Today we welcome Old Gravesendians. Following our 2 recent victories in the league we find ourselves with 25 points whereas our opponents have 29 points; today will therefore be a good test of how we are developing as a young side. I hope that as many members as possible will come along as the next home match for the 1st team is the 8th December against New Ash Green. There is no match next week but on 1 December we are away at Gillingham Anchorians with a kick-off of 2pm. Our referee is Alan Whittingham and again I urge you all to show great respect to the match official

The Nomads have lost their last 2 games but have played well and today they are away at Weavering but they do have a home game on 1 December against Leigh.

However, my greatest congratulations go to the ladies who are currently top of their league with 21 points, 9 points clear of their nearest rivals although Heathfield do have 2 games in hand. Their win at Seaford last Sunday 25 – 10 was well-deserved.

The under 16/17’s defeated a Belgian touring side 34 – 19, but pride of place at the moment is with the under 15’s who beat TunbridgeJuddians 75 – 5 with wins for both the under 13’s and under 12’s against Maidstone.

The minis will be hosting the Kent under 9 festival on 24 March together with our own development festival in the New Year.

The minis and juniors are organising a trip to Twickenham on the 29th December to watch the BigGame 11 and the minis tour this year which includes the under 12’s will be going to Chichester.

Tom O’Sullivan has now found head coaches and team managers for the U6s and U7s and we welcome Dave Sharp, Chloe Manning, Laura Gray, Martin Taylor and Gemma Heyworth to those positions. Volunteers are the lifeblood of the club.

The development moves on apace and James Fraser will soon be organising a meeting for views about the internal decoration of the new clubhouse; it is important that we carry on the spirit and ethos from the old clubhouse to the new clubhouse; that is why everyone’s opinions are important.

We are erecting a barometer to show how the fundraising is going but the sums necessary cannot be raised without everyone in the club helping.

Yesterday a super lunch took place at the Stationers Hall in London and the sums raised there will provide a good injection of funds. We have a separate account for fundraising and if you wish to make a donation either large or small, please contact members of the committee so that those monies can be added as soon as possible to the fund. The sooner we have the money, the sooner we can start building.

I went along to the comedy night last month and it was a tremendous evening and great value. The cost is £6 per ticket or £11 you want one of Christine’s superlatives dishes such as chilli con carne. The next event is on Friday, 14 December and you can book your places through Mandy at the bar. Last month we were sold out and so please do not hesitate to reserve a seat.

The next programme will be when at least 140 will be sitting down for the lunch before the New Ash Green game. Please contact Chris Hambridge to reserve a place.

Tim Fagg


Cranbrook RF.C. - The Early Years

Committee members and Club officials are, like players, amateurs and give freely of their time to their Clubs. Secretaries are, perhaps, the hardest worked of all and are always pressed for time and it would be something of a luxury if they had time to check over all that they record. Thus, we read in the "Minuets" of the meeting held in December that a "G. Sands" was in the Chair.

The problem of the ground was being pursued throughout 1964. With the asking price of the land at Swattenden rising from £1450 in February to £2300 by May 1965 the Club was forced to abandon any ideas of purchasing that particular field. While the possibility of yet another field was being looked into at Golford, prospects at the Tomlin Ground were looking better, so much so, that the Club felt moved to approach the Cricket Club in August 1965 with a view to joining forces with the Rugby Club in building a joint Clubhouse. Although the outcome of this was not fruitful at least the fence between the Cricket ground and the future Rugby pitch was finally removed.

In June 1966 the Club appointed three Trustees, Doc. Mayer, George Carpenter and

Vic Cheal, in anticipation of acquiring a home of its own. On 12th October 1966 the

Tomlin Ground was used for the first time by the Club against Snowdown who won by 19 points to 0.

February 5th. 1967 was a turning point in the Club's history. This was the date when the Committee learned that the School could no longer continue to afford the Club the use of any changing facilities. Although the Club had but £750 of its own money, it was felt there was no alternative but to try and provide our own accommodation on the Tomlin Ground in time for the next season.

This was really a case of "ignorance is bliss" and if the Committee had had any fore knowledge of the difficulties that lay ahead, and above all of the time scale involved to accomplish anything, especially where dealings with all the "authorities" are concerned, they would have considered they were about to embark on the well-nigh impossible.

Fortunately, we didn't know, so the ball was set in motion. Dave McMinnies who was Honorary Secretary at the time, dealt with all the administrative side of the operation and the Committee, having been erroneously advised that Derrick Martin was an Architect, instructed him to produce a scheme for a Clubhouse in time for the next Committee meeting, the scheme to be based on the use of old post-war "Arcon" prefabricated houses, put up at the end of the war for returning ex-servicemen, and which were then being offered at a cost of £110 each. Drawing on the vast experience he had gained the previous year in designing his own garage, a scheme was drawn up and approved the next month.

It was estimated that the whole project would cost a little over £4000 and a grant of

£2127 was obtained from the Department of Education and Science. A ten-year loan amounting to £500 was forthcoming from the Kent Playing Fields Association whilst

£600 was loaned on similar lines by the National Playing Fields Association and a further sum of £600 was loaned by Fremlins Brewery. In the event the Club managed to provide a car park, which cost a further £200, and the final cost was £4255.

To be Continued…..


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Peter Jovanovic

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