OLD TENISONIANS

Est 1875


The Association of former pupils of Archbishop Tenisons School

  


 

Edition 16. Summer 2002


Editorial: Bob’s bollix


Letter(s) From Reader(s):


Football:


Cricket:


And Finally:


Hi Everyone,

This has been the most difficult issue I have started. As I write these first lines, I have not one contribution, although I do hold one or two promissory notes. The last issue was obviously not up to much as it did not attract a single response. The Association committee believe the Mumblings is a good way of keeping both past and present members in touch with matters both relevant, irrelevant and hopefully irreverent. Not just because I am a member of that committee, I agree with them. However, the response of the overall membership has been somewhat underwhelming. Were it not for a small coterie of writers and helpers, who, out of sympathy and in an effort to stop me pestering them, as they endeavour to get on with their everyday lives, there would be no Mumblings. Is that what you want? I just don’t know. I feel that I am knocking a ball across the net but nobody wants to bash it back. Perhaps I should take up a different game.

Later in the issue, I hope you will read Eddie Boyle’s account of another tremendously successful and enjoyable former pupils lunch, which once again, took place at St.George’s Hotel on the 12th April. I had a great time again, seeing so many old friends and faces and should Ed’ be able to work the oracle for a third year, I cannot recommend the occasion highly enough. Through the Friends reunited website, I had been in contact with John Green who had not seen a single Old Tenisonian since he left school around 1967. John had the courage to join a room of complete strangers and enjoyed a day I know he will remember for a long time, in spite of the fact that I rudely pointed out to him that he hadn’t grown since the days we played rugby together in the mid sixties.

Awards.

The S.E.Hinton award this year goes to cricketing stalwart Micky Vaughan, still 2nd XI cricket captain and staunch Sunday Taverner. Of course you need to be a certain vintage to remember Mick’s football career. Mick spent several seasons in goal for the Ist XI, that is, until they found somebody who could do it properly. The Alan Bowers award for services to the football club goes to a player that I first played with when he was a schoolboy ( I’m sure I should rephrase that ), now one of the few remaining footballers who actually went to the school, Tony Andrews. Everybody who has played with Tony knows exactly what they are going to get – 110%. Difficult to ask for more.

The postman has just made a liar of me:-

From Bob Brown 1955-62 3 Postern View
Librob@supanet.com Off Ashbourne Road
Turnditch
Belper
DE56 2LH

14th May 2002

Dear All,

I am deeply shocked by the action of a certain Old Tenisonian and feel obliged to express my concern through the medium of “The Mumblings”.

I have been blackmailed by the Editor. If you had been at the recent OTA School Dinner, you would have immediately recognised Bob Blewer as the chap with the grey hair.
( Perm any one from about thirty, the rest were bald. Ed. )

Rather foolishly, at the dinner, I divulged to the editor that one of his personal revelations in the previous Mumblings, of which there are many; bought me great relief as it showed I wasn’t the stupidest person in the world after all, just equal stupidest. When I thanked Mr.Blewer for putting me out of my misery he rather unkindly said that if I didn’t write a full confession to the Mumblings, revealing my misfortune, he would feel obliged to publish the sordid details himself. This leaves me in the unfortunate position of having to submit the following admission.

Those of you who were at school during the rule of Dr.Percy Robinson will hopefully have reached middle age. I believe it is called middle age because wherever you attend any performance of length, be it a play, a match or a film, you are obliged to leave the entertainment around the mid-point for a brief ‘interlood’.

Another snag with middle age is that not only do you become a pain in the butt but you are also very likely to get a pain in the same region. I regret to say that I am not unaware of this affliction and recently purchased from my local chemist a product called Anusol. This is clearly manufactured by the Ronseal company as it goes exactly where it says on the tin.

To be truthful this ointment comes in a small tube about the size of a tube of toothpaste and mine resided on the bathroom shelf. One morning I was a little late for work so my usual scrupulous ablutions were cut down to a brief cleaning of the teeth. It was only when I noticed the complete absence of tingling, refreshing whiteness and freedom from bad breath that I looked more closely at the tube I had just used and to my horror I realised that I had inadvertently discovered “Anusgob”. After anxiously checking for any disfigurement of my teeth and gums, I covered my head in a towel, crept out of the bathroom and spent some considerable time sitting disconsolately alone in the darkened bedroom, contemplating the limitations of my future.

I managed to hide the details of my embarrassment from everyone; except my wife, who strangely didn’t seem very surprised or disturbed, and settled into life as a hermit. Imagine my delight when the next Mumblings contained the reassuring revelation that Bob Blewer had done exactly the same thing, or did he gargle with the stuff, I can’t quite remember?

Life went back to normal until the ‘School Dinner' when as I said, I was blackmailed into writing this drivel. I regret that my first contribution to the Mumblings for twenty five years should be so anal, but some things never change.

I look forward to seeing many of you at next year’s dinner, I’ll be the one with the bag over his head.

Bob Brown.


Dear Bob,

Consider you debt paid in full. Just in case you do not keep all ‘Mumblings’ back numbers in the beautifully hand tooled leather binder that used to be available from our subscription department, I feel I should point out that in MM15, I admitted to mixing up the names of two products, not the use of them. So whilst I freely admit to pushing you pretty close in the world’s stupidest man contest, I think you’ve nicked it….by the squeeze of a tube.

Ed.

The above should also serve as a warning to you all as to quite how desperate I have become, here at Mumblings Towers. If I can blackmail, perhaps one of the nicer Old Boys of my acquaintance, which of you is safe. So write! Before I make it up!

At the moment, I have got one eye on the last throes of the 1st Sri Lanka Test, which England have batted the best part of two days to save. Only a few months earlier they couldn’t even bat until tea of the final day against New Zealand in order to draw the Test and win the series. I did not see any of that last day so do not really know the difficulties that they faced but some of my old batting heroes would surely have been turning in their coffins.

By the way, you may be interested to know how one of the England batsman who bought about the draw at Lords on the Monday, spent his Tuesday night.

Patrick and I went to the Fairfield Hall at Croydon to see Bill Wyman and the Rythmn Kings. This band contains some of the best of the U.K’s R&B musicians who have recorded right through the 60’s until today. With Bill on this particular evening were Georgie Fame ( our particular favourite ), Albert Lee ( perhaps the best guitarist of his era ) together with another four or five top session musicians. You might be forgiven for thinking that ‘Sex and Drugs and Rock n’Roll’ is the coded name for a 6th eleven training session but the aforementioned musicians might lay claim to have had more than their fair share of all of the above. About half way through the set, Bill Wyman bought Mark Butcher with his guitar on stage. Most of us that read the sports pages might have read Mark would often serenade teamates on tour but Paddy and I were quite amazed at his talent as he sang Van Morrison’s ‘Moondanace’, whilst soloing on guitar at the same time. The musicians, who have seen it all, were obviously delighted and Georgie Fame invited Mark back any year he could make it. My heroes ( when I was young enough to have them ) have tended to be sportsmen and musicians but to score a century at Lords one day then play along with genuine musical legends, in front of packed houses, would for me, be as good as it gets.

I also listened to a fair amount of radio commentary from India, from the pre-Christmas tour. I’m sure that many of you cricket followers will have noticed that in an effort to distance themselves from the days of the Raj, India has ‘Indianized’ the names of some of it’s cities. As yet, this does not seemed to have any effect on the menus of the Indian restaurants that we frequent, one is still able to order King Prawn Madras ( Chennai ) with perhaps a side order of Bombay ( Mumbai ) potato. I can only presume that the Indian restaurateurs who have witnessed the English embrace their national dishes over the last forty years, feel it best not to change a winning team.

Best moment of sporting ‘bottle’ since last we met would undoubtedly be the Scottish lassies curling team in the Winter Olympics. The captain, with the last ‘stone’ of the match, demonstrating the highest levels of skill and composure, winning the gold medal. As I watched the drama unfold, I thought what a great coup it would be for the Pizza Hut people to sign up these ladies. Let them take penalties against some goalkeeper or another ( preferably German ), they would needless to say get five out of five, whilst Pearce, Waddle and Southgate etc; chucked ‘stones’ all over the ice rink. Do you think I should get out more?

Notes from the School.

Once again it is pleasing to report the continued progress the School is making in its academic record. Exam results continue to improve and Ofsted have reported that the teaching is good to excellent. Naturally the Headmaster is delighted and has paid tribute to the hard work and commitment of his staff.

The guest for Speech Day was eminent writer, academic and historian Professor Ben Pimlott FBA, who thoroughly enjoyed the evening. Although all of the prize winners had done well, three students, Delme Stephenson, Peter Watson and Paul Smith had done exceptionally, with outstanding GCSE results.

The range of activities that the School is involved in is extremely varied with visits and trips continuing here, there and everywhere.
------------------------------------------

It’s the 11th June, I’ve got about an hour before I go down the pub before the Ireland v Saudi Arabia match. I think I am starting to suffer from the footballing equivalent of jet lag. Before the World Cup started, I was feeling in quite good health and thanks to some early spring sunshine, quite bright eyed and bushy-tailed. After almost two weeks, my skin is pale and my eyeballs seem to be drooping further and further south but there has been some great stuff to watch, not least our match against Argentina. I am concerned about the level of diving and shirt pulling. However I would like to propose a solution to one of those problems. Paint! Teams colours i.e.shirts should be painted on. Even the more myopic of referees ought to be able to see a player with handfuls of flesh and blood. Of course the paint industry will have needed to improve their products since Miss.Shirley Eaton wore her all gold strip in the James Bond film, “Goldfinger”. Should FIFA accept my proposal I would recommend the purchase of a few Dulux shares, they might just hasten your journey to Fat City. Can’t you just imagine Pete Langford ( for it would have to be he ), a can each of blue and white at his feet with three dozen players to customize before kick-off?


Football Club.
Chairman’s Chat.

By my reckoning, I have just completed my 25th year as an Old Tenisonian. Some things change and others don’t. When I was 16 I had red hair all the way down my back. None on my head, just all the way down my back! ( small drum roll ) I thank you! I think we were running six sides when I first started playing and we still are. The ground is still one of the best around ( thank you Alan Landymore ) and most important of all the Club still has the highest density of characters, jokers, bigamists and song and dance men, inside and outside the M25. In short, people you would not think twice about killing a few hours with.

Back to this season. In nautical terms, if the previous season had been one of turning the ship around, this season has been one of steadying the ship ( with me so far? ). On the playing front our six sides fared better than last season. The 1st XI maintained its place in Senior Division 1, but would have fared far better if Graham Dinning and Mike Williams had ever had a consistently full squad to pick from. In contrast the 2nds benefited from having a nucleus of about eight players who were constantly available. Although they exited the cup competitions early, it was only goal difference that prevented them from claiming the Senior Division Three Championship.

The 3rd XI were a mixture of old and new, with an age range of 17-42. Although they came up short in the league, the standard being just a bit too much, every game was hard fought, many games being decided by the odd goal. The 3rds also managed to get to the final of the OBI cup where they were beaten 1-3 by O.Minchendenians.

As predicted at the start of the season, the 4thXI under the stewardship of Mick Keating, were the team to ‘bring home the bacon ( apologies to any reader of the Hebrew persuasion )’. Not only did they win Division 1 South but also the AFA Minor Challenge Cup ( with yet another top performance.Ed ), this being the first full AFA Cup victory in the Club’s long history, made all the more impressive when you take the team’s average age into consideration.

The 5th XI got off to a flying start, remaining unbeaten for about 10 games. Unfortunately when the wheels came off, they did so in style. This mid season blip saw them eliminated from the cups and lose ground in the league as well. Winning their last 5 or 6 games saw them back up to a very respectable 4th place.

The 6th XI as ever, well supported by the cricketers ( and what a terrible shame it is that hardly any footballers support the Cricket Club. Ed ), were managed by Big Ted Farrelly. Anything might have happened and probably did but once again an enjoyable season was had by all, a top half finish being very respectable.

On the disciplinary front, the Club have shown further improvement with fewer sending's off ( only two ) than I can remember for the last 10 years or so. Subsequently we have not been called upon by the powers that be to explain ourselves, which, once again allows Peter Langford to walk the corridors of power with his head held high!

Financially, the Football Club, at last appears to managing matters in a more conscientious manner. Players finally realising the importance of running a tight ship (I’m back on my nautical theme ) and this is reflected in the prompt collection of subs which are immediately passed on to Treasurer, Glen Cain.

As well as a big thank you to the usual suspects, Barry Ashford and Glen on the administrative side, Maria Unwin for providing her usual high quality cuisine and of course to Peter Langford, for all his hard work.

Next season will bring new challenges. The Old Boys League will be merged with the Southern Olympian League, increasing what is already reputed to be the largest League in the world by a further 30 Clubs – about another 130 teams. Hopefully we can maintain the improvements we have made on all fronts and make a real impact on the newly merged League next season.

By the way, we will be entering a 7th XI into both the LOB and OBI Cups for next season, so anybody interested in playing, send your C.V. and shirt size to Mick Keating, who will vet your application.

Taff.

Chairman’s Chat or Captain’s Log? Although in a family publication, the less said about the Captain’s Log, the better.

Injuries.

Every football season sees Club members sustain a series of injuries ranging from the usual pulls and strains to the more serious fractures and breaks, speaking of which it was particularly nice to see Mike Adair back in the frame after his horrible break last season. I’m sure Graham Dinning and Mike Williams could have done without the loss of perhaps their two best players, Jeff Prevost, quite early in the season and Paul Kent for the last third. Every team suffers at some stage with no exception but I felt particularly sorry for Mick Twose of the 6th XI. Nobody playing 6th team football should get their leg broken but it happened to Mick. Mick now has enough metal in his leg to make Albert Steptoe’s eyes light up and of course he is unlikely ever to be able to go abroad for a holiday again, he’d be playing Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells on all those metal detectors.

I thought that having hung up my boots, my own injuries would be a thing of the past, but alas no. Patrick and I were just leaving a Jazz gig in Sutton, I wasn’t pissed, just a little relaxed. Joan says I never look where I’m going, which probably accounts for my going arse over bollocks on a greasy polystyrene chip tray. I went up in the air and landed on the point of my elbow and wrenched my poor old knee ligaments again. Once Patrick had regained control of his laughing he helped me struggle to my feet and off we hobbled.

I’ve consulted Ronnie Byrne on the matter and he stated that as alcohol was involved in this injury, a certain amount of honour is attached to it. No honour could be attached to Patrick’s injury about a month later, as he was entirely sober when he fell down the stairs at home, fracturing his leg and making a fine mess of his knee ligaments and is unlikely to play a game of cricket this year.

So to all you crocks out there, get well soon, your Club needs you.

2nd XI Review of the season.

Following the loss of key player-manager, Steve Rodley, pre-season talk surrounded the inexperience of the new regime and their general height compared with their predecessor. It remained to be seen, whether the difference of at least a foot would have any adverse affect on the team’s performance.

As it happened, with the team quickly ridding themselves of the distraction of the cups, the league proved to be the focus for the year and early form stood them in good stead, kicking off with back-to-back wins over Aloyisians.

George Graham’s Arsenal would have been proud of the form that followed, seeing the 2nds involved in many a dreary clash with a fairly pitiful goal scoring record held up only by the miserly number of goals conceded. The cup defeats were somewhat different, with the floodgates opened far and wide, if indeed we had any sort of gates at all.

The slightly less than flamboyant tactics served us well, however, as we reached the key part of the season still very much in the hunt. In fact, with 4 games to go, 4 victories would have given us the title, after some great results and one or two fairly bad ones. Our first loss in the league was not until 23rd February.

And then the wheels nearly fell off. Firstly, a dire 1-0 defeat at home to lowly Manorians, who fielded 10 men for the first 30 minutes or so, then another home defeat to a Hampton team strengthened by midweek availability, saw us in danger of falling away completely.

However, we turned it round for the final two games with two 4-0 victories to give us second place behind Aloyisians on goal difference and promotion (or whatever the new merged league may deliver!).

Special mention goes to Kieron Bennett with highest number of appearances (32), Si Brewis top goal scorer with a ‘massive’ 8, the defence for conceding only 23 goals all season (lowest in the league) and to both Si & Kieron for running the circus during my many absences throughout the year.


Thanks very much to Dave Brewis for the above.

4th XI Report

Firstly I would like to respond to the comments made in the last edition regarding the 4th eleven. Last year the club were struggling to get people to run teams and also for players. I only took over the running of the fourth eleven with the agreement that I would get a squad of players (some of who were not even playing for the club at the time) and then would be left to run the team. This was not perfect, but the club was in trouble and I wanted as easy a time as possible. It’s not the first time that I have run a team at the club so maybe it’s time for others to step forward and take a turn and give something back to this club.

The main question that comes up is should these players be playing in higher team. I have used twenty two players this season with an average age of over 40 years old. We have had only three squad members under the age of thirty. That leaves the rest who are in there senior playing years and do not want to play at a level which they feel is too high. I do not know what the best answer for the Club is but I know we don’t want to loose any of these players many of whom have given so much to the Club over many years.

Anyway let’s talk about this season. The comment most Saturday afternoons from our opponents was, ‘Look at them old (some fat) chaps we have to play this afternoon we should have some fun’.

Little did they know a lesson was about to be taught. We as a squad had a great season winning the league with a win at Meads on our last game on the 14th May 2002. I would say we must have been the oldest ever team to win Division One South in the old boys league. On one occasion in a match we had a back four with the combined age of 183. We also became the first team at OTA team to win a AFA cup by beating NatWest Bank 3-0 in the final.(Thanks to Phil Unwin for the loan of the kit)

We as a squad would like to thank everyone who came along on the afternoon to support us in dreadful conditions. It was a fantastic turnout and did the OTA proud.

I personally would like to thank the third team for not nicking many players off me this season. I also would like to thank all the players for the all the effort everyone they put in. Some weeks we had to leave just after breakfast to get to some games. I hope that I didn’t upset anyone too much with some of the decisions that I made last season I tried to be fair to everyone.

We have had two players announce that the Saturday afternoon football has come to an end. Phil Unwin and Chalky have played for the OTA for many years and it has been great to have them in the fourth eleven this year. Thank you both.(I have put them on standby for the seventh eleven next season if selected)

I hope we can keep some of the old legs going for another season and wish all the teams a great 2002/03 season.

Mick Keating.


Cricket Club.

Before handing you over to Jim Butcher, I hope the younger members won’t mind my including a paragraph from a letter from Peter Leberl to Alan Baker, it concerns the recruiting methods of the OTA circa mid-sixties:-

“In our last game for the School against the OTA at Motspur Park, the Old Boys held some of the most amazing catches I have ever seen, commencing with Peter Leeds dismissing me with a low diving right hand catch, off a genuine leg glance, two inches off the turf. Alan Ewart was his usual sympathetic self and rather than commiserating, instead admonished me for playing such a shot so early in the morning! I never played the shot again! At the end of the game Denis Newman played the recruitment officer, got us all pissed and assured us that the Old Boys held catches like that ( Jack Hewitt took a couple of screamers as usual ) week in week out. “Bullshit” as it turned out but thank God we were hooked, and many great times were to follow.”

When I read the above paragraph it took me straight back to the summer of ’66. Peter’s memory was spot on although, I seem to remember the more we drank, the more Denis rattled on, the better those catches became and the better the Old Boys became. Many of the schoolboys who played in that game joined the OTA , some staying longer than others but I don’t think any of them were ever short-changed about the enjoyment there was to be had from playing cricket with the Old Boys.

1stXI Report

The First XI has had an indifferent start to their season. They have now played four games. They had a very good win against BBC but lost to Sheen Park, Abahani and Wandgas. They have bowled well in all the games and have been very committed in the field. However, they have struggled to put enough runs on the board to be competitive. This is partly due to low and slow wickets and partly to some early season lack of concentration and confidence.

SUMMARY OF RESULTS

SHEEN PARK OTA all out for 72 (Halsey 23 Hubbard 17)
Sheen Park 73 for 6 (Hubbard 1-23, Butcher 2-13, Robertson 2-25, Turner 1-7)
LOST BY 4 WICKETS

ABAHANI OTA all out for 114 (Griffiths 20, Perkins 18, Lingard 18)
Abahani 115 for 4 (Turner 1-37, Robertson 1-17, Evans 2-17)
LOST BY 6 WICKETS

BBC BBC 147 for 7 (Hubbard 1-28, Turner 1-44, Butcher 2-44, Evans 2-30)
OTA 148 for 5 (Wallis 28, Lingard 26, Kain 25 n.o.)
WON BY 5 WICKETS

WANDGAS OTA all out for 130 (Butcher 30, Hubbard 29, Perkins 18)
WANDGAS 131 for 4 (Turner 1-24, Evans 3-33)
LOST BY 6 WICKETS

The good news for the team and the club is that some very good players will be back in the next few weeks. Graham Butcher and Dave Towse return from university and Wayne Robertson returns after three weeks absence. We also have a new player Patrick Goodwin who responded to one of the flyers recently posted in Tennyson Avenue. He is a very good cricketer and is likely to boost the First XI considerably. Team spirit is excellent and the team is looking forward to the rest of the season.

Jim Butcher
Ist XI Captain.


2ndXI

The second XI started their campaign on the 11th May against Battersea. Fine bowling from Brian Lester (5-42) and some excellent fielding dismissed the opposition for 116. After a disastrous start, being 41-6, Normy and Jim O’Dell took the score to 89 before Normy decided to charge their best bowler and was bowled. Jim was then out with score on 96 but Kevin Binns and Paul Bradley (playing his first game for the 2nds) batted well to secure victory by 2 wickets.

The following week, 9 men of Commonwealth & Balham were bowled out for just 83, Barry Mercer taking 5 for 18. Skipper Micky Vaughan batted through 24 overs with 43 not out to secure a comfortable win by 8 wickets.

The next match was against Raynes Park Former Pupils who batted well on a slow wicket at Motspur to score 162 for 8 in their 45 overs. After a poor start and some very slow scoring the innings ended on 118 for 8, losing by 44 runs. Only John Munden and Barry Mercer with 31 each, made the score a little more respectable.

Saturday 1st. June was the first taste of summer, a nice sunny day against London Welsh at Ham. Asked to bat on a very poor wicket the 2nds scored 161, Micky Vaughan scoring a useful 41. Brian Lester took 3 for 12 in his twelve overs and new boy Patrick Goodwin 5 for 47. Patrick used to play for Sunbury and is recovering from a back injury, ( I cannot recall standing so deep at first slip, Mick!) a very welcome addition to our squad of players and sure to do very well in the 1st XI. The Welsh were eventually all out for 149. A good performance considering only having 10 men and then just nine when the skipper had to leave for a party (All arranged in advance!) Mick was happy leaving the field with the opposition at 64 for 5, but after showering in a hurry three overs later the score had rocketed to 99 for 5! Well done guys a great performance!

The next week, back at Motspur, Beddington Village were dismissed for 131, Gary Parsons and other new boy John Munden taking three wickets each. A bad start, with Barry running out Mick (he did say sorry!) 65 for 4 in 30 overs did not look good. Kevin Binns scored a brisk 31 to close on the total, leaving just 5 runs required form 18 balls. Just one wicket in hand, but the singles could have been taken with Brian Lester and Normy at the wicket. Unfortunately, Normy could not resist the temptation and was bowled going for an unnecessary big one, a very disappointing defeat.

The second week running at home, was against Wandgas. The start of the match was delayed to be able to watch England’s World cup game against Denmark, arranged by mutual consent with the opposition. Disappointingly, throughout the club, a lot of players suddenly had “important commitments”, a fact borne out by the 20 plus phone calls made by Jim Butcher!! The 2nd XI managed to score 132 for 8 on a slow wicket, Cortez Griffiths scoring 30 and Mick 22. Wandgas found the batting just as difficult, only scoring 32 off16 overs before being bowled (all bowled apart from one suicidal run out) out for 85. Patrick Goodwin taking 5 for 13 and Barry Mercer 3 for 20.

A promising start for the season, four wins out of six (or should it have been five out of six Normy?) The only disappointing note is still the shortage of players and at times the apathy from some of our players!

Micky Vaughan.


Cricket Club Reunion

When we were discussing, at last year’s AGM, ways of improving and widening interest in the Cricket Club, someone suggested that we arrange a reunion of past members of the Club one Saturday at Mostpur Park. This was agreed; and the date set for the end of May. Letters went out to more than forty former players. The effort was well worth it.

First I had about a dozen telephone calls or letters from people who would have loved to be there but couldn’t for one reason or another. Pete Tyack and Eddie Boyle wrote, and I had a delightful letter from Pete Leberl and a call from Tony Rumbelow, one of the most stylish batsmen for the Club in the 1950’s and 60’s. Tony quizzed me about Cricket Club personnel and the Football Club, which he still follows religiously through the results in the national press.

Den Bartlett had hoped to attend; but was prevented by illness on the day. Without any doubt the most gifted of OTA cricketers, Dennis did the double of 100 wickets and 1,000 runs on several occasions. In addition, he was an outstanding footballer and a brilliant entertainer.

On the day, the cast list was largely 1950’s and 60’s. Den and Pam Bryant. Dennis was my first regular Captain in the Old Boys; an underrated bowler with a great heart. Like all fast bowlers he liked to give the ball some long handle! Geoff Uglow, up from Andover, a terrifying fast bowler off a few paces. Geoff never knew where the ball was going, so the batsman and wicket-keeper had no chance (he plays his golf in a similar vein!). Kelvin Tyrrell, another of the Second Eleven stalwarts; always ‘dapper’ in appearance and a strong influence in the upper batting order. Bob and Jan Clifton made the trip from Plymouth. Bob’s name will forever be linked with that of Derek Hazel as one of the most formidable bowling attacks the OTA ever fielded. My mind went back to a low scoring match against Old Josephians on King College ground (because ours was unfit). We only made about eighty runs; but Bob and Derek bowled unchanged, to attacking fields, to secure a remarkable win by about a dozen runs.

Peter and Lily Langford; Peter came to the Old Boys via his brother Ken, and for many years now has been more OTA than most, still ‘mothering’ the OTA footballers every Saturday afternoon. Patrick Blewer brought some old codger along. Yes, it was Bob, your esteemed and erudite Editor; but I can remember him joining the Sunday Eleven in the 1960’s as a floppy haired callow youth. Whatever happened to the away swing which he generated with his ‘windmill’ bowling action and why did he always seem to go in to bat needing to save the game (not short on temperament but, at number 11, a little thin on technique!). ( I’ve said before that I only went in at 11 ‘cause there was no number 12. Can I also say how wonderful it was to be the youngest in the party. (B)

And of course Jack (‘Abie my Boy’) Hobbs was there. Jack caught the train from deepest Hertfordshire, so that he could indulge in the Young’s Special. Jack and I spent many years opening the batting on Jamie’s Sunday morning ‘greentops’. If we could survive till lunch, runs were guaranteed afterwards; but survival usually required a fair helping of luck. Dave Sadler and his wife Jo; Dave introduced to cricket the concept of ‘opening the face of the bat’, which commentators delight in today. His trademark stroke flashed between square and third man so often that you had to believe he meant it! John Adlington, ‘Codsie’ couldn’t stay away, although he had put himself hors de combat by taking the top off a finger: the things some people will do to avoid another season with the Third Eleven!

But I have saved the best till last. The first ‘guest’ to arrive mid-afternoon took me completely by surprise: I thought he was in Canada! When Den Newman got out of his car it was the first time I had seem him for almost forty years. A little fuller, like all of us, he had developed a trace of Canadian accent (which he had almost lost by the end of the evening’s conversation back in the bosom of we Sarf Lunderners). It so happened that Dennis was over for his mother’s 90th birthday and heard about the reunion from his old pal Bob Clifton. It was uncanny that Pete Leberl had made special mention of Dennis in his letter. Dennis subsequently e-mailed me some personal reminiscences, which appears later in this MM.

Finally, I was very pleased that Vera was able to join us. It’s not often that she goes to the ground when she isn’t doing cricket teas; and she has been a regular at Motspur since 1961. She recalls bathing our daughters Carol and Janet in the big old double sink in the kitchen before changing them ‘for the evening’. Carol and Janet also joined us for the reunion day (but turned down invitations to be bathed in the sink!).

We were joined in the evening by the current players, including veterans like Brian Lester, John Halsey, Barry Mercer and Mickey Vaughan. Everyone agreed what a memorable day it had been and that we should do it again some time.

Alan Baker. <alanbaker13@hotmail.com>

From Denis Newman to Alan Baker.

As I drove into the parking lot (How very mid-Atlantic of you Denis! B.B. ) the memories came flooding back – I almost expected to see Jamie, pipe stuck firmly between his jaws, endlessly rolling backward and forward on his heavy roller over the wicket. As I looked at the wicket later, the saddle shape was still in evidence.

I had come from Canada to celebrate my mum’s 90th birthday and had touched base with Bob Clifton who had told me about the Cricket Club reunion. It fitted in with my plans so I drove down to Motspur Park using a route suggested by Bob’s computer programme. I’m sure it wasn’t the route I used to use but the roads have changed a little since 1966 when I last made the journey.

As I got out of the car I looked across the ground which, except for the removal of a few trees ( in the 1987 storm I think ), looked exactly the same. I joined the Old Boys in 1956 along with Johnnie Murdoch and Peter Leeds. At our first game in the 2nd XI we met our Captain, Kelvin Tyrell, and two couples who were to “keep an eye out for us” – Pam and Den Bryant and Pat and ‘Tibbs’Tyack. I cannot thank them enough for the encouragement they gave us. After a suitable apprenticeship we were elevated to 1st XI.

The collage of memories, in no particular order – Ken Peet running so fast between the wickets that he lapped Joe Judge and ran the second run alongside him. ( I’m told that that happens to Micky Vaughan almost every week. Ed. ); Old Thorntonians putting four men behind the wicket on the off-side to counter Joe’s only shot, the cut, and Joe being furious about it; John Judge, the ideal impartial umpire; Stew Courtney swooping from cover to stop the quick single ; Jack Hobbs, neat , compact and always gardening on the wicket; Tom Farrow always beaming at everyone, even when he was out; Chris Wellman hitting sixes way over the cottage; Jack Hewitt fielding in the gully five yards from my second slip and diving and stopping a ball that was far closer to me than it was him; Geoff Uglow bowling the occasional ( very occasional ) unplayable ball; Bob Clifton leaving the field because he was taken off ( he explained to the opposition “They don’t want me anymore.” ); someone asking Bob why he was called “Nod” and later finding him asleep in the scorers box; Alan Baker having the entire range of soap, shampoo, conditioner, salve, deodorant, talcum and skin freshener to supply the whole team; Peter Leeds insisting he was good enough to bat higher up the order, being given the opportunity and being given out padding up to a ball he would ordinarily have thumped; and of course, the incomparable Denis Bartlett – driving effortlessly through the covers or performing Ella Fitzgerald’s “How High the Moon” dressed in Joan Judge’s bra and slip.

And, of course, the “Ladies”. Led by the royal pair of Daphne Bartlett and Joan Judge, who consumed enough Gordon’s Gin to put them in the same league as the Queen Mother and were very ably supported by Jo Farrow and Joyce Hewitt as they initiated the “young girls” Jan Clifton and Vera Baker ( who gave new meaning to the word “LOUD” ) into the intricacies of cricket widowhood.

To those that I’ve missed, I apologise – the mind is the second thing to go and the first left years ago. I would, however, like to correct some scurrilous gossip perpetrated recently by Pete Leberl. I did occasionally offer the odd libation to the “schoolboys” but in my recollection they took to it as a duck does to water. I certainly don’t remember pouring beer down unwilling throats.

When the time came to leave, much earlier than it used to, because I was driving on the “wrong side of the road” and didn’t want to do it in the dark, I paused just to look back at where I had spent so much of my young adulthood. Although I never regret my decision to emigrate to Canada, the closest that I come is when I think about the friendships I left behind at Motspur Park.

Thank you for the opportunity to wander back down memory lane. I may not return physically but I will ever be there emotionally.

Dennis Newman newmsy@sympatico.ca


Tom Farrow.


It was in the course of a recent telephone conversation with Tony Rumbelow that I learned of the death of Tom Farrow. I knew Tom for twenty years from my early days with the OTA Cricket Club in the late 1950’s until his abrupt departure from the Association in the mid 1970’s.

Tom attended Archbishop Tenison’s Grammar School from 1937-1942, before seeing War service with the RAF in India and Malaya. On demobilisation he undertook a teacher’s training course and entered what was to become a lifetime profession in 1950. In 1965, at the relatively young age of 40, Tom was appointed Headmaster of the Greengate Junior Mixed School in East London.

Tom Farrow joined the OTA in 1948 and played cricket for the Club for more than twenty years. A solid opening batsman and occasional wicket-keeper and leg-break bowler, the highlights of Tom’s career were an uncharacteristically rapid 89 against Kew on the green and 6-15 against Frenches at Merstham. I was fortunate to witness both.

Notwithstanding his ‘portly’ frame, Tom also played football for the OTA for several years; the Tenisonian magazine described him as a “steady goalkeeper and half-back” (I can well believe it!).

Always willing to contribute to the Association, Tom undertook a variety of roles. He was Chairman of the Cricket Club, arranged debating evenings in conjunction with the School, and was instrumental in reviving the Association’s drama section the Mitre Players. I had the pleasure of appearing with him on stage at the School on a number of occasions. He was a very versatile actor; as was demonstrated by the outstanding performances which he gave in such different roles as Dr Sloper in The Heiress, the disgraced ex-service officer in Separate Tables, and Alfred Doolittle in Pygmalion.

Tom was a kindly, unselfish man who was always great fun to be with. It was therefore always a source of great sadness to me and others in the OTA that his departure from it should have been so sudden and on a rather sour note. Tom and his wife Jo had worked tirelessly and with great success as actors and producers to build up the Mitre Players. However, following a disagreement at one AGM about the future direction which the Players’ productions should take, Tom and Jo decided to leave. Tom’s association with the OTA should not have ended in this way; but these things happen.

Tom’s name has continued to come up over the passing years, whenever one or two of we older brethren are reminiscing about the ‘Old Boys’. We will all have our own memories: Tom’s propensity to take even the most straightforward of catches by cupping it to his corpulent frame; his entertaining after-dinner speaking; his Jolson imitation; or, in my case, Vera and I getting a lift to cricket in Tom’s Triumph Mayflower. Whether it had a dodgy clutch or it was just Tom’s driving, he always attributed our stuttering progress to ‘kangaroo petrol’. Alan Baker

Stuff.

Well, we’re out! The first half was alright but after that…... I’ll probably be alright in a day or so. Before the tournament started I was invited to submit a series of predictions such as overall winner, total number of goals, leading goalscorer, winners and losers of each group and finally, the player with the most ridiculous haircut. Frankly I hadn’t done so much homework since Physics O Level (which I didn’t bother to turn up for). The last question is obviously the most interesting and I really wish I hadn’t played safe and gone for Beckham. But if the bald Turkish geezer with the dead otter on his head doesn’t win, it will obviously have been a stitch up. Just a mention for the Brazilian defender Lucio. Did you notice his eyebrows? Only a tiny expanse of forehead in between his hairline and his eyebrows, which were apparently made from wire wool. Any of you remember Brillo pads? And it looked to me that the Brazilian goalkeeper was none other than Jem Azakali. Good Club man Jem, he’ll play for team.

Steve Simmons and I were at least fortunate enough to witness Ali Brown make his world record score against Glamorgan during the week. 860 odd runs in a one day game, even with a short boundary – if I hadn’t seen it, I wouldn’t have believed it. But no funny haircuts. I suppose you can’t have everything.


Boyle Productions Proudly Presents

School Dinners II – The Sequel

Our second School Dinners lunch was held on Friday, 12th April at the Saint Georges Hotel in Langham Place. Once again, the turnout was excellent and 43 good men and true appeared on the day.

The format was similar to the inaugural lunch of last year, in that the party was to meet in the lovely rooftop restaurant with its breathtaking views over the rooftops of London. Pre lunch drinks were followed by a menu of salad of beef tomatoes, avocado and Parma ham, followed by medallions of pork and finished off with a tropical fruits and mascarpone cheesecake. The meal was just as good as last year, and the conversation and wine flowed – mostly down the front of John Adlington’s shirt!

After the meal, there were a few brief speeches and the OTA President, John Adlington, presented Life Vice President awards to Jack Hobbs, Ken Langford, Alan Baker, Brian Lester, Bob Blewer and one to himself (perks of the job). I spoke to the chaps about the benefits of the 150 Club and we managed to secure seven new members on the day.

Several people were present this year who couldn’t make it last year and there are still some OTs dying to appear but have not yet been able to make it due to business commitments (Alan Ewart and Dave Clark { the smaller } to name but two). I have it on good authority (his own) that Martin Edison will be there next year.

The oldest lunchers, were once again, the Class of ’41 and the furthest travellers were Alan English from the Isle of Wight, Ken Langford from Somerset and Bob Brown from Derbyshire.

After the meal, a good proportion of the merry throng retired to the local pub for an evening of merriment and totally non-intellectual conversation.

Dave Clark was not present this time to cannon into the pub furniture but his mantle was taken up by Tom Rix who we had to bundle into a cab at about 7.30 pm as he had lost the power of speech. I have spoken to him since and he is now totally recovered. Micky Vaughan had once again booked in for bed and breakfast at the pub and was last seen fast asleep at one of the outside tables.

Thus, a very good day was had by all and I urge all Former Pupils to make an effort to
get to the next one. It is not so much about what we do, it’s about being there.

Written Produced and Directed by Eddie Boyle.

Before moving on I would just like to say that I was very proud to receive my Life Vice Presidents award as I am sure were the other recipients but I wonder, should we be trying to modernise, we are in the 21st century after all. I mean if we wanted to get, say, Jonathon Woss to pwesent our awards rather than “Codsy”, we would have to rebrand. Acronyms are often the way forward. How would you like to be awarded a LAFTA. Lifetime Achievement for Tenisonian Activists. No? Forget it! Wouldn’t work would it? B.B.


Charidee.

Beginning at home with the 150 Club, on the back page you will find a list of all the winners for the first half of the year. Thank you all for your support in this vital addition to OTA funds. Mick Keating has been able to pick up a few more members during the last year but his work is never done. So if not for yourself, how about an investment for your children or grandchildren. Only £12 for a whole years worth of roller coaster excitement. Ian Smithson, happily retired out in Oz, realised he had not paid his dues for a couple of years and duly sent cartloads of Aussie $, would we were all as thoughtful. Send your money to Mick Keating at:


58 Feering Hill
Colchester
CO5 9NL
Essex.

Gerry Reardon’s wife Celia is hoping to raise money for another worthy cause, Breast Cancer Care ( Registered Charity No.1017658 ) by travelling to China for a 6-day trek along the Great Wall in April 2003. When I heard of the venture, I thought I would include a note in the Mumblings to see whether we might offer some support to Celia. It is obviously a tremendous undertaking and I know that she is already in training. I particularly hope that some of our lady readers might consider supporting Celia’s efforts. Anybody wishing to make a donation should make his or her cheque out to Breast Cancer Care and send it to :-

Celia Poulter
7 Chantry Street
Islington
London N1 8NR

Talking of donations, those of you who still journey to Motspur Park will have noticed our rather splendid new honours board which was sponsored by the donations of two Old Tenisonians, Ken Howlett and Peter Leberl, to whom we give grateful thanks.

www.oldtenisonians.co.uk

The above is the Associations official web-site and jolly good it is to. Micky Vaughan has done a brilliant job, starting completely from scratch with no background whatsoever in the black arts of the web and such matters. At the moment, as well as general information, you can access news, fixtures and results of the Cricket Club. This magazine will also be published on the site. If you wish to contribute anything or comment on the site, please contact Mick at MJVAUGHAN@FREEUK.COM

Well, that’s the lot, pretty much a full issue and I know there was more out there. The 1st XI football management had both prepared articles which never made it to me, which is a shame because I know how many of you still follow the club’s premier XI’s fortunes through the Sunday papers. Maybe next issue. Still heavily biased towards the older members of the Club, you’d hardly think we had a member under the age of 40. But we have. Haven’t we?

By the time you read this Micky Keating’s golfing society will have terrorised Wexford and Waterford. Taff is expecting his personal hairdresser to turn up for a tint and touch up over the weekend whilst Dave Clifford will be going for the “otter” (do otters come that big), only in silver. It will be very interesting to see if Bob ‘The Cab’ has improved his banter deflector shield. Bob was forced to retire hurt on a previous tour after some brutally short-pitched banter tickled him up a bit. Hopefully, Gary Kedney will report the events for his adoring readers in the next issue.

Once again thanks to all of you who have come to the aid of the editor. As I said at the start of the issue, a month or two ago, I had nothing. So please strike while the iron of this issue is still hot, if you’ve got anything to say. Thanks to Brian Lester and Alan Baker for printing and posting and to Patrick and Joan for technical assistance at Mumblings Towers. Enjoy the rest of the summer!

Bob Blewer Tel.No. 0208 647 4670
286 London Road e-mail: blewerfamily@aol.com
Wallington, Surrey
SM6 7DD

150 Club Monthly Draw Results     2002

January  February  March  

1st £25 34 D Clifford 1st £25 29 D Sadler 1st £25 56 R Garcia

2nd £15 86 R J Clifton 2nd £15 69 P Langford 2nd £15 105 A Sharp

3rd £10 145 P Unwin 3rd £10 17 J Johnes 3rd £10 161 R Welch

    Special £50 73 R G Brown  

April  May   June  

1st £25 72 S Gillespie 1st £25 28 A H Baker 1st £25 41 S Mannion

2nd £15 30 K Tyrell 2nd £15 155 G Brown 2nd £15 79 E Sharp

3rd £10 40 J Isit 3rd £10 9 G Kedney 3rd £10 69 P Langford

    Special £50 134 R Blewer  

July  August  September  

1st £25  1st £25  1st £25  

2nd £15  2nd £15  2nd £15  

3rd £10  3rd £10  3rd £10  

    Special £50  

October  November  December  

1st £25  1st £25  1st £25  

2nd £15  2nd £15  2nd £15  

3rd £10  3rd £10  3rd £10  

    Special £150  




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