[Tonbridge Cricket Week, 1894-1909.] Manuscript 'Minute Book' of the Committee of Subscribers to the Tonbridge Cricket Week, with entries signed by Tom Pawley, H. A. L. Rudd, and others, and numerous newspaper cuttings inserted.

Tonbridge Cricket Week, 1894-1909 [Tom Pawley (1859-1923), Kent cricketer; G. A. Floyd; H. A. L. Rudd [Henry Aytone Lindesay Rudd] (1867-1935); W. G. Grace; Ben Greet]
Publication details: 
[Tonbridge, Kent.] 14 February 1894 to 29 January 1909.
SKU: 15905

285pp., 8vo, including newspaper cuttings laid down on 24pp., and one loose cutting. In contemporary black leather half-binding, with brown cloth covers, and 'MINUTE BOOK' in gilt on front. Marbled endpapers. Ticket on rear pastedown of 'W. BLAIR, | Stationer, | Post Office Buildings | TONBRIDGE'. Internally in good condition, on lightly-aged paper, in worn binding with front hinge split. Manuscript title: 'Tonbridge Cricket Week. | 1894. | First Held 1890'. From the beginnings of the sport Kent has been a strong cricketing county, with the town of Tonbridge central to its success, many of its inhabitants being dependent for their livelihoods on the sport. In the early part of the twentieth century Tonbridge Cricket Week was a highlight of the Kent summer season. As the present volume indicates, until March 1903 the event's committee chairman was Tom Pawley, who was also manager of the Rose & Crown Hotel - where the committee meetings were held - and (between 1897 and 1927) of the town's Angel Cricket Ground. Pawley had played cricket for Kent, and had also managed the county. Each set of minutes is signed, until February 1903 mostly by Pawley, and thereafter mostly by H. A. L. Rudd. Other signatories are W. A. Perkins and G. A. Floyd. The minutes are set out in the usual manner, and deal with administrative and financial affairs, the election of officials. Other topics include: special trains, the signing of cheques, advertising, subscriptions, patrons, the engagement of bands and orchestras, 'rowdyism' and policing, the hiring of venues, the auditing of accounts, ticket prices, refreshments, donations, the storage of scenery, prizes, the date of the event, which brand of champagne to have, glee singers, fire brigade. On 17 May 1895: 'Mr Pattisson then rose to propose that the committee send a congratulatory telegram to Dr. W. G. Grace on his completing his 100th. century with such a magnificent innings of 288 - carried nem. con.' The event was not merely confined to cricket. There were balls, parades, theatricals, 'an entertainment composed of living pictures & musical sketches etc', a 'smoking concert', 'Amateur Theatricals', a 'Promenade Concert', a 'torchlight tattoo', a 'Venetian Fête' at 'the Boating Club', 'Swimming Sports' ('Aquatic Sports'), a 'Fire Brigade Competition', and a 'Pastoral Play'. The minutes for 4 May 1894 contain a section on 'Bands & their prices', the six bands including the Royal Scots Greys (£15) , Royal West Kent Regiment (ten guineas) and 'Waghorne's Military' (£5 10s). On 25 May 1894 'The Postmaster promised to estimate the cost of laying a permanent wire to the cricket ground.' On 8 May 1896: 'Mr Parkins reports that a leading comic cannot yet be procured and that the one estimate of expense was at present £23. 15. Mr Parkins was asked to obtain the name of some good comic singer before next meeting'. On 20 May 1897: 'The Secs reported that the theatricals this year would consist of 3 act farce "the Baloon"'. On 31 March 1898: 'The Secretary reported that the Marquis of Camden had consented to be President of the week and that he also hoped to be present.' On 19 March 1900: 'Mr. Streeten referred to the disgraceful proceedings which took place in the Town on the night of the Venetian Fete last year & he moved & Mr. Pawley seconded & it was carried that a letter should be sent to Supt Styles asking him to provide an adequate force of constables & that the Urban Council should be also asked to move on the matter.' On 7 June 1890: 'The Secretaries were instructed to write the Supt. of Police and the Clerk to the District Council with a view to preventing rowdyism in the town on the evening of the Venetian Fête.' On 5 May 1902: 'A letter from the Ben Greet Co. was read stating that Mr. Ben Greet [(1857-1936), actor-manager] could not guarantee to perform if only one Play were held but if 2 performances were held he would guarantee to take part in one. | It was Resolved to offer the Company an inclusive fee of £50 for a performance on the Thursday evening provided Mr. Greet perform, but £45 only should he be unable to do so. | A letter from the Tonbridge Working Mens Swimming Club was read stating that they contemplated holding some aquatic Sports on one evening in the Week & requesting to know if this Committee would give a grant towards their prizes. | It was Resolved that £5. 5 be given them provided that the sports held on the Friday evening in the Week & take place between the Great Bridge & the Club Boathouse & also that an open be included in the Programme.' On 16 April 1903: 'The Secretary was instructed to write the Ben Greet Co. & ask for the cost of "Taming the Shrew," also the cost of one or two other plays which could be performed on the Terrace in the Castle Grounds.' On 23 April 1903: 'A letter was read from the Ben Greet Co. agreeing to perform "Taming the Shrew" for an inclusive fee of £50. After some discussion it was considered that "The Merry Wives of Windsor" would be a more suitable Pastoral Play & the Secretary was instructed to write the Company & ascertain the cost of performing that play & also the number of Artistes taking part in it.' The newspaper cuttings include a long report (in five columns laid down on three pages) of the 'Annual Meeting of Subscribers', 7 February 1901, and a similar set of cuttings (4 columns on 2pp.) for 25 February 1904. On 8 March 1906: 'The Chairman read a letter from the Tonbridge Cricket Club stating that it would be esteemed a great favour if the Cricket Week Committee could see its way to give a donation of £25 towards the purchase of the Angel Ground. Considerable improvements were effected on the Ground & in return the Club would be in a position to allow more tents to be erected whilst the Enclosure had been enlarged. | After a lengthy discussion It was Resolved that a sum of £25 be voted to the Tonbridge Cricket Club'. On 8 May 1907: 'That this Annual Meeting of Subscribers most heartily congratulate the Kent County Cricket Club upon the splendid success of last season by which they attained the position of champion County & most warmly appreciate the brilliance & sporting character of the cricket displayed by the individual members of the Kent eleven'. On 14 June 1907: 'The Chairman reported that Mr. Welton Dale required a fee of £25 for producing Cox & Box & as this sum was more than he anticipated he (the Chairman) proposed to give £5 towards the cost of producing the Play. In the absence of the Chairman It was unanimously Resolved that the total cost of the Theatricals be borne by this Committee & that the Chairman be thanked for his kind offer.' On 19 May 1908: 'It was Resolved that a Donation of £5. 5. be voted to Mr. Bowden towards lighting the High Street with Electric Light & Mr. Bradley agreed to approach the Council & endeavour to get them to co-operate'. On 4 June 1908: 'Mr Punnett reported that Mr. Arnold had kindly agreed to lend his Motor Boat for use at the Venetian Fete, but that owing to the construction of the Engines it would have to be propelled by manual labor.'