With no football likely to be played for several months I have decided to continue my series of excerpts from the very first Hitchin Town FC minute book.
It is fascinating to read the minutes of the meetings as they are an accurate portrayal of the club’s history and they show just how times have changed. I have so far reached 10 July and the very first game against Waltham Comrades is very much on the horizon on 25 August 1928.
Meeting on 13 July
The committee inspected the ground to decide on the playing pitch and it was decided it should be 110 yards by 80 yards running north to south. The secretary had arranged for the trimming of the hedge and it was agreed the hedge be strengthened with posts at intervals and with barbed wire to be laid.
Meeting on 18 July
It was resolved that 30 yellow jerseys and 10 white jerseys should be purchased.. The secretary was instructed to enquire for prices from local traders who would be asked to submit samples. It was decided that the playing pitch be enclosed with concrete posts and one shard of wire. 30 posts were on offer at the Henlow aerodrome and it was decided to obtain them if possible. Instructions were given for the trimming of the hedge at a cost of £2. The question of putting up adequate fencing on the Fishponds Road side of the ground was considered.
Meeting on 23 July
It was decided that a general meeting be held in the Sun Hotel on 3 August and that the meeting be advertised in the local papers. The secretary was instructed to make the necessary arrangements for stewards required at the general meeting.
Meeting on 28 July
Mr J Bird attended the meeting and expressed his willingness to act as groundsman at a weekly wage of 10 shillings (50p) per week. The question of making good the playing pitch was considered in conjunction with Mr Bird who stated that this could be achieved at an approximate cost of £5. It was agreed to employ Mr Bird who would take up his duties on 7 August. The pitch had been squared up with the size being 110 yards by 75 yards. 30 concrete posts had been delivered and it was decided the same should be erected 8 feet from the touchline and threaded with one strand of wire.
The club hoped to have tenders for a steel constructed stand by 3 August and it was agreed to get tenders for an alternative scheme in wood. It was decided that the goal posts be fitted with iron tube net supports instead of wood supports.
Meeting on 1 August
It was reported that no alternative scheme in wood for the stand had been received as the wish of the guarantors was for a steel framed structure. Tenders had been received from Messrs Boulton & Pauls and Ryalls. The agenda for the general meeting was discussed.
Meeting on 3 August
The samples of jerseys were considered by the committee and the following were accepted–30 yellow jerseys at 56/6 (£2.83) per dozen from Messrs Crabb & Son and 12 white jerseys at 47/6 (£2.38) per dozen from J Waldock & Sons.
The secretary reported that the goal areas had been sufficiently drained and re-turfed and other parts of the playing pitch made good and the total cost was £3.14.
General meeting on 3 August
The president H Cannon presided over a large attendance of members. In his opening remarks the president touched on the activities and work done by the committee since the formation of the club.
Seventeen rules were submitted for approval and all were agreed. They included the following:
Rule 1: that the club be called ”The Hitchin Town Football Club”.
Rule 3: that the club be governed by an executive consisting of a president, an hon. treasurer, two hon. secretaries, an hon fixture secretary and 20 members all of whom shall be elected annually by ballot with 8 to form a quorum.
Rule 5: that the annual subscription for members be not less than two shillings and sixpence(13p)
Rule 6: that the club colours be yellow jerseys and blue knickers and that all club members be required to wear the club colours when playing in a match.
Rule 8: that any gentleman desirous of joining the club shall be nominated by a member and be elected by the executive. In the case of playing members the executive shall have the option of first requiring the candidate to play in a match before proceeding to his election.
Rule 16: that the hon. secretaries shall give notice to members selected to represent the club in matches, and each member as notified must, if he is unable to play, advise the hon. manager at the earliest moment of his inability to do so.
There will be further extracts next week.
BY ROY IZZARD