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Ickleford Cricket Club

When Tom Willoughby first suggested the idea of a Patrons’ Day to the committee it is fair to say it was not met with any great enthusiasm. Yes it was a good idea to invite sponsors along, put on a spectacle at the club to show them the good their money was going toward and to try and raise more money on the day itself but what were the chances of getting it off the ground? Tom wanted to have a 20/20 competition with players from the club being joined by sponsors and guests and this seemed to be the first major problem as we had been unable to field a team on Sundays this season. How would we be able to field the four sides necessary?
Tom with the help of our chairman Peter Marsden never let this be a problem and ultimately knew the players would buy-in to it, particularly since the day was designed as a family affair and that many people not normally available on a Sunday for family reasons would be able to participate. In this way attractions were added to ensure all visitors would enjoy the day such as bouncy castles, a petanque competition and plenty of food outlets that would satisfy all tastes and even a vintage ice cream van was added to the mix.
They then had to think up ways to make money on the day and decided an auction and a balloon race would be a good idea. For the auction Tom set about getting items donated and efforts were rewarded with 20 items eventually produced including some spectacular ones that would likely raise good money. Both players and sponsors showed amazing generosity in providing these items and the day itself was thus starting to gain momentum.
With the bar open all day everything was now set up for Patrons’ Day.
The balloon race sold over 350 balloons at £5 each, with many people working hard in selling tickets prior to the day itself. Thanks also to the attraction of a couple of stunning prize donations (big thankyous to Charterhouse Voice&Data and the Wood Norton Hotel for these!). It should be added that even then, the competition itself would not have got off the ground were it not for Pete Robinson, Louise Baines, Ian Cheesman and Mike Garret who found themselves filling, tying, attaching tickets and releasing helium balloons for the most part of their afternoons!
The main worry had always been the weather. What would we do if it rained or the weather was miserable? Luckily we had the most perfect day with glorious sunshine throughout the day and the attendance through the day was way beyond our expectations. It was great to see so many family groups enjoying themselves and wherever you looked there were smiling faces. Tom had said to me his main hope was that people enjoyed themselves and he certainly achieved that. It was great to see the village pulling together and we gratefully acknowledge the support we received from the Church, the Village Hall committee, the Women’s Institute and the Parish Council who helped to publicise the event. The Petanque Club were also really helpful on the day .
Our bar stewards Claire and Harvey were brilliant on the day and could not have been more supportive and it was good to see the social club have such a successful day. Indeed the day could hardly have gone any better with the cricket providing a good backdrop to the day.
But really you can only come back to Tom for making the day such a resounding success: I cannot imagine how many hours he put in to organising the whole event and how many emails he sent, phone calls he made etc but Tom and everyone else who contributed in big ways and small should find it very rewarding that a fantastic profit figure for the day of £4,275.44 is a huge tribute to what was achieved here and there has been plenty of positive feedback from many involved or in attendance to the extent that we might even do it again next year!
Roy Izzard
Ickleford Cricket Club Patrons’ Day, Sunday 1 July
This event has been designed to thank our sponsors and locals for their support of the club and to also as an additional fundraising initiative and we’d like to encourage people to come along and enjoy the atmosphere at the ground with an afternoon of family entertainment.
We have lined-up 4 cricket teams consisting of a mixture of ICC players and sponsors to participate in a knockout competition commencing at 12.15pm with the Final due to end around 7.15pm.
Throughout the afternoon there is an all-day BBQ and bar in operation and Cream Teas being served, along with some sideshows which include a Helium Balloon Race Competition (1st prize i-phone-8 64GB Space Grey, 2nd prize a stay in a luxury 5* hotel for 2 and 3rd prize £50 cash), Bouncy Castle, Ice Cream Van, Petanque Competition and a fundraising auction will be held with many great prizes towards the end of the afternoon. We would like to encourage all villagers to come along, bring a picnic rug and enjoy the atmosphere and entertainment!



Ickleford Cricket Club, Ickleford Sports and Recreation Club, Walnut Way, Ickleford, Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 3YA England