By Micky Garner and Brian Butchers
“Bully” Bulfield had completed his very informative book on Beddington Cricket Club history for which we would like to thank him. Ron Johnson was still in charge of the Beddington 1st XI, with A J Hills skippering the 2nd XI, while many fresh and notable young talents were waiting in the wings. Canon Bridges Private Pavilion on the original Beddington Park ground was still in place, tennis courts and a putting green covering half the ground, the rest on lease to the Beddington Club. A new lease of twenty five years had been secured by the Beddington CC administration. Jack Roberts (umpire) Peter Coates (groundsman) were firmly in charge on the square.
The old school were still in charge of the cricket, and this continued for a few more seasons under Ron Johnson. In the first match of the season Beddington CC beat Purley CC in a tense game at Beddington Park. The home side were put in to bat and were soon in trouble against the fast bowling of Crocker and Sibley, losing three wickets in the first two overs and being five wickets down for 31 runs. R Hilder and R Johnson fought back, being the only batsmen to reach double figures in the Beddington innings of 101 runs. In reply Purley’s wickets tumbled quickly and at tea had lost six wickets for 40 runs, however the tail wagged and at one time it looked anybody’s game. Never the less the Beddington bowling of R Johnson and D Halfyard were triumphant and the last Purley wicket fell at 89 runs. The fielding of both sides was of a very high standard the wicket keeping of Cooper and Norris was outstanding. Beddington side: R White, G Dolby, D Gale, S Cooper, W Cotton, R Hilder, R Johnson, P Loader, D Gatfield, D Halfyard and F. Prescott.
Storms failed to spoil the Beddington Cricket Week. On Monday Garland Wells bought a team to Beddington and were defeated, Murray and Cooper batted well. Two well-known wielders of the willow in Garland Wells side were B H Lyon and Dennis Moore both former Gloucester captains, Ronnie Pratt knocked up 47 runs, and Ron Johnson collected four of the visitor’s wickets. On Tuesday Surrey C & G came to Beddington, after scoring 200 for one wicket the visitors were all out for 249 runs with Fred Prescott accounting for five of the Surrey wickets for 57 runs. M Murray (48) and D Gale (78) set hopes soaring, for Beddington, then the rot set in with only 116 on the board with 5 wickets down, until Johnson and D Gatfield came along to win the match with four wickets to spare. The Stoics succumbed to another defeat on Wednesday, Beddington winning by 37 runs. Beddington were unlucky on Thursday and Friday when the games were abandoned including President’s Day. On Saturday the weather though threatening, and keeping many supporters away, held off to enable Beddington to wind up another successful cricket week with a win over Wallington CC, the scores Beddington 138 runs, Wallington 76 runs.
This was a second defeat for Wallington by Beddington in the month of June. Beddington 2nd XI with J Robertson, H Hancock, A De Rosa, T Parkinson, M Reeves, P Kirk, A Hampton, B Swain, A J Hills (capt) J K Gass and G Burnand, beat Richmond Town by 17 runs. Beddington 115 runs, to Richmond’s 98 runs. A young Wallington School cricketer was handed his Surrey Schools cap and South of England Badge at the end of School Sports Week. Ken Kasey aged 14 years had played in the Surrey Schools XI in every match this season, he was then selected to play for the Home Counties XI against Lancashire and will be one of the team to play Middlesex at Limpsfield. A pupil at High View Secondary School Wallington, where Ken Melton, a Beddington Club member was sports master. Several more pupils from the High View School would later become schoolboy members at the Beddington Club, including D Simmons, M Garner and E Clifton. It was generally an accepted policy, rather than the rule at Beddington for new members to start their cricket in the fourth XI and work their way into the top teams, judging by their ability to do so. Bill Brown a ruddy faced kindly gentleman was then in charge of the fourth XI. He was very fond of his jug of Theakston’s and “The folks who lived on the hill”, his favourite song during the Beddington sing-alongs of 1956.
David Gale was selected to play for the Club Cricket Conference. E W Swanton quotes, World of Cricket, Beddington CC has consistently been one of the strongest club sides, and since the Second War they have produced P J Loader for Surrey and England, A Long for Surrey and D Halfyard for Kent, M Murray, E Clifton, D Ottley, for Middlesex, and a number of county second XI players including N Parks, D Gale, A H Brown, N Griffin and Jake Hall. The club’s record in recent years is an enviable one, in 1952 and 1962 they were top of the Evening Standard Club Table.
One of the features of Beddington’s cricket has been the high standard of wicket-keeping. S H Cooper (who played two first class games for Surrey) has been a regular member of the side since 1945. In one match against Cheam in 1948 he claimed seven wickets behind the stumps. Besides Sydney Cooper, Beddington CC have had such fine wicket-keepers as E Clifton, who deputised for J Murray in the Middlesex 1st XI and then emigrated to Australia in the 1960s to work as a coach at Adelaide Oval, under Don Bradman, and Arnold Long who held the world record of seven catches in an innings for Surrey. One of the best batsmen the club had at this time was M P Murray who later captained the Middlesex 2nd XI. In 1951 M Murray had completed his National Service and became the first Beddington batsmen to score 1,000 runs in Saturday matches only. Another outstanding batsman has been A H Brown (Surrey 2nd XI) who came to the club from Spencer in 1952.
Beddington completed their strength in 1957 when they secured the services of J K Hall, a Lancing College student, as was Jarvis Kenrick a Beddington player in John Henry Bridges 1874 team. It was Leary Constantine who suggested that Norman Parks who Skippered the 1st XI for a number of years was one of the best stroke players in club cricket and should become a professional cricketer, an opinion shared by Alf Gover at his cricket school in Wandsworth, where Norman Parks was an Evening Standard Colt.
Ron Johnson was still in charge of the first XI and Alan De Rosa had taken over from the long standing 2nd XI captain for six years A J Hills, a Physics master at Wallington Grammar School. Alan De Rosa would captain the 2nd XI for the next twelve years. Beddington CC became the unofficial club cricket champions this year when they defeated Wanstead in the Evening Standard final. In the Beddington team R Johnson (Capt), P Loader, R. White, J Robertson, R Dolby, D Gale, D Halfyard, S Cooper, R Bowles, G Dolby, R Hilder. The umpires for this match were Frank Chester and Emrys Davies.
In the first game of the season Beddington defeated South Beddington by 80 runs. Murray and Robertson won the game off their own bats for Beddington with both completing half centuries, and most of the damage was done by R White and F Prescott in the South Beddington innings of 68 runs. Other members of the Beddington side included A Brown, E Parkinson, G Dolby, P Tessier, D Gatfield, D Gale. R Hilder.
Against Catford CC, David Gale made a magnificent 106 runs in 70 minutes to defeat the home side by three runs. In August Beddington were able to field a strong side against Tooting despite the fact that several regulars had gone with the touring side to South Devon. Tooting included in their side D Halfyard the fast bowler who has had so many successful seasons with Beddington, obtaining five wickets for 52 runs in a drawn match. In the club’s cricket week, David Gale scored a total of 448 runs in six days, including three centuries, two on successive days. Surrey Club and Ground defeated Beddington on the first day by 223 runs, in which Peter Loader now in the Surrey team took 6 wickets for 20 runs in 16 overs. Against a strong Garland Wells XI, Beddington put up 258 for 5 wickets and then David Halfyard now back in the side skittled out the visitors for 90 runs with an analysis of 9 wickets for 42 runs.
Back row: Peter Loader (left), Ron Johnson, J Robertson, Bob White
Middle row (from right) Sidney Cooper, Ron Dolby, David Gale, David Halfyard
Front row (from right) R Hinder, G Dolby, Roger Bowles
Note the umpires – Frank Chester and Emrys Davies
On Wednesday Martin Turner for Stoics hit a bright 80 runs in their total of 224 for 8 wickets. A whirlwind 55 runs by R Johnson gave Beddington the victory. On Thursday the Wanderers could only total 174 runs with Prescott taking 5 wickets for 35 runs. Beddington in reply knocked off the runs for one wicket with D Gale 100 runs and A H Brown 74 runs. In the President’s game on Friday, D Gale produced another century to win the match by 8 wickets. Having beaten the Old Whitgiftians on their own ground by 5 wickets Beddington CC justified their reputation as one of the best sides in Surrey, writes a “Times” cricket correspondent. Other results were OW’s 2nd XI 167 for 9 declared, (Subba Row 77 runs, and G Burnand 5 wickets for 56 runs). Beddington 2nd XI 171 for 4 wickets (A De Rosa 100 n.o.). In the 3rd XI Beddington beat the Whitgiftians by 138 runs, with J Holman and M Bowers sharing the wickets, to complete the day the 4th XI also won by 113 runs, (C Derrick 115 n.o.). From the 1st XI to the 4th XI the competition was really strong. It was in this year that David Gale received his club cricket conference cap.
Ron Hilder took over as captain of the first XI. Due to the success of the previous season, the Beddington membership had considerably increased. New members included Ken Melton, Peter Kirk, M Reeves, T Parkinson, M Bowers, A Hampton, D Gatfield, J Holman, H Wombill, R Talks, B Swain, R Graham, L Gillman, R Dolby and G Funnell.
In May David Gale again delighted the supporters with a hard hitting innings of 102 not out, including eight fours and five sixes, in a game against Cyphers that Beddington won easily. The following day Beddington confirmed this form by beating Norwood when M Murray and A Brown completely dominated the bowling and put on 100 runs before Murray was out for 72 runs, with Brown 82 n.o. and J Robertson 40 runs continued the spate of run getting. Beddington declared at 223 for 3 after 135 minutes batting. J Robertson made two great catches in the outfield with Beddington winning by 42 runs. In June Catford’s bowlers were struck by a Gale named David when he hit 106 runs in 70 minutes to pass the Catford score of 194 runs on a very slow wicket. A young Roger Bowles made a very good 28 runs in his innings, Beddington winning the game with ten minutes to spare.
At Beddington on Sunday 21st June 1953, E Collins and M Reeves opened the batting for Beddington v Chameleons. The Beddington team, captained by Bob White reads: E Collins, M Reeves, G Dolby, R Dolby, J Robertson, T Parkinson D Gatfield (keeper) N Parks L Watson K Kasey. Top scorer being M Reeves with 37 runs in the Beddington total of 158 runs for 8 wickets. The Chameleons were bowled out for 155 runs with R White taking five wickets for 59 runs and R Dolby taking three wickets for 18 runs.
G Burnand had been the first choice 2nd XI opening bowler this season. In a return match in August at Beddington Park the Old Whitgiftians declared at 185 runs for 9 wickets, the Old Boys had battled for two hours and 40 minutes. Beddington took only one hour and 33 minutes to pass the visitors’ score. Beddington soon lost E Collins having made only 11 runs, but when his opening partner, Roger Bowles was joined by A Brown they hit up the runs merrily. The schoolboy had a great innings of 79 runs which included 12 fours. A Brown also made 79 runs n.o. Top scorer for the visitors was David Straw with 42 runs and John Ellingham 36 runs, with R White taking four of the visitor’s wickets for 49 runs. The Beddington team: R Hilder (capt) E Collins, D Gale, A Brown, N Parks, R Bowles, S Cooper, R White, G Dolby, R Dolby, F Prescott.
On Sunday against Finchley Beddington lost the game due mainly to bad fielding, when seven catches were dropped. At the Oval Peter Loader received his Surrey cap.
Ron Johnson was once again in charge of the first XI. At the start of the season Tony Brown was in brilliant form with two undefeated centuries in a weekend: against Cyphers he made 101 not out, and against The Tramps on Sunday he made 110 not out without conceding a chance as Beddington making a winning start to Ron Johnson’s last season.
The Wallington Grammar School captain Roger Bowles, at the age of 17 years, was ten short of a classic century in their winning game against the redoubtable Malden Wanderers at Malden. In all departments Beddington were the superior side, winning with time to spare, R Bowles made 90 runs with D Gale on 62 runs. In June Tony Brown, who had scored over a thousand runs in May, had been selected to play for the Surrey Association of Cricket Clubs XI against the Surrey County XI at the Oval, the team skippered by Percy Fender.
After a blank weekend because of rain, bright sunshine greeted the start of Beddington’s Cricket Week despite the fact that the square was under water only a few hours before play was possible. Garland-Wells had won the toss and Beddington were asked to bat. J Robertson opened the batting with R Bowles who was bowled with the score at 19 and 10 runs later J. Robertson was also back in the hutch, with 36 runs on the board D Gale returned to the dressing room. Norman Parks then came to the wicket and gave a really magnificent display of batting that was without a doubt the feature of the day’s cricket. He was still undefeated with 144 runs to his credit when Ron Johnson declared at 250 runs for 8 wickets. R Dolby assisted in a valuable partnership of 52 runs for the sixth wicket, while S Cooper and N Parks thrashed the bowling in a partnership of 105 runs for the seventh wicket.
Garland-Wells had given Beddington the best of the wicket when he decided to put them in to bat. Fred Prescott with his fast medium left arm bowling got plenty of life out of the wicket. assisted by some splendid catching, eight wickets went down quickly for only 55 runs. Ken Barrington, who had played for the county this year, stopped the rot, until he carelessly gave D Gale a catch in the slips. The great Leary Constantine went for three runs and it was left to Beddington’s G Dolby playing for the visitors to make the top score of 28 runs. F Prescott finished with 7 wickets for 43 runs, resulting in a splendid victory for Beddington.
The match with Surrey Club and Ground. the next day, ended in a draw. Ron Pratt topped the batting for Surrey with 102 runs with Ken Barrington 89 runs. Tony Brown in great form made 97 n.o. for the Beddington side, with E Collins 29 runs, Murray 26 runs and Parks 24 n.o.
In the first ever match against Tooting the Beddington side lost 6 wickets for 139 runs, Beddington then put on nearly 100 runs for the loss of only three wickets. A 15-year-old Schoolboy M Garner played a part in Beddington’s success. Ron Johnson swung the game his way with a hard hitting 74 runs with A Brown 59 runs, and M Garner with a bright 28 runs, Beddington declared at 235 runs for 9 wickets. Tooting were then bowled out for 112 runs, having been 9 wickets down for 68 runs.
Tony Brown had been chosen to play for the Club Cricket Conference against the Universities’ Athletic Union at Teddington. He had been in magnificent batting form this year, now playing in his fifth season for Beddington. This was the year that Tony Brown passed the 2,000-run mark, when he scored a characteristic 102 runs in the Cheam match. In that game against Cheam in August, wicketkeeper Sydney Cooper had seven victims, five of which were stumped off the bowling of Bob White in a Cheam total of 62 runs in reply to Beddington’s score of 222 runs for three wickets.
In the 2nd XI Ken Kasey took six wickets for 53 runs at Cheam in a game that Beddington lost. The 4th Xl suffered the same fate losing by one run. It was also Ron Johnson’s last year at Beddington CC. Peter Loader was awarded the Surrey Young Cricketer of the Year and Indian Cricketer of the Year.
Mike Murray took on the captaincy of the 1st XI. The days of the Old School were numbered. Gilly Reay now retired was seated in his favoured position in a deckchair at the side of the sightscreen at the pavilion end. His Surrey blazer left in a prominent position for passing opponents to admire, ready to offer advice when he thought it was possibly required.
Mike Murray’s side this season included F Prescott, R White, S Cooper and R Johnson of the old school with J Robertson, N Parks, M Reeves, N Armstrong, A H Brown and R Bowles the younger element, part of the furniture being umpire Jack Roberts with Peter Newman the scorer.
Peter Coates celebrated his 25th year with the club. He was known to certain members of the club at this time as “Coates” when giving out their unnecessary orders at the weekend. Ken Melton had persuaded another pupil from Highview School to join the club in the shape of Ernest Clifton who later joined Middlesex and then, after he had emigrated to Australia in 1965,coached at Adelaide Oval under Don Bradman.
At Beddington Park, Peter Loader’s XI played a Beddington CC XI, for Arthur McIntyre’s Benefit. Boris Karloff and Arthur McIntyre were umpiring the game that Beddington lost by 14 runs. Due to bad weather conditions the game had to be played on the back ground.
In cricket week Beddington made a fine start. On Monday against the MCC, Beddington declared at 243 for eight with J Robertson hitting a fine 78 runs, M Murray scoring 45 runs and R Dolby making a sound 43 not out. The MCC collapsed in the face of a fiery spell from D Gale and at one time were 29 runs for 5 wickets, then Colin Cowdrey whose father had been a member at Beddington in the 1930s made 34 runs, but MCC could do no better than 124 for 8 wickets.
On Tuesday Beddington put the Wanderers out for 136, Bob White taking 3 wickets for 5 runs. Beddington replied with 137 runs for 4 wickets, Parks 32 runs and Murray 34 runs, the chief scorers. On Thursday Beddington played Surrey Club and Ground, Friday the President Sir Paul Mallinson always managed to bring a strong side to Beddington. On Saturday they played Dulwich CC.
Rear: P Newman (scorer), R Bowles, N Armstrong, N Parks, M Reeves, J Robertson, A Brown. Front: R White, S Cooper (keeper), M Murray (captain), R Johnson (ex-captain), F Prescott, J Roberts (umpire)
With Mike Murray as captain this was a period of change for the better at Beddington, out with the old and in with the new and this photograph tells the story. There are five future captains of Beddington in this team, Murray, Parks, Robertson, Brown, Bowles.
The following week Beddington played Stoics in an all-day game that Beddington lost by three runs.
The summer tour was again a success and their record on six South Devon tours since the war reads: Played 27 won 25 with 2 drawn. Ron Dolby has a remarkable record at Paignton CC of 110 not out 42 and 108 not out a total of 260 runs for once out.
At the end of July having returned from their South Devon tour, Beddington dropped a dozen catches to beat Purley in the last over of the match by one run amid great excitement. (M Murray 102 runs).
Old Whitgiftians had a well-deserved victory against Beddington after a most interesting match at Beddington Park. Set to get 241 runs for the decision, Old Whitgiftians got the runs with a minute to spare. Beddington getting their runs from 48.3 overs and the Old Whitgiftians from 53 overs, in a game noteworthy for quick runs and Beddington’s sporting declaration. Beddington began their innings with a century partnership between M Murray and R Bowles with R Johnson and J Robertson carrying on the good work enabling Beddington to declare at 240 runs for 3 wickets. Old Whitgiftians batting was completely dominated by the great innings of David Straw hitting 125 runs before being dismissed, M Clarke ably assisted Straw with 58 runs. After Straw and Clarke left Old Whit’s lost considerable ground but Stanley Subba Row managed the winning hit just before stumps were drawn.
Beddington’s match with Finchley ended with a draw when they met at Beddington park on Sunday. Highest score of the match going to M Reeves who scored 60 runs in a stand 97 runs with a young Lex Wills 44 runs in a final total of 24I for 7 wickets. Finchley with Ian Bedford replied with 231 runs for 9 wickets. Two Beddington players A Brown and N parks assisted Surrey in the Minor Counties game against Norfolk in August with Surrey winning by 4 wickets. A Brown made 121 not out in the first innings and 37 runs in the second innings. N Parks, who did not bat in the first innings, hit 65 runs in the second innings.
With the assistance of Jack Gass as chairman, Bill Savoury as secretary, Ted Luff as treasurer and members involved in running the club at this time, including our hard working tea ladies and tireless bar staff, added to the club’s continuing success. This year club cricket was at its best when Beddington defeated the Musketeers, with 3 wickets to spare.
1956 heralded the arrival of music at the pavilion when the Cozens arrived at Beddington. Leslie who had played piano in his own band, as a young man in Worthing, later played with the BBC Light Orchestra and for an easier life, had taken a job as a wages clerk in Beddington, living in Wandle Court, the old residence of Henry Tritton the Banker, now converted into flats. The old gas lit pavilion with changing rooms at one end, a small kitchen and loo in the back, and a bar overlooking the front cricket field, must have been heaven in 1931 when compared to the lesser thatched pavilion of 1873 with no water or sanitation as described by Gilly Reay. Now it was the music of Gilbert and Sullivan, Gershwin, Cole Porter, Fats Waller, and songs from the shows, that mingled with the Sound of Music, or Bless Your Beautiful Hide, on your return to the club after an away game or a meal of Spaghetti Bolognaise with “Buffalo” Bridger at the “Criterion” Restaurant, South Croydon. Leslie Cozens who had joined as a piano playing, (non-playing member), could be described as one of Beddington’s best social assets during this period, creating what was for many at the time the sound of cricket.
With Mike Murray now firmly in charge of the 1st XI the Beddington Club, with Jack Gass as Chairman, Bill Savoury as Treasurer, and an excellent committee of Greenwood, Cooper, De Rosa, Talks, Funnell, Watson, Gale, Dolby, White and Murray were ready to move this historic club forward. The 1956 Cricket Week had been the most successful week in the club’s long history. In six games Beddington had won four, lost one, and drawn one. On the following Sunday, The Tramps were trounced. An opening partnership of 137 made by M Murray 89 and J Robertson 53, set Beddington on their way to victory with R Bowles 37 and M Garner 35 not out continuing the good work so Beddington could declare at 227 for 4. The Tramps looked rather shabby against the spin bowling of R Bowles and R White and were bowled over so to speak for 136 runs. (R Bowles 7 for 56).
In July Beddington had a fine win against Cyphers, a stand of 134 runs for the third wicket by M Murray 86 and R Dolby 48 after losing two wickets for 25 runs. The batting then failed completely against the bowling of John Iberson his final analysis being 6 for 62. Against splendid spin bowling and wicket keeping by R White and S Cooper, Cyphers were put out for 132 runs with 20 minutes to spare. Bob White finishing with 7 wickets for 50 runs. Ron Dolby came on to dismiss two stubborn tail-enders for eight runs. On the same day the Cyphers 2nd XI were bowled out for 79 runs, J Slaven 6 for 18 included a hat trick. Beddington at 80 for 1 winning by 9 wickets.
At Finchley on Sunday, Beddington won by one run. Finchley 194, Beddington 195 runs. (N Parks 80 not out). At Beddington, Malden Wanderers were shattered by the bowling of Dave Halfyard taking 7 wickets for 25 runs in 22 overs in his hostile attack. Scores Beddington 254 for 7. Malden Wanderers 98.
Peter Coates, Beddington’s popular groundsman, took his benefit match this year against Brentham who gave Beddington their usual hard game. On a turning wicket Beddington reached 153 runs in their innings, thanks to their skipper M Murray (60) and D Gale (28). Brentham lost two quick wickets for four runs at the start of their innings, but the brothers J Swann (59) and P Swann (25) added 57 runs. Ron Dolby broke the partnership and the innings folded at 113 all out. M Reeves (4 for 39) and R Bowles (3 for 16).
In August, Johnny Haynes, the England and Fulham footballer, made a great attempt to save Winchmore Hill from defeat at the hands of Beddington when he fought a skilful rear guard action to enable his team to earn a draw. Beddington 156 runs for 5 wickets with Winchmore Hill 121 runs for 9 wickets.
This year Beddington CC met strong opposition during their first tour of Yorkshire. The first day fixture with Harrogate was cancelled due to rain, and no play was possible at Ripon on the second day. High winds on the third day at Dewsbury caused the sight screens to topple over, and the bails were removed by common consent. Beddington making 175 for seven declared with R Bowles (82) and R Dolby (40) not out. When time was called ending the match Dewsbury claimed an extra five overs a local league rule. Ron Dolby who had bowled into a howling gale to save the match for Beddington told the captain in no uncertain terms what he thought, “That this was bloody sharp practise”, when Dewsbury went on to make 196 for 8 wickets winning the day. On Thursday North Leeds the leaders of their league, knocked up 223 for eight declared, with Beddington putting up a poor batting show only scoring 82 runs. R Dolby the team’s only teetotaller managed 23 runs.
On the way home at Sutton Coldfield (near Birmingham), Beddington had a pleasant game against the local team, with Sutton Coldfield scoring 145 runs and Beddington in reply 130 runs, D Gale 38 runs, M Garner 32 runs. This day was a first for Ken Melton when he announced that today was his birthday. He was made to buy his first ever round of drinks for everybody in the clubhouse, and he probably could tell you what drinks everybody had ordered, how many times he went up to the bar, and of course how much it had cost for the round. Despite the weather the tour socially was an enjoyable success, especially the victory over the Yorkshire Road Construction Company darts team, in the Wheatsheaf pub, on our way back to Harrogate. Our team leader for that afternoon being Mr Eric (Bristow) Farr. At the club committee meeting in September David Gale announced that the tour had been a wet, but enjoyable experience.
Applications for membership were made by Tommy Dunn (Australia House), M Spencer, Andrew Nelson (his second attempt), schoolboy member Brian Paul and Doc Sweatman’s application was deferred until the following year. Thirteen playing members and five non-playing members would leave by coach on the second Yorkshire tour. Staying at Ilkley and Otley, D Gale reported that all arrangements were in hand. D Halfyard’s name was deleted from the membership due to non-payment of membership fees. A minor counties game between Surrey 2nd XI and Warwickshire was to be played at Beddington in July, A H Brown had been selected to play in the match.
In the opening games of the season Mike Murray had scored 63 and 103 runs in the first week-end and 121 runs against Malden Wanderers the following weekend. Changing the batting order to face a moderate total of 104 runs on Sunday against Twickenham, the Beddington openers of Parks and Dolby raced to a 100 partnership, but at 102 Parks was caught endeavouring to make the winning hit. He had scored 42 runs with Ron Dolby’s 62 runs making a tremendous winning hit for six to win the game, the openers running between the wickets was a delight to watch.
Standing: N Wills, K Kasey, G Dolby, ?, B Hancock, L Wills
Front: A Derosa, John Slaven
The best effort in the Cricket Week was the defeat of the MCC by four wickets. MCC were bowled out for 175 runs and Beddington passed this total with four wickets remaining, (M Murray 95 runs). Beddington completed the week unbeaten. On Tuesday in the match against the Wanderers, Beddington made 262 runs (D Gale 87 runs), in reply Wanderers made 234 runs, with our very good friend George Coker 105 not out. With a fine win against old rivals Dulwich at Beddington Park on Saturday, bringing the Beddington total in six matches to four wins and two draws.
Batting first on a bowler’s wicket against Dulwich, Beddington lost seven wickets for 122 runs. A Brown made 46 runs, and R Dolby 24 runs. A ninth wicket stand of 67 runs between M Garner 56 runs and L Watson 12 runs enabled Beddington to reach a total of 199 runs. In reply Dulwich, who never looked like getting the runs, were bowled out for 150 with Gale and Prescott sharing the wickets. Extremely consistent batting by A Brown, M Murray, and N Parks enabled Beddington to amass large totals throughout the season and with the addition of Jake Hall, Neville Griffin, and spinners Reeves and Watson to the 1st XI, not many opponents reached 100 runs and rarely 200 runs. The competition for team places was probably at its peak throughout the club.
The old school of Cooper, Prescott, Gale, White and Collins were still able to play their part in the club’s success, Gilly Reay was still at the bar in his blazer and his deck chair by the sightscreen giving support. The high spot of this year for the Beddington Club, came at Leeds in the fourth test against the West Indies when Peter Loader bowled Frank Worrell and Everton Weekes in the same over and claimed Gary Sobers as his next victim, finishing off the innings with a hat-trick, clean bowling Goddard and Gilchrist ending with Ramadhin caught by Trueman. Peter Loader was born in Wallington 1929 his prowess at Beddington Cricket Club won him an invitation to play for the Surrey Club and ground team. He was still an amateur when he made his debut for Surrey against Kent in 1951. In 1963 Peter Loader emigrated to Western Australia.
The second tour of Yorkshire this time by coach, took place in August 1957 with the main playing group staying in Ilkley and the others in Otley. The only complaint coming from Sydney Cooper, who didn’t like the women peering into his room from the top deck of the local buses that stopped outside his hotel. The first game at Scarborough was cancelled due to early rain. Ron Dolby decided to organise a trip by coach to the Gaping Gill, a pot hole on the Moors. On arrival with rain threatening, only four members decided to make the climb Ron Dolby Colin Way Mick Garner and Brian Butchers, the climb ending when an exhausted Brian Butchers eventually arrived at our destination shouting, “I didn’t realise I was climbing with three mountain goats !” With that we returned to the coach to find the rest of the team swigging beer from a crate at the roadside. It was then decided to stop for lunch at the famous “Harry Ramsden’s” fish and chip restaurant, “Butch” hearing the word food, was as usual the first one back in the coach.
Ken Melton, Paul Newman, coach driver, Len Watson, Peter Parks, David Gale,
Colin Way, Brian Butchers and Mick Garner.
On Tuesday no play was possible at Harrogate and Wednesday Beddington were beaten for the second time by North Leeds, with that in mind the Beddington team decided to adopt the North Leeds tie as their permanent touring tie. On Thursday the tour moved north to Catterick Services finding some agreeable weather at last. The Services XI were very impressed with the Beddington team having recently played a Yorkshire 2nd XI, but Beddington were even more impressed with the mixed grill served up in the Officer’s Mess after the game.
Back row B Butchers, A Long, M Garner, P Parks, E Farr, K Melton, ?, L Watson, ?, C Way
Front row P Newman, N Parks, D Gale, M Pearson, R Dolby, J Slaven
At the September 1957 committee meeting Len Watson and John Slaven were authorised to organise the next tour to Devon. Sydney Cooper stated during A.O.B. that he strongly disapproved of the lifting of the Kingdom Hall notice board and other items in Yorkshire, by members of the touring party and felt that these items should be returned to their rightful owner, as such behaviour brought the club a bad name. The articles in question were duly returned.
At the committee meeting in February 1958, David Gale was to be transferred to Birmingham by his company and would be unable to continue as a committee and club member. At the next meeting in March he announced that he had married and was now moving to Birmingham. It was reported at the April meeting that F O P Harrison a former captain and Life Member who had completed sterling work for the club for many years had died. In May applications to the club included David Doughty, David Parker and Bruce Noble. Senior member Ron Johnson was co-opted on to the committee replacing David Gale.
Mike Murray announced that he had been asked to captain ten games for Middlesex Club and ground, as well as the Beddington Club, which did not go down very well with some of the Committee. In May the 1st XI (without John Hall who was playing for Surrey), convincingly beat Malden Wanderers with Beddington 227 runs for 8 wickets declared (N Parks 82 runs) Malden Wanderers 123 runs (L Watson 7 for 32 runs) help by some fine catching from Reeves, Garner and Parks. At Beddington Park a fourth wicket stand of 150 in 66 minutes between A Brown 103 runs and M Murray 85 runs thoroughly demoralising Twickenham, who were all out for 98 runs with L Watson taking another 4 wickets for 7 runs. Against the Casuals (235 runs) Beddington could not cope with the bowling of Ellingham and Iberson in their total of just 110 all out.
On the 28th August a minor counties game was played at Beddington between Surrey Second XI v Middlesex Second XI. On Sunday 31st August Beddington CC played a benefit game v Eric Bedser’s team with five England players in his side, the Beddington side skippered by Norman Parks who hit the only century of a day marred by rain.
In October Mike Murray stated that he would not continue as captain of the Saturday 1st XI and Norman Parks would take over with A H Brown as vice-captain. At this meeting Jack Gass announced that he was stepping down as Treasurer. This year also saw the death of W H Kippen the Beddington 1st XI scorer for many years. A V A Cummins became the new Treasurer with J Slaven as the Auditor. By the end of the 1958 season Len Watson announced that the tour arrangement to Devon were in place with 14 playing members and seven non playing members. On the question of playing members at committee Doc Sweatman had been elected to the membership after the second attempt
In August the local council announced that the Tennis and Archery Pavilion on the old Beddington Park ground was to be demolished. The Beddington CC Secretary Brian Swain approached the council regarding the Plaque on the chimney breast, as to whether it could be preserved and installed in the cricket club pavilion. This request was never fulfilled by the council when this historic building was finally destroyed. The Canon Bridges Pavilion on the Beddington Park ground had stood in the park for 85 years.
J Slaven, L Watson, A Derosa, N Wills, G Dolby, K Kasey, ?, B Hancock, L Wills
The 2nd XI under Alan Derosa were undefeated home or away, and the following year were again unbeaten at home while only conceding two way defeats at Mitcham and Spencer.
Mike Murray stepped down as captain of the 1st XI, replaced by Norman Parks with Tony Brown as vice-captain. Every one of Beddington’s 1st XI Sunday fixtures was held at home this summer. New fixtures had been arranged against Eton Ramblers and South Hampstead. The Beddington playing strength was again strong but members were sad to record the retirement of Sydney Cooper who had played for the club for more than 25 years and Fred Prescott the stout-hearted left arm round bowler became vice-captain to Alan De Rosa in his 8th year as the 2nd Xl captain. Ian Peterson, a Marlborough college student, was elected to the club as a playing member and in 1960 became Club Secretary. Other playing members this year included M Willet, B Holt and D Ramsey. As in the previous Beddington histories school masters at the club included Ron Dolby, Colin Way, Jock Ireland, Ken Melton and Malcolm Ewens.
This year Ernie Clifton a local schoolboy at High View School and a member at Beddington, played for Surrey 2nd XI in a minor counties match v Sussex at Hove.
The first fixtures of the year were Barclay’s Bank CC, with Ealing CC on Sunday. On the second weekend, the Beddington 1st XI of N Parks, A Brown, M Murray, T Dunn, D Doughty, M Garner, M Reeves, E Clifton, R White, R Dolby and J Hall, declared their innings closed against Spencer CC at 240 runs for 6 wickets (N Parks 88 runs.) In reply Spencer’s 1st XI scored 193 for 8 wickets (Clark 70 runs, Tarrant 44 runs). Our old friend George Coker fell victim to Jake Hall who took six of the Spencer wickets in a drawn game.
At the Old Whitgiftians ground in June the home side hit 272 runs for 2 wickets, in 2 hours and 20 minutes with G Thompson 123 n.o., Bangs 70 and M Turner 49 n.o. Beddington did not flinch from their task hitting out at everything, Tommy Dunn reached a century in eighty minutes not giving a chance in his innings of 104 runs. Two run-outs at the critical stage of the game were unfortunate and stumps were drawn with Beddington 16 runs short of victory. The role was reversed in August when Beddington defeated the Old Whitgiftians by one run, with Tommy Dunn 84 runs and Parks 62 runs, Murray and Dolby hit off the remaining runs. This was the only game that the Whitgiftians had lost this season.
The following day the Mote were bowled out for 110 runs with the Beddington bowlers in great form right from the start and with the total at 14 runs half the side had received their marching orders. Neville Griffin with 4 wickets for 24 runs in 16 overs, while Ken Kasey who opened the attack with him had taken 5 wickets for 32 runs in 13 overs. D Reader for The Mote who had a six and five fours in his great knock of 53 runs was worth more than its face value. Beddington although losing the first two wickets for 13 runs always had matters well in hand, with J Robertson 37 runs and M Garner playing aggressive cricket for 49 n.o. with a six and 5 fours the home side concluded a most successful week.
At this time our 1st XI captain Norman Parks whose main ambition in life at this time was to play cricket, became a shirt salesman to cover his cost of living. One sunny morning in spring and no shirt sales imminent, Norman decided he could tell short stories, (which his team had known for ages). On this bright and sunny morning with pen at the ready Norman began his first story, “Old Horrox”.
The fixture card told Horrox that the 1st XI were playing at home in the first match of the season, he must go along to the ground and watch. The winter had been harder than ever to tolerate, and cricket always reminded him of his youth. Although it was a warm spring day he decided to take his overcoat, April evenings could be quite chilly and he did not want to risk another cold.
The ground was not very far and he could get a bus if necessary but he preferred to walk. As he walked he passed St Mary’s Church. The clock struck the hour, the sound echoing across the park set the scene for the rest of the day. Horrox thought, he was beginning to feel quite excited. A car went by with two large cricket bags on the roof and he remembered carrying his own bag to cricket, it was not big enough to get his pads in but they tied together on the sides very well, but when it rained the whiting would run onto his raincoat, all a long time ago! Still you can’t live in the past, youngsters play far more cricket nowadays and need larger cricket bags. When Horrox reached the park he smelt the freshly cut grass for the first time since last summer. He quickened his step and could soon see the cricket ground through the trees. He would soon be able to look at the wicket then go to his favourite seat by the cut privet hedge. The wicket looked a beauty with not a weed or mark on it, “Virgin Turf” as he had read somewhere. He made a forward defensive movement with his walking stick and thought he could bat on it. His eyes were still keen enough and he did not feel so stiff in the knees after his walk. The strip of turf brought back memories of a junior house match when he reached 50 with a cut from the middle stump.
The professional had said he must not cut when the ball was straight. Horrox smiled to himself, for he could see the ball speeding to the boundary even now. Clapping at the pavilion made him start, when he looked up and saw players taking to the field. He hurried to his seat as fast as he could, perhaps running between the wickets would be difficult at his age. Horrox leaned against the hedge in order to see the score box, when a young boy announced that Beddington were fielding. Murray looked taller than ever today completely dwarfing Garner. Horrox looked at the scorecard, Peterson must be a new man surely and where is the giant Cooper? The small boy told him Sydney Cooper had retired. The sun warmed his wrinkled face, it was quiet and very peaceful, he felt complete contentment, and he thought it would be a nice place to die. The thought of dying in a cold bed in the depth of winter was not on his scorecard. He returned to the game by the shattering sound of Jake Hall taking another wicket. He is rather thin for a fast bowler Horrox thought, but he had played for the county last season. When Hall had hit the wicket a few more times the sides went in for tea. Horrox felt like a cuppa and made his way to the pavilion where some of the players asked how he was and called him Sir. He felt very elated and glad that he had come, it was good to be recognised, you felt you belonged somewhere. When the bell went for the sides to go out Horrox was back in his seat. Murray and Dunn opened and the ball was hit to the boundary three times in one over by the Australian, Dunn. Horrox enjoyed the hits and was sad when Dunn was out. Murray made a very big score with Beddington winning just before seven o’clock.
The sun went down and Horrox was glad he had brought his coat. He rather envied the players in the bar a pint of bitter after a day in the sun was one of the pleasures of life. Pints were difficult to manage these days, but there was no reason why he could not manage a half, it would round off the day nicely. The bar was crowded and jugs of beer were being spread around. Horrox liked the atmosphere everybody was alive, and some pretty girls as well, he was to see them drinking beer with the players and talking as much as the players. Somebody offered Horrox a glass of beer and moved on before he could thank him. Horrox saw him going from one group to another pouring beer from a large jug, he tasted his own glass and enjoyed the coolness of it. Pretty soon everyone was laughing and happy, he really should be off, the youngsters were really enjoying themselves, Horrox bid them all good night and shuffled out of the door. He would have liked to have stayed but had work to do at home and he did not like to appear a bore. He would take the bus as he was feeling tired and finish a pleasant day with a glass of port before retiring.