tDorset Cricket Society

Résumé of events 2018-19










Members & Chris Finch

38 members and guests arrived for the 1st meeting of the season. After dealing with the financial matters Chris Finch led us in a wide-ranging review of the 2018 season. I think it fair to say that more time was devoted to county cricket than the England side. Chris had an impressive list of statistics to hand and was able to tell us that in the county championship the ball held sway over the bat. Reasons for this were many; the timing of county matches, very early and late in the season, watered outfields, some questionable pitches and pink-ball cricket. Only 6 batsmen topped 1000 1st class runs for the season. 
Chris’s selection for overall team of the year was Kent! He based this on the total number of victories they achieved in all formats of the game. Unsurprisingly this led to one or two raised eyebrows! At least it was a relief to hear that there is unlikely to be any pink-ball cricket next season. We are most grateful to Chris for dedicating 45 days to watching cricket, to enable him to lead this review each season. Many thanks Chris.




Jimmy Adams

Once again Jimmy Adams attracted a very good turn out of members and guests, with a total of 50 attending for his 8th visit. So I think he has served the DCS almost as faithfully as he has Hampshire. In a wide-ranging talk plus question and answer session, Jimmy covered his last season with Hampshire and their performance. He did remind us that the county had won the 50 Over Trophy earlier in the season and this year they avoided relegation quite comfortably in the County Championship. He spoke about the youngsters coming through and those who are moving on such as Sean Ervine and Reece Topley. Jimmy hopes to be involved with the game in some form and preferably with Hampshire, though he doesn’t see much prospect of actually playing, say with Dorset. After more than 90 minutes entertainment it was time to bring the afternoon to an end, though I have no doubt we could all still be there listening. Hopefully as Jimmy knows the route down to Hurn Bridge, we may still see him in the future. Many thanks Jimmy.




Michael Stimpson

Michael Stimpson told us about the Hampshire & England cricketer George Brown. Michael’s interest in his subject was first aroused by John Arlott, who called him the most complete all-round cricketer in England. How so? Well he batted for England in 7 Tests, keeping wicket as well, but he was also a fearless and excellent fielder and bowled for his county rather than keeping wicket. His first class career spanned the years 1908 to 1933. He scored 37 centuries and 111 50’s with a top score of 232 no. With the ball he took 626 wickets at 26.71 and in the field he took 568 catches and 78  stumpings. He had originally got his chance with Hampshire after walking from his home in Oxfordshire, in February, to attend a trial at the County Ground in Southampton.
Michael’s book had taken 5 years of research to produce and he gave us a wonderful insight into a cricketer unknown to many of us. Thanks very much Michael.




David Allen

David Allen entertained us again in his inimitable style. He has just published a book detailing every single player who has represented Hampshire in 1st Class cricket. Anyone concerned that this list might be rather exhausting were quickly re-assured, as it was David's intention to focus on just one player from the 1950's - none other than our own Alan Rayment. David wove a tapestry of the social history of those early post-war years, while filling us in with comprehensive statistics about who were the most successful bowlers against Hampshire when Alan was playing. Then there was the question of how many times Alan played 1st Class cricket, was it 199 or 200? This all hinged on a game where not a single ball was bowled in a three-day game, but the Hampshire team had been nominated and the fixture appeared in the final Championship table. In all, it was another very interesting afternoon, delivered by David in his highly professional style. Many thanks David




David Kynaston & Stephen Fay

Stephen Fay and David Kynaston revealed that their collaboration was done mainly in two halves, with both of them working on separate sections of the book. They admitted at one point that the were both ‘Arlott men’. They concentrated on the post war years, of course during the war Arlott was still a policeman, sometimes directing traffic in Southampton while reading a book. They felt that he was best suited to radio as he painted a picture of what was happening, while Jim Swanton was more suited to television, once it started. We heard tales of John Arlott’s legendary drinking, though Swanton’s consumption in a day might raise a few eyebrows today. There was lots of audience participation as well. We learnt that both men wrote the other's obituary, which was pretty unusual, but it was felt that Jim Swanton’s was the more generous. They believed that he mellowed as he got older, maybe from the time he married for the first time at the age of 50. In conclusion our authors believed that John Arlott had the touch of genius about him, which eluded Jim Swanton. Definitely a thought provoking afternoon and many thanks to Chris Finch for arranging the visit and conducting the interview.



Andy Murtagh

Andy Murtagh visited us again and focused on his subject of Colin Cowdrey. Colin had a pretty tough childhood - born in India to a tea planter family, he had no companions of his own age for his first five years. Brought to England by boat he was then in boarding school until he went to university and didn’t see his parents for many years. He first came to the public’s notice at the age of 13 playing for Tonbridge School at Lords, he scored a 50 and took 5 wickets with leg-spin. While at Universtity he also played for Kent and by the age of 21 was called up to the England team. Although very successful as a batsman, the England captaincy which he aspired to frequently eluded him. When finally he did nail down the position, a serious injury provided the opportunity for Ray Illingworth to take over and Colin never regained the position. He was surprisingly recalled to the England team in Australia in 1971, where he famously introduced himself to Jeff Thomson on the field of play. Colin later became an integral part of the administration of England cricket and the Basil D’Olivera affair was discussed at length, as was his, with the Duke of Norfolk’s daughter! Happy times.
Another entertaining afternoon, with many thanks to Andy.




Rod Bransgrove

53 members and guests came to hear Rod Bransgrove give the inside story of how he took Hampshire from the brink of bankruptcy to a team in the 1st Division of the County Championship and winners of the 50 over Cup. Rod was forthright and thought-provoking, sensing that there may not be too many supporters of ‘The Hundred’ in the audience, he admitted that it was not aimed at those of us who are somewhat older and like our cricket slow-baked over 4 days. 4 day cricket was his personal preference, but he would rather watch 20-20 than the 50 over game. He regaled us with some stories, including Shane Warne’s antics. He revealed that the county were looking for a coach who was not a first-timer in County cricket. After speaking for about three-quarters of an hour, he then invited questions and rode the bumpers well! He answered some specific, practical questions regarding vehicle exits at the Ageas Bowl, as well as more general questions. The lack of Test Matches in the forthcoming years was touched on. I think all in the audience were given a very entertaining afternoon. Many thanks Rod and to John White for arranging the visit.




Keith Booth

The Dorset Cricket Society staged their first ever 'Premier' when Keith Booth gave his first talk on the Hayward family. Keith took us back in time, both in cricket and lifestyles, talking about the days when it was not uncommon for 'teams' to record single figure scores despite having batted for two days.  He enlightened some of us in going over the days when Cambridgeshire were a first class county.  The talk was centred around the Hayward family of whom Tom was the undoubted star but was preceded in first class cricket by his grandfather, father and uncle.
Tom's record was remarkable having joined Surrey in 1893, being capped the following year and becoming Wisden Cricketer of the year in 1895.  He never failed to score 1,000 runs a season during his career which ended in 1914, scoring 2,000 ten times and 3,000 twice.
He played 35 times for England scoring three centuries, and was run out in his final test finishing his International career on 1,999 runs. He and Jack Hobbs became a formidable opening partnership for Surrey recording 40 opening partnerships of over 100, yet only played together once for England.
Keith answered questions from the floor afterwards in an interesting talk centred on 19th and early 20th century cricket. Many thanks Keith.




Richard Mockridge

After Paul Downton was unable to visit due to his duties down in Kent, Vice-President and founder of the Society, Richard Mockridge kindly stepped into the breach to tell us all about the development of both Bournemouth and cricket in the town. Calling on a number of historical documents, it was enlightening just how undeveloped our town was in the early 1800’s. The area between the Bourne and Christchurch was shown on a map as ‘Sandbanks’, not further to the west where we know it now. In fact Bourne Mouth was two words and Boscombe was known as Boscombe Mouth. The first cricket ground was in the area that is now the pleasure gardens. In the 19th Century the area was extensively wooded and finding a sufficiently large and flat area must have been a challenge. The development of cricket was tied in with the development of the railway - no Central station in those days - no direct line to London. A ground was found at Springbourne until the new railway line was driven through the pitch! Eventually the Dean Park ground was established and after a while Hampshire played the odd game -the original 1st class game was against a touring side from Pennsylvania. In time there was a cricket week featuring Yorkshire amongst the opposition. We saw photos of some of the great players who have appeared at Dean Park, Phil Mead, Dickie Moore, Desmond Eager, Derek Shackleton, Alan Rayment! In 1992 Hampshire turned away from Bournemouth and although the university took over the ground, we now lament its sad demise, as a private school and nursery. A sad ending, but a very educational afternoon for the members. Many thanks Richard.




It was delightful to see more than 40 members turn up for the Christmas Buffet and then to watch Michael Burns' film about the 1954-5 tour to Australia.  Many thanks for all the contributions to the buffet, hopefully all the dishes etc found their way home. Michael’s film was an excerpt from his near 2 hour production entitled Hutton’s Men. This section showed us the tour to Australia in 1954-5, where England were successful in winning the Ashes, before they then went on to New Zealand for further success.There were some quaint touches in the film: the trip out was done by boat with a stop-off in Ceylon for a game. Once the team had arrived in Australia, there was then 4 weeks of preparation and matches before the 1st Test. Nowadays the team would have arrived and played most of the series in that time! It does beg the question as to whether the expectations placed on modern players are realistic. The film skilfully blended black & white with colour film showing the action along with off the field events as well. The quality was very good considering the era, though camera shots were restricted to long range and the number of angles was very limited compared to the modern day. With the Ashes won, the team moved on to play two more Tests in New Zealand. Finally the players, wives and girl-friends flew back to England on a journey that necessitated three stops. A fine afternoon’s entertainment and we were very grateful to Michael for travelling down to introduce the film and answer questions afterwards.




Chris Finch

Members returned in good numbers to the first meeting of the New Year. Chris Finch kept us entertained with his life of cricket. His basic premise was that, for him, cricket was about fun and fellowship - a bit like the Dorset Cricket Society! We heard that the majority of his playing years were spent at Redbourn Cricket Club in Hertfordshire, a very picturesque ground from the photographs. He played there, often with members of his extended family from the age of about 13. The club is reputed to be the oldest in the country, though Chris disavowed this idea, by questioning what constituted a club. His time at university was spent in Edinburgh  and by the cunning plan of spreading three years work over four years, he ensured that there was plenty of time for sport. Are you any relation to Baldrick, Chris? Chris has an extensive library of cricket books, pamphlets and magazines, by his estimation probably about 8000, though this is only a fraction of the estimated 50000 which he believes exists. He did reveal that he has his own design of bookplate for the inside cover of his books. Throughout the talk the ‘K’ word was liberally sprinkled - Kent of course. Chris revealed a painful experience of watching Kent play in 8 one-day finals and losing them all! A member enquired where the allegiance to Kent had come from as Chris was from Hertfordshire. We learnt that his wife Helen, with her family ties, was the reason for his choice. Since moving to Dorset Chris had played for Corfe Cricket Club, who sadly have now folded, not helped by their ground becoming dangerous to play on. Many thanks Chris for an  entertaining afternoon to restart the season.



A very enjoyable luncheon was enjoyed by 70 members and partners at the Mayfair Hotel.  David Hain's usual exemplary organisation as always ensured things ran smoothly. The meal and service were to the hotel’s usual high standards and enjoyed by the members present, with some complimentary remarks made afterwards.

After the meal a short speech was made by the Chairman followed by Derek Hopkins ever popular heads and tails.  An excellent raffle was conducted by David Hain with some additional prizes donated by Paul Pearson (AFC Bournemouth pictures) and Chris Finch (Cricket Book).




Tony Wharton

Tony Wharton took us on a trip around the world stopping off at various cricket grounds along the way. He was the accountant at Hampshire CCC during the 1990’s when the opportunity of a job in the Bahamas came up. Torn between cold, wet Southampton in the winter or the sub-tropics, Tony took the plunge and left for the Bahamas. His cricketing journey didn’t stop there. He had previously lived in St Lucia and has played on many cricket grounds around the world. Back in England in the 2010’s his representation in over 60’s matches led him to be invited to partake in the Over 70’s Ashes down under in Australia. This was a series of one-day matches played at a variety of grounds. Subsequently the Australians came over to England and further matches were played over here.
Tony certainly had a large collection of memorabilia, which he had brought with him, unfortunately he only had time to display some of it. Many thanks Tony for our trip around the world!



Peter Baxter

We had an excellent attendance of 60 for the visit of Peter Baxter. Peter, of course, was the producer of Test Match Special for many years, but he was also a producer for rugby union for 10 years and on a number of occasions, the Boat Race between Oxford & Cambridge. However it was TMS that he concentrated on. He confessed that although he had been retired for more than a decade, he still had nightmares about when a broadcast from abroad was going spectacularly wrong. He related the story of how a temporary stand was erected in front of the commentary box, between all his checks the afternoon before the game and the start of the match. In the early days, communications between the grounds and London was patchy at best. Transport could also be a nightmare, particularly in India. Peter brought the house down with his story of the press bus being hijacked during a ten hour journey in India. He expressed opinions on most of the commentators and summarisers he had worked with over the years, often with impersonations or actual recordings of the events. He has also worked with Henry Bloefeld on stage around the country for several years, something that evolved from them exchanging stories in a pub. All too soon the hour passed, followed by a lively question and answer session which took us to the tea interval. (We were doing rather better than England at this stage!) Many thanks to Peter for finding the time to visit us and also to Chris Finch for arranging it. This was definitely one of the Dorset Cricket Society’s highlights of all time.



Jeff Mostyn

Jeff Mostyn was our guest last Thursday. His visit could not have been timed better, the day after Bournemouth had achieved one of their best-ever results, beating Chelsea 4 - 0. Jeff spoke for the first half an hour talking about the club generally. He explained that the priorities of the club were to achieve a stable position in the Premier League, then to develop the training ground and lastly to build the long awaited new stadium. As Jeff said, he has yet to see a stadium seat that rises at the far post to score a goal that maintains Premier League status for the following season. So player purchases must come first, then Eddie needs somewhere for them to train, as the new stadium will sit partly on the current training area. Only then can thoughts turn to a new ground. 
In the Q&A session that followed, Jeff spoke about the recent sale by the American group of their 25% share back to Maxim. From his point of view, it made things easier, as they didn’t have to communicate with the Americans as well as the Russians. He felt that the American group were unfamiliar with the pyramid structure to football in this country, as opposed to their franchise system, where there is no relegation and purchasing a franchise is only the start. You then have to have a stadium, a team etc. Jeff is the Premier League’s representative with the England set-up, which enables him to strike-up relationships with some of the younger England players. He told us of his experience two summers ago when he suffered a heart attack while up north for a Chairmens’ meeting. He underwent surgery at Middlesborough hospital and has lived to tell the tale. As usual Jeff was his enthusiastic self and he sure knows how to work a crowd. He kindly brought along some programmes from the previous night’s game which he has autographed and donated to us for use in fund-raising. Many thanks to Jeff and also to John White for securing his attendance.




Derek Hopkins

Derek Hopkins did an excellent job to cram the history of 109 years of the Bournemouth & District Cricket Association into an afternoon’s entertainment. The Association came to life in 1896 when, according to the local paper, 'leagues were all the rage’. Initially only 8 teams existed and one wonders how they travelled to the different venues with the limited transport of those times. It would appear that pitches were pretty poor, if the scores were anything to go by. A score in the range 30-50 was quite competitive. In fact early matches could be two innings affairs, if time permitted both sides would bat for a full two innings on the same afternoon to produce the result. Only if there was insufficient time to complete all four innings was the game decided on the basis of the first innings. Derek had with him the Association shield and the 2nd Division Trophy, both of them quite valuable! Play was interrupted during the 1st World War and again during the 2nd, by now the Association had grown in size, with more than one division and some teams running more than one side. In addition to the Saturday League there was also a midweek evening league and the De Zoete competition. Early fixture cards showed all the games for the season, even down to the appointed umpires, who were paid 5/- a match, but who could be fined 2/6d if they fail to attend a fixture or arrange a substitute. We saw some of the correspondence of the time where players were invited to play by letter or card. Derek revealed that there had only been 9 Presidents of the Association it its 109 years and other post holders such as Chairman and Secretary were also very long serving. As he moved through the 1960’s and 70’s names of players and teams became more familiar as the league expanded, with a Junior section for 2nd XI’s. In due course the league reorganised and the 2nd & 3rd XI’s were integrated into the main league, By the 1990’s there were at least 60 teams playing on a Saturday. There then started a sharp decline as some teams drifted off to the Dorset League and other amalgamated, some many times over. Into the 2000's the fall in numbers became so acute that negotiations took place to amalgamate the league with the Dorset League and by 2004, it was all over. The De Zoete competition continued until around 2012, with our Society helping Derek with the running of finals day. Many thanks to Derek for a nostalgic afternoon, it was good to be reminded of some old opponents, both teams and individuals, as Derek paid tribute to the likes of Ron Old, Harry Woodman and several others.




Malcolm Nash

49 members and guests were admirably entertained by Malcolm Nash. Of course he is best known as the bowler hit for 6 sixes by Gary Sobers, but that by no means defines his whole career. A swing and seam bowler and aggressive batsman he had many seasons of success with Glamorgan. In fact he is fifth in Glamorgan’s all-time leading wicket takers with 991. He could also score at a very quick rate. In the first game of the 1976 season, Glamorgan were in trouble at 65-6 on the 2nd morning, when Malcolm arrived at the crease. 76 minutes later at lunch he had a century, which progressed to 130 after lunch, until he ran himself out! In a B&H one day match against Hampshire, Glamorgan were similarly in trouble at 85-6, when Malcolm plundered a century off 61 balls, ending 103 not out, then put on his bowling boots and took 2-40 as Glamorgan won by three runs.
He played in one England trial match and despite having considerable success, the chair of selectors asked whether he could not bowl his swing and seam, but faster! A lengthy question and answer session then followed to round off a fine afternoon’s entertainment. Many thanks Malcolm.




The afternoon took the format of members speaking about their favourite cricketer. We had a wide range of subjects and even one sneaked in from another sport!  Names like Desmond Eager, Dennis Compton, Robin Smith, Adam Gilchrist and IVA Richards came with explanations as to why they were their speaker’s favourite.  We even had baseball slipped in by Martin Reed, who told us of his favourite player from San Diego. In addition to the well-known stars, there were also “unknowns” such as Alan Wharton, who played once for England and Nick Gossip’s heart-felt tribute. Many thanks to all those who contributed to a different afternoon’s entertainment.



Graham Jones

36 members gathered to be be amused by Humour In Sport edition 4, a compilation of videos and soundbites from a variety of sporting heroes and comedians. There were contributions from Muhammed Ali, Paul Gascoigne, Phil Tufnell, Jonathan Agnew and Geoffrey Boycott on the playing side, while Morecombe & Wise, Murray Walker, Max Boyce and Henry Blofeld and Peter Baxter all added to the laughs. There was a bit of nostalgia thrown in for good measure from Brian Clough.





We started the afternoon on a sad note, as news of the death of Ron Hawke in the early hours of the morning was passed on to members. Ron had been a longstanding member of the Society and will be greatly missed.
After an enticing buffet lunch, the AGM passed smoothly with David Clutterbuck being elected a Life Vice-President. The Chairman reported on another successful season, with membership and weekly attendance both rising. Fees for next season will remain at current levels.
There then followed a 'Brains Trust', as Martyn Levitt, Chris Finch and John White fielded questions on Hampshire's prospects and new players for the season. The Hundred and suggestions for law changes were all discussed.



Derek Hopkins

32 members gathered to have their grey cells examined by one of Derek Hopkins’ quizzes. Diabolical in the past, Derek is mellowing with time and this year the questions varied from answerable to frustrating to head-banging. (the amount of time it took me to come up with Steve Bucknor’s name was seriously worrying) Team scores fluctuated with each round and it was left to the picture quiz to finally separate the winners from the rest. Once again many thanks to Derek, especially in making the effort to arrive, after his wife had a health scare early on Thursday morning. His special prize for most annoying competitor of the day also was warmly received!

We then consumed our traditional end-of-season cream tea, which was so well received that I took home empty boxes! Well done!


Simon Wilde

We welcomed Simon Wilde to the Society for his first visit. Cricket correspondent for the Times and now the Sunday Times and author of a dozen books on cricket, Simon entered journalism working for Wisden Cricket Monthly under David Frith. He then joined the Times and worked his way up from editor of the scorecards to sub-editor taking about eight years to become a recognised journalist. After fourteen years at the Times, Simon then moved on to the Sunday Times. He was quizzed on the greatest difference he had noticed over his time writing about cricket and he considered that to be the move away from terrestrial TV to Sky. While the quality of the Sky coverage was far superior to the BBC, the lack of exposure to a mass audience has certainly affected the game. Over this period there was also a change of affinity by the players, whereas they had been close to the journalists, Sky demanded and got instant and frequent access to the players. Simon considered Kevin Pieterson to be the most exciting English batsman of his time, one who could change a game in a short period of play. His overseas favourite Was Brian Charles Lara, who he had the pleasure to see complete his 500 and his Test 400, thus giving him a unique statistic of having scored a 100, a 200, a 300, a 400 and a 500. On the bowling side Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad were well to the fore and Simon cautioned that it will be very difficult to replace them when they retire. Shane Warne was one of the overseas bowlers Simon mentioned, having written a book about him. He explained that Shane tried harder on the field as each escapade off the field stacked-up. Other topics covered were the World Cup, The Ashes and The Hundred, altogether a very fulfilling and interesting afternoon. Many thanks to Simon.


John Barclay

60 members, family and friends were treated to a magnificent afternoon’s entertainment as Chris Finch engaged John Barclay in conversation. I re-read that sentence and realised that it massively understated the reality. John was on top form and Chris’s gentle prompting simply fed him the topics to start another marvellous story. We heard that John made his debut at Lords in the Eton v Harrow match at the age of 14 (only Colin Cowdrey has played there at a younger age) and then his return a couple of years later as captain in the same fixture. The same year he made his county debut against Glamorgan, though his debut didn’t go straightforwardly either on or off the field. We heard of his joy in getting the great Viv Richards out with the 1st ball of day 3 at Taunton, after Sussex’s only other spinner was incapacitated having been hit on the knee fielding in close to John’s bowling.  John explained that he had been bowled by Mark Thatcher as Maggie & Denis looked on but at least he had 66 runs by then and also about playing with Imran Khan, now Prime Minister of Pakistan. Imran’s leadership qualities have, of course, been honed under John’s captaincy! If ‘The Hundred’ is half as good value as John’s “Hundred Minutes”, then we will be in for a treat come 2020!

The new season starts on Thursday 10th October.

To see memories of the previous year's programme click here
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Last revised 3rd March 2019
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