A Review of the 1952 Season
Before the season started the West Essex Hockey Club in January wrote to the Council regarding the condition of the ground suggesting re-draining was necessary. The response following an inspection was that Chingford Cricket Club were told to cancel hockey matches when the ground was wet!
The General Committee Minutes of 25/1/52 provide interesting reading in that :
The Secretary read letters he had received from the Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur Football Clubs regretting that they could not send sides to play in our Cricket Week this season.
Instead Cricket Week comprised the following in early August:
Essex Club and Ground
Young Amateurs of Essex
In the Wednesday game v Young Amateurs of Essex , wicket-keeper Bernard Earl had the distinction of picking up five stumpings in one match.
Doug Insole had great success in the Essex side with 1658 first class runs, including three centuries and led the County in their game v Chingford on Sunday 25 May. The Woodford Times picks up the story:
ESSEX BATSMEN HIT OUT AT CHINGFORD
2000 CROWD AT FOREST SIDE
An Essex County Eleven led by Essex captain and member of the Chingford CC DJ Insole, came to the Forest Side ground on Sunday and outplayed the local side to win by eight wickets.
Six of the County team which had such a successful day against the Indians at Ilford on Saturday were present
The picturesque ground was well filled throughout the afternoon and it was estimated that some 2000 were present to see attractive cricket from both sides and it is anticipated that the County Nursery Fund together with the Chingford ground fund will benefit from the “gate”.
Chapman and Dowding opened against the County pair, Preston and Bailey and Chapman was soon out bowled by Preston. Tonge joined Dowding and hit a bright 11 before Bailey hit his stumps. With the next ball Bailey clean bowled Scanlon, but Crafer stopped the hat-trick.
After three overs each, Insole put on his two other first team bowlers, Griffiths and Greensmith, and Harwood batted well against a spin attack, strengthened by Jordan, scoring 37 attractively.
No one else until McCarthy came in at No 10 reached double figures and Chingford were all out for 143.
Kay and Rutherford opened the attack against Rist and Faragher and put on 27 before Rutherford bowled Faragher. With Greensmith, Griffiths hit well to pass the Chingford total after Rist had fallen a victim to Rutherford.
Although the County won by eight wickets, they continued their innings in a carefree manner and Insole treated the crowd to some of his best shots and Bailey too hit out well.
In the County innings the wicket-keeping of Wright is worthy of mention. He conceded only 17 extras in the innings of 327.
In these days the Groundsman had an annual benefit match v The Chinghoppers who usually included a number of famous names. He would be presented with the proceeds of collections, raffles and scorecards as an appreciation of his work over the summer.
The Minor County Match between Essex II and Cambridgeshire held on the ground on 14/15 July saw Essex captained by Don Spencer. The Council minutes confirm the issue of gate money in the lease in that they said:
….subject to Whitbread and Co Ltd agreeing to a relaxtion of the restrictive covenant contained in the conveyance dated 20th March 1940, providing for unimpeded use of the land by the general public for the purpose of viewing any game in progress, permission be given to the Chingford Cricket Club to accept any gate monies for this fixture.
From the records we have obtained, the First XI Won 9 Drew 8 and Lost 7 , although they were described by The Guardian as “The Complete Masters” following a comprehensive win at Winchmore Hill. There were five first team centuries with Ken Dowding hitting 132 v Highgate (in a season’s aggregate of 914). George Chapman hit tons against Brentwood and North Middlesex while Ernie Tonge did likewise against Woodford Wells and Loughton. Bunny Swinfen took an amazing 8-12 v Highgate.
For the Sunday As Dennis Cook hit 105 v Eton Manor and Buddy Jessop captured 8 wickets v Barnet.
Bill Jeffrey made two 2nd XI centuries v Ilford and Buckhurst Hill, while in the Sunday Bs Peter Downe hit 104 v Theydon Bois.
The big match v Wellingborough Priory in August must have attracted a large crowd for during the game a collection was made for the Mayor’s Lynmouth Disaster Fund and the impressive sum of £7 15s was raised.