In a welcome break with tradition, this year’s Annual Dinner was held in the same calendar year as the season itself. We were back once more in the convivial surroundings of Merchants in Warwick, although this time we had been bumped upstairs undoubtedly to the relief of the other paying customers. There was the usual good turnout of old-hands but the newer members were less forthcoming – maybe they’ve heard the rumours…
After an excellent meal we got down to the nitty and gritty of the speeches and awards (and the overly enthusiastic wearing of sparkly jackets). Despite playing less cricket than ever this year we seem to have a larger number of awards (or maybe that was effect of the alcohol!) – a trend that is to be applauded and hopefully continued in future years. There was even voting for the “champagne” moment of the year, with each of the nominations having to describe and even act out their typically Barfordian “moments” of (in)competence. The skipper also received an honourable mention on the occasion of his maiden 50 for Barford.
Chris gave a rendition of Richard Stillgoe’s “Lilian Thomson” for the benefit of all Barfordians who’ve been out to a “ladee” followed by a pithy summary of the year’s (in)activity on the field. He then passed on the blue sparkly jacket to Sandy, who delivered what can best be described as a fitting eulogy to the evening’s main benefactor. The only possible way to do it justice, and ensure it is properly preserved for posterity is to reprint it in full here.
In case you were wondering, the spoils of the evening were doled out as follows:
Fantasy League Manager of the Year: Simon Drage
Champagne Moment: Mark Griffin
Catch of the Year: Simon Drage (talking us through it!)
Batsman of the Year: Jake Farquar (collected and hopefully delivered by Simon Drage)
Bowler of the Year: Richard Jones
Clubman of the Year: Simon Drage
Many thanks to everyone who came, and especially to Sandy and Chris for their speeches and Paul H for organising the whole event…