The Gloucestershire Exiles
The Gloucestershire Exiles is a part-social, part fundraising founded in 1971 and boasts a membership of several hundred Gloucestershire supporters from across the country and even around the world.
Originally conceived to bring together supporters from outside the county, the membership now includes many who live in Gloucestershire and Bristol who wish to enjoy the benefits offered by the Exiles.
We organise events both during the cricket season and winter months – you can read about them below. These include an Annual General Meeting at Lord’s, a day at the Cheltenham Cricket Festival for members and friends and also a 'Meet the Players' evening during one of our matches in London. Every other year we hold a Fundraising Dinner in the Lord’s Committee Dining Room.
We also produce our Exiles magazine, Outside-edge, which is the only print publication exclusively about Gloucestershire cricket. It is published twice a year and sent to all of our members. Outside-edge keeps our members in touch with the Club news through articles submitted by members and contributions from county players past and present, cricket writers and other cricket-lovers.
How can I get involved?
Membership of Gloucestershire Exiles has an annual subscription cost of £15 (concessions offered). Life membership is £150.00 if you are over 65. To find out more and to receive a complimentary copy of Outside-edge, please contact our Membership Secretary Matt Davies on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07970 730267
2023 Exiles Day at the Visit Cayman Islands Cheltenham Cricket Festival
Not even the rain at the end of the day could dampen the spirits of almost 150 Exiles and their friends who had enjoyed another very successful Exiles Day, held this year during the first day of the County Championship match against Worcestershire at Cheltenham. The iconic College Ground is often referred to as the spiritual home of the Exiles, and many had travelled from all corners of the country to be there for what is often a once-a-year chance to catch up with old friends. Among the guests from Worcestershire, welcomed by Exiles Chair Sarah Blowen, were Fanos Hira, Worcestershire Chair, and Ashley Giles, who had earlier in the month been appointed as the near neighbours’ CEO. Fanos had recently published a report into the finances of The Hundred, a popular topic for discussion, while Ashley, being an Ashes winner himself, was very happy to talk about the summer’s spectacular Test series. Also present was the ever-popular County legend Mike Procter who was joined later in the day by fellow County legend Courtney Walsh, back in Cheltenham for the first time in several years.
During the lunch break Sarah introduced the County skipper Graeme van Buuren who spoke openly about the difficult times that the side had been going through, but thanked all Exiles everywhere for their support wherever the County are playing. On a bright note, he talked positively of the progress being made by younger members of the squad and was also able to share that he was hoping to return from injury later in the Festival for the 50-over matches. Mixing the part-social and part-fundraising activities of the Exiles, Graeme was presented with a donation to the County of £3,500 from the Exiles, aimed at helping the development of young players in the County’s pathway. It is hoped that a further donation will be made later in the year.
“It has been another great day, “ said Sarah, “and what delight to have the likes of Ashley, Mike and Courtney with us. I am very grateful to the Exiles Committee for all their work in organising today’s event, but especially to everyone who has supported us and come along. We are already being asked about next year’s event. That makes it all the more worthwhile.”
On that note, as soon as the 2024 fixtures are announced we will be circulating details of next season’s Exiles Day. See you there!
2023 Gloucestershire Exiles dinner at Lord's
The Exiles launched their social activities for the year in early February when they gathered in a packed Committee Dining Room at Lord’s for the return of what had been, pre-Covid, the Exiles Biennial Dinner, and what a good night it was.
Exiles Chair, Sarah Blowen, welcomed members and guests, who included Gloucestershire Cricket Chair David Jones, the County’s Performance Director Steve Snell, and the very promising Ben Wells from the playing staff. She thanked everyone for their continued support of the Exiles, especially in recent difficult times, and spoke of the organisation’s twin roles, both as a fundraiser, in this case for the Gloucestershire Cricket Trust, but also as a vehicle for the Gloucestershire cricket community, wherever they may be.
After pre-dinner drinks where David, Steve and Ben had been able to mix and talk with Exiles, the evening took its familiar course. Event organiser Jon Paine hosted an auction as well as running a raffle before dinner was served. After the meal David Jones addressed the room and covered a wide variety of topics including the future of international cricket, the Strauss Report, diversity in cricket, and The Hundred, after which Steve Snell spoke in more detail about Gloucestershire’s performances in 2022 and hopes for the season to come. All three guests then took part in a Q&A session, where among other topics, Ben spoke candidly about the impact of franchise cricket on a young player embarking on a career as a professional cricketer.
Previous dinners at Lord’s have ended with such things as a heavy snowfall and once even with a fire alarm. Fortunately this one closed with smiles all round. Thanks were extended particularly to Jon Paine for his organisation and to the Exiles Committee in general. As one Exile commented, “You offered us gold and you delivered platinum".
To give you a wider picture of the history of the Exiles and its link with the County Club, below is a link to the 100th edition of Outside-edge which includes highlights and pictures through the years from the formation of the Exiles in 1971:
Click here for the 109th Edition of the Outside-edge.
Outside-edge editor Martin Jones welcomes all contributions and ideas for articles. We would be delighted to hear from you, especially with your 150 words. Please email him at email@example.com