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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

THE RAIDING PARTY: Barrow Raiders focus on floodlights

UNFORTUNATELY, the weather put paid to the scheduled pre-season fixture against Whitehaven on Sunday. Obviously, the lack of an expected match will have affected the coaching team’s plans as the start of the league campaign draws ever closer.

Within minutes of Sunday’s cancellation we were on the phone to try and arrange an extra home game for this weekend. However, at the time this article was submitted nothing had been arranged, though we remain hopeful. Should something be sorted this will appear on the club website (www.barrowrlfc.com) and both the North-West Evening Mail and BBC Radio Cumbria will be informed at the earliest opportunity.

Tomorrow at the Lisdoonie Hotel (7.30pm start) sees the club’s AGM which is open to all debenture holders. The board of directors will report back to the meeting on what has been achieved in the last 12 months as well as outlining the work we need to accomplish in the coming year. Much of that work will of course be focused on raising the necessary funds to allow us to install the new floodlights. The situation at the moment is that the fund is steadily growing (currently circa £17,000) and quotations have been received from several companies. We will begin submitting grant applications in early March (under the guidance of the RFL) but if these applications are unsuccessful then we must assume that we have to raise the full amount ourselves (circa (£100k).

That is a big ask, but we will certainly do our utmost to achieve that figure. This coming Saturday our chairman David Sharpe is opening his offices (Ross Estate Agencies) at Cavendish Street for a ladies clothing sale (1pm to 4pm). The majority of items will be £5 or less and the sizes range from 8 to 14. All proceeds from the sale will go directly into the floodlight fund coffers, as will the proceeds from an Elvis Tribute Night on March 23, at the British Legion Club. The talented Neil McLaughlin is providing the entertainment and tickets (priced just £6) are available to order at the Rugby Shop at Scott Street.

By pure coincidence the newly-formed Barrow RFC Past and Present Players and Coaches Association is holding its first annual dinner on the same evening at Chequers Hotel, Dalton. The capacity of the room means that this event is open only to former and current players/coaches and their guests. However, future functions are to be organised which will be open to all us supporters.

If there are any former players out there who have not yet been notified about the dinner please leave your contact details at the Rugby Shop or get in touch with any of the committee (David Cairns, Andy Whittle, Paul Burns or Jim Perry). The association is now well over 100-strong but there remains many former players who have not been contacted yet. For clarification the association is open to anybody who has played for or coached a Barrow RFC team at any level (first team, A-team, Academy, Colts, etc).

While on the subject of former players I am currently compiling a book which will be titled Final Destination and will be published within the next couple of months.

The book will be A4 size and will record in both words and photographs Barrow RFCs 12 major cup final appearances (from the 1937 Lancashire Cup Final through to last year’s Championship One Grand Final).

Once again, all proceeds from the book sales will go straight into the Floodlight Fund. More details will be made available in the coming weeks when I have an accurate date for launching the book.

As I have said numerous times in this column, the floodlight situation is one of the big issues facing us in 2013, but I remain confident we will enter 2014 with Craven Park lit up like never before!

And then the future really will be bright; and, of course, blue and white.

Have your say

Can't we go back to being Braves? Great name, great motif.

Posted by captain bluebirdseye on 28 January 2013 at 17:18

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