Howard Milton writes:-
The 75th anniversary of The Cricket Society will fall in November 2020. To mark the occasion the Executive Committee of The Society is proposing publishing a history of The Cricket Society. To achieve this end a number of factors need to fall into place.
Firstly, The Society is looking for an author. That is someone with a good readable writing style, and preferably, with a track record of published works at a reasonable level. He/she would have available the complete set of Society committee minutes, publications and other miscellaneous material and would be expected to seek out and contact members with reminiscences of Society activities and events.
To the last point, we would like to make contact with members, particularly those whose association with The Society goes back a long way. We are not aware of anyone now whose memory can go back 75 years, but memories of fifties and onwards would be very welcome. That is reminiscences of particular personalities, meetings and speakers, dinners and speakers, committee meetings, coaching weeks, overseas tours etc. The Cricket Society XI produced its own history a few years back, but anything not in there would still be relevant.
Most importantly, nothing is going to happen if we cannot find anyone out there who would be interested in acquiring a copy of the publication. So, The Cricket Society is looking for declarations of interest. This is not the commitment of a subscriber’s list, which would possibly follow.
If you can help or have an interest, (we are not looking for actual contributions as yet), please contact me by email or at 46, Elmfield Close, Gravesend, Kent DA11 0LP.
The deadline for places on The Cricket Society’s visit to Colombo in November, which is definitely going ahead, has been extended until the end of June. Due to recent price changes the cost per head (subject to availability) is now £1595 (single supplement remains the same at £465). These prices, which include Test match tickets and related transport, remain significantly lower than those quoted by others in the market.
Harry Pearson's CONNIE: THE MARVELLOUS LIFE OF LEARIE CONSTANTINE has won The Cricket Society and MCC Book of the Year Award 2018.
Photo by Graham Morris
On Thursday 1st of March in the middle of the snow and ice we were very pleased to see 60 members of the society turn out to hear our special guest Mike Brearley. Expertly hosted by our vice-president Chris Lowe we heard Mike talk about his book "On Form" and also his views on current cricket issues.
Mike Brearley signing for society members copies of his book "On Form"
We are very sad to learn of the death of Hubert Doggart, a Vice President and past President of The Cricket Society.
Click here to read a tribute from John Symons, Bulletin Editor.
A celebration of Hubert's life will be held in Chichester Cathedral, on Friday 27th April, at 2pm. Donations may be made to Arundel Castle Cricket Foundation.
Click to read the CCS October Newsletter.
...with 8 Cricket Society Award winners in the team including Anya Shrubsole.
The Cricket Writers Club has joined forces with the Haresfoot Brewery to produce a beer specially for cricket lovers. The brew is called All Rounder, is generously hopped and comes in at a comfortable 3.7%. Having tasted it our treasurer Phil Reeves - who knows his beer - commented "an excellent session ale, malty but also hoppy and best consumed lightly chilled".
We have been able to negotiate a 10% discount for Cricket Society members who buy a case of 12 500ml bottles direct from the brewery. The cost of a case is usually £28.95 but with the discount this comes down to £26.06. Delivery to your door is £4.95 and this usually takes just a few days. If you wish to take advantage of this offer visit www.haresfootbreweryshop.com and use discount code CS17 at the checkout.
Enjoy the beer but do drink responsibly!
Many congratulations to Hamidullah Qadri on being the youngest ever player to debut for Derbyshire and on taking 5 for 60 to win the game. He was a Cricket Society award winner for 2016. See the picture (some distance)below with Denise Fielding.
Nigel Hancock presenting the award to Alex Hartley. Clearly buoyed by her award Alex took a wicket in her first over!
We had over 40 members joining us at New Road for day two of the county championship match against Kent. The previous evening, some 14 of us staying over met for drinks in the oldest pub in Worcester (The Cardinal's Hat) and then moved on to dinner at The Kings Head.
It was a mighty warm day but we had a fantastic location at the ground in a marquee with the pavilion to our left and, importantly, a cool breeze blowing from the cathedral. It was possible to sit outside the marquee right by the boundary edge and still in the shade of a large horse chestnut tree. Members assembled for tea/coffee and biscuits and then enjoyed seeing Worcestershire battle to a first innings lead of 76 thanks mainly to a fine century by Joe Clarke who went on to score 142 and was ably assisted by Joe Leach. Lunch was a sumptuous buffet of ham, prawns, new potatoes, pasta salad, coronation chicken and much more.
After lunch Mike Vockins our guest for the day spoke to us about his time as secretary of the club. He recounted how in the 1970s the cathedral who owned the land proposed a very substantial increase in the rent. The club had sought to buy the ground outright on many occasions but had been unable to do so. However, on this occasion there was a storm and part of the cathedral roof collapsed meaning they were in urgent need of funds. They settled on a price of £40,000 - surely the deal of the century.
Mike also told us about recruiting one player in particular. This was a young cricketer from Zimbabwe who was reputed to be something of a batsman. Mike was tempted to refuse the offer as Worcestershire at that time had plenty of batting. Almost as an afterthought he asked if the contact knew of any spin bowlers and was advised that the batsman also bowled some very good off spin. Thus it was that a certain Graeme Hick came to Worcester as an off spinner!
After a fine tea of scones with jam and cream the air cooled a little and Kent began their second innings. Neither Bell-Drummond nor the skipper Northeast lasted long but another Joe (Denly) saw Kent to the close and unfurled some scorching drives through the off side.
We hope to run another trip next year and would be grateful for any suggestions.
Mike Vockins speaking to members over lunch
Douglas Miller and London meeting organiser Nick Tudball -- Douglas, where did you get those shorts?
Members enjoying the sun and the shade.
Paul Fielding ( pictured below with Andy Sheldon) equalled the wicket tally of John Kershaw when he captured 2 at Kew.
Read about our latest results under Society XI and to find out what else this photo shows.
On the first day of the new County Championship season Ben Duckett received his award from Tom Carmichael at the County Ground Northampton. He wasn't able to attend our Autumn dinner due to more pressing business in Bangladesh.
A fantastic finish to our winter programme on Tuesday 21st March. Stuart Rayner, a journalist based in the north east, gave us a wonderful account of the writing of his book "The War of The White Rose". Inevitably this focused on one Geoffrey Boycott who Stuart had interviewed extensively. Afterwards in the Q&A session Stuart gave us his views on Durham and the relegation and points deduction saga. A fuller report will be in our next bulletin.
We are now planning our next season of speakers and can report that Mike Brearley has agreed to do an evening with us early in the new year. We are also hoping to secure a top international cricketer for a Christmas time session similar to that with David Steele last year. Much to look forward to.
Douglas Miller remarking to Stuart Rayner "cricket writers are looking much younger these days!"
Stuart Rayner signing copies of his book and chatting to members in the interval.
The Yorkshire Post getting its priorities right on the death of the pope.
Hamidullah was not able to attend the Autumn Dinner to receive his AA Thomson Fielding prize in person. So, on 15th December Denise Fielding travelled to her hometown of Derby to present the Award to him. The assembly at Derby Moor Community Sports College was also attended by Derbyshire skipper Wayne Madsen and Steve Stubbings , the First XI Support Coach. Denise told the school a little bit about the Society and the award and that eight members of the England squad in India had won Cricket Society awards.
Pictured above are (L-R): Wayne Madsen, Graeme Smith (Headteacher), Hamidullah Qadri, Denise Fielding, Steve Stubbings.
More photos from the Autumn Dinner Awards presentations can be seen lower down this News page.
A lunch was held on the 18th January to thank Howard Milton for 40 years' service as The Cricket Society Librarian.
Ben Duckett (Most Promising Young Male Player)
Alex Hartley (Most Promising Young Female Player)
Sam Dorsey (Sir John Hobbs Silver Jubilee Memorial Prize)
Hamidullah Qadri (A A Thomson Fielding Prize) - see also News item higher up this page
Swiss Cottage School (Christopher Box-Grainger Memorial Trophy)
were all presented with their awards at the Autumn Dinner on Friday 4 November.
Guest speakers were Chris Lowe and David Smith. A Dinner report will appear here shortly.
Photos below courtesy Sue Carmichael.
Raf Nicholson accepting Alex Hartley's Award Sam Dorsey accepting his Award from Ken Lake
from Cricket Society Vice president Chris Lowe
Lee Deller (Swiss Cottage School) accepting Phil Evans, winner of the Silent Auction, receiving
the Award from Cricket Society Trust Secretary his prize from guest speaker David Smith
More photographs from the Dinner can be viewed in the Members Area
Did you know that The Cricket Society was on Twitter?
Well we are and have been for some time. For those of you not familiar with Twitter it is an instant messaging service for mobile smartphones, tablets and PCs. We can send short messages of 140 characters direct to your device. This service is often used by celebrities to document every second of their banal existence but fear not we shall not be bombarding you with such messages. Nor will we be circulating cricket trivia so if you want to see a photo of Jason Roy’s latest tattoo you will have to look elsewhere.
What we shall be doing is sending occasional messages with news about the Society including forthcoming events, speaker bookings, meeting/dinner reminders and the like. We shall also be tweeting live from London meetings including photos. We will pass on interesting snippets from speakers and if an obscure fact comes up we may tweet a little quiz question as we did with the Dean Allen meeting in October. So just a bit of fun really to whet your appetite for the meeting report in the bulletin. You can see the twitter feed on the left hand side of each page on this website.
To be part of this you just need to download the Twitter app or go to Twitter on the internet and follow us at @CricketSociety. You can then receive our tweets and send messages back if you feel so inclined!
Top Left - Somerset CEO Guy Lavender with Vic Marks.
Photo Credit: Mike Dwyer
Report by Phil Reeves:
This year we decided to go west for the second day of the championship match between Somerset and Middlesex at Taunton on Monday 11th July. We had some 38 members and guests attending which made for a very enjoyable trip.
As many of us travelled down to Taunton the night before, the traditional “pint and a curry” social had been organised by yours truly. After extensive online research of city centre pubs I plumped for the Kings Arms which had excellent reviews. On arriving however we found that it was the last day for the departing, rather disgruntled, licensee and, to say the least, customer care was not at its best. We quickly adjourned to another more welcoming hostelry to sample the excellent local ales. Dinner was at the Taj Mahal in Staplegrove Road where they made twelve of us very welcome, the remainder having stayed in the pub to watch the European championship final. Our chairman was earlier in the summer a little worried that if England had got into the final, our curry evening might have to be called off. I however told him that was such an unlikely occurrence that we could discount it.
The following morning, our day started at the cricket with coffee/tea and pastries. We were situated in one of the specially built pavilions which surround the ground and they afford an excellent view of the cricket. We had a total of three suites which gave ample choice to those wishing to sit inside or out or quietly or to have a rolling discussion on cricketing issues. Middlesex were batting which cheered some of us as we were interested to see the fiery Jamie Overton bowl. However he pulled up after just three balls and had to be substituted. The remaining Somerset attack made good progress on a helpful wicket mainly held up at first by Nick Gubbins and then the Australian George Bailey (badly dropped behind early) both before and after lunch.
Our vice-president Vic Marks arrived nice and early for informal chats with members and then took us down to the cricket school balcony where he and the chief executive told us a little about Somerset and the ground. The development over the last 10 years had been considerable and Vic even recalled in the early days there was a greyhound track round the outside. We learnt that there were still some apartments for sale overlooking the ground which it was rumoured cost somewhere in the region of £350,000. Inevitably the talk turned to famous Somerset cricketers such as Botham and Richards who Vic reminded us often competed against each other to see who hit more sixes which didn’t always serve the county’s best interests. In his early days though it was very different as his first day at Somerset he was keen to start playing but encountered a union meeting shop stewarded by Merv Kitchen hunched over an electric fire. He was told that they would not be playing until they had sorted out the petrol money details.
Lunch itself was a delicious rolling buffet of cold meats and vegetarian options. The cricket in the afternoon followed a similar pattern to that of the morning with Middlesex losing regular wickets to some tight seam bowling. Many of us took the opportunity to walk round the ground and view the cricket in the sunshine from other vantage points.
At tea we were treated to a brief talk and then a free tour of the admirable cricket museum in the ground which crammed a great deal of memorabilia into a small space. After such exertions we gratefully retired to our pavilion for tea and scones with cream and jam. The evening session produced some fine exciting cricket and as the wicket eased the Middlesex 9th wicket of James Harris and James Fuller pair put on a record stand (eventually 162) to break the previous record set in 1895. They were extremely important runs as Middlesex went on to win the match on the last day by just two wickets – a very important building brick in their challenge for the championship title.
It was good to see so many members staying until the end but after play hands were shaken and the talk turned to a venue for next year. So watch this space!
Below: Chairman Nigel Hancock with Vic Marks, an enraptured audience, the County Ground and the obligatory pre-match curry night. Photo Credit: Phil Reeves