Breadalbane Cricket Club
As the sun sets on another cricket season, the time has come to thank those who have helped Breadalbane Cricket Club participate in the Strathmore Cricket Union this year.
Following the fire that destroyed the club’s small pavilion and, with it, most of the equipment it was feared the club ( originally founded in 1869 ) might have to fold, without the resources it needed.
Thankfully, the committee refused to be beaten and an urgent fundraising appeal was launched. After the Arson attack, at the end of November 2012, the club has approximately five months to basically rebuild a cricket club from the beginning. What followed, however, surpassed even the most optimistic members of the club. Donations and offers of help came flooding in from local businesses, organisations and individuals. Both national and local press and media helped with the appeal and good will messages of support came from the governing body Cricket Scotland as well as clubs and cricket lovers all across the country.
The short term priority of the club was to ensure the team were in a position to begin hostilities, when the season commenced in early May 2013. This was achieved, thanks to the many generous donations, as the club was able to source all the expensive kit and equipment needed to stage league cricket matches.
The longer term consideration was the replacing of the storage and changing facility in Victoria Park, Aberfeldy. With this in mind, firstly, the club had to ensure the site of the old building, although completely destroyed, needed to be cleared and made safe for the benefit of all park users. With the help of Perth and Kinross Council, this was completed in the spring, despite the cold weather and late snow ( which seems a distant memory after the lovely summer that followed ! )
Next came the obstacle of planning permission. Despite the fact that the previous building had been in situ for nearly a hundred years, under existing planning laws new permission was needed, even for a temporary structure. After consulting with the Parks Department and other interested bodies an application was submitted with the kind help of local architect Colin Smith.
Whilst the lengthy planning process began its leisurely grind into action, the club arranged for the remaining metal storage container in the park to be repainted. It had been damaged by smoke from the fire and had become an eyesore. In addition the trees nearest to the conflagration were made safe.
With all this activity in the background the playing season began for the team, now in its 144th year. Early matches were played on difficult, wet pitches and the club soon realised a challenging season lay ahead. Despite having to change in cramped conditions, the new equipment purchased by the club more than compensated. Indeed the opportunity to play at all, after the disaster of losing everything, was greatly appreciated by all the players.
After several weeks planning permission was finally granted for a new temporary changing and storage structure on the existing site. However this was not forthcoming until several weeks into the season and with difficulty sourcing a suitable structure , it is now unlikely that a new building will be in place until the start of next season.
Meanwhile, back on the pitch, the club picked up a valuable win at St Modans in Stirling and several encouraging performances followed, by regular and new players. Unfortunately surviving in Division One of the Strathmore Union has proved too hard for the club this year. Fortunes on the pitch did not reflect the efforts of the players and committee. The season finished in late August with a defeat at Forthill in Dundee. A long hard season was over. The team, it seems, will be relegated to Division 2 of the Strathmore Union but everyone is confident the club will return fighting fit in 2014. The green shoots of recovery are definitely visible. There is now a greater than ever commitment to cricket at Breadalbane Academy, with several promising young players coming through the ranks. The links between the club, school and community are better than ever. New players have joined the team this season and made a valuable contribution. The club is determined to see in 2014 in a much stronger and more positive position than it was able to do in 2013.
The club would like to sincerely thank all the support, donations and messages of goodwill that have been received. Listed below are some of the companies and organisations that have helped us. Many donations were also forthcoming from private individuals who wished to remain anonymous.
Breadalbane Cricket Club would like to sincerely thank the following Companies, Organisations and Sports Clubs for their generous donations, support and messages of goodwill:
Falkland Cricket Club
Western District Cricket Union
J & H Mitchell’s Solicitors
Andie Miller Trust
Loch Tay & Lyon Lodge
Aberfeldy Rotary Club
Atholl Rugby Club
Silly Mid Offers Cricket Club
The Cricketer Magazine
Aberfeldy Curling Club
The Inner Wheel
St Andrews Cricket Club
Perth & Kinross Council
Kirsteen Ross, Cricket Development Officer
Perth Doocot Cricket Club
Forthill Cricket Club
Kinross Cricket Club
Kinloch Cricket Club
Rossie Priory Cricket Club
and the many individuals who generously supported us.
Everyone at the club knew it would be a Herculean effort to keep the club on it’s feet. Indeed, maintaining and running a cricket club is a huge endeavour, at the best of times. However the pleasure on the faces of the 160 youngsters who took part in the annual highland Perthshire Cricket festival in June made it all worth while.