Here comes the summer – as evidenced by the Seaxe Club and Middlesex AGMs.
Seaxe Club AGM, Thomas Lord Suite, 5 April 2017
I managed to arrange my day sensibly for this one, with a game of real tennis scheduled at 16:00 ahead of the AGM which was due to start 18:00/18:30.
I had a good game that afternoon, winning against a gentleman I hadn’t played since my early days. Back then, he had to give me a significant handicap – this time I had to give him some points through the handicap system. Proof positive of progress, albeit painfully slow progress.
Buoyed by my win, after a chat with Daisy on the mobile, I joined the meeting.
This one was supposed to be in The President’s Box as last year (a suitable size of venue) but had to be moved to The Thomas Lord Suite (ridiculously oversized) due to some flooding problems and the need temporarily to relocate some MCC staff to The President’s Box.
Despite the supersized venue, this was still a cosy gathering of the Seaxe clan; depleted in numbers this year but always a joy to see those friendly Middlesex faces again.
The meeting part is dull enough, but it did give Chairman Mike O’Farrell an opportunity to rehearse Middlesex’s statement/position on the new T20 tournament with a group of loyal members/supporters, which went well.
The panel discussion, with traditional libations before and during the panel, was quite lively, with Richard Scott and Shilpa Patel bringing very different perspectives to the questions.
A shame we didn’t get to hear from any of the younger players this year, but the later date for the AGM than usual (presumably because of the champions match this year in Abu Dhabi) and the Champions Party commitments for the following week, probably made the scheduling a bit tricky for players.
Middlesex AGM and Champions Party, Nursery Pavilion, 12 April 2017
Not such clever scheduling on my part for this day (my own fault), so I ended up hot-footing it from the City to get to Lord’s on time. My timing issues were exacerbated by the early start scheduled (17:30) and a late change to the AGM venue, which was supposed to be in the Thomas Lord Suite, as last year, but was switched to the Nursery Pavilion at the last minute.
Anyway, I think the AGM started a little bit later than intended; to allow time for the bemused and confused (like me) to be stewarded to the right part of the ground.
The AGM was no more dull than usual, in the main. The contentious issue of the new T20 tournament was handled very well, with Mike O’Farrell signalling what was to come in his opening remarks and Richard Goatley then reading out the statement, getting early applause when the gist of it became clear to the throng.
A big turn out for the AGM with many AGM attendees staying on for the party and some there for the party but not the AGM.
I sat at the AGM with one of my real tennis friends, Barry, together with his son Freddie. At the party, the three of us then got together with another friend/retired client of mine, David and also Barmy Kev joined us at our table.
Barmy Kev got a bottle of wine quite early in the event and kindly shared it with me. I now owe Kev a couple of drinks; a point that needs stating and on the evening was oft-repeated.
The meal was a buffet, with infeasibly small plates – although you could go back for more once everyone had been fed – which a few people (not I, Sir) did.
Before and after the buffet, Gus Fraser hosted a show; basically a reprise of the 2016 County Championship campaign. There were several sections and subsections (Gus got mightily confused/confusing over the segmentation aspects of the show), including video clips and discussion, with the whole 2016 squad forming a large panel.
The final section (or was it sub-section) of the show as a smaller panel discussion with four former Middlesex greats; Mike Brearley, Mike Gatting, Clive Radley and John Embury – the latter being Middlesex’s new President, btw.
In truth, not really my kind of entertainment; personally I would have preferred more time to socialise. But the entertainment clearly went down very well and it was great to relive the successful 2016 campaign and also to hear from those Middlesex greats.