Thursday, 19 September 2019

From the Archives - Part 12, 1997-2003 - Juniors to the Fore!

There's a lot of ground to cover in the latest instalment of our never-ending club history, so I'll cut straight to the action.

1997-2001 - No idea what happened, as all the records have disappeared. For all I know we may have had Gary Kasparov pay us a visit in 2000 to celebrate the birth of a new Millenium - or indeed the 25th anniversary of the re-founding of the Club. Though, I'm guessing we didn't.

May 2002 - History recommences on the second of the month with the AGM. Yes, sometime between 1997 and now the Club finally came to its senses and moved the AGM date from September. After a five year information black hole, will we discover a whole new cast of characters at the helm of the good ship KCC? Well, yes and no. New blood has taken over as Chairman, in the person of Rod, but its old timers everywhere else. Bernard is Secretary (again) and Geoff King is Treasurer (still). However, the list of attendees records first mentions for some well known names - Paul Lam is in attendance (and so is his brother Mark!) and the meeting was also graced by the presence of Paul Mills, Nick Mottram, Steve Payne and Phil Wood, as well as veterans like Bruce, Chris and Tony, though it transpires that all had attended previous AGMs. The Chairman welcomed the only two actual debutants, Nigel Morris and Frank Holmes.

In total 18 people are present, and for the first time ever Secretarial satire makes an appearance in the minutes, as it is recorded that "Apologies were received from Mike and Simon Whatson, No apologies were received from Paul Marsh." No wonder he didn't stay around for too long given such vituperative comments! This would seem to indicate that we have 21 members of whom, three are called Payne; two Lam; and two Whatson. (Plus two Kings, though I don't think they were related.) Talk about keeping it in the family!

It transpires that Rod may be a slightly unwilling Chairman, as the incumbent Geoff Quilley had left during the year and he had been co-opted to the post. Nevertheless, he retains the role for the coming season, and Bernard and Geoff are also re-elected.

The club's fortunes during the season had been mixed with one team promoted (unnamed) and one relegated (Ken C). However, I'm slightly confused, as the only team to score more than 50% was the A team, so maybe they had found themselves in Division 2? Could we have sunk that low?? In a typical AGM burst of optimism, we decide that we will have 5 teams in the 2002-03 season, and there is a vote as to whether our D team should apply for Division 3 or Division 4. By a vote of 6-4 it was to be Div 3. Although by my reckoning, the abstentions carried the day easily! Match Captains will be, Phil, Paul M, Tony, Mike W and the newcomer Frank. Nice work getting a  newbie to volunteer!

Great news on the junior front, as the Club clearly has a golden generation on its hands. Paul had won the U-14 and U-16 Warwickshire titles, and played for England at U-14 level in Estonia, while brother Mark had won the county U-12 title and together with Adam Sykes had been members of the winning Warwickshire U-16 Minor Team. (Though winning what is not specified. Really, the Secretaries we had in those days.) I wonder, did we end up with the wrong Lam brother?! After all, we drew the short straw where the Wood siblings were concerned, so we had previous in this respect!

Bernard is Club Champion, and Bruce Club Lightning Champion. (Or Lightening Champion, according to the Secretary, so presumably we are talking some heavy lifting competition here?) Bruce and Nick were still to do battle in the final of the Club Plate, which subsequently went Nick's way.

The club had been in spend, spend, spend mode during the previous 12 months, and had racked up a loss of £164.17 after the purchase of several clocks, bringing back chilling memories of the financially incompetent years when Bernard had been Treasurer. Unlike then, however, we had been spending from a position of strength, and still had reserves of £190.

The Secretary had nothing to report.

May 2003 - 19 people attend the AGM on the 8th of the month (presumably at the Sports and Social Club?), with apologies from Phil Wood (supervising detention?), John Skinner (feeling somebody's collar?) and Paul Lam (out clubbing?!). Roy had returned from a year abroad (yes, that's how absences used to be described, I believe), but was not sufficiently re-enthused to turn up at the AGM or send his apologies.

Financial probity had been re-established, with a surplus of £94.68 on the year, and a healthy surplus of £284.79 to carry forwards. Subs were to stay unchanged at £10 for adults; £5 for associates (?) and £6 for juniors. (This means that club subs today (2019) are the same as they were at least as long ago as 2001!!)

The club's performance over the board had been pretty dire, with the A team coming bottom of Division 1 and the B team bottom of Division 2! However club honour was partially upheld by the C and D teams (3rd and 5th in Division 3) and the E team (3rd in Division 4). Not surprisingly, the A team Captain Phil Wood was unceremoniously dumped (no wonder he didn't show up to the AGM - he was lucky to escape a flogging in my opinion) and a new name in Carl Pickering was voted in to restore the club's fortunes. Somehow, though, Paul M kept his job as B team Captain. The meeting decided the club should throw itself on the mercy of the League and ask to stay in the same divisions for the coming season.

Our junior renaissance was still in full bloom. Paul had now become joint U-18 county Champion, despite being, by my estimate, only 14 or 15. (So that's your target to beat Jude and Billy!) He had also won the first Tony Miles Memorial Tournament. Adam Sykes was joint county U-16 champion, and Mark Lam joint U-14 county champion. What on earth were we doing languishing at the bottom of Divisions 1 and 2 with talent like this on our hands?!

Mrs Lam had nominated the club for the BCF Small Club of the Year award. We await the results of the judging.….

Oh yes, and the Secretary had nothing to report. Again.

Let's hope he finds one thing to report on - just one, that's all I ask - before this epic draws to a conclusion!

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