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- On this day in 1893....AGM
Note the Barford Brothers who ran a factory in North Street which still stands - we go past it on my walking tour. It also featured in the "Made in Great Britain" series from Luton which was about hats of course - Steff McGovern (rules don't apply in her case) presented it.
"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."
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