Dorset Cricket Society

Résumé of events 2019-20










Members & Chris Finch

30 members attended the first meeting of the new season. We commenced with a minute's silence in memory of members Ken Budd & Kit Bartlett, Brian Evan’s wife Betty and a speaker from only last February, Malcolm Nash. So after a solemn start, we then dissected the Society’s figures for the year ending August 31st. We made a very small surplus for the year.
Chris Finch then led us through a comprehensive review of the 2019 season. We started on the international stage with England’s World Cup win and the ultimately unsuccessful attempt to regain the Ashes. Ben Stokes and Steve Smith were two who cropped up in the conversation, with Chris commentating on their mental toughness. We generally lamented the lack of quality batting on either side, excluding those two. A quick toilet break could often involve missing two or three wickets! On the county scene, Chris’s team of the year was not Kent!  Essex, who lost only one Championship game all season, came out top of his pile and he couldn’t bend the statistics to prove otherwise! Kyle Abbott got a mention for his outstanding 17 wickets in the penultimate match of the season, as did Darren Stevens whose late season form with bat and ball led Kent into a U-turn and a new contract for next season. Apparently there were about 7 other counties interested if he had left Kent. Finally to come back to the World Cup, Chris applauded the sporting way in which New Zealand accepted their defeat in controversial circumstances and Chris pondered whether the reaction would have been the same if the result had been the other way around. Anyway many thanks to Chris and a fine start to the season.




Jimmy Adams

43 members came to hear Hampshire’s Jimmy Adams on his 9th visit to the Society. It was the first time that he had been since becoming a coach rather than a player. In fact he has had a very successful first season as his Hampshire 2nd XI  team won the County 2nd XI Championship and also did well in the T20. He revealed that he will be involved in coaching the local side Southern Brave in The Hundred next season. Discussion of The Hundred competition was something that would reoccur during the afternoon. He told us in some considerable detail about some of the young players that he has been helping to develop, including Felix Organ and Ian Holland who provided a successful opening partnership towards the back end of the County season. Bowlers were also mentioned, including Kyle Abbott and his amazing 17 wicket haul at the end of the season. There is a good chance that the Australian spinner, Nathan Lyon, may be joining next season, along with someone to produce spin-friendly pitches. Jimmy was asked what effect this might have for Mason Crane and the other young spinners. He felt that they would benefit by not having the pressure of being the number one spinner in the side. In 4 or 5 years down the line they could take on the responsibility of being the primary spinner. Jimmy did admit to being slightly bemused by the publicity for The Hundred, with the website lacking some clarity, but he did say that he would be listening in on Sunday night to find out who would be in the squad. There was general discussion about the fact that next year there will be 4 different competitions running during the season. He felt that the younger players who do not get into the franchise sides will benefit from playing in the 50 over competition which will be running at the same time. We are very grateful to Jimmy for taking the time to  come and see us again and we hope he will re-join us in the future.




Dennis Amiss

Dennis Amiss entertained 45 members and guests at this week’s meeting. He started by relating how he ran Geoffrey Boycott out 30+ years ago and was still enjoying the experience! What’s more Geoff was sat in the dressing room complaining that Dennis was scoring all his runs! After this incident Dennis always had to walk behind Geoffrey when they went out to bat. However Geoff is writing a forward for Dennis’ book. Dennis was involved in the Packer Series cricket and the introduction of helmets to the game. Unfortunately the first ones were motorcycle helmets, very heavy, with full face polycarbonate visors and no air holes to let the heat out and the sound in. After a number of run outs and a few batsmen nearly fainting in the heat, it was decided that modifications were essential, so a peak was added to the helmet and the metal grille replaced the polycarbonate, letting air in. 
Dennis is a keen golfer and instigated an annual match for the Professional Cricketers Association Golf Society, with Richie Benaud, CMJ, Jack Bannister and Tony Lewis. They would tee-off at 6 am to enable them to play and still be at the ground for 9.30 to enable them to prepare for commentary. Dennis and Ian Botham became part of the competition later and this went on for 30 odd years, with Botham playing nearly every year in the last 20. Dennis recalled the time that Ian bowled a ball of soap after lunch in a county match between Somerset and Warwickshire, when he was unimpressed to be asked to bowl straight after lunch following 8 overs before lunch. The soap bounced, and Warwickshire batsman blasted the ‘ball’ into fragments. Derek Randall had the habit of winding up the Australians by doffing his cap to them and saying ‘morning Denis’, ‘morning Rodney’ when he came out to bat. His England team mates were not so keen on that technique. Dennis batted with Derek in the Centenary Test when Derek scored 174. A lengthy Q&A followed with members posing loads of questions. Many thanks to Dennis for travelling to see us.



Dave Houghton

Our guest on Thursday was Dave Houghton formerly coach at Derbyshire, but now Head Of Cricket. However Dave is better known as the 1st Test Captain of Zimbabwe. In a fascinating afternoon of questions and answers, ably led by Martyn Levitt, with lots of the questions from the floor, we explored Dave’s career and also quizzed him about modern concerns, such as The Hundred, particularly as Derbyshire is not one of the venues for the competition and they have only two players who have been drafted and then that’s for Welsh Fire. Dave also had forthright views on what had happened to Zimbabwe cricket over the years since their admission to Test cricket. He explained the financing by the ICC and lamented the fact that Zimbabwe had twice been vetoed from Test cricket when they still had good players available to them like Graeme Hick and that cost them eight years, so when they finally gained admission they were considerably weaker than previously. Financially the Cricket Board had gone from a surplus of $6m to being $20m in the red. For many years there was no level of cricket between school/club and international cricket, there now are four franchise teams at an intermediate level. The Cricket Board was recently suspended and the ICC backed them, fortunately the impasse has now been resolved. Dave played 22 Tests for Zimbabwe and also 6 ODI’s against England when he was never on the losing side! Of his 22 Tests, 13 were against Pakistan, Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram and all. During the afternoon, we covered a vast number of topics with some very insightful answers. Many thanks to Dave.




Michael Burns

Michael Burns returned for his third visit to the Society. He brought with him another of his superbly crafted films, this time an in-depth look at the MCC Tour of South Africa 1965-57. He had cleverly woven together contemporary amateur and professional film with new interviews from the likes of Peter Richardson and the South African captain CB van Rynefield. The times were certainly different back then - a 14 day cruise by ship at the start of the tour, then 10 warm-up matches before the first Test. The nature of the Test matches was pretty attritional with extremely slow batting, on day 1 of one Test only 163 runs were scored. We heard of players such as Doug Insole, Trevor Bailey, Brian Statham, Dennis Compton, Peter May and Colin Cowdrey, Godfrey Evans and Frank Tyson, Johnny Wardle and Jim Laker. The overall result of the tour was a 2-2 draw, with the Englishmen feeling hard done by some of the on-field decisions, possibly a result of South Africa’s previous tour of England. An hour and a half passed all too soon and the players were flying back to the UK or cruising back if you were unmarried! A great afternoon’s entertainment, many thanks Michael.



Vic Marks

Vic paid his third visit to the Society and once again gave us a wonderful afternoon’s entertainment. A consummate broadcaster, he spoke at length about his book which has recently been published, Original Spin, providing us with several anecdotes from within. Of course he had the great pleasure to play with the likes of Ian Botham, Viv Richards and Joel Garner and we heard of the good times as well as the problems towards the end when Viv and Joel were deemed surplus to requirements. Following an excellent talk, we then had a lengthy question and answer session covering a wide variety of topics both from Vic’s playing days, but also his broadcasting career, which he fell into out in India after one broadcaster had returned home and another succumbed to the dreaded ‘Delhi Belly’. Peter Baxter casually strolled into the England dressing room to see who might be interested. It wouldn’t happen these days! Amongst the questions were some about his fellow commentators, particularly the female ones. Vic was  a man of great discretion. So another great afternoon as we added another to our long list of international cricketers entertaining us.




Jeff Levick

Jeff has been a tireless worker in the amateur levels of cricket. He came to talk about two of his specialities, disability cricket and umpiring. Jeff is the Hampshire Disability Coordinator and he has been coaching disabled cricketers for nearly 20 years. In fact he received the MBE for services to cricket about 6 years ago. We were perhaps nonplussed by his opening question of ‘whether it is acceptable to use a disabled cricketer as the wicket’. By the end of the afternoon his reply was ‘only if you would also use an abled-bodied one as a wicket as well’. He explained that there were various types of teams catering for people with different types of disability.  For example a visually impaired team would have 4 players who were completely blind and 7 who were visually impaired. Different types of disability would not play against each other. Coaching entailed discovering what they were capable of doing and then working to enable them to do it better. Jeff realised that his coaching of able- bodied players could benefit from taking a similar approach. Jeff then turned to umpiring, he is Chairman of the Hampshire Association of Cricket Officials. They have 22 girls aged 14-18 as accredited umpires and have produced a video about them to encourage more young officials, male and female to be recruited around the country. A fascinating afternoon showed us the skill and dedication comes from these volunteers, without whom our clubs could not exist. A very big thank you Jeff.




Oli Soames & Aneurin Donald

Over the years we have had several of the more established players visit us, such as Jimmy Adams & James Tomlinson, along with many former players like Trevor Jesty. So it was quite a change to have two up and coming young professional cricketers visit us in Oli Soames and Aneurin Donald. The afternoon consisted of a question and answer session and provided us with answers to a plethora of questions. Both of them are batsmen, Oli an opener, while Aneurin is a middle-order man. It was quickly apparent that they were quite different in personality and technique. They had arrived into professional cricket by very different routes. Oli is a university graduate from Loughborough and made his way through their team into the professional ranks from club and school cricket. Aneurin, on the other hand comes from Wales and the state school system. His route into cricket was via the local club side and then through representative age cricket including the U-19 England side. He played for Glamorgan in the County Championship at the age of 18. He was also invited to tell us a little more about the record he set for the fastest double-century in the County Championship which he achieved when scoring 234 against Derbyshire at Colwyn Bay, which was also his maiden 1st Class century. This was a really interesting afternoon, finding out about the life of the modern professional sportsman and was thoroughly enjoyed by one of our largest attendances of the year with 47 members and guests. Many thanks to Oli & Aneurin for visiting us.




Paul Downton

A crowd of 54 members and guests gathered to hear our 4th former England player of the season (all thanks to our speaker organisers). The meeting started on a poignant note, as there was a minute’s silence in memory of Bob Willis, one of Paul’s England colleagues. Paul’s early story was a reminder of the times when cricket was not an all-year around profession for the vast majority of players. Paul was a university student doing a law degree and playing occasionally for Kent during the summer vacation. It was around the time when players who had joined Kerry Parker’s World Cricket had been banned and so it was that with just seven 1st class matches behind him, Paul was invited to join the MCC winter tour to Pakistan and New Zealand. A frantic weekend of contact with university led to an agreement that he could put his studies on hold and so Paul set off on the tour. In Pakistan he made his debut in a ODI which England won by three wickets off the last ball of a truncated 35 over match, one IT Botham scoring the winning runs batting at number 7. At the end of the 1979 season the return to Kent of Alan Knott meant that Paul departed to Middlesex to continue his career. Middlesex won the county championship in his very first year and Paul, who described himself as a batsman who stuck around, rather than a dashing stroke maker, moved up the order to open the batting with Mike Brierley. Paul made his Test debut at Port of Spain in the West Indies tour of 1981 and played a match saving innings in the final Test in Jamaica along with David Gower, 154 n.o. The West Indies attack was rather daunting, Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding, Colin Croft, Joel Garner and IVA Richards! Paul played in the 1st Test of the Ashes series in 1981, but was then replaced by Bob Taylor. After Taylor’s retirement, Paul was recalled to the Test side and played a total of 30 times for England. In 1990 Paul suffered a freak injury, when a bail hit him in the eye and forced his sudden retirement in the summer of 1991. During the winters he had been preparing for life after cricket and became a stockbroker in the City of London. Fast forward to 2014 and Paul was appointed managing director of the ECB. He was in post at the time of the decision to part company with Kevin Pieterson, but this post lasted only 15 months. He is now the Director of Cricket at Kent where he oversaw the side’s promotion to the 1st Division of the Championship and the successful retention of their place last season. Once again we had a brilliant afternoon’s entertainment, many thanks to Paul and to Chris for conducting the interview.




This was our annual opportunity for members to contribute for “Just 5 Minutes” and I’m delighted to report that we had plenty of speakers willing to contribute. As ever the range of topics was immense. We heard about the origins of the Ashes Trophy, touring abroad as a Senior cricketer and we discovered the identity of a mystery newspaper contributor from the 1940-50’s who turned out to be John Wellman’s dad! Players from the past were remembered such as Barry Richards and individual glories revisited as Derek Hopkins told us of the time that he and his brother took 5 wickets each, as they beat Pavilion Sports and Julian Shackleton recounted the day he bowled a side out, taking all ten wickets for 38 runs. Many thanks to all who contributed and apologies to those I haven’t mentioned individually in the above.



35 members turned up for the annual Christmas Buffet and I would like to thank everyone for their contributions to the spread. An air of mellow fruitfulness descended as we ate a leisurely lunch and thanks once again to Mollie and her mum Sue for all the sandwiches and general catering. Once we had had our fill, we settled down to the film. This was a tribute to Malcolm Marshall first broadcast by Meridian shortly after Malcolm’s death in November 1999. Unsurprisingly there were a number of interviews with Hampshire players and coaches of the era. We heard from Gordon Greenidge, Robin Smith, David Gower, Tim Tremlett, and of course captain Mark Nicholas, while Desmond Haynes and a former teacher and Malcolm's wife Connie filled in some of the Caribbean background. The old country ground in Southampton featured and we were delighted to see a short passage of play from Dean Park. There was plenty of footage of Malcolm causing havoc to England’s batting line up, with Mike Gatting’s nose featuring prominently. Malcolm’s heroic batting at Headingley when he batted one handed with a broken thumb, so that colleague Larry Gomes could complete a rare century also featured. It was sad to see Malcolm’s decline in the last few months as he passed away, aged 41, but it was also heartening to reflect on one of the finest cricketers to ever play for Hampshire.



The New Year started with another successful lunch at the Mayfair Hotel. Around 70 members, partners and friends gathered at the event. A three course meal was enjoyed as we heard from Chairman Barrie Wellman, then learnt that President John White was a closet Somerset fan, as he was presented with a book detailing how his county just failed to win the Championship, again, last season. Post-meal, Derek Hopkins raised funds for Alzheimers with a geographical heads and tails. As many of us knew nothing, it was a speedy fund-raiser - well done Derek!. Finally David Hain drew the raffle for a multitude of prizes. Once again we must thank David for his splendid organisation of the event, a lot of work goes into making things run smoothly.




Andrew Wingfield-Digby

Our guest speaker this week proved to be a colourful character. The Reverand Andrew Wingfield Digby was educated at Sherborne School, he went up to Oxford University where he took two separate degrees, with the result that he spent 6 years at Oxford. It was actually suggested that he had played for them for so long that he ought to have a benefit! This afforded him the opportunity to play 39 First Class matches, playing with the likes of Vic Marks, while playing against full county sides, such as Somerset. In 1984 he became director of Christians In Sport, which led to him being invited to be a chaplain at the Seoul Olympics in 1988. Also in 1988 Andrew became the captain of Dorset and two or three games finished up in the tabloids. The most notorious was when Andrew asked his bowler to bowl 14 wides in an over so that he could set Cheshire a sporting target from the last 11 overs. 60 odd runs were conceded, but the last four Cheshire wickets were taken and Dorset won by 18 runs. Only after the game were questions asked, as to whether the spirit of the game had been breeched.  In the 1990’s with Ted Dexter in charge of England’s fortunes, Andrew was invited to become the Chaplain to the England cricket team.  Andrew had been fairly apprehensive on first entering the England dressing room as chaplain. He needn’t have worried however as Ian Botham, whom Andrew knew, raised himself up from the physio’s couch and said “Don’t worry, Lamby & I will sing in the choir!” We also heard how Andrew had taken the wicket of Viv Richards with the very first ball he bowled at him, while playing for Oxford. When Andrew was with the England team in the West Indies, Viv came up to him and said “Hey man, you stick to preaching!”. A really great afternoon’s entertainment once again and thanks also to Julian Shackleton for supporting Andrew during the talk.



Richard Mockridge

The indisposition of the planned speaker – Alan Fordham –necessitated a late change in arrangements for our meeting. A worthy replacement was found in the redoubtable shape of Richard Mockridge. He delved into his vast repertoire of illustrated talks to come up with a fascinating insight into the historic relationship between Cricket and the Church. An audience of forty members and guests were well entertained as Richard took us on a journey from the early origins of the game to the ‘spirit of cricket’ in the current era. Along the way we learned of the dim view that the church authorities took of early attempts to play cricket on the Sabbath, cricketing authors and players – the latter category ranging from such diverse lordships as Frederick Beauclerk and David Sheppard. The links between cricket and the church were underlined by pictures of grounds, from Christchurch (Dorset) to Adelaide via Worcester, whose scenery has been enhanced by the backdrop of ecclesiastical buildings. The afternoon demonstrated the flexibility and sociability which are such integral features of the Society. Huge thanks are due to Richard for stepping into the breach so nobly and effectively thus providing us with such a wonderfully informative and entertaining afternoon.



Tim Tremlett

A bumper crowd of 52 members and guests gathered to hear Tim Tremlett, former Hampshire player and long time administrator at the Rose Bowl. Tim is the middle one of three generations of Tremletts who played 1st class cricket, his father Maurice played for Somerset and England, while son Chris served Hampshire and England. Tim started with an overview of what is going on with the Hampshire staff during the winter, from players training maybe four days a week, to those who are overseas playing in either Australia, South Africa or in T20 leagues around the world. Then we progressed to a wide ranging question and answer session which Tim answered very frankly, never dodging the awkward questions from our conservative (in cricketing terms) audience. He updated us on the squad for next season and the fact that Nathan Lyons and the Somerset groundsman would be additions to the squad for 2020! The Hundred did raise its head, though perhaps not as much as expected and discussion covered other matters such as the scheduling of county championship games, the 50 over competition which will overlap with The Hundred and the wisdom of day/night cricket in our climate along with the long summer's evening negating the floodlights. We also heard about Tim’s career with Hampshire and what the four captains he played under were like. 90 minutes passed very quickly and I’m sure the audience went away feeling that they had been well entertained. Many thanks Tim.




Kevan James

Kevan James played first class cricket for nearly 20 years, first for Middlesex and then 15 years for Hampshire. He then moved into broadcasting, which he continues with to this day, working for Radio Solent. He entertained us with a wonderful fund of stories including Wayne Daniel and Raj Maru. Kevan had a successful career with Hampshire with a top score of 162 and 395 1st class wickets. However he is probably best remembered for a performance against the Indian tourists in 1996. On the first day the Indians rattled up a good score before lunch. Kevan opened the bowling after lunch and induced Jadeja to nick to slip, 1-192, in the following over Rathour was stumped down the leg side by Adi Ames. Sashin Tendulkar came to the wicket and a short leg was put in with the score 207-2! A tiny inward moment, an inside edge and the ball balloons up to short-leg. Tendulkar out 1st ball for 0. In comes Dravid, on a hat-trick, Kevan bowled a similar ball, it moves the other way and Dravid is out LBW 1st ball, Kevan has a hat-trick! Manjrekar comes in and edges his drive to Terry and Kevan has four in four balls. 1st ball of the next over Ganguly was dropped off a very hard chance - that would have been 5 in 5. Kevan finished with 5-74. In Hampshire’s first innings, batting at number four, Kevan then managed to score 103, to become the first person in first class cricket to take four in four and score a century in the same game. Kevan then went on to his broadcasting career and gave some examples of mistakes, not necessarily by him, including a Portsmouth player scoring for Doctor Congo rather than DR Congo! A great afternoon’s entertainment, many thanks Kevan.




Andrew Hignall

Andrew Hignell returned for his third visit to tell us more about his beloved Glamorgan. On this occasion he concentrated on the Swansea cricket ground at St Helen’s. He started by taking us back to the 1700’s where a short history lesson informed us that in the mid 1700’s Cardiff was not much more than a village compared to Swansea, which had over 2000 inhabitants. The rich mining deposits and the copper production at Swansea made this part of Wales much more important at this time. The Swansea club is first mentioned around 1785, although the text seems to indicate that it was already in existence. Early games were within the club, though by 1852 they could field two teams.   A local benefactor JTD Llewelyn helped greatly both financially and as an old Etonian with sporting contacts. A Swansea team of XXII took on an All England XI including WG Grace and in 1868 they played an Aboriginal XI from Australia. After a couple of ground moves the club settled on a seafront venue in 1872 which involved levelling sand-dunes and laying topsoil. The incoming tide would often affect the wicket, with batsmen at the mercy of the pitch. Glamorgan CCC was formed in 1888 and visited Swansea first in 1890. We heard of many of the famous games at St Helen’s, as the ground is know, including two defeats for the touring Australians in 1964 and 1968 and the 1951 defeat of the South Africans. Of course this was the venue for Sir Gary Sobers assault on Malcolm Nash, taking 36 off one over and entering cricketing folklore. Sadly it seems that St Helen’s may well make way for a Sainsburys’ supermarket, perhaps they will succumb to the rising tide. Great entertainment Andrew, many thanks.



Chris Finch

Chris Finch led 39 members around the out grounds of County cricket. He reminded us of the virtues of out grounds, the fact that spectators could get close to the players, often hearing their comments when off the pitch, that families could indulge in matches on the outfield during the intervals and frequently parking on the ground enabled you to bring your own chairs, rugs etc and choose your location to watch from anywhere around the ground. Now Chris did caution that out grounds sometimes come with downsides, the facilities for toilets and catering being just a couple along with the covering of grounds. He had carefully analysed the decline in the use of out grounds since the 1960’s as some grounds succumbed to development (Hastings), while sponsors requirement for high class facilities for their guests had an effect. Of course the decline in the number of games in the county championship has also had a massive effect, when there are maybe only seven home matches a season can you justify the cost of moving to an out ground? 2019 had produced a rare blip in the decline as several counties had to relocate their games to accommodate the World Cup, but 2020 will see a further decline. Chris took us on a visual trip around the grounds notably including Scarborough, Cheltenham and of course Dean Park. A nostalgic afternoon, remembering a less commercial era. Many thanks Chris.



Greig Stewart

Greig Stewart, Head of Customer Experience at Hampshire, visited us to tell us the rationale behind The Hundred. 46 members attended to hear an excellent presentation on the reasoning behind the new competition. Greig explained that 17 of the 18 counties were in debt, the only exception being Glamorgan, who had an £11 million debt wiped out by the local council. So the new competition was designed to raise funds for all the counties, whether they were directly involved or not. The Hundred was intended to be different, so that it would not cannibalise the existing T20 competition and the limit of 8 teams was designed to concentrate the pool of talent in a small number of teams, rather than be spread out across 18. The venues chosen were based on the average attendance at T20 games in the past couple of years - bigger attendances were a more attractive draw for sponsors. A lot of thought and market research went into choosing the team names, for example Manchester people were more responsive to a team having the city’s name, whereas down South, that wouldn’t have gone down so well, for example the Southampton / Portsmouth rivalry. The games were cut down in length, so that they would last a maximum of two and a half hours, to allow for programme build-up and post game analysis, the BBC were most insistent on that and the ECB wanted to ensure that there was free to air coverage. Each team will play the other teams once home or away, except for one ‘local derby’ played home and away making a total of eight matches. In the case of Southern Braves that doesn’t work quite so well, as the ‘local derby’ is against Welsh Fire! After the initial league, the top three teams will progress to Finals Day, with a single semi-final between second and third place followed by a final between the winner of that match and the team which came top of the league. The competition is controlled centrally, so that any rule changes don’t have to be agreed by 18 counties and the MCC and marketing is also being done centrally. Each franchise also has a ladies team and on some occasions there will be ‘ double-header'  games with a ladies match followed by the men. There were many questions from a good-natured crowd, even though most of us recognised that the tournament is not really aimed at our cohort, but is an attempt to bring in new, younger audiences. A fascinating afternoon’s entertainment, with many thanks to Greig for the effort put in to his presentation.




Derek Hopkins

Derek Hopkins was our quizmaster for the annual Society quiz. He lured us in with a very gentle round to start with, before the screws were turned with rounds on the most successful Test wicket-keepers of all time, picturesque cricket grounds from around the world (answers included Hawaii, St Vincent & The Grenadines and St Moritz), point-scoring rugby international players, most successful Formula 1 drivers of all time and a 30 question picture quiz. To say that our scores dropped exponentially would be fairly accurate. However, we all had a good time  and a good laugh - congratulations to the winning team of Dick Batchelor, Tony Wharton, Roger Forder and Mike Vimpany and a very big thank you to Derek. Matters then moved on to the cream tea, another annual tradition.



Stephen Chalke

So our season finished with a familiar highlight, as life vice-president Stephen Chalke returned for his 8th visit. Stephen has just drawn to the close of his writing and publishing career and his talk encompassed many of his creations. There was a plethora of stories to have us roaring in the aisles, such as the time he turned up to an East Coast Society and was met by the Secretary who lamented that as their numbers had dropped from 100 to 50, they were no longer able to afford the better speakers! Stephen related how he had entered the world of cricket societies after writing his first book and his nervousness at first. He certainly showed no signs of that as he explained how some of his books were created. I think the most poignant story was of Bob Appleyard, who entered county cricket at a late age and in his first full season took over 200 wickets. He then suffered TB and was bed-bound for 11 months, needing to learn to walk again, let alone playing cricket. Amazingly he recovered sufficiently to not only play again, but to be selected to play for England. He had suffered tragedy in his early life, which he kept hidden from even his wife for 50 years. Around the outbreak of World War 2, Bob’s father John killed Bob's step-mother, two sisters and himself as he was deeply depressed by the thought of war, having survived World War 1. For over 50 years Bob had carried that burden, though it later transpired that his wife had known of the deaths before she married him. Most of Stephen’s tales were more light-hearted than that and he emphasised that he had sought to write books about people who had an interesting back-story. He has even helped out our own Alan Rayment. An hour and a half passed in a flash and we didn’t even have time for questions, I think we could have still been there now! Many thanks Stephen for wrapping up our season in memorable fashion.

To see memories of the previous year's programme click here
Click here to return to home page

© Copyright 2020 The Dorset Cricket Society.
All rights reserved
Last revised 13th January 2020
<- Click on DCS to return to Home Page
Send comments to