A Review of the 1945 Season

The Woodford Times of 27 April 1945 previewed the season to come:



The Annual General Meeting of Chingford Cricket Club was held on Saturday, Mr FA Harley presiding

It was reported that several new members had been enrolled and a practice match will take place on the ground at Forest Side on Sunday April 29th.

The opening fixtures are the friendly games with Walthamstow, the first elevens meeting at Walthamstow and the second elevens at Forest Side on Saturday May 5th.

An attractive list of fixtures has been arranged for two teams on Saturdays and one on Sundays throughout the season.

Mr JJ Church was unanimously elected President and other officers appointed were: Hon Secretary and Treasurer Mr JWA Jessop, 20 Douglas Road Chingford; Hon Match Secretary Mr FG Cheesewright; Hon Team Secretary Mr BA Tucker; Captains: 1st XI Mr G Downes; 2nd XI Mr FG Fedrick; Vice-Captains: 1st XI Mr H Pryor; 2nd XI Mr FA Harley

The General Committee comprises Messrs FA Harley, FG Cheesewright, H Pryor, G Downes and J Harwood.

Messrs JAL Crump, W Sharnock and K Dowding were elected to the Ground Committee.

A hearty vote of thanks was passed to Mrs Jessop and other ladies who assisted with teas and refreshments on the ground last season


Although 1945 is 64 years ago a couple of situations occurred that would be unthinkable in this day and age.


Firstly, Bank Holiday Monday 21 May and the 1st team bowl out South Woodford for just 30, with Jock Harwood capturing seven wickets. Merciless Chingford got the runs and then batted on for the rest of the day, with Len Parslow (83) and Bill Sharnock (69) posting a huge opening stand. By stumps, Chingford had smashed the South Woodford attack for a mammoth 302-9 ! In the return fixture in August, Bunny Swinfen hammered the same attack for a superb 152.


Secondly , on Sunday 10 June what was described by the Guardian as “A new venture in Club Cricket that will attract cricket lovers in the Chingford and Walthamstow area to the ground of Highams Park CC on Sunday occurs when the combined strength of the Chingford and Walthamstow CCs oppose the strongest combined XI available of the Highams Park and West Essex CCs. The match is in aid of the Connaught Hospital and admission is 6d. Tickets are available from members of the clubs participating or may be purchased on the day of the match at the ground which is situate in Hatch Lane, Chingford Hatch near the Railway crossing.”

For the record the Chingford and Walthamstow team was : G Downes (capt), CB Swinfen, WA Sharnock, DJ Insole, LF Beasley F Taylor (all of Chingford CC) and L Smith, BG Caffrey, D Miller, H Sibler, SA Couzens (all of Walthamstow CC). The game ended in anticlimax when rain put an end to proceedings with Highams Park and West Essex 57-2 requiring 147 to win.


In a season where there were some big totals, the 300 mark was again passed as Chingford amassed 305-6 v Chinghoppers, with Cliff Crafer leading the way with 84. This bears testimony to the quality of the Council staff who did the cutting and the rolling of the pitch.


On Sunday 22 July , the Guardian previewed the match as follows: “On Sunday Chingford receive Wellingborough Priory, Northants at Forest Side (rear of The Queen Elizabeth), This fixture is for the benefit of Groundsman F.Sutton who has put in much good work on the ground and effected considerable improvement in the state of the wicket this season. The visitors are bringing a strong side, which is expected to include two or three Northants County players”


These matches with Wellingborough Priory were to become a regular thing for many years as a great relationship built up between the clubs.


Results we know about were as follows:







1st XI




2nd XI




Sunday XI





Top run scorers were Bunny Swinfen (732), Len Parslow (727), Bill Sharnock (707),  and Doug Insole (516).  Centuries not already mentioned were scored by Swinfen (105) and Parslow (101), both in the same match v Ilford, while Sharnock hit 101 v Old Parkonians and Cliff Crafer smashed 100 v Enfield.


Jock Harwood was the most successful bowler by a country mile, as he took 107 wickets at a cost of just 811 runs – averaging 7 ! His feats included a 14 wicket weekend in August when having taken 6-41 v Winchmore Hill on the Saturday, he captured 8-21 v Ilford Wardens on the Sunday. Jock also took 7-7 v Highams Park and 7-21 v South Woodford. Next highest wicket taker for the Club was Laurie Bayes with 47 ! However Don Spencer turned in the second best bowling analysis ever for the Club when he destroyed Buckhurst Hill in the Sunday XI match at Forest Side on 16 September, taking 9-15 as our neighbours were skittled for just 66.


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 Lord’s and normally fielded several Test cricketers who were in the country at the time.