Dorset Cricket Society

Résumé of events 2021-22










Members & Chris Finch

Members gathered for the first time in nineteen months, starting the meeting with a minutes silence in memory of members Alan Rayment, Peter Jenkins, former members Dickie Dowsett and Roger Bosher, as well as Barrie Wellman's wife Kathy and Paul Pearson's granddaughter Lauren.

The AGM passed smoothly with thanks offered to several members for their work in keeping the Society functioning, the Clubman of The Year award was deservedly presented to David Hain. The Treasurer reported that there had been no income last year and a small loss was made. Weekly subs and memberships were to remain the same for the coming season. All officers were re-elected except Brian Grey who has moved away. Bryn Nathan was elected to the committee.

Chris Finch then led a review of the 21-22 season, in which Kent featured quite frequently. England's performance, the County Championship and the dreaded Hundred were all put under the microscope. It was generally agreed that a return to two divisions in the Championship was preferrable, surprisingly the ECB listened and agreed the same afternoon!




Graham Jones

A late change to the programme brought members to a videoed interview by Mike Atherton with Shane Warne, from the time Shane was promoting his book - No Spin. We learnt that Shane had come to cricket relatively late as his first love was Aussie Rules Football and it was only after failing with St Kilda's that he concentrated on cricket. Early jobs delivering beds and pizzas probably provided a spur to push him to succeed. However his early days weren't all that successful and it was only after linking up with Terry Jenner that Shane began to realise the committment needed to succeed. Shane talked about his embarassment over 'Sandpapergate' and players stepping over the line. Shane told us the details of the "Ball of The Century' to get Mike Gatting out and how his life changed for ever. A very interesting interview passed all too soon.




Stephen Chalke

53 members, friends and family gathered to remember and honour Alan Rayment, professional cricketer, dance teacher, father of six and great friend of the Dorset Cricket Society. We heard from Stephen Chalke, Tim Biles, Chris Finch, Richard Griffiths and two of Alan's sons, Denis (Den-ray) and Stephen. Stephen Chalke has produced his book from a wide assortment of material that Alan left; chapters already written, audio tapes of conversations for the book, photographs galore and notes for chapters uncompleted or never started. The fact that Stephen has managed to bring this book to print within a year of Alan's death is truly remarkable. Tim Biles has written the forward to the book and was the first to speak. He first met Alan while on a holiday course for schoolboys at Northlands Road, Alan was batting in the adjacent net and became Tim's hero. From that start became a lifelong friendship. Stephen recalled a few stories from the book and there were tributes from two of Alan's sons plus Richard Griffiths from Hampshire. Tribute was paid to Elizabeth Lloyd for her work in accumulating all the material from which the book was written and for organising the cricket tea which brought the afternoon to a conclusion. Many thanks to all who contributed to this very special afternoon.




Vic Marks

Vic Marks made his fourth visit to the Society and we were very pleased to induct him as a Life Vice-President of the Society. The format of the afternoon was an interview between Chris Finch and Vic. We learned a bit about how titles for new books are devised. Vic was keen on this occasion to avoid his name being part of the title (like a previous book - Full Marks) and so he came up with "Late Cuts" for his latest book, named after one of his favourite shots, though not always a successful one!

Vic had worked for the Guardian for 30 years and The Observer for 12 before turning freelance last year. He still works for Test Match Special when invited, but was telling us of some of the difficulties faced when performing these duties with Covid restrictions. He covered two Test matches from his sofa writing for The Guardian. Broadcasting was strange with perspex divisions, headsets which were exclusively yours during the Test match. Vic thought that television worked better, as they could avoid shots of the vast empty grounds. Radio commentry usually works off the things going on around the ground, which of course wasn't happening.

At the end Chris summed-up the afternoon, as an example of "Pure Marksism'! Many thanks Vic for a great afternoon.




Mike Vimpany

We started the afternoon with news of the passing of one of our members, Malcolm Budd. The meeting stood in silence to remember him, but also all the fallen on this, Armistice Day. The rest of the afternoon took the form of a panel discussion, ably led by Mike Vimpany, Keith Clarke (Parley CC), Shaun Lilley (New Milton & Umpiring), Trevor Hayward (President South Wilts) and Colin Savage. We learnt how the Southern League came into existance, relatively late in 1969, as teams wanted to move to a win/lose result rather than time cricket. We also heard of the rise of the Hampshire League which appears to be going from strength to strength with well over 200 teams on a Saturday. Discussions ranged from players' behaviour to the improvement of grounds and facilities, youth cricket and how clubs had coped with the Covid restrictions. It was particularly interesting to hear how South Wilts had managed to cover a projected loss of 14000 pounds. In all an excellent afternoon discussing local-ish cricket. Many thanks to all those who contributed.



Roger Knight

Roger had three different careers and a cricketing career with three different counties. After playing as an amateur for Surrey, he joined Gloucestershire as a professional, later becoming a teammate of Julian Shackleton. All the while he was also a teacher, getting the summer term off to play cricket. A return to the south coast saw him join Sussex for a spell before the lure of the captaincy drew him back to Surrey. Finally he embraced the teaching profession fully, rising to become Headmaster of Worksop College. The opportunity then arose to become Secretary of MCC, living in a house with its own private entrance to Lords. Roger helped to oversee lady membership of the club, the Spirit of Cricket, the 1999 World Cup - admist bomb outrages in London and the opening of the iconic media centre. He later became President of MCC and has only just relinquished his connections to the club. A fascinating afternoon's entertainment, many thanks Roger.




Michael Burns

Members gathered to watch the film directed by Michael Burns entitled The Films Of Hopper Read, The Gentleman Cricketer. Hopper was the nickname of Holcombe Douglas Read, born 1910, who played for Essex and once for England. He aquired his nickname from the hop in his delivery stride. It didn't seem to slow him, as he was once described as the fastest bowler in England, all this in the era of Harold Larwood. The film revolved around two things, Hopper was from a well-to-do family and possessed a 16mm camera and tripod which he used to film matches that he was playing in and social events. Secondly he was interviewed by Chris Martin-Jenkins in 1998, a year or two before his death. The interview was filmed and was intercut with the silent film that Hopper had shot. Hopper was training to be an accountant, but managed to persuade his employers to give him time off in the summer to play county cricket for Essex. In one famous match in Huddersfield, Yorkshire were dismissed for 31 and 99 giving Essex a victory by an innings and 204 runs. This led to him being selected for England in 1935 for the last Test against South Africa. He did well enough to earn a place on the MCC tour to Australia and New Zealand. There were no Test matches played against Australia that winter and the games against New Zealand were unofficial Tests. He still managed to take 11 wickets in one of the games. On his return to England his employers insisted he had to choose between cricket and accountancy and so Hopper had played his last game of 1st class cricket. A fascinating film ably supported by extensive notes that Michael provided. Many thanks.




Karl McDermott

Karl McDermott is now the Head Groundsman at Lords, having previously held the same post at the Rose Bowl. We learnt how he came into the business whilst still at school. His maths teacher was the groundsman of the local cricket club in Ireland and needed some assistance on the Saturday mornings before games. As Karl didn't play cricket himself, he was an ideal person to ask. Karl didn't expect to go into groundsmanship after school, but the bug caught him and his maths teacher was in the Ireland team that beat the West Indies, bowling them out for 25. Karl became involved in helping out when touring teams visited or for B & H matches. Karl prepared the pitch when Ireland played Bangladesh in the 1999 World Cup. He joined Worcestershire as his first job in the UK and later was offered jobs at the Rose Bowl and Trent Bridge on the same day. After a 3 year stint as Head Groundsman at Hampshire he was invited to apply to Lords when Mick Hunt retired. Since then he has prepared pitches for an Ashes Test and the World Cup final. We learnt that Karl has a house backing onto the ground, that the slope has to be considered when watering pitches and that normally there are 5 full time groundmen, rising to as many as 8 for big matches. A really interesting afternoon's entertainment, many thanks Karl.



Richard Scott

40 members attended to hear Richard Scott, who started his career with Colehill before moving on to Bournemouth Cricket Club in the days when they still played at Northbourne. Success with them and the Dorset County side led to him playing for the Hampshire 2nd XI and finally being offered a professinal contract with Hampshire in 1984, with Peter Sainsbury as coach. His first salary was 1500 pounds for the season. He scored 116, including 9 6's against Yorkshire in a Sunday League game and this was his best performance for Hampshire. As far as County cricket was concerned, Hampshire had a very strong side at the time, with both the Smith brothers, Paul Terry, Mark Nicholas, David Turner etc., which limited his opportunities. David Gower was brought in when David Turner retired, closing off another opportunity. In 1991 he decided to join Gloucestershire and had three wonderful years there, scoring two 1st Class centuries and a 1-day 100. After three years Richard decided to leave the game professionally and became an estate agent, ran the Bournemouth Sports Club, along with restaurants and night clubs. After 7 years he was drawn back to the game and coached Dorset CCC and the Dorset Cricket Board Emergent Player programme. After this he was invited to apply to Middlesex as 2nd XI coach and within 18 months had become 1st Team coach. Middlesex achieved propmotion from the 2nd Division in 2011 and became County Champions in 2016. Richard now coaches in Dorset, where he has a number of roles. There followed a long Q&A session ably led by Martyn Levitt, with plenty of audience response. Another good afternoon, many thanks to Richard.




27 members attended the annual Christmas Buffet and a fine spread was produced by the club and members. Many thanks to all concerned. After the feasting it was time to watch a recording of an interview between our old friend and Vice-President, John Barclay and David Lloyd. As expected, Bumble is always good for a story and a laugh as he took us from his time as a 13 year old at Accrington CC where Wes Hall was the professional, to Lancashire and England, both as a player and as Head Coach. He spoke at length about the characters in the game, including the umpires, then progressed to his comentating career with Sky and Channel 9 in Australia. This concludes our programme for the 1st half of the season. All being well we resume on January 6th.



Tony Wharton opened up with a bit about the history of The Ashes and playing out in Australia for the England Over 70's, with photos to accompany it. Julian Shackleton took us through the details of his B&H final match at Lords, with a copy of the scorecard in gold print and his winner's medal. Martin Reed took us back to his student days playing cup football in Scotland. One item was a review of 15 years of this meeting with a reminder of some memorable happenings, such as a hollowed-out Wisden used as a safe and tales of Pete Frampton's knitted jock strap. Thanks to all who contributed.





Just over 50 members and guests assembled at the Hermitage hotel for the Annual Lunch. Despite problems with a change of hotel and the effect of Covid withdrawls, we enjoyed another fine meal with a raffle and charity quiz for MacMillan Cancer Trust. Many thanks to all involved, but a heartfelt thanks to David Hain, the organiser, for overcoming all the problems.



Derek Hopkins

Derek Hopkins kindly stepped in when Alan Fordham was unavailable. He had selected three Hapshire sides for our consideration. The 1st team was Hampshire Past including Phil Mead, Dickie Moore, Charles Fry, Lionel Tennyson, George Brown, Walter Lindsay, Neil McCorkel, Charles Llewellyn, Jack Newman, Charles Knott. Derek encouraged the audience to actively participate with their own opinions and suggestions, recreating an atmosphere of meetings past, with plenty of banter. None of these players were seen in the flesh by Derek - he was too young! Pictures and statistics were forthcoming to back up his choices.

The 2nd XI was a Hampshire Overseas XI: Barry Richards, Gordon Greenidge, Matthew Hayden, Hashim Amla, Simon Katich, Neil McKenzie, Nick Pothas, Shane Warne, Malcolm Marshall, Kyle Abbott, Andy Roberts. Once again there was some discussion on their merits, though some were an absolute shoe-in.

The 3rd team was composed of English players Derek had seen: Roy Marshall, Michael Carberry, David Gower, Robin Smith, Mark Nicholas, Trevor Jesty, Adrian Ames, Peter Sainsbury, Tim Tremlett, Derek Shackleton, Butch White. Derek justified Roy Marshall's selection as he wasn't wanted by the West Indies. Derek managed to conjour up memories of old, interlaced with wit and laughter in a great afternoon in the traditions of the Society, Many thanks Derek.



Richard Mockridge

Richard spoke to us about what he did when he gave up playing cricket and football at the tender age of 28. His story was interwoven with a display of photographs and jackets depicting various roles over the years and also the politics, both local and national. He was appointed Borough Engineer of Christchurch at the age of 30 and one of his responsibilities were the parks cricket pitches, which he knew were poor. Having tested an artificial cricket surface by having a net constructed in his back garden, Richard took the decision to install them on all the parks grounds and use them solely during the week, keeping grass wickets for the weekend. Richard started to accumulate coaching badges and following a fire at the Stanpit garages where the refuse lorries were stored, he was inspired to create the indoor cricket venue. Bob Willis came to open the centre. As years passed, demand grew and a new centre was needed. This was built at Hurn Bridge, this time opened by Clive Lloyd. As Richard needed some help to run the centre, the Dorset Cricket Society was created to provide opportunities to socialise, but also to help run the centre. The Society started with 7 members in 2002 and as we approach 20 years our numbers are in the 60's. Throughout the talk Richard showed many photos and changed jackets and headware with amazing frequency to give us a great afternoon's entertainment. Many thanks Richard.




Paul Pearson

Paul Pearson talked about his vast collection of autographs and memorabilia and how he goes about securing these items. His methods range from visiting players' dinners, collecting at football grounds, knocking on people's doors and sending blank material to clubs or individuals asking for them to be signed. Of course, with modern players, identifying which signature is which is a master craft on its own, though increasingly, younger players are incorporating their squad number into their signature. Some of the more unualual items Paul showed included pin flags from various golf courses which had then been autographed by the players. He also brought along signed England (football) shirts and a Lionel Messi one! Altogether a most impressive display. Thank you Paul!




Andrew Hignell

The meeting started with a minute's silence in memory of Don Crossley who died recently.

Andrew Hignell came from Wales to givee us a presentation supported by photographs and newspaper clippings as he described the changes in journalism and scoring in 200 years. Back in the 1700's cricket clubs were places where members played amongst themselves, the concept of playing opposition clubs had not yet arrived. When the first reports of cricket matches appeared in the local newspapers, the cricket came off second best to the reporting of the dining and the socialising. In the early daysruns were recorded by cutting notches into a stick, possibly by the umpire, before official scorers or 'notchers' became more common. By the mid 1800's reports were becoming more familiar, with a scorecard included. Some papers may have had as many as 8 editions a day. Pigeons were used to send reports back to the office for printing Scores were now reorded on paper, which they still are today even whith modern computers, as these machines are not infallable. Andrew also traced the development of cricket writers from Neville Cardew right up to modern day scribes such as Vic Marks. Finally he demonstrated the latest software for scoring first class games, as he showed how we had moved from Pigeons to Mice! Many thanks Andrew.



Andrew Murtagh

Sadly the meeting started with another minute's silence, this time for member Simon Nethersole.

Andrew Murtagh came to tell us more about the subject of his latest book, Tony Greig, England captain, Packer rebel, commentator until his dying day. We learnt that his father Sandy was a Scot, a decorated war hero who was a navigator with Bomber Command and that Tony's last visit to England was to the unveiling of the monument to Bomber Command in Green Park. Tony played for Sussex and England and could be regarded as one of the finest all-rounders. His Test averages of 40.43 with the bat and 28 with the ball included a career best 13-156 at Trinidad. Of course Tony will always be associated with Kerry Packer and World Series Cricket. He agreed to join Packer with the promise of a job for life, ensuring his family's future. Cricketers at that time were very poorly paid, often only for part of the year. It took a High Court case to establish that the cricket authorities could not ban the players, but Grieg never played for England or Sussex again, taking up a commentary position with Channel 9 in Australia. He loved all the technological innovations and brought us pitch inspections with keys in the cracks, amongst other features. He is the only England captain since before Mike Denness not to be honoured. An outsider to the end! Many thanks Andrew for bring him to life for us.



Anthony Gibson

Anthony returned to the Society to talk about following Somerset during a long career which has encompassed cricket and farming. He managed to become a cricket correspondant at university and in 1969 when Bill Frindall was unavailable, he stepped in to do the scoring for the BBC as West Indies played Somerset - It rained all day! He recalled working with John Arlott at Dean Park with the inevitable lubrication. Brian Johnson was a hard taskmaster, as he was highly professional and expected everyon else to be so. In 1975 he was asked to score the World Cup Final at Lords for the BBC World Service. He became a commentator in 1985. In addition to his cricketing career, he was heavily involved with farming in the West Country and was Regional Director for the NFU during the Mad Cow Disease and Foot & Mouth outbreaks. Somehow he found time to write books and won the Cricket Book of the Year award. He retired from farming duties in 2008 and began commentating on Somerset. He hopes to see them lift the County Championship before he retires in 3 years time. Many thanks Anthony




Ian Gould

Ian Gould, footballer, England International Cricketer and Elite Level Umpire came to visit us and proved to be quite a character. He dived into the deep end with his recollections of the infamous Test match between South Africa and Australia, forever to be known as 'sandpapergate'. He set the scene for this, explaining that the first two Tests of the series had been fairly fractious, possibly due to the relative inexperience of the appointed officials. As a result there was a tv camera focused solely on the ball for the entire time and this picked up Cameron Bancroft attempting to alter the condition of the ball. For more details see Ian's book! Ian explained that he was a goalkeeper on Arsenal's books as an apprentice, but his lack of height caused them to release him and he went straight down to Lords where he joined the groundstaff of MCC, along with I.T. Botham. Ian was signed up by Middlesex but moved on to Surrey after Paul Downton arrived at Lords. Ian bowed out of Elite umpiring after the 2019 World Cup. Ian wasn't afraid to tell the odd story against himself, such as the time he went outside an Australia venue to smoke. Unfortunately the security guard had changed when he tried to return and he didn't have his accreditation! Fortunately match referee Chris Broad came to his rescue. A great afternoon's entertainment, many thanks Ian.




A fine buffet lunch preceeded the AGM as it returned to its traditional March date. The meeting saw Chairman Barrie Wellman and Speaker Secretary John White stand down. Both gentlemen were warmly thanked for their work. Derek Hopkins was elected Chairman and Huw Nathan has joined the speakers sub-group. Ron Dickinson was presented with the Clubman of the Year book for his long standing service as treasurer. The Society has been making a loss over the last few seasons and a motion from the floor proposed that weekly fees should rise to 5 pounds for members and 7 for non-members. The annual payment to remain at 10 pounds. This was carried by a large majority.

We than watched the Benson & Hedges Cup Final from 1977, featuring our own Julian Shackleton. Gloucester won by a margin of 64 runs and Julian was on hand afterwards to show his winner's medal and scorecard.



Michael Burns

A very late change of programme saw members captivated by a Michael Burns' film entitled 'Shifting Boundaries'. Michael had cleverly woven together amateur video, newsreel of cricket and music of the sixties along with film of society in that decade. He looked at the changes which took place within the game, such as the amateur/professional distinction disappearing, along with the introduction of one day cricket. He turned the lens on the touring sides of the decade including the emerging West Indian team. Controversy such as chucking and apartheid were confronted. A very thought-provoking film. Thanks again Michael.


Derek Hopkins

The penultimate afternoon of the season brought a collection of opportunities for members. first there was the chance to be beguiled by Derek Hopkins' quiz. then the opportunity to be soothed by the (nearly) end of season cream tea. To be fair, the quiz did have some questions that I could have answered, with rounds that included sports jargon, cricket all-rounders, olympic winning countries and , of course, the picture quiz. There were many occasions when a hush descened on the assembled gathering as the innermost parts of the brain were scanned for an answer, there were of course an equal number of times when there was a request for the question to be repeated! The afternoon flew past as the cream tea was being assembled. Many thanks to Derek for all the work on the quiz, these things take quite a bit of organising. Members then tucked into the cream tea, achieving an almost complete demolition. Well done!


John Barclay

The season was brought to an appropriate finale by the 6th visit of Vice-President John Barclay. In a performance of over 90 minutes John talked about his cricket career, with his wonderful ability to spin a story, then stopped for a while to answer questions from the floor, before resuming with more tales from his career in cricket, both playing and as an administrator. We heard how he was thanked by Viv Richards for helping him to become a truly great batsman, how he and Devon Malcolm managed to set-back the progress of South African batsmen after meeting with Nelson Mandela. We heard how he was selected to play by Sussex at the age of 16 and then not again for a further three years, before finally achieving a place in the side and oh so nearly leading them to the County Championship title. All of this while he was pacing the stage and bringing the audience into his performance. Once again we must thank John for an absolutely fantastic afternoon's entertainment.

To see memories of the previous year's programme click here
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