CHAPTER 36. FUN, FINANCES AND THE FUTURE
The barrier most of us have to break through in this era is the stereotyping of Victorian people. They were just the same as us in all our forms. There were some who “were not amused” but fun was towards the top of people’s lists – no TV or radio meant that they had to make their own entertainment in the main. At home and at gatherings each member of a family would do a “turn” – singing, telling a story, poem or playing an instrument. This came in handy for the end of season “tea and smoking concert” for Luton Town held at the Town Hall.
As for football, we can see that the committee meetings dealt with players contracts and many letters every week in the close season. Players after a club, references requested, other clubs correspondence and even the F.A. are amongst those dealt with.
29th April 1893. From the 6th May 1893 Luton Reporter.
“On Saturday last the Town Club eleven played a match on the Athletic Ground in aid of the funds of the Cricket Club. Considerable trouble had been taken over the affair by the football authorities, and an excellent side was brought down by Mr A. Rostron Bourke. There was only a moderate attendance, and whether this is attributable to the poor show made by the locals on the previous Monday or to the lateness of the fixture may be left to the readers to speculate upon. The only certainty in connection with the match was that the cricketing element were in a broad sense conspicuous by their absence; a few were present, but the spectator with an inquiring mind looked in vain for the cricketing rank and file. It is scarcely to be wondered at, therefore, that the “gate” was by no means so large as could have been wished. The weather was favourable, a pronounced breeze sweeping over the ground during play. The start was delayed by the home team getting photographed, but after an appreciable wait the players lined up in the following order. – London: Goal, J.W. Morton (City Ramblers); W. Hay (London Caledonians), and C. McGahey (City Ramblers), backs; C. Brown (London Caledonians), Stanley Briggs (Tottenham Hotspur), and W.B. Morden, half-backs; P. Hunter (centre), R.W. Howie, and A. Whitehead (London Caledonians), right wing, D. Goodall (Old St. Stephen’s), and H. Nolloth (City Ramblers), left wing. Luton: T. Read (goal), J. Wilson and A. Hoy (backs), J.W. Julian, W. George and A.H. Taylor (half backs), H. Galbraith (centre), W. Chesher and F. Allen (left wing), W. Brown and H. Whitby (right wing). Losing the toss Luton started play with the sun shining in their faces, and the game had only been in progress only about a minute when the visitors scored as the result of some capital passing by the right wingers. Luton forced a corner and from this Galbraith equalised, the two goals being scored in as many minutes. For some time matters ruled in favour of the Londoners, but the first half was old before any further scoring took place. Then Hunter put his side ahead after some scrambling play. Luton attacked well but failed to obtain the desired result, and before the interval the London men increased their advantage. Immediately after the re-start the leaders were awarded a fourth notch, but it was generally agreed that the referee made a huge mistake in allowing this. This portion of the game was not productive of very good football, and when the end came the visitors were able to claim a victory by four goals to one. The victors displayed passable form all through, but the homesters were somewhat weak. The referee was Mr R. Rogers and the linesmen were Messrs C. Squires (London) and J.H. Hackett (Luton).”
A pity that the cricketers did not support a game which was put on at great effort to support their game and club. I am sure the committee and the town itself wondered if it was worth further efforts being made.
After the game there was a “tea and Smoking concert” which was fully reported by the Luton Reporter.
“In the evening the Town Club’s two elevens and the visitors were joined by a good company of sympathisers in the Council Chamber at the Town Hall, when a substantial repast was partaken of, Mrs Faunch being the purveyor. The room was full, and those present seemed to enjoy themselves fully. When the tables had been cleared Mr A, Carruthers J.P., formally took the chair and a smoking concert was held. The toast of “The Queen and the Royal Family” having been proposed, the programme was opened by Mr S.T. Whitehead who gave “Soldier Jim,” and Mr R. W. Howie (London Caledonians) followed with “anchored,” his rendering giving unlimited satisfaction to the audience. – The Chairman next asked those present to drink to the health of the visiting team. He alluded to the many excellent games of the season, and said the visitors that day had given them an exhibition of manly strength and beauty that was a pleasure to look upon. He had been wondering what qualifications he had got for the post which he now occupied, for he knew absolutely nothing about football. There was one thing, however, which he was always charmed to see; he had a great admiration for physical strength and beauty, and in proposing the toast he thought he might say that they had never had a handsomer team on the ground. They would not expect him as an ignoramus in football to expatiate on the points of the game, but he must say that when he saw men moving and working together as the players had done that day he thought what a good thing it was to be born 20 years later than he was. – Mr A. Rostron-Bourke, when the toast had been heartily honoured, rose to respond. He said he been quite unarmed by the manner in which the toast had been given, for the terms of approval of the play of his side had been extremely kind. So far as he was personally concerned he could say that the short acquaintance he had had of Luton had been most delightful. If he could render them any service next year he would be delighted. Having observed that credit was due to the gentlemen who so readily responded to his invitation to play, the speaker said he did not think there was any cause for discouragement in losing against such a team. He was very glad his side won. He was bringing another team on Easter Tuesday next year, and if Luton won it then it would not be his fault. He wished the Luton club all the success they deserved. They played a nice, gentlemanly game – one far different to some games they saw. – The Chairman, introducing a gentleman to propose the next toast, intimated that he was connected with what he would call “the Luton pink ‘un,” an announcement which was hailed with lavish applause. He had, he said, had some capital entertainments on Saturday nights, when small boys had been crowded from the news vendor’s across Park-square struggling as if in the midst of a football scrimmage. – Mr Dick, of the Evening News and Post, said the duty which fell upon him was a very pleasant one. This was his first visit to Luton, but he trusted it would not be his last. Referring to the “pink ‘un,” he said if the Luton people loved it as it loved itself it would be a grand success. proceeding to give the toast of “Success to the Luton Town Football Club,” he said from what he saw that day he thought that in Luton they had the nucleus of a very formidable organisation. There was no saying what might transpire. If the club was properly managed they would become greater experts of the game and derive larger benefits from the stronger teams of the North. These were turning longing eyes towards London and its environs; they found that Londoners and the clubs round played equally as well if not better than the organisations at their own doors. The Northern clubs wished to encourage the game in the South, because they believed that in years to come they would derive benefit from it. Therefore he would like to see Luton one of the leading clubs battling with the professional teams from the North and carrying victory from them. There was no reason why a consummation should not be reached. They had the material at their command; he was positive of that from the play that day. It was unfortunate, perhaps, that they should be beaten. They met at the end of the season a team of London players who were exceedingly strong, and if the game had been played in the middle of the season the result might have been different. He thought they had every prospect of going forward with hopes much stronger than at the beginning of the season. The “pink ‘un” was trying hard to encourage football in the outlying districts of London. He had been told that day that from 800 to 1,000 copies were sold in Luton. They did not grumble at that, but they would like instead to have the number 8,000 to 10,000. He had not the slightest doubt that there was the support for the paper in the town, and they meant to get it if they could. Apart from that aspect he would counsel them to go forward to the future with very strong determinations, because they had a field that was practically uncultivated, and they had it all to themselves. With the support which they possessed and the backing they would get – because as soon as they began to show ability the more powerful clubs would give them support – he thought they might count on success in the future. The speaker concluded by calling upon the members of the London team to rise and drink to the health, prosperity, and future greatness of the Luton club. – The toast was accorded with musical honours. – Mr J.W. Julian, the Luton captain, was accorded a splendid reception on rising to acknowledge the compliment. He modestly express his unfitness for the task which had been set him and thereafter delivered an excellent little speech. Having in conventional form thanked those present for the manner in which they had received the toast, he said he felt considerably out of form that night; in fact he had been since Monday (laughter). They had had a very successful season, but he would very much like to have seen a better ending. He was not so much disappointed at their display that day; they quite expected it after the previous Monday, when the display disappointed him very much. He would like to take the opportunity of thanking all the Luton gentlemen present for the kind treatment he had received at the hands of every one concerned since his connection with the club. No one could have been better treated, and in return he had tried to do his best. His fellow players had well all through the season, especially their old friend Mr Arthur Taylor. The latter deserved a special word of praise, and he might say that Taylor and himself who had gone through the whole of the matches. He concluded by again thanking those present. – Ex Capt. Taylor was called upon, but the plaudits did not tempt him to attempt oratorical flights. – The remainder of the evening was devoted to musical selections. Mr Shaw in graphic manner told of “The man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo,” and Mr T. Pakes sketched the advantages and trials which beset the path of “the soldier.” Mr Morden (City Ramblers) gave an appreciative and highly acceptable version of “The longshoreman,” and the delight of the audience was of so pronounced a character that only the repetition of the last verse serve to satiate it. Mr V, Cheshire interpreted “The midnight march” with all its grotesque by-play, and then Mr E. Dowse brought down the house with a capital interpretation of “Tim McCarthy’s daughter.” In response to the inevitable encore he sang “That’s when you feel alright” with admirable effect. Mr T. Keens, jun. narrated “The story of a kiss,” and then Mr H. Galbraith (the centre forward) was awarded a token of popularity. He rendered a jodelling song in first-rate style, and was compelled to substitute another piece in deference to the enthusiastic applause of the audience. “The King’s Own” was submitted by Mr Whitehead, Mr Dick gave a clever imitation of the method of various reciters in a portion of “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” and Mr Cheshire concluded the list with a parody on “Caller Herrin”. – At the close a vote of thanks to the Chairman was proposed by Mr C. Squires, seconded by Mr J.H. Hackett, and accorded.”
It is exciting to read about the paper boys, loaded with the “pink ‘un,” being mobbed by customers when leaving the newsagents in Park Square on Saturday evening. I had wondered how the public received the results especially when Luton played away.
No doubt some of what Mr Dicks said was the talk of a salesman buttering up his customers, but this does not apply to his reference to Northern clubs wishing to promote the game in the South. The Football League contained teams only from the Midlands and the North. Burton, Birmingham and Lincoln were the southern-most clubs.
The Southern League had not materialised and Woolwich (formerly Royal) Arsenal were about to join the Second Division of the Football League. This was a bold decision as their closest away game would be a journey to Birmingham. With it being a hour’s journey from Woolwich to the North London train termini, I would imagine that most games would involve travel on the Friday with their own beds being reached in the early hours of Sunday morning in many cases.
1st May 1893 committee meeting –
“Letter from Mr Julian asking about next season. It was explained that the AGM would elect the new committee soon and they would deal with it.
Gate money for Sat 29th April £19 8s 8d. expenses for 29th, £14 7s 6d. “A grant of £5 1s 2d be made from the club funds in aid of the cricket club”.
“Resolved that Mr Pitkin with the Hon Sec be empowered to draw up and sign Mr Wilson’s agreement terms as previously arranged on behalf of the club”.
“That all loss in connection with the tea be paid from the club funds also that suggestions for the Annual meeting be brought forward next meeting”.
13th May 1893. From the Luton Reporter of 20th May 1893.
“LUTON CHARITY FOOTBALL CUP.
The annual meeting of the Charity Cup Association was held in the Council Chamber at the Town Hall last (Thursday) night, when the Major (Councillor Hucklesby) occupied the chair, and there was a good attendance.
REPORT AND BALANCE-SHEET.
The Secretary (Mr. G. H. Barford) reported as follows :—The committee have great pleasure in presenting the third annual report as it has been the most successful season up to the present. They are very pleased they have been able to give £240 away this year as against £78 12s. Last year, clearly showing that the Luton Charity Cup is becoming more popular each year. Of course we cannot get away from the fact that we have had a slice of luck this year which we may perhaps never have again, as it is most improbable we shall ever again have two extra matches in one season ; but, however, we hope, having given the amount this year, it will never be less, but go on increasing as it has done during the past three years. Owing to the Association passing a resolution that all existing Charity Cups shall obtain re-permission to continue next season, we have applied for that permission, and I am very glad to say have obtained its, although not on exactly the same lines as before. The only difference, however, is that instead of being open to all clubs within a radius of 50 miles, only eight clubs selected by the committee are to compete. The committee, however, do not think this will have a bad effect on the competition, as exactly the same number of matches will be played at Luton. This, therefore, makes it necessary to insert quite a new rule in place of No. 5. I should just like to say here the committee this year have had rather a unique experience, having gone all through the season without a protest from any club. There have been 18 committee meetings during the season.
The balance-sheet showed that the receipts had amounted to £347 19s. 11d., including match receipts of £339.16s. 11d. The expenditure was as follows:—Postage, £2 4s. 9d. ; telegrams, E1 1s. 10d. ; railway fares, £20 2s. 6d. ; printing and stationery, £11 6s. ; bill posting, £3 8s. ; advertisements, 16s. 6d. ; referees and linesmen, £4 5s. ; cup insurance, 2s. ; case for cup, £2 3s. ; footballs, £2 5s. 6d. ; medals, £13 15s. : shield for plinth, 10s. 2d. ; engraving name on shield, 2s. 6d. ; hire of police, £2 ; hire of ground, £27 10s. ; committee badges, 8s. ; hire of committee room, £1 ; ground man, £1 ; incidental expenses, £10 1s. 11d. ; Bute Hospital, £80 ; Children’s Home, £80 ; Medical Institute, £80 ; balance at bank, £3 17s. 3d. ; total, £347 19s. 11d.
The balance-sheet was, on the motion of Mr. F. Beecroft, seconded by Mr. G. Sell, adopted without discussion.
The Mayor, upon the Secretary’s report, inquired the number of clubs competing last season, and was informed that it was 81.
Mr. F. G. Higgins expressed gratification at the admirable manner in which the work had been done by the officers, and moved a vote of thanks to the Secretary and members of the committee.
Mr. S. Pride seconded.
The Mayor, with a few words of eulogy, put the motion, which was carried.
The Secretary, in reply, observed that a terrible amount of work was involved, but it had been a great pleasure to him to perform it.
Mr. G. Ordish (Treasurer), acknowledged the vote on behalf of the committee, and said the Secretary had done his work in a most admirable manner. He did not think they could improve upon the present Secretary.
The Secretary read letters from the institutions benefited to the extent of £80 each, these being couched in appreciative language. The letter from the Medical Institute stated that the committee might rest assured that the contribution would be devoted to beneficent purposes only. —The letters were ordered to be entered on the minutes.
The office-bearers were appointed as follows : President, the Mayor ; Vice-Presidents, Messrs. A. Caruthers, J.P., and Mr. F. Beecroft ; Treasurer, Mr. G. Ordish ; Hon. Secretary, Mr. G. H. Barford ; Committee (successful), Messrs. A. E. Booth (46), C. Dillingham (46), G. Worboys (46), G. Squires (45), J. Squires (44), C. Plummer (44), E. Browning (42), H. Beecroft (41), G. Fyson (40) ; (unsuccessful), S,. Pride (12), J. Newham (8). The election of the committee was conducted by ballot, and a breeze took place upon Mr. A. Wilkinson demanding the appointment of two scrutineers. He was called upon to withdraw a remark to the effect that some gentlemen had lost control of themselves. The Mayor and the Secretary were appointed to conduct the ballot.
ALTERATIONS OF RULES. –THE MEDICAL INSTITUTE.
The new rule of the English Association necessitated the alteration of the bye-laws governing the competition. It was accordingly resolved that the number of clubs should be limited to eight to meet the Association’s requirements, this being resolved on the motion of Mr. G. Ordish, seconded by Mr. Isaac Smith. The abolition of umpires called for the alteration of the rule relating to them to read “linesmen,” and this was agreed to. The limitation of the number rendered advisable the elimination of a rule relating to the districts. Some other alterations were of a similarly formal character. In the rule relating to the division of the receipts it was provided that these should be equally shared amongst the Cottage Hospital, the Children’s Home, and the Medical Institute. It was proposed to omit the latter from the benefit, this notice having been given by Mr. H. Cumberland and Mr. F,. Beecroft.
Mr. F. Beecroft, in the absence of Mr. Cumberland, moved the necessary resolution, after a point of order had been raised and decided in his favour. He might say it was not a personal question with any one of them. They had had so many of the subscribers to the Cup complain of how the proceeds had been expended. As one of the originators he would like to say that they had two motives in starting the competition. One was to popularise football and improve it in Luton, and the other was to help the charities of the town. He could not help thinking that the Institute did not come within the category of charities. He looked upon it as a business undertaking. It was carried on at a profit, he understood, and if anyone was to receive benefit he must be a subscriber. The Institute had had £15 and £25 in previous years, and the money had been given towards other institutions.
Mr. A. W. Jaquest seconded.
Mr. S. Pride moved as an amendment that the rule remain unaltered. He urged the Institute was a useful institution, and instead of it being a profit-making concern it was an organisation intended to help others. He urged that the money was to be devoted to charitable works by the Institute.
Mr. K. Cumberland, J.P., in supporting the original resolution, contended that the Institute was not in the fullest sense a charitable organisation. The Institutions to be benefited by the Institute would only be open to members of the Institute, and not to ordinary residents in the town.
Mr. T. Keens, junior, seconded the amendment, and argued that the Institute was a charity pure and simple. He contended that inasmuch as residents in the locality would receive the benefits the institution became a local charity. He eulogised the policy of the Institute committee in dealing with the funds placed at their disposal, and said it showed their long-headedness.
Mr. J. Facer supported the amendment, and with regard to the manner in which the money had been spent he challenged Mr. Beecroft to produce statements as to this. He said he knew the money had been properly spent, and for charitable purposes. Insisting that the Institute was a charity, he said the contributions from the Cup Committee would not be devoted to any but charitable purposes.
Mr. Isaac Smith said he did not think they had power to alter the rules. He did not believe the English Association would pass the rule as amended, unless the vote was unanimous.
Mr. G. Sell inquired whether the whole of the alterations would have to be sanctioned by the Association.
Mr. Smith said the other alterations were consequent upon the directions of the Association.
After further conversation upon this point, and upon the question whether a compact had been entered into between the Institute and the Cup Committee.
Mr. H. Beecroft observed that he had not a word to say against the Institute, but he wanted to know what was to become the persons outside who were not members of the institution.
It was explained, in reply to a question by Mr. Beecroft, that members of the Institute only would obtain the benefits.
Mr. H. Beecroft contended that the poorest members of the population should be able to partake of the benefits. It had been represented that a free dispensary would be opened, but that had not been done. If it was said by the Institute authorities that the poor should be the recipients of the proceeds he was entirely with them.
Dr. Sworder said with regard to the Hospital that a third of the beds were free. For others 3s. 6d. Per week was charged, whereas the cost was 15s. per week for each inmate. Therefore, he contended, the patients were the recipients of charity—and the very best form of charity, he added. At the Children’s Home beds cost 13s. per week and the highest charge was 2s. 6d. per week, so that the children received 10s. 6d. per week for charity. He urged that whereas the Hospital and Children’s Home benefited those suffering from disease or were the sufferers from accidents, the Institute declined to take persons suffering from incurable disease or to help those who were not members. The doctor disclaimed any personal feeling, and said before the grant was made he would like it to be clearly proved that the institute was truly a charity.
In the course of further conversations speeches were delivered by Messrs. H. Arnold, B. Ware, H. T. Shackleton, W. A. Boutwood, and R. E. Cooke.
The Mayor suggested that representatives of the meeting and the Institute might confer as to the expenditure of the money upon needy cases such as had been mentioned.
Mr. F. Beecroft said he was willing to withdraw his resolution on condition that the representatives of the Cup Committee should have a voice in the spending of the money.
Mr. A. Wilkinson did not consider that the managers of the Institute had gone far enough in the expenditure of the money. He gave notice of his intention to move a further amendment.
The Mayor again advanced his suggestion of a compromise.
Mr. G. Sell moved this.
Mr. A. Carruthers seconded, and suggested that the Mayor should be a member.
The Mayor said he would act as chairman.
Both the amendment and original resolution were thereupon withdrawn, and it was resolved that the joint committee should consist of three members from either side. It was agreed that the committee should present a report to an adjourned meeting. The committee was constituted as follows : Messrs. J. Facer, S. Pride, A. Wilkinson (for the Institute), G. Fyson, G. Ordish, and G. H. Barford (for the Cup Committee).
The proceeding shortly afterwards terminated with a vote of thanks to the Mayor.”
19th May 1893 committee meeting –
“voted to have nothing to do with next years Kettering Charity Cup.
“that at the commencement of next season the sum of £4 10s 0d be paid to Mr A. Taylor for the close season”.
“Proposed by Mr Pakes, seconded by Mr Austin that £40 10s 0d be paid off the ground account. This was carried unanimously and the balance sheet ordered to be printed as read by Hon Sec. At the foot of which the club property to be entered as valued at £25”.
From the Luton Reporter of 3rd June 1893 – AGM
“LUTON TOWN FOOTBALL CLUB.
The annual meeting of members of the Luton Town Football Club took place in the Corn Exchange on Monday night, when the Mayor (Councillor Hucklesby) occupied the chair, and there was a crowded attendance.
REPORT AND BALANCE-SHEET.
When the minutes of the last annual meeting had been read by the Assistant Secretary (Mr. Wheeler), the Secretary (Mr. Isaac Smith) presented his annual report, which was as follows :—In bringing before you the balance-sheet of the season 1892-93 I give you a short sketch of the work done and something of what we expect to do during the ensuing season, as for next season’s fixture several letters have appeared in the local Press as to the why and wherefore certain teams are not met. Now, I don’t usually take much notice of anonymous letters, and only do so now to assure the writers, if they are here, that not only have the clubs they mention been written to but many others with no practical result, as they either declined, from one cause or another, or have not had the common courtesy to reply at all. During the past season the first eleven have played 34 matches, won 20, lost 10, drawn 4 ; goals for 106, against 59 (applause). As to how well we can play I need say nothing, and as to how badly one word will suffice—“Polytechnic” (laughter). Our wins have been : —West Herts., 2nd Scots, Sherwood Foresters, Wolverton and City Ramblers, twice each ; Old St. Stephen’s, Old St. Mark’s, Old Etonians, Guy’s, Clapton, Chesham, Woodville, Vampires, St., Mary’s and Royal Arsenal, once. We were, in turn, beaten by Royal Arsenal, Notts. Forest, Millwall Athletic, Polytechnic, Sherwood Foresters, Casuals, Mr. Rostron Bourke’s Eleven, Derby County, and Rushden. To obtain this result we have gone to great expense, as the payment to players item indicates. The reserves have played 23 games, won 19, lost 3, drawn 1, scoring 137 goals against 25. Their most notable victories was the opening match, when they beat the first eleven, and their double victory over St. George’s School. Referring to the balance-sheet we find that our takings are considerably more than double what they were the previous season. This we can only attribute to the fact that we have not only met better clubs but that we have engaged better men to meet them. The moral of this is that talent always pays for itself. As further proof of our advance I just mention that the first year I undertook office as secretary the whole of the takings were £66, as against £656 this year. On the other side the amounts £160 2s. 5d. and £223 13s. 10d. make a large hole in the receipts. The payment to players explains itself, and of the other amount the three clubs we met in cup ties took in half gate £36, while five others (Notts. Forest, Derby County, Arsenal, Casuals, and Sherwood Foresters) took £70, the remainder being made of amounts from £5 downwards and our own team’s out expenses. The only other amount that needs explaining is ground improvement account £40 10s. Most of you will remember that three years ago our present ground was secured on lease for seven years under the title of the Luton Athletic Central Committee. Now, this committee is made up of representatives from the Cricket and Athletic Clubs and ourselves. To level the ground, build dressing-rooms, &c., each club pledged itself to account funds were too low to do this we were compelled to borrow in 1891 and 1893 as per balance-sheet, the Central being responsible to the various clubs, and the Central being responsible to the various clubs, and the clubs in their turn to the lenders. Our representatives gave the L.T.F.C. as guarantees to refund the money to our shareholders, the Central, if ever in a position to do so, to repay the amount to the L.T.F.C., in which case the money will be put to the general account. Now, by the 1891 and 1893 account you will notice that £75 was handed to the Central, being part borrowed and part general funds, and now according to 1893 account the Central still owe the L.T.F.C. £75, and we owe to our shareholders only £40, this leaving £35 balance to go to our general current account—the £40 10s. repaid moneys, as shown in our current balance, being this £35, £5 borrowed and not used, and 10s. interest. I may add that as the balance in our favour at the audit was £108 the committee considered that as business men the best thing to be done was to reduce their liability by £40, and as our close season expenses are about another £40 it leaves us with £28 to start with next September, and I am sure the wish of this meeting is that next season we may not only wipe out the remaining £40 but begin to save something towards purchasing a ground for ourselves. The £10 6s. 2d. is £5 5s. to the Secretary and £5 1s. 2d. to the funds of the Cricket Club. Having dealt with the work performed by the committee, the Secretary said : For the next season we must have a strong committee, as there are rumours that new players must be found to strengthen us if we mean to win all of the following fixtures. We have arranged with Ilford, Clapton, Casuals, Royal Ordnance, 1st Scots, Millwall, Chatham, West Herts., Wolverton and Rushden two games each, and one match at home with Woodville, North Kent, Old Wykehamists, City Ramblers, Uxbridge, and Mr. Rostron Bourke’s eleven. These are all first team matches, and I think these with the usual cup fixtures will be quite as much as we can manage. The Reserve fixtures are not yet complete, but rely upon it their wins will not be by such majorities as last season. In concluding, the Secretary alluded to a proposed increase of the subscription.
The balance-sheet showed gross receipts of £671 10s. 11d., made up as follows :—Balance from last year, £15 9s. 3d. ; gate money, £527 3s. 2d. ; members’ tickets, £92 17s. ; meadow (hiring), £26 15s ; cup receipts (half gate), £4 6s. 6d ; donations, £5. The expenditure had actually amounted to £562 17s. 9d., made up as follows :—By hire of ground, £26 ; expenses of ground, £72 0s. 6d. ; footballs (repairs, &c.), £8 17s. 9d ; subscriptions (Association, &c.), £1 15s. 6d. ; insurance of teams, £23 17s. ; hire of rooms, £3 18s. ; printing, postages, &c., £32 6s. 7d. ; players’ payments, £160 2s. 5d. ; travelling and payment to visiting teams, £223 13s. 10d. ; donations, £10 6s. 2d. The committee decided to repay £409 10s. for money borrowed on the Ground Improvement Account, and there was a balance in hand of £68 3s. 2d. It may be interesting to mention that last year the receipts were £362 6s. 9d., and the expenses £346 17s. 6d., the balance being thus £15 9s. 3d., but there was a loss on the season of £23 9s. 5d. inasmuch as a large balance at the beginning of the year in hand. To the present account were appended statements regarding the Ground Improvement Account, and an intimation that the properties not taken into account were valued at £25.
Questions having been invited, Mr. W. D. Hambling inquired what was the nature of the liabilities of the club to the Central Committee.—The Secretary replied that they had none. Their only liability was to the persons from whom they had borrowed, and to these they owed £40, which the Central owed to the Club.—It having been suggested that there was no liability whatever, the Secretary reassuringly stated that they were not paying beyond their proportion for the ground ; indeed, they were not paying enough for it. —In the course of further conversation it was stated that £35 was still owing, and that the reason the amount which had been paid did not appear in a previous balance-sheet was that the improvement had not then been completed. —Mr. H. Arnold eventually moved the adoption of the report and balance-sheet. —Mr. G.H. Barford seconded, and this was agreed to. —Mr. J. H. Hackett (one of the auditors) stated on the invitation of the Mayor that he was very pleased indeed with the admirable manner in which the Secretary kept the books. They found everything perfectly correct.
For the office of President Messrs. P. Alexander, J. C. Lomax, and the Mayor were nominated, and on a vote being taken the last-named was declared elected by a large majority. —The Mayor, in acknowledging the compliment, said he would try to do all he could to further the interests of the game, which seemed to be growingly popular and intensely fascinating to a large number of the gentlemen of Luton (applause, and a voice “and ladies”). And ladies also, added the Mayor amid a burst of approving applause and laughter.
It having been suggested that Lord Battersea should be re-elected Vice-President, Mr. Hambling proposed that to avoid any political taint half a dozen vice-presidents should be appointed. The Secretary thereupon suggested that no vice-presidents should be elected at all, and this being put to the vote it was agreed to.
Mr F. Evans was proposed for re-election as treasurer, but he declined the office, and after a contest Mr. H. Shane was elected over the head of Mr. A. Pilgrim.
Mr. Isaac Smith was appointed hon. Sec., on the motion of Mr. G. H. Barford, seconded by Mr. F. Beecroft. —Mr. H. Arnold thereafter proposed that £20 should be paid to Mr. Smith for his next year’s services. He alluded in fitting terms to the excellence of Mr. Smith’s work in the past, and said the sum which he named had been felt by the committee to be a very moderate recompense for the work which he was called upon to perform.—Mr. A. F. Austin seconded on behalf of the committee, and observed that the latter were unanimously in favour of the vote. He claimed that a large share of the credit for bringing the Club to its present position was due to Mr. Smith, and observed that the Secretary had never been found failing in his duty. If they lost Mr. Smith, he pointedly remarked, he would not like to think of the future of Luton football.—The motion having been carried, it was resolved to grant £10 to the Secretary for his services during the past season.—The Secretary, in acknowledging the vote, said he had endeavoured to do his duty in the past and would continue to do so. Some of the friends, said the Secretary, have given me the character that it all depends which way I am stroked. I don’t think I need say any more than that. Gentlemen, I am very much obliged to you.—The Mayor, commenting on the election, said he thought the meeting had done a very wise stroke of business in retaining the services of one so enthusiastic in the cause as the Secretary.
Mr Wheeler was re-elected assistant secretary and £5 was voted to him for his work during the coming season, but he observed that he would not think of accepting it, though he was very much obliged to those present for the offer.
The committee was thereafter appointed, the election being by ballot. There were 16 candidates for the 13 vacancies, and the voting resulted as follows :—Successful, Messrs. J. H. Hackett (147 votes), H. Arnold (142), H.C. Fryer (141), A. F. Austin (140, G. Hinson (133), T. C. Webdale (129), G. Horn (119), H. Wilkins (119) E. A. Barford (114), W. G. Thompson (105), H. Davey (105), Sid Pakes (101, and J. Wright (100) ; unsuccessful, F. Turner (73), A. D. Sinfield (64), and C. Rogers (60). In consequence of an alteration of the rules it became necessary to determine which members should serve for two years. The first half dozen were at once selected, and after a close division Mr. Horn was added to the list, the contest being rendered necessary by the fact that he had tied in the voting with Mr. Wilkins.
THE RULES.—INCREASE OF SUBSCRIPTIONS.
Notice had been given of several amendments to the rules. It was agreed that half the committee should retire annually, and that the subscription of patrons should be £1 1s. per annum and that of members 7s. 6d. Two suggested alterations by Mr. C. Rogers were accepted.
Mr. F. Beecroft suggested with regard to the gentlemen who had lent sums of £5 that they should, if they wished, absolved the liability by accepting membership tickets for five years.—This was thought an excellent idea, but no action was taken in relation to it.
Some discussion having taken place upon the question whether members of the committee should pay for their tickets, it was resolved by an overwhelming majority that this should be done.
Mr. F. Scott, in supporting a vote of thanks to the committee, alluded to the attacks which had been made upon them in the past, and observed that the committee deserved the heartiest thanks of the members for the work which they had done.—The Mayor having spoken in furtherance of the claim that members should support the committee, the vote was accorded. —Mr. Hackett, in acknowledging the compliment,. Briefly observed that they had endeavoured to do their duty.
A vote of thanks to the Mayor for presiding concluded the proceedings.
MINUTE BOOK PAGES MISSING – JUMPS TO MIDDLE OF AGM
“Mr Evans proposed and Mr Pitkin seconded the selection of Mr W.G. Wheeler. This was carried unanimously. Mr Pitkin then proposed that Mr Wheeler be paid £5 for his services during the coming year, Mr Wilkins seconded.
An amendment was proposed by H. Beecroft and seconded by Mr G. Squires that the office remain as before, an honorary one.
On being put to the meeting the amendment was lost and the motion that £5 be paid was carried by large majority. Mr Wheeler thanked the meeting for the vote but said he should not think of taking the money from the funds of the club.
The election of 13 committee men resulted as follows
Mr J.H. Hackett 147
Mr H. Arnold 142
Mr H.C. Fryerer 141
Mr A.F. Austin 140
Mr G. Hinson 133
Mr T. Webdale 129
Mr G. Horn 119
Mr H. Wilkins 119
Mr E.A. Barford 114
Mr H. Davey 105
Mr W.G. Thompson 105
Mr S. Pakes 104
Mr J. Wright 100
The unsuccessful candidates were Mr F. Turner 73, Mr A.D. Sinfield 64, Mr C. Rodgers 60. By an alteration to the rules the 7 highest names sit for two years, the remaining 6 for 1. Mr Horn and Mr Wilkins having tied for 7th place another vote was taken Mr Horn obtaining it by a majority of 1.
The meeting next considered the proposed alteration of rules
Rule 2. Instead of the whole to retire annually, to read One half to retire annually the 6 names obtaining the lowest number of votes to retire the first year. This was agreed to.
In the same rule, Mr Rogers that instead of any vacancy being filled by the committee the same the same should be filled by the person standing as the highest unsuccessful nominee at the annual meeting. This being duly seconded. Mr Hackett proposed an amendment the rule in this respect remain unaltered. Mr Arnold seconded but Mr Rogers motion was carried.
Rule 7. Mr Rogers proposed to transfer the appointment of auditors from the committee to the annual meeting. An amendment was proposed that the rule remain as it is. The amendment was carried therefore the rule remain unaltered.
Rule 8. Proposed by Mr Hackett, seconded by Mr Beecroft that the subscription for ensuing year be members 7/6, Patrons £1 1s 0d. Mr Clark moved the subscription remain unaltered, seconded by Mr Rogers. This amendment was lost the subscription was therefore altered to 7/6 and 1 guinea
Rule 14. Proposed by Mr Rogers that the 2 members should be elected by the Annual meeting instead of by the committee. After a little discussion this proposition was withdrawn.
On the motion of Mr Beecroft, seconded by Mr Browning, the whole rules were adopted.
Mr F. Beecroft suggested that if those gentlemen who had lent sums of £5 for the ground improvements would accept Patrons tickets for 5 years it would absolve the liability of the club considerably. It was therefore thought a good idea but nothing was done in relation to it.
It was carried by a very large majority that in future all committee men should pay for their tickets of membership.
Mr Newham then proposed a vote of thanks to the committee for the way they had carried on the work during the past season. This was seconded by Mr Thompson supported by Messrs Saunders and Scott and carried unanimously.
The best thanks of the meeting was then accorded to the mayor for presiding and the meeting concluded”. Signed Charles Cotchin
27th May 1893. Taken from the Luton Reporter of 3rd June 1893
“THE MEDICAL INSTITUTE
At an adjourned meeting of the subscribers to the Charity Football Cup held last (Thursday) night in the Town Hall, the Mayor (Councillor Hucklesby) presided, and there was a large attendance.
It was reported by the Secretary (Mr. G., H. Barford) that the special committee had decided that the Medical Institute should continue to receive its third of the funds on condition that the following was agreed to:—1. The funds to be kept separate from the general fund of the Medical Institute, and that a detailed statement of its expenditure be given annually to the Cup Committee. 2. The subscribers to the Cup to be represented on the committee that has the disbursement of the fund by two members to be elected at the annual meeting. 3. Admission to the benefits of this fund shall not be restricted entirely to members of the Medical Institute.
Mr. F. Evans proposed, and Mr. C. Plummer seconded, the acceptance of the report.
Mr. S. Pride moved the adoption of clause one.
Mr. J. Facer seconded and observed that a guarantee had always been given that the money would be expended for charitable purposes.
Mr. Pride, in reply to a question, said he had been authorised by the Medical Institute members to represent them.
The clause was agreed to.
Mr. G. Ordish next proposed the adoption of clause two.
The Mayor said the committee had endeavoured to impress upon the Institute authorities that they did not wish to interfere with their working, but it was thought that the members proposed would be able to look after deserving cases.
Mr. A. Carruthers, J.P., coincided, and said the desire was to make the road easy.
Mr. J. Squires seconded.
Mr. Pride moved that the recommendation be eliminated, and – said that the Institute could not possibly accept the condition. The first objection was that their rules would not allow of such representation, and he urged that that was fatal to the recommendation. It was provided that representatives must be Friendly Society members and must be delegated. They could not see their way to altering these rules, and therefore on the objection they must stand for fall. If it was to be said that the Institute were not to have the control of the funds they must decline to have anything to do with them. He would ask them to pause before they took a step which would put the Institute outside a share of their benefits. He referred to the efforts which had been made by the authorities of the Institute, and afterwards said a promise would be given that the money should be disbursed well, and they would agree to furnish any information that was required.
The Mayor contended that the first clause entirely removed the objection urged by Mr. Pride. All that was wanted was for the committee to be a separate one.
Mr. Pride said if the fund was not to be one for the Institute they did not want one.
Mr. Facer seconded the amendment.
Mr. F. G. Higgins moved that the whole of the clauses be dropped, and that they should pass a resolution excluding the Institute altogether. He said there was no doubt a great mistake had been made, but they must be just before everything. If it was a fact that subscriptions had been accepted on the understanding that the Institute was to receive a party, a terrible blunder had been made, and the only way out of the difficulty was to refund these contributions. He did not see any other way out of the difficulty than to move a resolution of exclusion.
The Mayor suggested that if the Institute persisted in their opposition the same result would be arrived at.
Mr. Higgins thereupon consented to hold over his amendment until the second clause had been voted upon.
Mr. Facer said they were absolutely debarred by the rules of the Institute from accepting the condition. There was a unanimous feeling amongst the members of the Institute that they could not accept outside representation on their committees, inasmuch as they regarded it as the display of a lack of confidence. He could not see what more was needed than the promises which had now been made. The money was given to poor, deserving cases, and those were the people who would benefit by the fund in future. He made a strong appeal in favour of the Institute.
Mr. H. Beecroft pointed out that only members of the Institute would be benefited, and thereafter dealt with the argument as to lack of confidence. He contrasted the petition at present with the successful demand of the Friendly Societies for representation of the Hospital Committee, and argued that the cases were analogous. He denied that subscriptions were given conditionally, and said it was pure and simple for the establishment of a football cup. He maintained that the fund should be a nucleus for assisting those who were unable to help themselves.
The Mayor, after further consideration, suggested that the Institute authorities might find a way out of the difficulty by appointing a committee to specially administer the fund.
Councillor Wilkinson, in supporting the adoption of the clause, said it did not need an alteration of the rules of the Institute to enable them to deal with the funds. He believed the work of the institution did not go far enough to administer the contributions from the Charity Cup fund.
It was suggested that the third clause should be put before the second, but Mr. Ordish declined to withdraw his resolution.
Mr. Pride contended that the case of the Hospital was not on all fours with the present case, because the Societies had raised money by their own efforts.
Dr. Sworder having added a word of explanation on this point,
The amendment was put and received six votes and against it there was an overwhelming majority. The clause was thereafter accepted by a well-nigh unanimous vote.
Mr. Ordish moved the acceptance of clause three.
Mr. C. Plummer seconded.
Mr. Facer stated that the Institute committee were willing to accept this. He added that they could not see their way to give monetary grants, but they would grant letters to Brompton Hospital and convalescent homes.
Mr. Isaac Smith did not think they could draw any such lines.
The Mayor said he was very sorry that the Institute authorities could not see their way to accepting what were very moderate conditions. He again said he thought the difficulty might be got over by the Institute agreeing to appoint a special committee.
It was stated that of £15 received in 1891 the Institute spent £8 1s., while in the following year £10 8s. 6d. was disbursed of £26 4s. received. In the present year £6 1s. had been expended of the £80 received.
The Third clause was adopted, and on the motion of Mr. G. Sell, seconded by Mr. F. Evans, the report was passed as a whole.
It was considered whether the motion of Mr. F. Beecroft in the direction of the elimination of the Institute should be bought forward, and it was thought by some members that it would be graceful to give the members of that institution another opportunity of considering their position. It was eventually agreed, on the motion of Mr. Hugh Cumberland, seconded by Mr. G. Sell, that the decisions of the meeting should be forwarded to the Institute authorities, and that the present meeting should be adjourned for a fortnight. Before the adjournment was taken Messrs. H. Arnold and Councillor Wilkinson were appointed by ballot to act as representatives on the Institute committee in the event of the decisions being agreed to.
A vote of thanks to the Mayor concluded the proceedings.
6th June 1893 LTFC committee meeting – Midlands Hotel as usual.
“To enter for the Luton Charity Cup season 93 and 4 and for the English Cup 93 and 4.
Mr Hackett to represent the Town Club on the Central Committee.
“That a small committee consisting of Mr Shane with the Secretary wait upon those gentlemen who were kind enough to lend the sum of £5 to the club for the ground account and ascertain whether they would be willing to accept a Patrons ticket for 5 consecutive years as a means of clearing off the whole of the ground account carried unanimously”
“as the accommodation during the past year had hardly been satisfactory Hon Sec stated he had seen Mr Latchmore with respect to a room in connection with the Free Library. This he was willing to let for 2/- per meeting if we guarantee 50 meetings. After a little discussion it was resolved to inspect the room and if thought to be suitable guarantee 40 meetings at 2/- per meeting”.
Teams for Next year – “that secretary open negotiations with Mr E. Bee and endeavour to obtain him for goal keeper at the lowest possible terms but not to go beyond £1 per week, carried”.
Hon Sec approach Mr Nicholson asking him for his lowest terms
“Secretary write Mr Julian asking whether he could recommend 2 good forwards and if he thought it possible to obtain Mr Kirk”.
Reserves – “That Mr Fryerer with the assistant secretary represent the Town on the Reserve Committee if they agree to act as the Town reserves for next year”
“Resolved that the Whitbread Cup be held over to next meeting meantime Hon Sec write Mr C??? in regard to the same”.
10th June 1893. Taken from the Luton Reporter of 17th June 1893
“THE FOOTBALL CHARITY CUP.—The adjourned annual meeting of the subscribers to the Charity Cup took place last (Thursday) night in the Council Chamber at the Town Hall, when the Mayor (Councillor Hucklesby) took the chair and there was a small attendance. —The Mayor having indicated the nature of the business, the Hon. Sec. (Mr. G. H. Barford) a letter from the Secretary of the Friendly Societies’ Medical Institute stating that the following resolution had been passed :—“That we agree to accept the conditions adopted at the meeting of subscribers to the Luton Football Charity Cup, and herewith appoint a special relief committee of seven members to administer the Benevolent Fund of the Medical Institute, two of whom shall be elected by the Charity Cup subscribers (the decision of such committee in regard to all applications for assistance to the final).” The names of the committee elected were : —Messrs. S. Pride, J. Facer, T. A. King, E. Jones, and C. Kilby. The names elected by the subscribers to the Cup were Messrs. A. Wilkinson and H. Arnold. —The Mayor thought the resolution perfectly satisfactory. He believed that the conclusion would be mutually advantageous. The burden of the conversation which followed was that of satisfaction. A formal resolution of acceptance was carried with unanimity, and a vote of thanks to the Mayor for presiding at the three meetings concluded the proceedings.
30th June 1893 committee meeting – At the Free Library for the first time.
“write to Mr Bee giving him 14 days to accept our offer.
“that we offer Swindon a match at Swindon on one of the dates for the Semis of the Luton Charity Cup at the same guarantee as last season viz. £12 or half gross gate over £24”.
“The Hon Sec then explained that the only certainties in the team were Julian, Wilson and Galbraith. It was then discussed as to the best way of filling up the other places. For back it was generally thought Cheshire would make a good partner for Wilson and in the event of another good back, moving up Wilson to go half. It was thought that Taylor could be relied on for next season and and possibly Messrs Kirk, Allen, Galbraith, another and Whitby in the forward division. After thoroughly discussing the matter it was resolved that secretary should see the old players and ascertain whether they were willing to play during the coming season also to advertise in the sporting papers for forwards”.
11th July 1893 committee meeting –
“that Mr Bee be offered the sum of 22/6 per week, the same to include travelling expenses except on the extra days viz. Good Friday, Bank Holidays and Easter Tuesday. That a reply must be received with 7 days if not left to Secretary to advertise for goal keeper”
“That secretary ascertain the terms of an agent for finding a player and in the event of these being unfavourable to advertise in the Athletic News for forwards”.
27th July 1893 committee meeting –
“Letters received from Messrs Greenwood (Royal Arsenal), C. McGahey (City Ramblers), E.J. Drury (Warmley Hill), J. Yates (Sheffield), F. Stott (Burnley Swifts), H. Ball (Kettering Town), E. Bee (Woolwich), E. Winterbourne (Worcester), W. McComolin (Stockport), A.M. Colyer (Burnley), A. Weale (Ardwick), J. Woods (Belvedere), W. Evans (Didsbury), F.C. Turner (Ashton St. James), G.F. Gouldie (Southport), D.C. Mahoney (Wolverton), R. McBeth (Northwich) and G. Lamb (Glasgow).
Hon Sec keep up correspondence with McGahey. Hon Sec write to Messrs McBeth, Lamb and McComolin asking for further references and terms also explaining that we take no responsibility whatever with regard to work”.
“resolved that Mr Shane with the Secretary be empowered to draw up and sign Mr E. Bee’s agreement on behalf of the Luton Town Football Club and that it be forwarded without delay”.
“In the event of the magistrates deciding against the members of the club playing on the People’s Park, notice of appeal be given”.
The 29th July 1893 Luton Reporter gives the cup draw.
“LUTON AND THE ENGLISH FOOTBALL CUP.—The following are the southern entries for the Association Football Cup: —Luton Town, Sheppey United, St Mary’s (Southampton), Maidstone, Clifton (Bristol), Uxbridge, Folkestone, Warmley, Norwich C.E.Y.MS., Polytechnic, Hereford, Swifts, Swindon Town, Rushden, Maidenhead, Old Westminsters, Wolverton, Sherwood Foresters, St. George’s Bristol, Woolwich Arsenal, 2nd Scots Guards, 71st Highland Light Infantry, Casuals, Sittingbourne, Chesham, Great Marlow, Newbury, Chatham, Reading, Weymouth, Millwall Athletic, Ashford United, Cowes, Clapton, Hants. County, and Kettering.
3rd August 1893 committee meeting –
“Letter read from Messrs G. Lamb (Glasgow), I. Pearson (Stockport), R. McBeth (Northwich), G. Rae (Burton Swifts), W.E. Shaw (Ruddington), J. Webster (Hogmaston), W.F. Downs (Birmingham) and F.W. Kirk (Woolwich).
“It was resolved that Secretary write Mr Lamb also resolved that if Mr McComolin’s further references be satisfactory his terms be accepted viz. £3 down and 25/- per week”.
“That secretary write Mr McBeth stating that the committee will not undertake the responsibility of finding work, that his terms were thought to be rather high and ask if he could not give terms somewhat easier at the same time give further references.
“Resolved that Messrs Taylor, Cheshire, Whitby and Allen be paid the sum of 7/6 per week for season 93 and 94”. “that the racks be left over until next meeting when Mr Arnold would bring in an estimate for the lumber required”.
Messrs Horn, Wright and Secretary form a sub committee to inspect the ground and report as to what they think it is requisite to be done”.
“Secretary advertise in the Luton News for tenders for fruit and other stall for season 93 and 94”.
9th August 1893 committee meeting –
“Mr McCombie be accepted as a player at the rate of £3 down and 25/- per week”
“As the references of Messrs Shaw and Webster were thought to be unsatisfactory and from information received there seemed a doubt with regard to McBeth. It was resolved that these applications be declined”. “resolved that Hon Sec should write Messrs Finlayson, D. Wilson (both of Neilston) and H. Shaw (Edinburgh) and I. Leadbeater (Fleetwood Rangers) for terms and further references.
“Secretary write Mr Taylor explaining matters when it was thought he would fall in with the ideas of the committee”.
“secretary write to Mr Allen asking for return of his professional form signed by Saturday 12th. If this not acceded to the committee to proceed at once to fill up his place in the team”.
“Mr Horn then gave the report of the ground committee who recommended that the canvas should be extended to double its present length and if it was found that the sand in Mr Deacon’s Meadow was raised to allow the play to be seen, enough canvas be purchased to prevent the same”. Work to be carried out at once.
Mr Arnold gave the differences in the prices of lumber required for the higher racks and those made last season. The ground committee stated that they had gone into the matter whilst on the ground and thought that if enough racks were made (with those we have in hand to go completely round the play) that would meet present requirements. To do this it was thought that 1/2 as much timber as was purchased last year would be enough to carry out the work”. “Carried that this quantity be obtained from Mr H. Arnold and the racks proceeded with”.
“The Secretary produce estimates and patterns of fixture cards from Messrs Dryerre and Fensome as follows
Messrs Fensome 50 Patrons as pattern £1
Messrs Fensome members as pattern 15/- P 100
Messrs Dryerre 50 Patrons as pattern £1 12s
Messrs Dryerre members as pattern £1 1s p 100
Messrs Dryerre Further pattern for Patrons 50 for 32 12s.
“It was resolved that Secretary should wait upon Messrs Dryerre and Fensome and ascertain prices for 350 of the selected pattern, 50 to be a different colour from the 300”.
14th August 1893 committee meeting –
“After going through the letters it was resolved that Messrs Wilson, Platt, Hon Sec of Skelmorlie FC and A. and H. Shaw’s applications should be declined.
“That we offer 30/- per week and travelling expenses from Nailston to Luton to be made to J. Finlayson”.
“The Secretary produced further estimates for the list of fixtures as follows
Mr Dryerre 50 Patrons £1 1s 0d, 300 members £3 0s 0d
Mr Fensome 50 Patrons £1 2s 6d 300 members £2 5s 0d
Mr Dryerre furnish the club lists.
“resolved that the fixtures be sent to the local papers for publication this week”.
The 19th August 1893 Luton Reporter gives a preview of the forthcoming season.
“LUTON FOOTBALL PROSPECTS.
With the thermometer standing at about 80 in the shade it sounds well-night ludicrous to be talking to the game which is associated with bleak winds and snow-covered fields, but the clock of time moves so unerringly that we are close upon the time fixed for the commencement of another season’s football. It is idle, in these days of general abandonment to the game, to expatiate upon its popularity ; that is sufficiently self-evident, yet a brief narration of the prospects of the ensuring months may be acceptable. First place in these considerations will be ungrudgingly awarded to the Town Club, whose achievements during the last two years have abundantly warranted their claim to be regarded as the premier combination in the district. That the popular voice was not untinged by a note of complaint during last season is undoubted, and it is further certain that the grumbling as to a great extent regarding the composition of the team. That this was warranted is admitted even by members of the executive, but at the time there were insuperable difficulties in the way of any very appreciable improvement being effected. During the close season, however, strenuous efforts have been made to remedy defects and strengthen weak spots, and the result has been such that we are promised an agreeable surprise when the period of actual play arrives. It is authoritatively announced that the most capable of last season’s players have been retained, and that the changes which have been made are in the direction of rendering the team more formidable than it has yet been. A glance at the fixture list will show the necessity of this, for it includes matches with some far stronger clubs than the generality of those met last season. Some of the best teams played last year are still to be found, and these are supplemented by such splendid elevens as Chatham, Swindon, the Old Wykehamists, &c. The Reserves have had vastly more attention bestowed upon them, and it is possible that we shall be spared the laughable exhibition which they gave us last season, when their victories were generally won by absurd margins. With regard to other clubs it is scarcely possible to speak just now, except to state with regard dot them that there is a prospect of some excellent football during the coming season. Club secretaries should forward their fixture lists without delay.
The following are the Town Club’s matches : —
Date. Opponents. Ground.
Sept. 9 — Woodville … … … … Home
” 16 — Ilford … … … … Home
…” 23 — Clapton … … … … Away
” 23 — Hornsey United (R) … … Home
” 30 — Casuals … … … … Home
” 30 — Cowley Athletic (R) … … Away
Oct. 7 — Royal Ordnance … … … Away
” 7 — Hitchin (R) … … … … Home
” 14 — English Cup Tie … … …
” 21 — 2nd Scots Guards … … … Home
” 21 — Beds. Teachers (R) … … … Away
” 28 — Millwall … … … … Away
” 28 — Millwall Reserves … … … Home
Nov. 4 — English Cup Tie … … …
” 11 — Guy’s Hospital … … … Home
” 18 — Chatham … … … … Away
” 18 — Stratford Town (R) … … Home
” 25 — English Cup … … … …
Dec. 2 — West Herts. … … … … Home
” 2 — Old St. Luke’s (R) … … … Away
” 9 — Wolverton … … … … Away
” 9 — Chesham Generals (R) … … Home
” 16 — Rushden … … … … Away
” 16 — Electric G.P.O. (R) … … Home
” 23 — 1st Scots Guards … … … Home
” 23 — Hitchin (R) … … … … Away
” 26 — North Kent … … … … Home
” 26 — Scrutton (R) … … … … Away
” 27 — Casuals … … … … Home
” 30 — Ilford … … … … Away
” 30 — Great Northern (R) … … Home
Jan. 6 — Old Wykenhamists … … … Home
” 6 — Chesham General (R) … … Away
” 13 — Millwall … … … … Home
” 13 — Millwall Reserves (R) … … Away
” 20 — West Herts. … … … … Away
” 20 — 2nd Scots Reserves (R) … … Home
” 27 — Rushden … … … … Home
Feb. 3 — 2nd Scots Guards … … … Away
” 3 — Beds. Teachers (R) … … … Home
” 10 — Luton Cup Qualifying Round …
” 10 — Cowley Athletic (R) … … … Home
” 17 — Wolverton … … … … Home
” 17 — Hornsey United (R) … … Away
” 24 — City Ramblers … … … Home
” 24 — Electric G.P.O. (R) … … … Away
March 3 — Chatham … … … Home
” 10 — Royal Ordnance … … … Home
” 17 — Luton Cup Semi … … …
” 17 — Swindon … … … Away
” 23 — 1st Scots Guards … … … Home
” 23 — Finsbury Polytechnic (R) … … Home
” 24 — South London League … … Home
” 26 — Derby County … … … Home
” 26 — Old St. Luke’s (R) … … … Home
” 27 — Roston Bourke’s London Team … Home
” 31 — Luton Cup Semi … … …
April 7 — Clapton … … … … Home
” 14 — Luton Cup Final … … …
” 21 — Uxbridge … … … …
23rd August 1893 committee meeting –
“the letter from Mr J. Finlayson stated that he accepts our terms. It was therefore resolved that Mr Shane with the Secretary be empowered to draw up and sign agreement on behalf of the club”.
“resolved that secretary write Old St Stephens declining to play them on Oct 14th and to advertise for strong team at home on that date”.
“here the secretary stated that Mr Vickers from Kettering was in the large room of the library, he thought the committee might have him before them and see whether they could do anything with him. It was thought no harm could be done by seeing him and it was therefore resolved to see him. On coming before the committee several questions were asked and answered satisfactorily. It was then resolved that Mr Vickers should stay until Monday 28th in order to play a trial game on Saturday 26th”.
“10/- be allowed Mr Vickers to cover his expenses until Monday also that a practice match be played on Saturday in order to give him a trial”.
“notice of Motion. Mr Thompson gave notice that at the next committee meeting the question of the appointment of McCombie to a place in the team be reopened and considered”.
“resolved that the Secretary write Middlesboro and Sunderland Albion as to the playing abilities of W.D. Collins”.
“that Secretary write each man in the first eleven stating that as the football season was close upon us they would be expected to get themselves into proper condition for the same”.
“resolved to insure the team in some responsible office”.
“resolved that committee meet on ground on Saturday at 3 o’clock”.