A Review of the 1955 Season

The year began with practice being taken extremely seriously as Bunny Swinfen and Cliff Crafer audited the Club Coaches at the nets.

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 saw only 3 games drawn, with 11 wins and 9 defeats recorded. The skipper had the best innings of 88 v Woodford Wells and totalled 550 runs for the First Eleven, closely followed by Norman Griffiths with 510, while George Chapman (459) and Bill Jeffrey (400) were the other mainstays of the bating. With the ball outstanding performances came from Les Warner whose 38 wickets included 6-29 v Buckhurst Hill, while Derek Tonge took 29 wickets, with his best bowling being 6-27 in the defeat against Highgate. Rex Vickers picked up the season’s best analysis with 6-14 v Loughton.

Chingford narrowly failed to beat Essex Club and Ground with 202-4 in reply to 205-8, the Woodford Times picks up the story:


Chingford missed victory over Essex Club and Ground by only three runs at Forest Side on Thursday. The Essex XI batted first and after losing two wickets for 35, Bear and Stanyard got together to put on 89 for the third wicket. The declaration was made at 205 for 8, Harris bowled well to take 4 for 46. Chingford went right out for runs and the opening partnership of Dowding and Earl put on 116 for the first wicket. The subsequent batsmen gave good support and at the close Chingford were only three runs behind their opponents total with six wickets in hand.

The 2s had a successful year with 11 wins and just 4 defeats, with Ted Sandrock v Loughton and Peter Downe v Ilford being century makers. With the ball Jock Rutherford led the way with 28 wickets.

There were 9 wins for the thirds, with Lol Addy starring with the ball with 32 wickets, and John Dalton took an amazing 8-10 v Winchmore Hill. Len Pengelly (83*) and Vin Patel (108*) both carried their bats as Chingford declared on 201-0 in the win against Caribonum.

George Chapman hit 414 runs for the Sunday As, including 102 v Chinghoppers, who won 8 and lost 7 in a mixed season. Reg Pettit and Buddy Jessop both picked up 21 wickets along the way, while Les Warner took 8-43 v Hale End and South Essex.

In the Sunday Bs, Paddy Duffy took 7-15 v Clayhall.

Colts membership had risen to 60 under Cliff Crafer, boding well for the future.

The lease was starting to evolve in that the Council were gradually passing over control of matters to the Club reflected in the fact that it was agreed that the Council should no longer nominate two of its members to serve on the General Committee of the Club. The Chingford Council Parks and Open Spaces Committee recommended:

i)                  The Club be offered a renewal of the present lease from the 1st June 1955, subject to a revised rental and to the deletion of the existing provision for the payment by the Club to the Council of 25% of any profits arising from the sale of alcoholic drinks, but otherwise subject to the same terms and conditions

ii)                That the annual rental be £215 per annum plus 8% of the capital cost of improved sanitary arrangements to be provided by the Council and a further 8% of the capital cost of any other improvements or structural alterations of buildings or renewal of fences during the term of the lease as may be agreed jointly by the Council and Club

In July The Borough Engineer submitted a plan for a brick lavatory block in the South Eastern corner of the ground – the budget was £1300 - and was in negotiation with the residents of Faversham Avenue regarding connecting up to the private drain behind the houses. The Council also approved expenditure of £4 to provide a replacement sink in the tea pavilion.

The Club also asked the Council if they could have a notice  at the beginning of the path next to the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, which would extend across the footpath. This was agreed , subject to leaving a clearance of 8 feet.