A Review of the 1940 Season


The future of the ground was finally settled on 20 March 1940 as the 5238 acres of land at the rear of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel was acquired by the local council by conveyance. Since then the land has been leased to the Club by the Council - initially this was on a 21 year lease at a rent of £80 per annum for the first 7 years. Rent would be £90 and then £100 per annum for the next two seven year periods. The deal included break clauses at 7 and 14 years.


However this lease was to contain some clauses that were to cause some difficulty later in the story:


  • 2 members of the Council would sit on the Club Committee
  • The Council would maintain the ground and all buildings and fences as part of the rent
  • The Council would take 25% of all bar profits if intoxicating liquor was sold on the premises
  • Whitbread’s had insisted that charges should not be made for anyone wanting to watch cricket on the ground


The outbreak of hostilities saw an Extraordinary General Meeting called to decide whether the Club should continue. Subject to finance being available it was decided that cricket should carry on and it was carried unanimously that members serving in HM forces be eligible for selection when home on leave on payment of the match fee. However, the Tennis Section was not so fortunate and ceased activity with the question of reformation to be considered after the war.


Chingford lost 6 members of the 1st XI to the forces including Captain Derek Crafer and Vice-Captain Stanley Bland. Gordon Downes picked up the reins as 1st XI Captain.


Two Saturday elevens and one Sunday eleven were fielded and results were as follows:






1st XI




2nd XI




Sunday XI





In July The Guardian headline read:


Chingford Cricket Star LF Parslow, prolific scorer for Chingford CC has been invited to play for the British Empire XI at Lord’s tomorrow in their game against the London Counties team. The match between these pioneer sides in war-time cricket is regarded with considerable interest. The Empire XI includes University and County players, and CB Clarke, the West Indies Test bowler, and famous county County cricketers will be on duty for London Counties. Parslow distinguished himself in the first match played by the British Empire XI at Lords, when he scored a century. Tomorrow’s game starts at 11.15am. Admission is sixpence and there will be a collection for the Red Cross funds. 


The 2nd XI on 29 June were away to Alexandra Park and according to the Guardian, were given some “leather chasing”, AP opener JC Graddon carried his bat for an unbeaten 200 as Chingford were left to chase just 326-5 – although to our credit we escaped with a draw on 189-8 at stumps.


The Red Cross Charity Match v the Chinghoppers must have attracted a large crowd, given that £35 was raised for the good cause. On the field, Chingford made 197 - Bernard Tucker top scoring with 44. Despite Dick Wray taking 4-65, Chinghoppers ran out winners and replied with 259 all out. 


Jock Harwood with 70 wickets and Gordon Downes with 61 (both at just 10 apiece) were familiarly, the Club’s leading wicket takers, with the season’s best analysis of 8-6 taken by Harwood as the 1st XI bowled out Upper Clapton for just 30.


George Chapman led the runometer with 632 runs, whilst centuries were scored by Reg Smith (118 for the 2nd XI v North Middlesex), Gordon Downes (108 for the 2nd XI v Loughton) and Charlie Waples (107 for the Sunday XI v Tooting).