Message from the Chair | Bristol & Cheltenham Information

18 June 2021

I had originally intended for my first ‘Chair’s message’ to Members and supporters to be centred on the big picture, strategic in nature and one that provided an outlook on some of the longer-term aspirations that the Club are working towards. Since I took over from John Hollingdale as Chair at April’s AGM (with Steve Nelson taking over the Deputy Chair role), the realities on the ground are that, almost on a weekly basis, the Club is facing an unprecedented number of short-term issues and moving goalposts, caused by the pandemic. We are learning that coping with ambiguity is becoming a reality!

The Board are supporting Will and his excellent team to try and navigate through this extraordinary period, and inevitably that means change in almost all facets of our operation. This week we heard the Government announce a four-week delay to the roadmap surrounding the lifting of Covid regulations, and this has a very direct implication on the Club, falling as it does within the busiest period of our cricket season.

It has been a real boost to everyone at the Club to welcome Members and supporters back to the Bristol County Ground, but we all acknowledge that “resumption” hasn’t been either easy or straightforward. In such a unique situation, the Gloucestershire Cricket staff are having to react in unusual timescales, and I wanted to thank everyone for their patience and understanding at this time.  We acknowledge that this has resulted in a high volume of calls and emails, on a number of different subjects, and it has therefore been difficult to respond to everything or everyone in a timely manner. I want to reassure you that everyone is trying their best and we are grateful for the understanding of those that may have queries.

With things changing so rapidly, it has been difficult to be certain about almost anything this year. This ambiguity continues at many levels and is something we are learning to live with. There are some things that we can be certain about – there WILL be a Visit Cayman Islands Cheltenham Cricket Festival this year, and we WILL be able to accommodate all Member’s ticket requests and allocations that have been processed so far. We won’t, however, be able to accommodate any further ticket requests from anyone for the two Cheltenham T20s (and the Somerset T20 match in Bristol) but still have space at the two LV= Insurance County Championship matches at Cheltenham in July.

Additionally, we are waiting on Government and local authority confirmation of capacity numbers and we hope to safely accommodate as many ticket purchasers as possible. As soon as we have a definitive answer, we will communicate with the relevant ticket purchasers. With regards to Hospitality bookings, we will be able to accommodate these bookings for the festival.

I want to make you aware that The Festival will look and feel very different this year in all facets. Spectators won’t be able to walk in front of the Pavilion (we can’t mix ‘zones’), masks will need to be worn when walking around the site and our hospitality will be based in modern aerated stretch-tents, rather than in traditional marquees. All of these changes are enforced on us by either Government or local requirements, but none of them will prevent it being a fantastic celebration; we know that it’s an occasion greatly looked forward to by many.

In signing off, I’d like to thank all of our staff, who show incredible commitment and passion for the Club, and are doing everything they possibly can to make your visits to Bristol and Cheltenham as enjoyable and safe as possible. I’d like to thank, once again, all our Members and supporters for your understanding. The Executive will be communicating with you at all ‘milestone’ moments – for example when we receive Government and England & Wales Cricket Board directives – and will provide updates as soon as we have them.

With best wishes,

David Jones

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