A Review of the 1951 Season


To commemorate the Festival of Britain a Double Flowering Cherry Tree was planted in the name of the Club in Valley Side and a special midweek match took place on Thurs 28 June v Old Parkonians for Chingford Borough Council’s celebrations.


The increase in ownership in motor vehicles saw cars entering the ground from Kimberley Way on match days – and to do this it was necessary to set back one bay of the chain link fence behind which were the temporary bungalows. Also there were rows with the innkeeper as parking difficulties were encountered outside the Queen Elizabeth. Electricity also reached the tea hut for the first time and was carried from the main supply in the Clubhouse on poles nine feet high.


Minor County cricket was again at Forest Side with Essex II taking on Surrey II on Wed/Thu 18/19 July. Essex set Surrey 115 to win in an hour, and a thrilling climax saw the visitors end only 11 runs short with 3 wickets in hand.


The Guardian picks up the story of the day of Ray Smith’s benefit match (where £83 was raised and 750 brochures and 1000 scorecards printed for the crowd):


It was fitting that all-rounder Ray Smith should score a perfect century in his benefit match at Forest Side, Chingford on Sunday. He played a major part in the county eleven’s six wicket victory over the Chingford club, which proved no match for the Essex big guns who made up the visiting side.

This was one-day cricket at its very best. A capacity crowd estimated at 2,000 saw 476 runs scored in less than five hours.

In brilliant sunshine Chingford’s opening pair, Chapman and 19 year old Earl prepared to take first knock, but before either had scored he was back in the pavilion, victim to veteran Crabtree.

There was a determined third wicket stand between Dowding (10) and youthful Len Wright who went on to make a valuable 56 before being caught by Stanley off County “regular” Greensmith.

Minor contributions were made by Joe Scanlon (14), skipper Crafer (16) and Swinfen (10) before tail-ender Kay went to the wicket to hit everything that came to him in an undefeated innings of 39. He was still going strong when the declaration was made at tea with 174 runs on the board for the loss of nine wickets.

The visitors opened slowly in true county style. Crabtree (9), Stanley (21), Greensmith (4) and Sonny Avery (41) were back in the pavilion with only 85 runs on the board.

Then came the partnership of the afternoon between Essex’s two most fluent run-getters, Dick Horsfall and Ray Smith. The batting was superb and no Chingford bowler could find an answer to the forceful driving, powerful pulling and graceful gliding of the pair.

At one stage 60 runs were added in 20mminutes and the total had reached 218 before Horsfall was well stumped by Earl, off Dowding, with 73 runs to his credit. His innings included seven fours and three sixes.

A bright knock between the Smith cousins followed before Peter left after scoring 36 (four fours, and two sixes). Ray Smith went on to reach his 100, to the delight of the scores of fans who lined the boundaries. During his innings the all-rounder hit four fours and five sixes.

When stumps were drawn at 7.30, the county eleven had scored 302 for the loss of seven wickets.


From the results we have the 1st Eleven won 9, drew 7 and lost 3 with George Chapman hitting 468 runs. Top innings came from Ken Dowding with 93 v North Middlesex, Len Wright 92 v South Woodford and Cliff Crafer 91 v Loughton.


In the 2s, a youthful Derek Harwood hit 142 (11 sixes) at Highgate in a 286-6 total. His father Jock taking 7-38 in the same game as part of his 75 wicket tally for the year.


For the Sunday As, George Chapman made 370 runs and Joe Scanlon 34 wickets – centuries were made by Bill Jeffrey with 114 v Old Bancroftians and Chapman with 110 v Wellingborough Priory.