Chairman's Report 2011
RHODES COLLECTION THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN
By David Allan, YCCC Archives Committee Chairman
The official opening of the Yorkshire County Cricket Club Museum at Headingley Carnegie and a display of the unique collection of memorabilia once owned by the great Wilfred Rhodes were among the outstanding events in a busy and fruitful year for the Archives Committee.
The £300,000 museum was formally opened on March 18, 2011, by Dr Keith Howard, chairman of the trustees of the Bingley-based Emerald Foundation, who funded the fitting-out of the museum below the East Stand.
Dr. Howard and Robin Smith, a Yorkshire Management Board member and former Club President and Chairman, were introduced by Museum Director David Hall, and after the opening ceremony the officials and guests were able to tour the museum.
Guests included trustees of the Emerald Foundation and trustees of both the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation and Yorkshire Charitable Youth Trust, along with leading former players, honorary life members, vice-presidents and representatives of the Members’ Committee and Archives’ Committee.
The Wilfred Rhodes display in a cabinet in the Long Room consisted of several important items from the collection of his memorabilia which had been gifted to Yorkshire by his granddaughter, Mrs Margaret Garton, the sole surviving member of his family.
Mrs Garton later paid a visit to Headingley Carnegie, and upon her return home wrote a letter expressing her gratitude for the way in which the collection had been received and much of it displayed. The Horace Fisher collection, received the previous year, was also the feature of a cabinet display in the Long Room.
The first 2011 meeting of the Archives Committee took place in February, when the chairman welcomed two new members Howard Clayton, who had replaced the retiring Peter Anderson as secretary, and Dennis Smith, a longstanding member of Yorkshire CCC. Plaques from the old Press Box in the football stand had been salvaged, and a place for them to be displayed was later allocated in the Long Room.
It was reported that new stock had been acquired of the DVDs which had been made of some of the most famous players in Yorkshire’s history. There was a feeling that more information on the videos should be made available, and they were all featured in an article on the Yorkshire website giving full details of price and how they could be purchased.
A paper circulated by the secretary on the possible creation of an Archives database revealed that all the necessary software was available online free of charge. He was to make further investigations with a small group of members, and further developments were reported during the year.
Gifts for the Archives included a cricket ball which had been given by Yorkshire wicket-keeper Arthur Wood to a former Committee member, J C Town, in gratitude for Mr Town’s help in organising Wood’s benefit in 1939; the 1970 Sir Donald Bradman gold-embossed and leather-bound Yearbook, and a sugar bowl dating from 1902 which had been awarded to or at any rate belonged to David Denton.
Paul Dyson has researched some of the events that will reach their centenaries over the next few years, including in 2012 the centenary of Yorkshire becoming county champions for the ninth time in 23 years, a feat unequalled and greater than Surrey’s eight titles; Denton’s highest score of 221 v. Kent, and Hampshire losing by nine wickets to Yorkshire, despite making 441 in their first innings.
Roy Wilkinson reported in May that he had compiled a list which linked the debut of a player to his cap/badge number, and this list would be displayed in due course. The bat with which Ashley Metcalfe scored Yorkshire’s highest score on debut came under discussion, and later in the year James Greenfield was able to report that Ashley had most generously agreed to donate the bat to the museum.
Members heard at the September meeting that a couple of items concerning Brian Close had been purchased on EBay and that other items connected with Frank Lowson were available. Brian Sanderson agreed to pursue these and to report on any other such items of interest.
All Wisdens and Yearbooks from the Rhodes estate had been received, along with a silver cup which was one of those presented to each member of the 1922 Championship-winning side. These items would be displayed, and plans were ongoing for winter displays.
A Printers’ Shield, connected to Leeds Cricket League, had also been received, as had an original water colour of Fred Trueman, loaned by Mr Roy Seal. A copy of a taped conversation with Wilfred Rhodes was to be obtained from cricket author David Frith.
Members of the Archives Committee during the year were J C David Allan, Howard Clayton, Paul E Dyson, James M Greenfield, Mick Pope, Brian Sanderson, Dennis Smith, David Warner and Roy D Wilkinson.
J C David Allan is Chairman of Yorkshire CCC Archives Committee.