Wendover Cricket Club – No 50/50 Auction this Year!
Wendover Cricket Club first ran this fundraising event in the mid-1960’s and it has been held annually through to 2017; at one stage, around the 1990’s, it was held twice annually. (It was called 50/50 as 50% of the sold price went to both club and vendor; the percentages were later changed to encourage better quality items). The event has raised many thousands of pounds for the club and provided a useful service to the community in removing and recycling unwanted goods. Many regular contributors look forward to the auction and set aside goods to put in. Up until 2000 or later, the profits would have been a significant figure in the accounts; in recent years, this has been less significant (although still welcome), given the other income streams.
There has never been a shortage of suitable goods to auction – usually around 330 – but recently and especially last year, the number of bidders has been limited and wanting to pay as little as possible. In 2017, it was very disappointing (for the club and its vendors) that although nearly everything sold, few items attracted more than one bid and if they did, then the bidding soon petered out. Perhaps people are more savvy these days and are only interested in bargains via eBay, car boot sales, etc. and don’t want to spend much at auctions. Or perhaps most people already have everything they want!
Over the years, the auction’s organisation has been streamlined to make the operation more efficient but it still takes a lot of organisation and relies on a very few people to ensure it runs smoothly and effectively. Most of the current team have been actively involved for at least 20 years – Jonathan Seabrook has been the organiser for the whole of that time and Graham Rutherford its main auctioneer, and he’s been doing so for much longer than that. It has always been difficult to encourage club members to help out and during the last 20 years, no-one else has appeared to act as a reserve or understudy for the key roles of organiser and auctioneer and it’s a constant worry of what happens if one of them becomes ill at the wrong time.
Consequently it has been decided not to hold the auction this year. Whether it will start up again in the future is unknown – the knowledge and experience is there but no-one is getting any younger! The Club’s gratitude is extended to all those who have contributed in any way to the success of the 50/50 Auction over the last 50 years.