colne".
The agreement stems from an acknowledgement on the part of both clubs that it is difficult to raise individual sides for a game on both Saturday and Sunday of every weekend. Each club has undertaken to work with the other to ensure that this pioneering venture succeeds. For some background information on this issue, click here.
Jazz by the Stour
01/10/03. Following the unparalleled success of this year's music festival, a substantial donation has been made to the cricket club as well as many other worthy local charities and causes. It is a tribute to the dozens of volunteers who work so hard on an unpaid basis that these donations are possible. At a presentation ceremony in The Eight Bells last week, Mr. Slow gratefully accepted the donation on behalf of the club and commented that the festival is good news for live music, good news for the cricket club and of course, good news for Bures!
15/09/03. The Ian Fisher memorial bench was unveiled at tea during the recent Bures vs. The Croppers match. At the request of Bill and Pearl Fisher, the bench is to be sited in front of the pavilion. Our thanks go out to everyone who has contributed towards the cost of the item which should ensure that the memory of Ian lives on for many years.
Osborne Cricket League
02/06/03. It will be no secret to those who follow the fortunes of the Club that there have been major problems this season with player numbers, particularly for the League games. For a number of different reasons ranging from emigration, family commitments, apathy and injury many of our previously regular League players are not playing regularly (or at all!) this year. We could not have predicted this; it has just happened. As a result, we have been playing League games with inadequate or incomplete sides, often containing many junior players. Unsurprisingly, we have lost (and lost badly) every game we have played this year in the League. Morale amongst the players has deteriorated and there has been a general feeling that something HAD to be done to ensure the survival of the club.
An EGM of the Club was convened last Wednesday, 28 May. Every option was discussed at length and a unanimous conclusion was reached to the effect that we must regrettably withdraw from League cricket, with effect from 02 June 2003. This means that we have already played our last League match this year, but we will now have the opportunity of rebuilding the side and concentrating on our friendly cricket at a standard of play which is more commensurate with the abilities of the majority of our members, a number of whom are juniors. We derive no pleasure in taking this action and sincerely regret the inconvenience to both the League and the member clubs. Bures has been involved in League cricket for almost 20 years and has risen to the top division where it has held its own for many years against much larger clubs. But the decision to withdraw has been taken with the long-term future of the Club in mind.
Obviously, our fixture schedule looks rather bare now that the League fixtures have been stripped out. But efforts are being made to fill in some of the gaps and in fact three dates have already been filled. Members are encouraged to consult the fixtures page on this site on a regular basis, to keep up-to-date on the games front.
05/05/03. Congratulations are in order, with the birth of two Bures cricketers-to-be. First off the mark was Mary Whitthread, wife of Matt, with a bundle of loveliness the precise description of which was lost upon me amongst the torment of the Castle Hedingham game. Well done Mary! Not far behind, with the birth yesterday of Guy, were Mr. & Mrs. Haines, who produced a 7lbs. 12oz. boy, apparently after a bit of a struggle! Hainsy, ever eloquent in these matters, was completely unable to provide any further details other than to say that young Guy seemed to have "very large testicles", an attribute which seemed to please his father greatly. Thanks Hainsy! Needless to say, mothers and babies are just fine.
04/05/03. The 2003 season has started! Following the autumnal works on the cricket square and an unseasonably dry Spring, the playing surface is looking as good as ever. The river bridge, riverside works, landing stage and all pathways are now complete and there can be few more pleasant or picturesque places to enjoy the game of cricket. And yet, strangely, we are suffering a shortage of players this year. For a number of reasons including injury, infirmity and pregnancy(!) a number of regular players have not yet awoken from their Winter slumbers and we are having trouble raising full sides to fulfil fixtures. Never has there been a time when new recruits have been more welcome than now!
Antony 'Curly' Courtauld
23/11/02. It is with the greatest regret that I must announce the death on 16th November 2002 of Antony John Minton Courtauld, aged 65 years . A vice president of the club and former player, Anthony's funeral was held at St. James, Colchester last Friday, 22nd November in the presence of many family, friends and cricket club members. It would be clichéd to say that words are inadequate in this situation. Curly was an immensely popular club member who had given decades of service to the club. A regular player until only last year, he was as at home on the cricket field as he was in the pub afterwards. A man of great integrity and humour, he epitomised all that is good about Bures cricket.
Curly was perhaps best known for his exploits with a certain local town cricket club but it was not until he joined Bures perhaps in the twilight of his career, that the full depth of his character was able to surface. Bowling left-arm round and with a comical skip in his run-up, many a batsman was surprised at the speed of his arm and the unusual angle of his delivery. Forming a formidable alliance with Mark Maley, the Courtauld/Maley attack formed the mainstay of Bures bowling for many years. In later years, Curly had taken to opening his bowling spell with a series of cautionary wides and I particularly remember his contribution to a game against West Mersea some years ago, when the accomplished opening batsman, utterly bewildered at the range and diversity of deliveries that were being presented to him, departed to the pavilion clean bowled for a duck. Curly's unusual action did not always reap such success; he was no-balled at Copford (for allegedly throwing the ball) in a Cup match in an unpleasant incident which caused decades of acrimony between the two clubs. On another occasion, Nigel Rowe of Great Bromley hit Curly for perhaps the biggest six seen in modern times at Bures, into the river and only just short of Essex. Your correspondent still has a crick in his neck to prove it! But the bowler's good humour and unfailing sense of fair play never left him; he was the first to offer congratulations and a shake of the hand to the opponent after the game. Ironically, Courtauld outlasted Maley on the cricket field as the latter retired with knee problems, but the good Lord I regret, had the last say.
Antony is survived by his wife and three delightful daughters. Bures & District Cricket Club was represented at St. James' the Higher by Messrs. Chambers C. & Chambers L., Warden D., Saer L., Springett R., Hartley R., Cropper A., Maley M. and Thornton H., all of whom behaved impeccably. Messrs. Pattinson R. and Slow M. misbehaved in the back row, each having forgotten their respective reading glasses, miming apologetically to the hymns and pretending they could read the script in the subdued lighting. It was however a profound and moving service, together with a humorous eulogy of which Curly would have been proud.
24/09/02. Pulses quickened in the village today with the arrival of Mike Clarke of Mildenhall. Mike is "The Square Man", a description earned not from his profile, but his vocation as groundsman extraordinaire; that is, Mike is the Cricket Square Doctor. His heavily armoured Renault van contained a fearsome arsenal of "Things for Doing Things to Cricket Squares" and he was quickly at work with some of the heaviest duty scarification equipment in the Northern Hemisphere! A fearsome amount of thatch has been removed and the area has now taken on an unfamiliar brown colour. Three tonnes of Ongar loam have been applied and the intention is now for the square to rest for the Winter.
Your correspondent arrived at lunchtime to find Mike and his helpers disposing of a huge trailer of waste material. The works were apparently being conducted under the watchful eye of Potty who, having drained his king-size hipflask some hours earlier, was suffering withdrawal symptoms and clearly had more than half and eye on the pub. Potty (having been identified by Mike as a member of the farming community) had clearly hit it off with Mike and I was fascinated to be able to eavesdrop their discussions on the precise composition of the loam to be applied. VERY interesting! Brian Keeble, our loyal and hard-working groundsman was not present but had been down to inspect the works that morning. My information is that after a few minutes of observation he announced that he was feeling faint and he repaired to his abode for a swift G & T.
31/08/02. The whole club has been stunned by the premature death of this very popular member. Ian, who had been unwell in hospital, sadly died following a sudden worsening of his condition and he will be greatly missed by all for his energetic and good-humoured contributions to village life. Ian was a large character in both mind and body and his loss will be a blow to us all. His contributions on the cricket field were inevitably colourful, to say the least. A formidable batsman, who could hit the ball many a mile. An accurate bowler who could be relied upon for an over or six. And a fantastic slip fielder who could catch almost anything in range. He will be sorely missed by all, both on and off the field of play.
22/07/02. Using funds kindly provided by Jazz by the Stour (www.jazzbythestour.org.uk), the Club has recently purchased a bowling machine to enhance the practice facilities, particularly for the younger players.
21/07/02. A three year commitment has been entered into to improve the existing playing surface. The treatments will involve a fairly large scale removal of dead roots and other material from the square and a dressing of loam each Autumn for the next three years. It is hoped that commensurate improvements in playing surface will bring benefits in years to come. The improvements will be overseen by David Warden and our groundsman, Brian Keeble.
Contact Us - here
Vicarage Meadow, Bures, Suffolk, CO8 5BX