Dear Member/ Vice President

It certainly seems an age ago that we last saw the 1st XV in league action – to be precise, the 29th of February 2020 saw us narrowly edged out by Tonbridge Juddians in a match where we were able to pick up a bonus losing point which ultimately turned out to be vital.  A possibly unexpected but fully-deserved victory at Old Albanian the following week put us clear, albeit only just, of the relegation spots and with the season truncated by the first Covid lockdown the following week, we proudly preserved our Level Four status.

Since then, of course, much water has flowed under the bridge – no rugby whatever in 2020-21 and, at the time of writing, no cast-iron certainty that we will restart in September, although the league fixtures have now been published for several months.  We start the season, as we did previously, with a home match against Dings Crusaders, before the first of many long and arduous journeys.  

From the previous season, we have lost Tonbridge Juddian, Taunton, Sutton & Epsom, Old Redcliffians and Bournemouth – ironically two of these were relatively close neighbours in the scheme of things.   They have been replaced by Canterbury, Rochford, Guernsey, Barnstaple and Hinckley (Leicestershire).   One local derby which will not affect the carbon footprint much, but North Devon and the Channel Islands at the other extreme!

In the 2019-20 season, the membership showed just how supportive they are of this wonderful club, in raising nearly twenty thousand pounds to assist the boys with the formidable cost of travel – as well as the five newcomers mentioned above, we will have two visits to Bristol, a second visit to Leicester, the trek to Redruth, three visits to the London area, one to Sussex, one to Oxfordshire and a trip to see some old acquaintances in Suffolk.

If you would be prepared to support us again this year, we would be delighted to hear from you.   For those new to the game, donations can be made in multiples of £100.   All members donating will receive mention in the match programmes and in club newsletters, as a token of our gratitude.   If you can assist, please send your donation to the following account:

Sort Code 30-94-26

Account Number 00523559

Reference: Your name, and “Westbus”

Let us hope for an enjoyable season.   Thank you for taking the time to read this letter

Nick Crowe, on behalf of Westcliff RFC