Early history of Gotham Village Cricket Club

We know that the Club existed at around the turn of the century as we have a photograph taken in 1908 but sadly, no written records remain for this period. The Club played at that time in the same situation as now with the old wooden pavilion sited along the western side of the playing fields adjacent to the hedgerow. Unfortunately, with the advent of World War II, in 1939 these playing fields were requisitioned and converted into agricultural land for the war effort.

The following details have been taken from our earliest written records – a Minute Book of meetings held throughout the first 8 years of the Club. In 1958 a meeting was called by Mr Naylor, Headmaster of the local village school, to re-establish the Club. The officers elected were: Chairman, Cyril Powdrill; Secretary, Wilf Powdrill; Treasurer, Arthur Dabell; Committee, Dick Price, Jack Kemp, Les Talbot, Jeff Gill, & Jeff Bramley. On January 12th 1959 at a committee meeting the Chairman informed those present of a vacancy on the committee due to the call-up for National Service of Jeff Bramley. The meeting moved that Eric Perrell should be elected to the committee and Eric has served the Club since that day, some 43 years.

The first equipment purchased by the Club was from Tom Johnson’s Netherfield shop (ex Notts County and Nottingham Forest Football Clubs). The new playing square was laid by Chris Jones of Kirkby-in-Ashfield with funds raised by whist drives. At the Club’s first Annual General Meeting, held on September 22nd 1959, Mr Fred Hodgett, licensee of the Windmill Inn, was elected as the Club’s first President. The subscription for this first year was set at 10 shillings (50p) with a match fee of 1 shilling (5p). The first match to be played by the newly re-founded Club was held on June 6th 1959 versus Grey’s C.C. Umpires fees were 3s/6d and scorers were paid 2s/6d for their services.

At the second AGM in 1960 Mr Harold Powdrill was elected as Club Chairman, a position he held for many years. His “Sportsman of the Year” trophy is still played for today, it’s first recipient being Mr Brian Dodsley. Also at this meeting the new Saturday captain was elected, Mr Harry Barradell. Harry became a stalwart member of the Club and for many years it’s leading run maker and wicket keeper. Match fees were raised to 1s/6d and annual subs. To 15s. Our first major fund raising activity, a Christmas Raffle, realised a profit of £25-12s-6d. The decision was made to join the Notts Cricket Association – Gotham were on their way!!

The first Annual Dinner was held in the Village Hall (tickets 15s) with Me Ian Davison as guest speaker. A player’s dinner was also held at the King’s Arms, Hathern (mine host Mrs “Piano” Mills). Throughout this early period in the Club’s history all meetings were held at the Cuckoo Bush Inn.

1967 saw a move of venue for the Annual Dinner to the Star and Garter at Hazleford Ferry. Guest of Honour on this occasion was Mr H Winfield of Notts County Cricket Club. 1967 also saw plans submitted for the erection of a new pavilion. This is the site of our existing facility although major extension and renovation work has been carried out since then.