HERE at the Mercury, we have been asking sports clubs across the area to nominate their ‘club heroes’ - members who have been working in the NHS or essential services, or those who have gone above and beyond for their club over the years.

This week, Bridgwater Cricket Club’s Scott Sealey gives us the lowdown on someone who makes the club tick behind the scenes...

Mrs Vera Steed is undoubtedly one of the club heroes at Bridgwater CC, having led the catering arm of the club with great commitment since she took on the role almost 20 years ago.

Vera single-handedly transformed the tea offering at the club, ensuring the players, officials and members have been superbly looked after, playing a leading role in ensuring the off-field offering is second to none in the West of England Premier League and Somerset Cricket League.

This has been officially awarded on a number of occasions, with Bridgwater CC winning the West of England Premier League Hospitality Award (as voted by the appointed umpires) on numerous occasions in the past 10 years.

The above photo was taken at the presentation of the 2010 award on May 21, 2011, as leading WEPL umpires Bob Hampshire and Howard Hudd presented the award at tea.

Hampshire told the packed clubhouse: “For a number of years we have marked every club in the whole league structure on various things such as quality of ground and the pitch.

“Our treasurer passed away 18 months ago and we decided to introduce a Hospitality Award in his memory, so we looked at whether someone greets you on arrival and how we are treated generally.

“It was no surprise Bridgwater gained top marks every time; it is such a warm and friendly place and so well supported.

“You can tell the club really enjoys its cricket and you always get so well looked after.”

Vera has been a fundamental part of this offering and was the first female to be awarded life membership at the club.

During lockdown Vera has been forced to shield at home, supported by her son Andrew and club members.

But Vera will always have legendary status with all the members at Bridgwater CC and we hope to see her at the club again soon.

In lockdown the club has also been grateful to the groundstaff - Andrew Higgins, Ally Witts, Mike Moran and Bill Arlow - who have continued to work under social distancing conditions to maintain the grounds at The Parks, so that it is ready once recreational cricket gets the go-ahead.

The Parks is looking in wonderful condition and the club is hopeful that some cricket will be possible in 2020.

The club net facilities remain open via a strict booking system, and small groups (up to six people) are now able to train under social distancing regulations.

The club is grateful to all of its loyal vice-presidents who have supported the club throughout lockdown with their generous donations, and also to the government for the small business grant that was awarded to the club.

The club is looking forward to opening its bar facilities once allowed, and to welcoming back members and supporters.

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