Broadwindsor Cricket Club (BCC) was established in 1923 and currently welcomes more than 400 players each year.
The current owners of Broadwindsor Cricket Ground decided not to renew the lease and then served BCC with a notice to vacate the Ground and remove the pavilion! This would tragically spell the end of a 97-year old Club.
However, after months of negotiations, we have come to an agreement to pay a fair price for the Ground. We must now raise £35,000 and are seeking financial aid from all players, friends and supporters to help #SaveBroadwindsorCricket.
The Ground, where we have been playing under a lease agreement since 1965, was previously voted as one of the top 5 most beautiful in the country by Wisden. We managed to host 40 games in 2019 which includes our Sunday Mid-Wessex XI, the Middleton-Hands evening league and friendlies against many local & touring teams. Our grassroots Middleton-Hands evening league absolutely enshrines the spirit of village cricket and is something to really shout about. Each year we are proud to encourage a number of youth and adult players to don pads for the first time whilst being supported by their teammates and competitors up to the standard of seasoned Dorset Premier League & West of England Premier League cricketers. We also welcome the local primary school children for coaching on Friday afternoons during the summer.
See more at https://broadwindsorcricket.co.uk/
We are a constituted not-for-profit organisation and are registered as a Community Amateur Sports Club. This allows us to claim GiftAid on donations from tax-paying individuals for whom we have created a set of rewards. We do not have much to offer other than honorary Club positions in exchange for your generosity, save for the promise to welcome players and spectators, young and old, for decades to come. This means that your
£10 donation = £10 from you + £2.50 GiftAid + £10 match funding
= £22.50 for the club
Our fundraising task has been made tough due to the challenges imposed on grassroots sporting organisations because of Covid-19, particularly given that we predominantly serve a rural community that has been hit hard by the pandemic. In recent years we had success with raising this level of capital to build our pavilion however the funding streams we used are much reduced due to Covid-19. Alongside this Crowdfunding scheme, we are continuing to seek aid from local, regional and national organisations in the form of loans, grants and match funding. We are being supported by and are affiliated to the Dorset Cricket Board and Somerset Cricket Board (pending).
We must raise the cash to buy the ground as soon as possible. If we can't achieve this, the club will cease to be viable and will fold before the 2021 season. Once we have freehold ownership of the Ground, we intend to make the facilities available to the local community throughout the year for a broader set of leisure-related activities. Until now, our lease has restricted use of the ground to cricket. Once purchased, the freehold will be placed in a Trust. We then intend to expand our cricket offering to increase the youth set up along with continuing to encourage anyone who is interested (young or old, first-timer or seasoned pro!) to come and play.
See all letters and testimonials here
Ade Phillips - Club Captain & Groundsman
"In 1981 the club was in danger of folding when the elderly groundsman had to give up due to ill health and the captain was moving away to start a new job, so at the AGM the chairman asked for volunteers to fill these roles. When no-one came forward I stood up and said I'd do both and am still doing them now.
[...] with the Club centenary coming up in 2023, I hope I can play a part in keeping the Club going and prospering for another 100 years"
Jack - Youngest Broadwindsor CC Mid-Wessex League Player
"If you take away this beloved club that my stepdad has worked so hard on it would break his heart, my heart and especially the team's heart
[...] I love playing there and it is my dream to be a cricketer when I'm older"
Henry Blofeld (Blowers) - Test Match Special Cricket Commentator
"I understand that the club [...] has been served with an eviction notice by new owners who wish to sell it for development or other uses. This ridiculous idea speaks strongly of the 'price of everything and the value of nothing’. [...] I am not sure whether my batting, wicket-keeping or even commentating career will ever extend to Broadwindsor, but the future of the club will be on my mind and in my heart. Pip pip, Henry"
Clive Stafford Smith OBE - Club Chairman
"There is much we need to do to make the club all that it can be. We need to recruit more youth - I hope my 12 year old, Wilf, will eventually take on my role, when I retire to take up scoring. We need to bring more women into the game here, just as the women’s game has exploded nationally. I would like us to beautify the ground still more.
But all of that is currently threatened with oblivion. We must work hard to save this local and national treasure, so that generations may enjoy it in the future"
Phillip Smith - Headteacher of Broadwindsor Primary School
"The school in partnership with yourselves has offered cricket coaching with local grassroots players which inspired many children to continue their journey in sport and indeed cricket. I know first-hand how excited pupils were to visit the ground and actually train there!
[...] I am sure if you are able to secure funds that our links with you will continue to thrive and another generation of sporting lovers and cricketers will flourish"
Qamar Ahmed - Cricket Writer, Broadcaster & Former First-Class Player (commentator of more than 400 international Test matches)
"As one who has played the game at first-class level in Pakistan and league & club cricket in England, I am concerned to learn that a reputable club like Broadwindsor C.C. is threatened with closure. [...] Clubs are the nurseries of aspiring cricketers & have got to be encouraged and saved. I therefore lend my full support to Clive Stafford Smith and Broadwindsor Cricket Club in their attempt to save the prestigious club"
Peter Oborne - Cricketer, Journalist and Broadcaster (author of: Wounded Tiger: A History of Cricket in Pakistan)
"I have known the chair of the club, Clive Stafford Smith, for many years. He (along with another member, Alastair Crawford) accompanied me on a wonderful tour of Pakistan three years back. [...] just as the Pakistanis celebrate the sport, so should we. To lose a ground like that in Broadwindsor would be an irreparable loss. Not just for cricketers. It would do permanent damage to our public domain at a moment when it is already under threat"
Pete Choules - Cricketer for Highmore CC (annual visitors for over 25 years)
"I play for Highmoor Cricket Club, which is based near Henley On Thames Oxfordshire, & have been connected with Broadwindsor CC for 25+ years. We travel down every year for our annual cricket tour (except this year of course) & it's one of the highlights of our season. [...] This club is a typical village cricket club which [...] like so many others is in danger of being lost. We hope this club will be here for years to come for the next generations of village cricketers & locals even if WE may struggle to put the 'whites on' in the future"
John and Caroline Montagu - Earl & Countess of Sandwich
Caroline and I have long been great supporters of local cricket, and have been sad to witness the demise of the pitch in Melplash where our local team, the Mapperton Marauders have played most of the games this year, along with so many other clubs. [...] I may be past my prime as a cunning off-break spinner, but we still enjoy coming to the games and encouraging the teams. We strongly support the efforts being made by the cricketers themselves, and their friends and neighbours, to preserve the club, and we whole-heartedly lend our support to them"
To summarise, the situation is perilous. Should we not quickly make up the immediate cash deficit needed to keep our Club in existence, there will not be a BCC for the 2021 season.
Every contribution will be greatly appreciated.
Please help us #SaveBroadwindsorCricket