Cranbrook Rugby Club - Membership

Cranbrook Rugby Club - Membership

Not only is there a link to the current season's membership form below but monthly updates will include a narrative on the latest committee meeting to keep the club's membership abreast of what's new at CRFC.

Membership Form 2017/18

Report from the Committee: February 2018

New Clubhouse

Now that we have approval from the planners to proceed with the new Clubhouse, the Committee is considering sources of funding to progress the project.  We will be making applications to various funding bodies and stepping up fundraising activity.  Volunteers are needed to assist in this major project for the Club.  The pavilion will be demolished as soon as possible and additional secure container storage purchased to store items currently kept in the pavilion.

2018 AGM

We confirmed that the date for the AGM is Sunday, 10 June 2018.  Details will be on the website along with requests for Officers and Committee members.  We hope the meeting will be well attended; it is your chance to hear from Committee members, make your views known on the future of the Club and get involved in the running of Cranbrook Sports Club.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The Committee discussed work that needs to take place ahead of the new Regulation coming into force in May 2018.  GDPR will strengthen Data Protection laws and the rights of individuals to privacy.  Although most of our data is kept securely on the GMS, and is held for a legitimate purpose, we know that various people hold information about Club members offline, eg in email distribution lists, and we need to map this to ensure that data is secure and not used inappropriately.  A small group of Committee members is working on this.

Ladies Team

The Ladies are having a good season and are currently placed third in their league.  The Committee congratulated the Ladies on their achievements and hope that there will be further interest in joining the squad.

The Club Shop

As Lara is to step down at the end of the season from running the shop, we are looking for volunteers to step into her shoes.  The Committee acknowledges with many thanks the work that the Mantles had done for several years.  We hope to find someone who will be responsible for the overall management of the shop, including stock control, and additional people who will help serve in the shop on Sunday mornings.

Recycling and Saving Resources

Ever mindful of the need to be ‘green’ and help save precious resources, the Committee considered what the Club could do to reduce waste, including encouraging people to bring their own cups for hot drinks rather than using single-use disposable cups.  We also considered ways to make money through a system of bottoms-up beer dispensing and sponsorship of the magnets that make this technology possible.   See for a demo.  Apparently, this system can pour up to 10 pints a minute; wonderful for busy times at the bar as well as a potential money-maker.

Summer Ball

Dickie Swallow reported that ticket sales have been a bit slow.  If you are intending to come to the Ball, please tell Dickie as soon as possible as we need to know that we will cover the costs.  Previous Summer Balls have been hugely successful and make a profit for the Club.  There has been some comment about the cost of tickets; this year the ticket price includes the cost of a raffle ticket and entry into ‘heads and tails’.

Club Blazers

We are still short of the minimum order of seven in order to place a new order.  Please let a Committee member know if you are interested in buying one.

First Aid

We discussed whether people who already hold a first aid qualification through their place of work or other activity need to attend a Club first aid course to be Club First Aiders.  It was confirmed that most first aid training does not include head and spinal injuries and that any Club First Aider needs to attend a specific RFU course.  The Club has scheduled two courses in March.  Contact David Robson if you are interested and are not already booked on to a course.

Kent U9 Festival: 22 April 2018

We discussed parking for the event, as overflow space at High Weald Academy will not be available on this date.  The upper part of Jaegers may be an option and this will be broached with Cranbrook School.  More parking will be available at the Whitewell Lane end of the grounds, once the planings have been shifted to that area.


Winter nets have now been underway for about five weeks at the High Weald Leisure Centre.  Over 60 players have signed up and we expect to financially breakeven or make a slight surplus.  The funds from Tesco and Waitrose have been well spent on a new bowling machine and batting cage.
The Club has organised fixtures for the Weald of Kent cricket league for all age groups and fixtures for the Border League will be available by the end of February.

Summer Training is planned at the Club on Thursday evenings and will start on the first Thursday after Easter, weather permitting.

If you have questions to put to the Committee, please contact

Report from the Committee: January 2018


Several people have recently volunteered for various Club roles.  We have three new Committee members, Lyndsey Posey, Zita Blayney and David Robson.  Tom O’Sullivan has agreed to produce the Club newsletter; David Robson will be our First Aid Coordinator; Sarah Bouchier is to act as Harlequins liaison and Lyndsey Posey and Zita Blayney will be Joint Chairs of the Ladies.  James Bligh has offered to help prepare the cricket wickets.

Club finances

The financial situation is healthy.  December takings were as expected, good for the first half of the month but a trickling off at the end.  We discussed how the Christmas/New Year break impacted on income from the bar and kitchen.  It was suggested that it might be possible over the next Christmas/New Year break to play one or more friendlies and perhaps include players who are not normally available, eg students who are away during term time.  The draft programme for the 2018/19 season is not yet available but we will consider this further when next season’s dates are known.

Ladies section

The Ladies have several matches coming up and we hope that members will turn out to support them.  There have been a number of injuries and the Committee agreed that there should be a recruitment push to attract new players.  We will advertise in The Wealden Ad; Zita Blayney is having a stall at the Cranbrook Farmers Market.  We would also like to get the Girls’ section going again.  Any Ladies interested in joining should contact Lyndsey Posey or Zita Blayney.

Clubhouse and Grounds

We have purchased Honours Boards that will display the names of past Chairmen, Presidents, Secretaries and Captains.  We hope it won’t be too long before these will be put up in the clubhouse.

Last year we had some work done to improve the surface of the driveway and fill in potholes but unfortunately some potholes have returned.  Mike McMinnies is writing to the contractors asking them to address the problem.

When the marquee was erected for the Christmas lunch the flagpole was removed and has not yet been put back up.  This will be followed up with the marquee contractors and it was agreed that in future it is made more clear that anything moved by the marquee company must be restored to its original position and condition, including tables/benches, flagpole and fencing.


New Clubhouse: planning update

James Fraser reported to the Committee on latest developments.  The determination date on the planning application is 7 February and we are confident that the planning will be approved, although it may be with some conditions attached.  Once we have the permission, it will be full steam ahead with fundraising for the new Clubhouse.

The 2018 Ball

Plans for the Ball are coming on well and people have started to book tables.  We have had offers of help in the preparation of salads for the meal, which are greatly appreciated.

First Aid Training

We have about 50 people needing training and once David Robson has more exact numbers he will be booking two or three courses.  You will be notified of dates in due course.


We are very fortunate to have many sponsors and we would like to strengthen relationships and also encourage our members to support sponsors whenever possible.  We are in talks with new sponsors and our main sponsor, Hire4Lower, is keen to do more to support the Club.

Club Blazers

We have someone interested in purchasing a Club blazer but a minimum order of seven is required before proceeding.  Some of the ladies present at the meeting thought the Ladies team members might be interested in purchasing blazers and will explore further.  Meanwhile, let any committee member know if you would like to order a blazer

February Committee Meeting

If you have matters you wish to go on the February agenda, please forward to Caroline Cannar ( no later than Friday, 9 February 2018.

Report from the Committee: December 2017

The Committee meets each month to make decisions about the running of the Club.  If you have matters you wish to go on the January agenda, please forward to Caroline Cannar ( no later than Friday, 5 January 2018.  


Much work has taken place to collect this season’s subscriptions.  As at 13 December, 371 membership forms have been uploaded on to the RFU Game Management System (GMS).

The information on GMS still requires some sorting out and we need more help to remove out-of-date information.  Most of us on the Committee are unsure how to use GMS properly and therefore we propose to hold a training session for both the Committee and also other Club members who would like to better understand how the system works.  We will let you know when we have details.

We discussed the situation of the U18s, who have had not yet played any matches.  The Committee agreed that this year, as a one-off, any U17 or U18 player in this situation and not covered by a family subscription can pay their membership at the student rate.


The meeting with our kit supplier, Akuma, has not yet taken place but we hope to arrange it as soon as possible in the New Year.  We know that the Ladies are keen to have polo shirts to change into after matches.  This should be possible if there is sufficient demand and payment is made up-front.

And talking of the Ladies, they will be playing at Heathfield on 20 January and hope to have your support.

Juniors and Minis

The Committee expressed thanks to Dickie Swallow for taking over as Chair of the Juniors.  Dickie hopes to get more involvement from Senior players on Sundays.  The younger age groups are greatly encouraged by the involvement of more senior players and benefit from their experience.

Tom O’Sullivan, Chair of the Minis, has received some very positive feedback on the Minis from external people and feels that things are going really well, with new Minis still registering as members for this season.


Our two players from South Africa are staying on until after the Ashford game.  The Committee agreed to present then with engraved tankards at the Christmas Lunch.


New Clubhouse: planning update

James Fraser reported to the Committee on latest developments.  TWBC still has concerns about the trees and seeks assurance that we will manage the coppice area.  The Committee is hopeful that there is a way of resolving things but it may take some time and require the commissioning of further tree reports.

Unfortunately, we were not successful in progressing through to the finals of the Aviva Community Fund and our application to the Co-op for a grant was also unsuccessful.

Club Accreditation

The Club has made its accreditation submission to the Kent RFU.  The Committee discussed actions that have been given a ‘red’ rating, being (1) managing the transition of all players between age groups and into the adult section; (2) having appropriate facilities to meet the needs of all Club members and (3) addressing the recruitment and retention of all adult players, including women.  These were no surprises and actions either are, or will be, put in place to address them.  Of course, the facilities issue will be sorted once we have the go-ahead for the new Clubhouse.


Nick Ditton (Treasurer) brought our attention to a misconception that members of the Committee receive payment for their work.  This came as a complete surprise, as all Committee members give their time voluntarily and do not claim expenses; we assumed that people know this to be the case.  This prompted a broader discussion about communication, telling members more about the running of the Club and encouraging volunteers to fill all the roles necessary to make the Club a success.  Communicating by email is not necessarily the best way of keeping people informed about what is going on and we need to use other methods.

We also discussed how best to induct new members, welcome them to the Club and provide information about the running of the Club.  Tom has lots of ideas and Tim Fagg hopes to attend a Minis’ coaching session in January to talk about what goes on behind-the-scenes to keep the Club running smoothly.

The 2018 Ball

Dickie Swallow updated us on the arrangements for the Ball.  There will be two bands and it was agreed that the ticket price will include entry into the raffle and ‘heads and tails’.

First Aid Training

We have several people waiting for training and Steen will be arranging courses for early 2018.

Report from the Committee: November 2017

The Committee meets each month to make decisions about the running of the Club.  If you have matters you wish to go on the December agenda, please forward to Caroline Cannar ( no later than Friday, 8 December 2017.

Clubhouse and Ground

The Committee agreed that the Club will purchase a shed with a sales hatch for selling sweets and soft drinks.  This will be sited outside the Clubhouse on Sundays and will keep children away from the congested bar area.  In addition, it will provide an opportunity for people taking part in community-based voluntary work, eg the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.

We have now sourced a new Club flag and we have a spare.  Many thanks to Alan Depoel-Wood.


A Safeguarding workshop is being held in Canterbury on Monday, 27 November.  Clubs will be able to bring up any safeguarding issues experienced.  Michelle Forknall is attending; please contact her if you are interested in going along with her.

The Committee discussed DBS checks and what is required for adults accompanying Mini and Junior tours.  We agreed that checks are needed only for Coaches and Assistant Coaches and not necessary for all parents who accompany children on tours.  The RFU policy does not appear to include parents in the requirement for DBS checks.

We are seeking a new assistant Safeguarding Officer for the Minis.  Please contact Michelle Forknall if you are interested.


We have a total of 327 paid members (all categories) as at the end of October and there are some more membership forms in the pipeline.  We do not record a member until we have the completed membership form and payment.  Please make sure Adrian has both so that he can confirm your membership for 2017/2018.

We are thinking about re-instigating the sponsorship of positions, as happened some years ago.  We will consider this further in the New Year for possible reintroduction in the 2018/2019 season.


Following the U16s match at Bromley we felt it necessary to make a formal complaint about the referee. 


We discussed concerns raised by members about prices and quality of some articles, particularly socks.  We agreed that the pricing structure in general should be reviewed.  Nick and Lara will meet our supplier, Akuma, to review the range of items and pricing.


There have been concerns about the state of Jaegers and Steen will be raising these with the Cranbrook School groundsman.


The Committee restated the position that all tours must be approved in advance by the Committee.  Costings should be submitted to the Treasurer, Nick Ditton, prior to a formal request to the full Committee.


Through sponsorship from Tesco and Waitrose, the cricket section of the Club is now able to purchase a high-quality bowling machine and an additional mobile cricket net.  We are very grateful for the support from the supermarkets and hope that the association will continue.

To date, Mark Scott has maintained the cricket area during the summer months but is unable to do this longer term, so we are sourcing a contractor to provide maintenance from the next cricket season.

Work is underway to achieve accreditation for the cricket club.  Andrew Herbert and James Fraser are working on a development plan to achieve this.

New Clubhouse: planning update

There has not been much progress since the October committee meeting.  Natural England has no objection to the development and the Parish Council recommends approval, with some provisos.  The Parish Council has asked for the Club to write requesting formal permission to proceed (the Club leases the land from the Parish Council at a peppercorn rent).  The Club’s Hon Secretary will do this.  The Parish Council would like to be more involved in the development and send a Council member to a meeting.

At the date of the Committee meeting there were approximately 2,500 votes for us for the Aviva Community Fund.


Report from the Committee: October 2017

The Committee meets each month to make decisions about the running of the Club.  If you have matters you wish to go on the November agenda, please forward to Caroline Cannar ( no later than Friday, 3 November 2017.

This is not a replacement for the Club Newsletter.  It is an update on what your Committee discussed, which in October was as follows:

Clubhouse and Ground

The Committee agreed quotes for Honours Boards for display in the clubhouse and is currently commissioning the sign writing.

We are currently looking for a suitable place in the Clubhouse to sell soft drinks and sweets on Sundays that does not get in the way of bar activities.

The Club flag will be replaced; thanks to Alan Depoel-Wood for sourcing a new flag.

The condition of the goal posts was discussed.  They need washing and possible replacement.  This is in hand.

We have a few parents who have offered time and labour to assist with jobs needed by the Club.  Many thanks to everyone who is able to offer assistance.


Congratulations to the 1st team’s outstanding win over Kings College Hospital on Saturday, 7 October


Much work is going on to input the new season’s membership details on to the RFU Game Management system (GMS).  Dave Martin has been working for a considerable length of time to clean up the data and he and Julie Taylor are now inputting the new season’s data.  It is important that the data is accurate for the Club’s reaccreditation coming up shortly.

The ‘no pay, no play’ rule will be enforced from 1 November and players who have not paid a subscription will pay a match fee.

New direct debit payments are now being made through the GoCardless system.  This is proving a very successful means of collecting payment for subscriptions, tour fees and other payments.

Ladies section

The Ladies team is coming on well and very enthusiastic.  We still need more players in order to be able to guarantee putting out a full side for matches.

Juniors and Minis

We agreed to hold a family lunch for players moving up from the Minis to Midis.  Dave Martin will organise.

New Clubhouse: planning update

There have been further delays but the Planning Officer is aware.  We have put in an application for funding to the Aviva Community Fund, which was submitted on our behalf by Doug Jackson at NFU Mutual.  Since the Committee meeting we have heard that the application has been approved and we are now moving to the next stage of the competition to qualify for the award of funds.  A big thank you to Doug for all his help so far.

2018 Ball

Dickie Swallow is organising the Ball and has been getting quotes for marquees and caterers.  He is currently sourcing a band and disco.  The theme is the Club’s Diamond Jubilee.


The Club is always looking for new sponsors and would like to hear from anyone willing, or who has a possible contact that we can pursue.

Kent Cup: 5 November

The club was asked to host the Under 14s Kent Cup on 5th November, but on such short notice, it was decided that we could not accept the invitation this year.