The Club History detailed below is extracted from the original Club History Book produced for the Club's Centenary in 1984, and therefore only runs until that point in time. This was considerably updated and rewritten - following research of further information - in a new book "125 Not Out" produced for the Club's 125th Anniversary Celebrations in 2009. Copies of this book are still available and are detailed on the Club Book page on the menu on the left hand side of the Homepage of this website.
The Early Years 1884-1919
The 1890 Directory of Essex shows the address of Chingford Cricket and Lawn Tennis Club s being 25 Buxton Road, the ground was at the western edge of Chingford Plains and GR Brown was Secretary. It is certain that in the early days the Club was the cricket section of the still existing Congregational Church in Buxton Road, next to the ground. These connections were so strong that they formed an alliance to become Chingford Alliance Cricket Club in 1896 and rule 2 explained:
That the Club being in connection with the Chingford Congregational Church the Pastor thereof be the President by virtue of his office.
There were several other interesting rules in 1896, rule 3 stated that
The colours of the Club be green,chocolate and amber
If we take inflation into account then rule 4 made cricket an expensive game in 1896, stating that
The entrance fee be 5/-and the subscription 10/6 for playing members
The fixture list that year included several sides which we still play,namely Loughton, South Woodford, Walthamstow, Wanstead and Buckhurst Hill.
The name changed to Chingford Cricket Club by 1898, but there is no doubt that this was the same Club as the list of members and rules remained virtually identical.
By 1906 the Chingford Village Cricket Club,Secretary J.Hicks was situated at a private ground on the north side of The Green behind the Police Station (where Parkhill Road is now). This ground was owned by the Chingford Rise Estate Co and was assessed at £2 per annum rates. Cricket was played here until at least 1909.The exact date of the move to Forest Side, then known as the Pelham Ground and leased to the Club by Whitbreads, is unknown but it is certain that it was some time before The First World War. At this time the ground was enclosed by houses only on the north boundary (Victoria Road) and on the south and west sides by greenhouses and fields all the way to Whitehall Road.
The then Secretary,George Underhill must have played a prominent part in the running of the Club in the difficult years after the war as he became a life member as a reward for his efforts.
After the Great War 1920-29
The mist of antiquity clears a little in 1920 when the Tennis Section at Forest Side was founded and there were four courts with a separate pavilion. Cricket subscriptions were £1/11/6d per annum for players and three sides were run. A First XI and Second XI on Saturdays and a Thursday team. Twenty games were played that year with ten wins, four draws and six defeats. The weather must have been better then as no cancellations were recorded. In the cricket Section two centuries were scored, Hector Munro made 130 against Epping on June 5th, 1920 and Bill Riding 104 not out in the return match on August 14th. F. Good took 5-10 against Hoffman's of Chelmsford.
In 1921 only seven matches were won, nine were lost and eleven were drawn. The vice-captain, Bill Riding, before his tragic death, scored 1305 runs in only 19 completed innings including 202 not out against Liverpool Victoria on the August Bank Holiday. He also scored five other centuries during the season. W. Bar was the best bowler claiming 8-27 against Stoics. In the Second XI R.H. Harwood scored 151 against Walthamstow.
John Riding, who had been Secretary since at least 1920, combined the job with that of Fixture Secretary in 1922 following the retirement of A.R. Dagnall from this position. G. Dormer's 104 against Southend was the highlight of the 1923 season while on the administrative side George Underhill again took on the Secretary's job and Arthur Dagnall returned as Fixture Secretary. By 1923 there were three regular Saturday sides. The way the club was managed in 1923 is explained in rule 4:-
That this club be managed by General Committee consisting of the five Guarantors, Finance Committee, Cricket Committee, Tennis Committee, Captains, Vice-Captains, Hon. Treasurer, Match Hon. Sec and General Hon. Sec, any ten members to form a quorum.
In 1924 ten matches were again won with the captain being Len Pugh. W.G. Longdon and Norman Hodd were the leading batsmen, with not out scores of 96 and 93 respectively. Ernie Tongue, who was also a leading figure in the Tennis Section, took 6-21 against Romford Town and W.E. Barnes was the leading wicket taker with 50 wickets.
In 1925 the 1st XI results were ten wins, five draws and eight defeats. A further rule was added, rule 12:-
In the event of any member making himself obnoxious or doing anything detrimental to the Club's interests, the General Committee shall have power to suspend or expel such a offender.
The Tennis Section's Secretary was Mr E.R. Davis, while Mr E. Way was Tennis Captain. Of four tennis fixtures, three were won and one drawn, while the Pettingall-Norbury Mixed Doubles Trophy was won by Miss Wrightson and Mr L.H. Williams. The Cornish Challenge Cups were won by Mr H.J. Radbourne and Mrs Pettingall.
In the year of the General Strike the first eleven were successful with a playing record of fifteen victories, nine draws and seven defeats. The fixture list showed the Rt. Hon. Winston Churchill as a patron of the club.
In 1927 fourteen matches were won, only three drawn and six lost. Len Parslow topped the batting averages with 33.5 and a top score of 104. W.E. Barkes took 100 wickets at 13.7 apiece while S. Kitchener captured 63 and W. Sandrock's 62 cost only 9.0 apiece. For this season the Third XI were to play four evening matches - each over two nights.
Three sides called the First XI, the Second XI and the A eleven played on Saturdays in 1928. The A XI were unbeaten in seventeen games (13 wins and four draws). Len Parslow hit 193 in a first XI game and Bill Adamson was the leading wicket taker with 68 wickets at at an average of 17.4. Eight 1st XI games were won, nine drawn and nine lost. For the 1928 season the Press Secretary was to be one S.C. Spicer.
|CHINGFORD v A.C. RUSSELLS XI (1928)
N. Hood, L. Parslow, E. Peachy, G. Downes, A. Curry, A. Adamson, L. Russell, W. Nichols, G. Eastman, A. Hipkin, G. Hockey
S. Kitchener, W. Longden, L. Eastman, H. Wilson, J. O,Connor, R. Taylor, A. Russell, J. Cutmore, D. Pope, D. Thompson
In the next year (1929) the playing record differed only by one additional defeat, and Sunday cricket first began with a single side playing all day games at home every week, although this was only on a casual basis. Details become much clearer on October 23rd, 1929 from which date the General Committee Minutes are complete. It appears that from the 1930 season onwards Chingford were to run a 1st XI with Reg Taylor as captain and two second XIs (A and B) using a second ground at Ridgeway Park.
The Golden Age 1930-39
The buildings in those days were quite primitive, and the 1930 Annual General Meeting was held at the nearby Royal Forest Hotel while selection committee and socialising were performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel conveniently next to the ground. The Club's main structure was in front of the current stables and a tea hut was located half-way along the south side of the ground. Tea would be carried from the tea hut to the pavilion, to be eaten under an awning attached to the side of the pavilion. The groundsman carried the left-overs back to the tea hut at the end of the interval. In addition there was also a tennis Tennis pavilion which is still standing (just) and is now used as the groundsman's shed.
General Committee Minutes 4/7/1930
The Tennis Secretary reported that the Tennis Section is of the opinion that 2d is too much for a cup of tea and required to have it reduced to 1d a cup.
The club also played a part in raising funds for charity with the public paying to watch a game in aid of Forest Hospital; a total of £26 was raised which suggests a large crowd. Cricket week ended with a concert in aid of the blind.
In those days the rules ensured that new players had to be approved at the Player's Meeting before recommendation to the Annual General Meeting. Furthermore the 1931 Player's Meeting voted to discontinue Thursday cricket which had been played since 1925.
1932 was a good year for the club with the first XI unbeaten under the leadership of Gordon Downes. Thirteen games were won, eight were drawn and one abandoned with the team averaging over 200 runs per innings and 4417 runs were scored against 2511 conceded. Many people consider Len Parslow to be the most talented - in many cases brilliant - batsman to play for the Club, and during this year he scored 801 runs at an average of 38.14. Don Spencer scored 668 runs at an average of 36.94. Mick Willson was the best bowler with 35 wickets 10.94 apiece and the captain Gordon Downes took 48 at 11.33. These were tremendous performances on the billiard table wickets produced by the groundsman with the name of Hall.
|CHINGFORD CRICKET CLUB 1st XI 1932
BACK: F.Culpin, P.Simpson, F.Cheeswright, S.Spicer, N.Westerhout
SEATED: H.Willson, G.Underhill, G.Downes, F.Sandrock, W.Spencer, A.Adamson
GROUND: S.Bland, L.Parslow
Meanwhile the first of many rows had broken out between the Club and the innkeeper at the Queen Elizabeth over a willow tree behind the bowler's arm at the "Lizzy" end of the ground. The club wanted the tree pruned but the innkeeper didn't and at one point a "commando" raid was being considered. The tennis Section suffered reverse fortunes in the same year with only a single victory and eight defeats in ten games.
There seamed to have been some uncertainty over the future of the ground, and at the AGM on the 18th November it was proposed that a sub-committee be formed and:
Their business will be to enter into the question of obtaining another ground and the raising of necessary finance.
Apparently the Club made enquiries to Whitbreads concerning the possible purchase of their grounds. Whitbreads were not prepared either to extend the lease or to sell the freehold and the club approached the Council to purchase the ground on its behalf.
In 1933 Len Parslow scored 1020 runs in the first team and 424 during cricket week at an average of 40.8. Ten games were won, nine drawn and ten lost. Don Spencer hit 773 runs and took 40 wickets while against Finchley Alec Meston clean bowled six batsmen for 15 runs in five overs.
In the 1934 season the Club was re-organised into 1st XI, 2nd XI and 3rd XI. The General Committee's report contained the following:
Most of the members will probably realise that the coming season is the Jubilee of the Club. The Committee hope that this year will be marked by outstanding successes in sport.
They also suggest:
It is a suitable opportunity to renew the club flag, which has served for a good many years, and for this purpose it is proposed to ask members to make a contribution on the night of the Annual General Meeting.
Although some of the 1934 rules remain unchanged today, one which has changed is rule 2 which then said:
The club colours shall be chocolate, white and blue.
In this season technology struck and the tea hut was now served with running water. This cost less than £2 to accomplish.
On the field a strong 1st XI won 13 games, drew four and lost seven. This record included victory against a strong Essex Club and Ground XI by 24 runs. The outstanding features of the game were a fine innings by Noel Westerhout, great bowling by Jock Harwood and brilliant fielding by the entire team (Don Spencer made three fine catches). The 2nd XI twice exceeded 300 runs in a single innings, although on consecutive weeks they were twice dismissed for less than 25 runs and Buckhurst Hill inexplicably appear on both sides of the balance sheet! The Tennis Section were more successful than in previous years, winning four games. A cricket week was held in the Jubilee year and ended with the traditional flannel dance in the Queen Elizabeth.
General Committee Minutes 09/04/1935
It was agreed to rent from the Railway Company a space near the booking office for one poster for twelve months at 35/- per annum and to ask Mr Poynter to devise a suitable poster.
During the winter a hockey pitch was used by Old Felstedians and a football pitch was used by Chingford FC at the Kimberley Way end of the ground until March 1936.
In 1935 no less than 17 first XI games won out of 28. Len Parslow again topped 1000 runs and Gordon Downes and Jock Harwood both took over 50 wickets. In the 2nd XI in 22 games A.E. (Bill) Adamson took 89 wickets at 10.26 apiece. The Tennis Section again improved with six wins scored in eleven matches.
General Committee Minutes 14/04/1936
It was agreed that an experiment should be tried for a few weeks of serving 6d teas in the tea pavilion to consist of three pieces of bread and butter, two cakes and one cup of tea.
In 1936 the question of moving ground arose again and a move to Hawkswood seemed the most likely possibility, although for the time being the Club remained at Forest Side. A "Sunday 'B' XI" appears on the fixture list for the first time. In 1936-7 and 1938-9 the Club won the West Essex Cricket Clubs Darts League, the grand prize being a lavatory plan! 1937 also saw the Men's Tennis Section unbeaten although the Ladies' Tennis Section didn't win a match. This was rectified in 1938 when one match was one out of four.
General Committee Minutes 17/11/1938
Mr. Street of the Old Felstedians informed the Secretary that he would like the heavy roller put on every week. The Committee instructed the Secretary to write to Mr. Street and inform him that this could be done, but the Old Felstedians would have to pay for the horse to pull the roller as they had done in previous years.
General Committee Minutes 13/02/1939
The cost of laying a hard tennis court was discussed, also the upkeep of same. It was agreed that we would obtain a good many more numbers if this could be done. The Hon. Treasurer was asked to obtain a quotation for the cost of a slide at the Chingford Cinema.
The 1939 fixture list included Sunday A XI vs Asterisks, Caterpillars, Grasshoppers & Royal Epping Golf Club while on the 23rd July the Sunday B's were at home to South Essex Waterworks!
Cricket in the Thirties
Casting the mind back some 50 years stirs nostalgic memories, some of them still vivid. I expect that some will accuse me of personal bias; however, be that as it may, top level club cricket in those days was a very different game.
The atmosphere was exciting, there were no leagues in the South of England. Prestige was the incentive, and prestige was reflected in the fixture list, whereas in the league you have no choice; you have to play the club, like it or not. To build and maintain an attractive fixture list you not only had to have a strong side, it was expected to play attractive cricket in the right spirit -- always going for a a win and failing honourable if it didn't work out. I can recall only once Chingford ever losing a fixture in the 30's (more about that later) though, from time to time, there were a few that we were happy to dispose of.
My own association with Chingford as a 1st XI player was confined to the 30's. I joined as a 17 year old just out of school in the late 20's.In those days the 1st XI had an indifferent playing record and the 2nd XI was more or less a closed shop - an 11 man clique. That is why a few of us went straight from the 3rd XI to the first. In one year the 3rd XI went through the season unbeaten, a somewhat hollow achievement for to ensure that the side remained unbeaten promotion of the young players from that side to the first was delayed. The running of the club at that time left much to be desired and I have never forgotten a pavilion talk about filling a first-team vacancy. A name was suggested and immediately dismissed with the retort: "Can't have him he hasn't got a car!".
For in those days a car was a noteworthy asset. There were far fewer of them than now but the 2nd XI always seemed to be comfortably equipped with this form of transport. But no more about those strange days; the 30's arrived and proved to be a flourishing era for the club under the enterprising captaincy of Gordon Downes, fast-medium bowler who invariable took a stack of wickets and was always dangerous with the new ball which he swung late in flight.
These were the 1st XI players who served up attractive cricket in those exiting years, I give them in batting order ;- L. F. Parslow, S. C. Spicer, W. G. (Don) Spencer, A Meston, N. E. Westerhout, P. A. Simpson, S. F. Bland, F. G. Cheeswright, H. G. Willson, G. Downes, A. E. Adamson, J. Harwood, Twelve in all but Don Spencer moved for business reasons and played for Chelmsford and Alec Meston frequently was required to play for his firm's team. There could have been another name to add to the twelve but W. F. Sandrock died shortly after the 30's came in. He was already a very fine young player - batsman and slow left are bowler. A real loss to the club, he was one of the three of us who developed his batting after studying a book by the great C. B. Fry. Parslow bought it after finding it on a second-hand bookstall and what a treasure it was.
Those of you who say you cannot learn to bat, and play golf for that matter by reading books, are talking rubbish. But, there are books and books, good ones and bad ones. Fry's was a very very good one.
In 1932 the 1st XI went through unbeaten and there were very few draws. As the season went on Gordon Downes, if he won the toss, asked the opponent to bat so that (1) he could get at them with the new ball and (2) we had a total to chase. And chase it we did. Indeed I cannot recall a match in which we tried to hang on and avoid defeat. The Skipper was always out to to win. When batting first the target was at least 220 runs before declaring as we frequently had to. The opponents were always given time to make the runs - none of them did in 1932 - but if they did in other years none of us had any complaint. It all made for a splendid game whichever side was chasing the other's total. Gordon was a most popular skipper, and if at times I thought he was a little too reckless he had the right attitude. The spirit of the game was everything to him.
The first seven of the names I mentioned were the specialist batsmen. Then came Fred Cheeswright as wicket-keeper at No. 8. Downes, Wilson, Adamson and the off-spinner Harwood were the specialist bowlers with Meston a genuine all-rounder and Don Spencer, slow left arm to come on if and when required. Later in the 30's when Willson and Adamson had retired and Meston was playing for his firm's side I opened the bowling with Downes, often picked up a wicket or two but Downes and Harwood took the bulk of the wickets.
Alec Meston was an outstanding all round cricketer. Off front foot or back he could drive the ball hard and had played as a pro for Essex under Johnny Douglas. Had he been blessed with a more equitable temperament he might have gone a very long way but he was a moody player; elegant with the bat, a natural slip field and a bowler with a high swinging action who could generate amazing pace from a run of only a few yards. In his County days, when he bowled off a longer run, he was bitter, so he told me, about his treatment by Douglas who insisted that he (Meston) must continue to bowl while handicapped by a leg strain. I have described him as a moody player. Indeed he was. In a match at Chingford against Finchley he arrived late after his car had broken down. He was in a furious mood and when he took the field was given the ball. The outcome was most remarkable spell of bowling I have ever seen on the Chingford ground. He ran through the strong Finchley side extracting extraordinary pace from the wicket and some of the batsmen could not get the bat down before the ball was through. He even broke a stump with one dismissal. Temper have him the urge and Finchley became the victims of his car's tantrums.
To return to the car situation in the 1st XI; my memory is a little vague. I think we sometimes had lifts but we often travelled, quite cheerfully, on buses and trains humping on the shoulder a heavy leather bag loaded with two bats, pads, boots etc. On trips to Westcliff, Leigh and Shoeburyness a few of us would go down in the morning by train from Walthamstow Midland station. This led to our losing the attractive fixture at Shoeburyness Garrison. Parslow, myself and another misjudged the distance from Southend to Shoebury, found that the tram took us only to Thorpe Bay leaving us to continue on foot with our bags on a hot day. We arrived late, Chingford were batting and wondering what had happened to us. Gordon Downes was not amused, neither were the Army officers and that was the end of Chingford Cricket at Shoeburyness - a black day for Chingford. We had the occasional bad day purely in a cricket sense. In a match against Upper Clapton, a very good side in those days, the batting for once failed. We were all out for 90, and Upper Clapton won for the loss of about two wickets. One of us mentioned in the dressing room that it was a pity and tail had not responded in which Fred Cheeswright had the ready answer. "What do you expect, We've had no match practice for weeks".
Among the good days was an all-day game at Loughton on Jubilee Day. Batting first we totalled well over 300 against a good Loughton attack which included Jerry Marston, a googly bowler who played for Essex quite a bit. We hoisted a few balls into Traps Hill, and one, I remember, landed on a bowling green adjoining the ground at long on. It being an all-day match Loughton were left time to go for the runs but they were demoralised and we won all too easily.
Club cricket in the 30's had a number of established county players taking part, mostly amateurs who played for the county when they could find the time. Buckhurst Hill had two, A. B. Waugh and Alan Lavers - both fine all rounders. E. A. Jefcoate was a left arm spinner with Gidea Park and Harold Palmer, who played for Loughton and Woodford Wells at various times, was a top class let-spinner who gave the Australian touring team a lot of trouble. But he could not bat and was a very poor fielder. Westcliff had D. R. Wilcox and H. P. Crabtree.
When Alec Meston left the county game he got a job with the Power Petrol Company. They had a very strong side with Meston, Eddie Watts, Surrey fast bowler and several Surrey 2nd XI players. I played for them a few times on Sundays as an outsider and I remember one Sunday game well. Watts and Meston had Indian Ghymkana on the run at 48-8 when lunch came. To make a game of it they brought in the Nawab of Pataudi during the lunch interval and so well did he play with No. 11 inspired sufficiently to prop up his end that he rattled up a memorable 100. This was a challenge to Meston who also hit a big score, and I think the match ended in a draw.
Sunday cricket had the advantage of three sessions in a day which gave one useful time to settle in for a big innings. Sunday cricket was very popular with the extra breathing space it allowed and we all took it very seriously.
In the 1930's a number of wickets were dressed with red Nottingham marl. This gave a fast and true surface good for a stroke-play so long as the bat came down along the line. Playing across could be fatal. There was no marl at Chingford but the wicket was closely shaved and dressed with a cow-dung mixture to hold it together. There were few grassy pitches which after the war became quite numerous and were flattering to medium pace bowlers and predicted the demise of the leg-spinner. The best bats cost two guineas so did the annual club subscription for playing members. The bats did not last long as do the thick edged bats of today. Those of the 30's, particularly the close grained one which batsmen favoured, had a narrow outside edge and a rounded inside edge. I used bats from W. J. Breedon's in High Road, Leyton and I implored him not to press them too much. I was prepared to complete the process by banging an old ball against the side of a net. The best cricket balls cost only 13s 6d beautifully made by rival firms Wisden and Dukes. They were far superior to the best available today. If you doubt this just ask any first class umpire who played cricket before the war.
There were few counter attractions in the 30s and Chingford had plenty of spectators around the boundary lines. At some grounds, Westcliff in Chalkwell Park for one, a few thousand happily paid 6d to sit and watch on a council chair and there was always plenty of atmosphere. I recall Essex, playing a county match at neighbouring Southend asking Westcliff and Chingford due to play on the Saturday of the county match, to call off the club match because it was felt that the county gate would be affected! We agreed to do so.
There was less insistence on pavilion facilities and comforts. In these days Chingford never had a shower among the ablutions or a bar on the ground. Arthur Luton, who ran the Queen Elizabeth, let us have drinks in a hut in the Queen Elizabeth grounds. Evening practice took place in two nets at the top corner of the "The Pelham", as the ground was called by local people. Attendance at nets each evening, except perhaps Fridays, was considerable. The wickets were good and it was wise to turn up as early as possible for latecomers had fading light and poorer bowling to contend with. Not until the end of August - we always had an excellent cricket week at the start of the month - did attendance at nets diminish.
Yes, the 30's were lively and exciting years in Chingford club cricket. Club rivalry was extremely keen and them came September 4th, 1939 and World War II to take players away for a few years. It couldn't be helped. But Chingford Cricket Club survived and has now reached it's century. A few clubs of standing in those days, we don't hear of them today, were less fortunate.
The War Years 1940-45
With the outbreak of hostilities an Extraordinary General Meeting was called in 1940 to decide whether the club should continue. Subject to finance being available it was decided that cricket should continue and it was carried unanimously that members serving in H. M. Forces be eligible for selection when home on leave on payment of the match fee. The Tennis Section ceased activity with the question of reformation to be considered after the war.
On the 20th March 1940 the future of the ground was finally settled as the 5.238 acres of land at Forest Side was acquired by the local council by conveyance. Since this date the land has been leased to the Club by the Council.
Due to the sterling work of the older members the club ran a 1st XI, 2nd XI and Sunday XI during the war years, with the then Secretary Joe Jessop playing a prominent role in keeping the Club flag flying. The 1942 Sunday fixture list included home games against the Home Guard and the Chingford Wardens. One amazing game against Edmonton saw five wickets fall in consecutive balls and the Sunday fixture list for this year on June 10th, 1945 in aid of Connaught hospital and unusual fixture occurred Chingford & Walthamstow versus Highams Park and West Essex.
Chingford Cricket Club (Circa 1945)
F.Culpin, G.Richardson, H.Pryor, C.Crafer, H.Day, R.Wray, B.Tucker
R.Spencer, F.Cheesewright, G. Downes, G.Chapman, R.Hobbs, J.Harwood
Meanwhile Len Parslow played regularly for the British Empire XI during the war. This was a representative side that played cricket at the highest level, many times at Lords, and normally fielded several Test cricketers who were in the country at the time.
The Post War Club 1946-59
The end of the hostilities and the return of the younger members from the forces enabled the club to revert to a full three elevens in time for the 1946 season. With the invaluable assistance from the Council a new pavilion had been built and the uncertainty surrounding the ground had disappeared with the Council agreeing to a 21 year lease of the Forest Side ground.
By 1947 membership had reached 500, with 70 playing members. 2,500 people packed Forest Side for Sunday game between Chingford and Essex in aid of Peter Smith’s benefit. A crowd this large is hard to imagine for the modern day players who are more used to playing in front of a man and possibly a dog. The 1948 Essex Yearbook says:-
Though not so successful due to a lack of bowling, the season produced very enjoyable cricket. Gordon Downes once again proved himself a good skipper, Alan Mainwaring, who hit one century and C. Swinfen were the best bowlers; but now young bowlers have appeared on the horizon to replace those verterans G. Downes and J. Harwood.
F. Fedrick was minuted as bringing to the Committee's attention a subject that is still causing much debate today, that the 3rd XI should have two games at Forest Side.
General Committee Minutes 14 May 1948
The Secretary submitted to the Committee an estimate from the Eastern Electricity Board for the installation of lighting points and one power point. The Committee accepted the tender and the Secretary was instructed to give the Board instructions to proceed. (The supply was to be passed to the pavilion via the house of a member, Mr Ashley, of 15 Faversham Avenue).
An important stage toward the raising of funds was taken in 1948, when a bar was opened which showed a healthy profit of £40 after five weeks trading. On the field the results were poor, with the first XI winning only two games from twenty despite over 1000 runs from Bill Sharnock and 950 from Cliff Crafer (including a brilliant 114 not out in nine wicket win over Walthamstow). Even so Harold Pryor performed a unique feat in the history of the Club when he took all ten wickets in the 2nd XI game against Red Triangle on 5th June 1948. Previously he had just missed out on this feat by taking the first nine against Buckhurst Hill on the top ground. Buddy Jessop, who was playing in this game, points out that Bill Adamson was most unpopular when he took the last wicket. In this season Sunday B games resumed. At the Players Meeting in October Eric Grey expressed the view that the Club should devise ways and means whereby the old traditions of the Club of going for the runs might be recaptured, and these sentiments are echoed many times in this era.
At the 1948 Annual General Meeting Mr. Downes offered the congratulations of the Club to Ken Biddulph and Bernard Earl following their selection by the Evening News as Colts bowlers. This was a national scheme to find a squad of young cricketers good enough to play representative cricket. This of course represented the beginning of an illustrious career for Ken.
A new scorebox had been erected against the cricket pavilion in time for the 1949 season in which seven games were won from twenty eight first XI fixtures. Bill Sharnock was again the most consistent batsman, but the bowling proved the weakness although Roy Porter took 56 wickets. The winter featured hockey once again at Forest Side and the West Essex Club used two pitches, one each side of the square. A telephone was installed for the first time with the number Silverthorne 5849.
1949: Rule 15
The permitted hours for the supply of intoxicants shall be: Weekdays - 11:30 am to 2:00 pm; 4:30 pm to 10:00 pm. Sunday, Christmas Day, Good Friday - 12 noon to 2:00 pm; 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
General Committee Minutes 27 March 1950
After a discussion it was decided that the Club arrange for a blackboard to be put against the fence with the batting order on it.
General Committee Minutes 27 March 1950
It was decided not to sell potato crisps at the bar.
July 1950 saw Doug Insole become the first Chingford player to be selected for England when he was picked to play against the West Indies at Nottingham.
Chingford V Chinghoppers (Circa 1950)
N.Griffiths, J.Harwood, R.Jessop, W.McDowell, D.Mills, C. Kay, K.Biddulh
R.Vickers, C.Swinfen, N.Snell, D.Tonge, B.Windsor, D.Robinson, G.Chapman, R.Evans, S.Avery, R.Lynch, G.Gower, F.Dixon, F.McCarty
B.Earl, K.Dowding, C. Crafter, T.Spencer, J.Jessop, L.Newman, G.Kent, L.Constantine, D.Brown, M.Hagley, H.Coyle
The Groundsman's benefit then also took the form of a match that would include famous names and he would be presented with proceeds of collections, raffles and scorecards as an appreciation of his work over the summer.
General Committee Minutes 25 January 1952
The secretary read letters he had received from the Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur Football Clubs regretting that they could not send sides to play us in our Cricket Week this season.
The highlight of the 1952 season was Doug Insole's success in the Essex side, 1658 first class runs including three centuries.
In the same year Minor County cricket came to Chingford as Essex II XI defeated Middlesex II IX by a handsome nine wicket margin at Forest Side. To commemorate the Festival of Britain a Double Flowering Cherry Tree was planted in the name of the Club in Valley Side.
The increase in ownership of motor vehicles in 1951 saw cars entering the ground from Kimberley Way on match days and further rows with the innkeeper as parking difficulties were encountered outside the Queen Elizabeth. It was hoped to provide parking in the area where the Players' Car Park stands. Electricity also reached the tea hut for the first time! It was taken from the main supply in the Clubhouse on poles nine feet high.
On the field for the first time in it's history Chingford fielded four sides, as still does. The most successful batsman was George Chapman and the most successful bowler bowler Bunny Swinfen. In the second XI a youthful Derek Harwood hit 142 at Highgate, with no less than 11 6's and 13 4's. On the County angle Essex II set Surrey II 115 in an hour in a July clash at Forest Side. A thrilling climax saw the visitors falling only eleven runs short with three wickets in hand. In those days games were arranged for Essex beneficiaries and the match between Ray Smith's Essex County XI and Chingford raised £83., 750 brochures and 1000 scorecards were printed for the crowd.
At the 1953 Annual General Meeting it was decided to remove chocolate from the Club's colours to leave just blue and white. A cold shower was installed in the dressing room in preparation for the 1953 season by courtesy of Harry Speight. It is doubtful that the present day members would dare to use it but at the time it was a welcome step forward from trying to wash feet in high washbasins! It was decided to abandon the traditional cricket week, reinstated in the centenary year, and it was replaced by three midweek fixtures. An important milestone was reached when four Chingford XI's played four Buckhurst Hill XI's on the same day for the first time in the Club's history. Chingford had been allocated the Lea Valley playing fields for 3rd XI games, with a final fixture to be played at Larkswood, although the 3rd XI's were to play three evening games at Forest Side. There were no Minor Counties fixtures in 1953 although a testimonial match was played for Frank Rist on the 16th May.
1953 also saw Doug Insole appointed captain of the Essex County side, and Don Spencer, a player for many years before he moved to Chelmsford, appointed captain of Essex II. It was a unique feat for a club to have provided the County with captains for both County elevens in the same year. Coronation Day must have been an interesting site as a radiogram provided music for a dance on the grass in front of the pavilion. At the Players Meeting a proposal was passed that the number of Sunday 'B' team fixtures at Forest Side be increased from four to eight in 1954.
|For the 3rd XI games in the 1954 season the LCS ground in Chingford Road had been booked for nine games and the Whit Monday home game was to be played on the London Hospital Ground in Wadham Road.
Ken Dowding was the star of the season with over 100 in the first game of the season and more than 1200 runs all season. Rex Vickers, a fast and hostile left arm over bowler played regularly for Essex IIs and the Second XI had an unbeaten run that lasted for ten consecutive matches.
General Committee Minute 17/09/1954
The Secretary read a letter from Mr F.Sandrock complaining that the present position of the scorebox prevents his next door neighbour and himself from watching the game over the fence.
General Committee Minute 11/05/1954
It is understood that Prefab houses are to be demolished in Chingford. It was suggested that Mr Spencer write to the Council asking if one could be erected as a tea hut.
Ken Dowding took over as skipper in 1955, the beginning of a nine year unbroken captaincy which is the longest in the history of the Club, although Gordon Downes was captain for a total of twelve years in all. His positive approach meant that only two games were drawn. Chingford narrowly failed to beat Essex Club and Ground with 202-4 in reply to 205-8. The Colts membership rose to sixty under the guidance of Cliff Crafer.
The need for funds to extend the clubhouse heralded the birth of the Square Cut Society in 1956. This took the form of a football lottery and was a joint venture with Chingford Rugby Club. It replaced the old Rugget (RUGby and crickET) guild which had served the club well in previous years. The main feature of the season was a Chingford fixture against MCC for the first time ever but the summer was ruined by rain; from 150 scheduled fixtures 38 were unfinished although the 1st XI won ten out of the 19 games completed. The season ended with the inter club six-a-side knockout on the 14th October and the "booby" final was abandoned in disorder as it was considered to be too dark to continue safely despite artificial lighting from all the cars on the ground.
Although Lawn Tennis disappeared from the Club's name in 1957 non-cricketing activities were still going strong. The darts section suffered only one defeat, a winter golf section was set up and Ken Dowding claimed the Presidents Putter. The 1st XI made a poor start in 1957, but the team was revitalised with the arrival of Ron Lynch, a Club Cricket Conference and Essex player, and went on to win six of the last seven games. Ron was presented with the mounted match ball after a game at Alexandra Park where he took 8-10 with his left arm spin bowling.
Winter 1957-58 saw the construction of a clubhouse extension which was ready for the new season. The architect was one Cliff Crayfer.
1958 saw the installation of the inimitable DCH Jones as Hon. Treasurer, a post which he rapidly made his own. The Secretary's report states:
David is doing an excellent job, although we must say that we find his expoundings on the finances of the Club preferable to his limitless orations on the virtuesof Tranmere Rovers, Everton, Liverpool and all points North West.
The Square Cut Society was still going strong as membership passed the 1000 mark. Returning to cricket, skipper Ken Dowding once again scored over 1000 runs and capped another excellent season with 103 against Essex Club and Ground, Essex finishing with 131-9 in reply to Chingford's 223-8. Noel Westerhout also scored 1000 runs for the season and Buddy Jessop took 100 wickets. The extremely formidible bowling attack at this time comprised Ron Lynch, Buddy Jessop, Les Warner and Rex Vickers. For the first time the extra 3rd XI vice skipper was one DCH Jones.
Sanitary accomodation behind the pavilion, the masterpiece of Rex Stubbings, was completed in 1959 and was financed by the Square Cut Society. The first XI one ten games, the 2nd XI twelve, the 3rd XI fifteen and the Sunday 'A's ten. Ken Dowding yet again passed 1000 runs and two younger members, Bruce Vickers and Robin Hobbs, scored maiden hundreds. Buddy Jessop and Ron Lynch were the most consistent wicket takers and both were represented for the Club Cricket Conference. Buddy played four times for the Conference, including a two day game against the Army, and was awarded his Conference Cap. The only previous Club members to have achieved this were Len Parslow and Don Spencer. Reporting on Chingford's season the Essex Annual states:
A promising 16 year old leg break bowler was discovered in R. Hobbs who was promoted to the 1st XI during the latter part of the season.
The Modern Era Begins 1960-69
Ken Dowding and Ron Lynch were both selected to play for the Club Cricket Conference vs MCC at Lords in 1960, and the 1st XI had another successful season that year and only lost two games.
In 1961 100 guineas were left to the Club in the will of John Makins "in appreciation of the happy times he spent watching cricket as it should be played" and this gift was used to build a new scorebox. This still stands in the top corner of the ground today. Ted Sandrock emerged as a leading batsmen and scored 1000 runs, as did the young Graham Saville who was now on the Essex county staff. Robin Hobbs was selected for Essex on several occasions.
The Triple Top Society was born in 1962 to replace the Square Cut Society and this was again to take the form of a football lottery, run by West Essex CC, Chingford RFC and the cricket club. The proceeds to be devided on the basis of the number of tickets sold by members of each club. It was hoped that with the increase in prize money, the number of tickets sold each month would increase. Two significant organisational changes took place; Joe Jessop retired after 23 years of service on Committee as Secretary, Treasurer, Trustee, Chairman and finally 12 years as president. Frank Cheesewright retired as Hon. Auditor after 20 years in the post. The first XI played 20, won eight, drew nine and lost three. George Chapman played his last game for Chingford, having scored 22,502 runs since 1932.
Doug Insole became the new Club President in 1963 and in that year the First XI won six games out of 19. Robin Hobbs was now a regular in the County side and Graham Saville made his debut for the County scoring 23 and 48 against Sussex at Hove. 1963 also saw improved facilities secured for the 3rd XI, with home matches to be played at the London Transport Ground, Walthamstow.
Hon. Sec. report 1963
The second XI had a good season under their new skipper, Peter Norgate.
The Married vs Single end of season game throws up some interesting names. The singles were five runs short of victory with two wickets in hand when Buddy Jessop promptly took both wickets to give the marrieds a victory by a single run. A similar fixture this year would leave the marrieds in some difficulty raising eleven men and facing most of the 1st XI.
Robin Hobbs reached the England squad in 1964 (only seven years earlier he had been performing in the Extra 3rd XI). Another successful season left the first XI winning eleven games from twenty two with eight draws and only three defeats. The 3rd XI notched up sixteen victories. Unfortunately there was sad news with the death of Mr J. Wisby, a member of the club for fifty years and an active participant of the defunct tennis section.
1st XI 1964
K.Ross, R.Hobbs, R.Jessop, M.Edmonds, A.McDowell, G.Sandrock, A.Dennis
T.Dennehy, M.Carr, P.Brown, K.Dowding(Capt), E.Sandrock
1965 saw the formation of a sub-committee under the chairmanship of Les Warner to formulate plans for the building of a new pavilion. The original intention was for the location to be in the north west corner of the ground (the Kimberley Way entrance) but this was not acceptable to the Council. The south west corner was then chosen because the south east corner would have meant that the pavilion was only 35 yards from the square, though unfortunately the cost of utilities would be higher. The plan was also to include the provision of three tennis courts and car parking. On the field the 1st XI won four games from 21 with 12 draws and five defeats. The bowlers apparently clamored for the Queen Elizabeth end which had no sight screen. Thanks to the generosity of the Waltham Forest Playing Fields Association and the work of Ted Lord a new screen was to be ready for the 1966 season. In higher spheres, Doug Insole had been elected Chairman of the England Selection Committee and Robin Hobbs was chosen to tour South Africa with the MCC team.
A significant event occurred in August 1966 when the existing pavilion was destroyed by fire. The Secretary's report provides a vivid description of this:
Imagine my feelings when, shortly after 6.45 am in the morning of Wednesday 3rd August. I was called to my telephone to hear that our pavilion had been gutted by fire. On arriving at the ground shortly afterwards my worst fears were realised, the building was completely destroyed and quite suddenly I felt rather sick. What a dreadful shambles! I immediately thought of the barbecue we were to hold on the following Friday evening, and the endless work that had been to put in by those young people to make this a real evening for the younger members, and now it had all gone. A Full Committee Meeting was called for that evening and it was unanimously agreed that we must carry on, but what of the game on the following Saturday. The only building left of any consequence was the tea hut, which had been partially burnt and was black with grime and smoke, Also, of course, the lighting had ceased to function. Thursday saw the place cleaned and completely washed down. I have never seen so many scrubbing brushes in action at once, and needless to say detergent was all over the place. The burnt parts were covered up and one of the chaps got busy in rewiring the lighting. Friday it was repainted throughout and Saturday we were ready for the game. A temporary bar had been fixed up, and all was laid on for teas, but unfortunately we had no hot water, One of our Patrons, Mr Ashley, who lived in a house adjoining the ground, soon overcame this by offering the use of his kitchen to make the tea. It was practical gestures such as this, and the great work done by the few in making this hut at least temporarily hospitable, which kept us ticking over.
This event clearly overshadowed performances on the field, where the 1st XI only one five games out of twenty.
By 1967 an appeal had been launched to raise funds for the new pavilion. It was understood that the Council were to make a substantial donation and that the Triple Top Society would contribute. In addition a lottery would be held during the season. At the Annual General Meeting on 24/02/1967 the following report was given:
The new structure should cater for our cricket, The Hockey Club, schools and MCC coaching scheme and we could also enlarge to have a tennis section. It would have a clubroom, bar, facilities for teas etc, changing rooms and showers and groundsman's accommodation.
Oliver Dennis was to be the architect, and a clock for the new pavilion was donated by Johnny Welch, then captain of Walthamstow CC. The season was a successful one with only two games lost from 21 First XI fixtures. Robin Hobbs toured the West Indies with MCC and Peter Brown was selected for the Club Cricket Conference. On a sadder note, Lol Addy, who had been Treasurer for nine years, retired as 3rd XI umpire and the death of John Crump had been reported. John had been with the club for more than forty years, he had performed a great deal of carpentry work for the Club, served on the General Committee and played and umpired for the club. A notable recruit to the umpiring ranks was secured at this time, one Bryan Knight.
|Thanks to grants from the Council, the now defunct Ministry for Education and Science and donations from 94 members the new clubhouse was completed in time for the 1968 season. To commemorate the opening a special match was held on the 21st April between Chingford and Doug Insole's XI.
The first XI lost only three games from 25 and lost to Alexandra Park in the semi-final of the Kemp Cup after beating Leigh, Ilford, Colchester and Chesham in earlier rounds. Robin Hobbs scored his maiden century for Essex.
At the 1969 Annual General Meeting, Tom Shepherd stated that he hoped to provide finance for improved facilities by running a 100 club, with two monthly prizes of £15 and £10 and a final prize of £500. The roadway around the ground was completed and the Committee agreed an extension to the pavilion. A table tennis section was set up under the leadership of Terry Cole and had been successful. With Doug Insole returning to active Club membership, the 1st XI were unbeaten on Saturdays.
League Cricket 1970-79
1970 saw Chingford enter the new Essex Senior League and results were excellent with skipper Ron Lynch securing thirteen wins in twenty four games, with only four defeats. Two matches involved Chingford bowlers in interesting deed, Roy Lambert bowled a youthful Graham Gooch first ball in a 2nd XI game versus Ilford at Forest Side and Reg Bancroft captured 7-57 against a Chinghoppers side; the seven included John Lever, Robin Hobbs and David Acfield. Bryan Knight was accepted as a full member of the Umpire's Association.
Hon. Secretary's Report 1970:
He (Bryan Knight) still persists in treating our opponents as gentlemen by calling them "Sir" when giving guard. Our chaps just get "covering one", plus maybe a friendly grin.
Letter to Robin Runciman from Hon. Secretary:
It was certainly good to see you in action once again. Although it must have been pleasant to obtain your first wicket for the Club, I should not rely too much on full tosses in the future......"
1971 was saddened by the death of Freddie Cheesewright, who had served the club since 1932 in many capacities. In 1932 he commenced his first year as a General Committee member and after two seasons as vice-captain became skipper of the 1st XI in 1937. He was a trustee of the Club since 1952 and a Life Vice-President since 1960. He was, of course, a founder member with Syd Spicer and Gordon Downes of the well respected Chinghoppers Cricket Club.
On the field Geoff Sandrock scored 956 runs in Saturday games at an average of 41 and Bryan Hart took 49 wickets as the 1st XI finished fifth in the Essex Senior Competition. 1971 also heralded the beginning of the notorious "fines" system in the 2nd XI as Ken Dowding became captain. Spare a thought for poor Noel Westerhout, still playing at the age of 63, who was run out for 99 by the number 11 batsman having opened the innings! Ralph Lawrence became an Hon. Patron retiring as an umpire after twenty years service in this capacity. The name of the golf society was changed to the existing Clodhoppers and Alan Dawson became Secretary.
For the 1972 season the four sightscreens, which we still possess, were purchased from Green & Shipley Weir Ltd's sports ground at Wanstead for £201. Club rule 9 was amended so that captains of the Sunday sides would be elected at the Players Meeting instead of being appointed by the Selection Committee. Bunny Swinfen was presented with a silver cigarette box in recognition of 17 years service as Secretary since 1955. During this period he never missed a meeting or Club function. In the League Chingford finished well down the table despite 48 wickets from Bryan Hart. A colt named Peter Joslin became the youngest player ever to score a century at Forest Side and was presented with a Club Cap.
Hon Secretary's report 1972
Congratulations are due to Fred Smith for preparing a wicket with which even the Essex 2nd XI cricketers were satisfied but it was a bit much expecting the Club to use the same strip for the next three weekends.
Hon Secretary's report 1972
It is sad to see that Andy Lewis is past his prime. In 1971 he took 7-7 against Chelmsford, but in 1972 the best he could do was 7-8 against Old Brentwoods.
In 1973 Chingford were one of the 19 clubs to break away from the Essex Senior Competition and form the new Essex League. Ron Lynch was appointed Chairman and Brian Knight Fixture Secretary of the League.
Letter to T.A.Spencer from the Hon. Secretary
Bunny Swinfen continues to grace the club with his presence, fields in the gully without bending down, bowls ten overs or so each match and only becomes infuriated with the younger members of the side who show their displeasure when asked to field three yards from the bat. In this respect I sympathise with the latter.
A proposal had been passed to extend the pavilion that would add six feet to the width of the bar up to the sliding doors and twelve feet to the width beyond. The pavilion would also be lengthened by six feet over approximately two thirds of the width.
In 1974, again under the captaincy of Ron Lynch, Chingford put up their best ever performance in the Essex League, being edged out of the title by a single point. On 4th June Chingford set a Kemp Cup record by scoring 403-1 in 45 overs against Forest Group Hospitals. This earned the club a mention on Test Match Special. For their performances in the match Graham Lord and David Rafis were both awarded Kemp Cup Ties. Wicket keeper Paul Fisher performed well enough to break through into the Oxford University side, only to be hit on the head by a ball from Bob Willis.
Hon. Secretary's report 1975
David Jones enters the pavilion 30 seconds precisely before meetings commence so that he can make himself comfortable in his armchair by the radiator ready for the off. At each meeting he apologises for not having all the figures at his fingertips and then produces a run-down of the Club's finances which would satisfy the shareholders of a public company!
Under the inspired captaincy of Robin Runciman the 3rd XI completed the season unbeaten, aided on one occasion by the presence of Julian Osbourne (unavailable for first team selection), who narrowly failed to record six byes at the London Transport, although failing to bowl out the opposition.
In July a match was organised for Robin Hobbs' benefit. All Chingford players were issued with sponsorship cards which would obtain revenue in respect of runs, wickets, catches etc. The pavilion extension had been cancelled, but the saddest news of the year was the death of Ted Lord, a tireless worker for the Club. In his memory the Young Clubman award is donated annually by his son Graham to the best club member, on and off the field.
1975 was Ron Lynch's farewell season and under his leadership the Club again only narrowly failed to capture League Honours. Geoff Sandrock produced a truly outstanding performance over the season, with over 2000 runs in all games. Graham Saville hit a marvelous 129 not out against Gidea Park and Romford.
Hon Secretary's report 1974
After Robin Hobbs hit the headlines in the National Press by scoring 100 runs in 44 minutes against the Australians, he demonstrated his typical adaptability by turning out for the 1st XI only a few days later in a closely contested League game. It is amusing to ponder that after facing Ashley Mallett and Co. and entertaining many hundreds of paying spectators, Robin was soon afterwards participating in this match and paying for the privilege to do so.
During the year Steve Plumb made his debut for Essex and Richard Alston took consecutive hat-tricks, for the 'B' XI against North Middlesex and the 1st XI against Sawbridgworth. The Annual Christmas Bazaar produced an appearance by Len Thurston as Father Christmas. During 1975 the extension of the bar to the current 'L' shape was completed.
In 1976 18 years of service to the Club came to an end when the hardworking Ken Russ hung up his pen after being Team Secretary from 1966-76, sadly Ken was to die in 1981 thus denying the new generation of colts the benefit of his sage advice from the "bench". Graham Saville scored two centuries in the League for the 1st XI and Basil Swaby took 58 wickets. Nine games were won with Geoff Sandrock as skipper. Brian Knight was appointed to the Minor Counties List.
1977 saw the establishment of an Indoor Cricket School Committee under the chairmanship of Ron Lynch. The projected cost was £30000 for three nets, changing room and showers. The Hon. Secretary David Rafis, who was a devoted worker fore the Club for many years, was quoted in the Waltham Forest Guardian as saying:
The aim of the project will be to let the hall to other groups. We have worked out that in a couple of years it might pay for itself if it were fully booked.
Following several changes of groundsman there was some doubt as to whether cricket could be played at Forest Side in 1977 and Oval groundsman Harry Brind was consulted. However the wicket improved and the season did proceed. The first XI won six games under the captaincy of Bryan Hart, with a slim and fit Richard Alston topping the League bowling averages with aggressive left arm pace bowling and Geoff Sandrock third in the batting.
The seasons 1978-1980 under the captaincy of Bryan Hart and then John Barr proved lean as the Club was slowly rebuilding after the loss of a number of key 1st XI players in the middle 70's. In 1979 Doug Insole appeared in the Honours List, being awarded the CBE for services to cricket, and in the same year Ron Lynch was appointed Joint Assistant Manager and Treasurer of the Club Cricket Conference tour of Australia. 1979 also saw David Jones fulfill a personal ambition by returning to all points north west and his old stamping ground of Oxton CC as Manager of the first Chingford Cricket Tour to Cheshire.
Into the Shade of Orwell 1980-84
Increasing playing membership resulted in the Club fielding three Sunday sides on a regular basis in 1980, The highlight of the season was a tour match againsr East Lancs in July. An incredible game saw Chingford beat ten East Lancs players but lose to the Australian test player Kerry O'Keefe as he notched up a performance with the ball of 5-32 from 20.2 overs and 124 not out with the bat as East Lancs overhauled Chingford's 189 by three wickets. Nitin Patel performed so impressively in scoring fifty in this match that both the opposition and the spectators thought he was the Club's "Pro".
|On 2nd November 1980 a new chapter of the Club's history was initiated with the opening of the Indoor Cricket School by the then Mayor, Councillor K.A. Saunders. The occasion was marked by the delivery of the first ball in the new school by the Essex and England fast bowler John Lever. The school as built comprises two nets, with special surfaces for fast and slow bowling. The design and construction of the school would have been impossible without the help of George Hobbs who spent many hours supervising and helping in the construction. A notice on the entrance to the school bears tribute to all those who responded so magnificently to the appeal which raised the necessary capital.
The lifelong dream of the late Ted Lord became reality when the undermentioned so generously donated financial and material aid to make it possible to found the Chingford Indoor Cricket School.
|Greater London Sports Council
|Waltham Forest Sports Council
||Thorn Lighting Ltd
|Patrons and Members of Chingford Cricket Club
The lowering average age of the Club members was reflected in the appointment of Michael Higgs as Club Captain in 1981, and an improved performance saw the 1st XI claim a mid-table position.
In the winter of 1981-1982 the Club became involved in Indoor Cricket on a regular basis for the first time, although a team had participated in a National Tournament at Lords in 1978. Two sides entered the Ilford and District Cricket Association's Indoor League, and the 'A' team, lead by Jeff Runciman won the promotion to the 1st division at the first attempt.
For the 1982 season Malcolm Watson donated a trophy to the Club in memory of his father, Jack, a hardworking member and patient spectator for many years. The trophy is awarded annually to the player who has scored the largest number of runs for the Club each season. Bunny Swinfen donated a companion trophy to be awarded to the player who takes the largest number of wickets over the season. The first winners of these trophies were Richard Alston who scored over 1300 runs, just ahead of Frank Beccles who scored 1250 in his first season, and Iain Hastings who took an amazing 126 wickets with a combination of subtlety, spin, guile and good fortune mixed up in his leg spinners. The Sunday 'B's went unbeaten until the last game of the season at Epping, and Ian Lambert became the youngest player, at sixteen, ever to score a century in a full Club fixture, punishing the Woodford Green bowling in May. 15 year old Fraser Lawrence also performed a notable feat by taking a hat-trick in a 'C' XI game at Old Cooperians.
Winter of 1982/1983 saw Doug Insole appointed manager of the MCC tour to Australia. Nearer to home, the connecting building between the Clubhouse and the Cricket School was completed in time for the winter and enabled "drier" access from the dressing rooms to the Cricket School. The Assistant Secretary, Ian Throssell, picked up an award for his performances behind the stumps in the Indoor Cricket League and also won the Young Clubman Award.
1983 proved a disappointing year for what should have been an improving and more experienced side. An outstanding victory in the first game against old rivals Wanstead was a result of cavalier strokeplay and some good fortune, but form was lost in the May monsoon and the rest of the season was characterised by lost games which should have been won and the 1st XI finished in the middle of the table after winning four games. Salim Awan put a dreadful season in 1982 behind him to become a highly popular second winner of the Jack Watson Trophy,and only Steve Miell came anywhere near Iain Hastings' total of wickets as Iain won the Bunny Swinfen Trophy for the second time. The Under-14 Colts secured the year's only trophy by bringing the East Saxons 6-a-side Memorial Trophy to Forest Side, although a mixed Club side were runners-up in the Waltham Forest 20 over Knock-out Cup.
|Chingford Cricket Club 1983
Waltham Forest Knockout Cup Runners-Up
Back: I. Throssell, G.Carpenter, S.Blake, P.Hart, M.Blake, M.Bird, R.Alston
Front: P.Pritchard, P.Norgate, I.Hastings, S.Awan, A.Lewis
During the winter of 1983 the Club's involvement in Indoor Cricket increased with the regular fielding of three sides on a Saturday morning and in November the 'A' side topped the table for the first time ever. Ted Sandrock retired as President in 1983 and from the General Committee after 36 years of service to the Club. His skills of Chairmanship and outstanding patience were a great loss to the Committee.
Perhaps two other members, still around at the turn of the Century, stand out in this period as outstanding Club members. Jeff Runciman's enthusiastic work on the Committee in several capacities, most recently as Fixture Secretary has been invaluable. 1984 also saw him installed as a team captain for the fifteenth successive season.
|David Jones' work as a financial wizard since his first year as Treasurer in 1958 has steadied the Club through financial ups and downs and ensured that the Club survived until its Centenary in 1984. During that year he took over as President where he looked after the interests of all players, young and old, good and not so good, until the 1990s.
Season by season summaries have been put together to go onto the website. This will help ensure that the club's history in future is logged on a regular basis. These annual summaries now appear in the menu down the left hand side of the homepage entitled "Previous Seasons".