Edition No . 21 . Winter 2004.
Letter(s) From Reader(s):
‘A cowboy walks into a bar, the place is almost empty and he orders a beer. The bartender brings it to him and the cowboy says, “Where is everybody?” The bartender says, “Gone to a hanging”. The cowboy says, “Hanging, who are they hanging?” “Brown Paper Pete,” says the bartender. “That’s an unusual name,” says the cowboy. “They call him that because he wears a brown paper hat, brown paper shirt, brown paper trousers and brown paper boots,” the bartender rejoined. “Dang!” says the cowboy. “What are they hanging him for?” “Rustling,” says the bartender.
Hi everybody. I’ve just re-
It is sad but true that the most depressing night of the year for me and I suspect a few others, is the night of the Association’s AGM. You will read why in Brian Lester’s excellent General Secretary’s report, later in the issue. There is a strong sense that the Football Club will not exist for many more seasons and that the Cricket Club still rely heavily on a nucleus of ageing players, who do not have many seasons left. I believe I am right in saying that not one member of the Football Club plays cricket and vice versa, so there is no integration between the Clubs’ whatsoever. I don’t understand why we cannot attract a stream of young men who want to play the two great games that we cater for at Motspur Park but we are getting close to last chance saloon time.
But we must be optimistic. In particular the Cricket Club have a number of keen young men who will do there best to recruit new young members. And as long as John Pearce continues to play football, I know he will do his best to find ten other ‘fellas’ as desperate as he is for a game of football. Even more important is to try to get a few people from within the Club who will donate a bit of time to the job running of the Club. As I write, I believe only one person, John Barnes, is trying to cope with all the administrative duties. It can no longer be done that way. Apparently we are close to being withdrawn from the Leagues because we have not filled in the requisite player registration forms, which is now a FIFA requirement. The Club still have plenty of people who want their game but the vast majority are not prepared to raise a finger for the Club. Apart from the usual Football Club debt, we even lost money on the bar last year! It can’t carry on and the Association will be forced to consider closing the Club, if nothing is done and what a tragedy that would be. Since writing this, a meeting has been held between the Association and (only) three members of the Football Club in an effort to convey the seriousness of the situation. I understand it was a positive meeting so let us hope that the Football Club representatives can spread the word.
The Football Club has lost two great servants at the same time. Gerry Reardon has decided to give living in Dublin a try and Brian O’Leary has won his last tackle. Different in style but both excellent players, they have bought much honour and helped to bring many honours to the Club. People and players like these cannot be easily replaced. Gerry held leaving drinks at the Wheatsheaf in the Borough Market which was mobbed, a testimony to the regard in which the man is held. Brian is concentrating on his golf from now on. Brian is a southpaw who hits massively to the right to fade to straight, if you see what I mean. In a recent round at Stoke by Nayland, he suddenly found for the first time and for no apparent reason he was hitting the ball straight. Far right… but straight. His game plan is currently in tatters.
On a far happier note, Mr.& Mrs.Taff have had a son since the last issue. Kim must have had a massive influence on the naming of the child, otherwise we might be raising a glass to Ron Wyn (60s/70s centre forwards) Owen Glyndower (early Welsh Nationalist) Hartson (Taff’s alter ego) Evans. They’ve settled on Aiden. Congratulations to Kim and David.
OLD TENISONIANS ASSOCIATION
GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT FOR 2003 – 2004
2003 – 2004 has been a relatively quiet year for the OTA, and one I suppose, of decline, rather than stunning advances. For the last two years I have suggested that we should all strive to continue in a mood of optimism, however the loss of one team in both the football and cricket sections has dented even my optimism.
The management of the football club continued in much the same way as for the previous year with mostly the same personnel in control. I believe that situation will change for the upcoming season and I look to the football club management not to slip back to the unsatisfactory situation which prevailed only a few years ago. I mentioned in my report last year that a few more football club members should take on some of the responsibilities of running the club and I think that is the current position, a welcome development. I also called for more formality in the management of the club, in particular more committee meetings, and I would commend these initiatives to the new management. I am pleased to note that the football club’s disciplinary record improvement has continued.
It still seems to be a problem getting certain football club members to pay their annual subscription. The OTA committee has carried out some research into charges levied by other, similar clubs and has concluded that the OTA offers very good value for money. I hope there is an improvement in this situation for the upcoming season; nobody should expect to play without contributing to the cost of running the club. The disbanding of the third eleven mid-
On the playing front, the last football season was disappointing. Reports to the OTA committee were that the first and second eleven finished mid-
The committee of the cricket club once again made special efforts to recruit new players, with the aim of strengthening the whole club. The efforts were not particularly successful, which coupled with retirements and some players moving on meant that the decision had to be taken not to run a third Saturday team.
The first and second teams had their first season in the Fullers League and I think had an enjoyable and moderately successful season. Availabilities became a problem late on in the season, even though in theory running two teams should have been comfortable given that we had managed three for a good few years. It seems to me that the cricketers have got to be more committed and play in at least fourteen or fifteen of the eighteen league games. The Sunday Taverners again had a mixed season, but recruited a few new players.
I think the OTA’s relationship with the School has continued to improve, and committee members have attended a number of functions at the School.
On the social side the Association has not been particularly active, again this year. Eddie Boyle organised a very enjoyable and well attended lunch in Town and it seems this event has become a regular feature.
The OTA web site continues to develop and remains an interesting read. The old school photographs are especially interesting, or frightening perhaps and I know Mick Vaughan is keen to include more. Thanks must go to Mick for his efforts in maintaining the web site.
The Motspur Mumblings continues to be the main medium for maintaining contact with the general membership. Bob Blewer has done a sterling job as editor and the magazine is always a good and interesting read, thanks Bob for all your efforts.
Motspur Park has been used extensively again this year and very few matches were lost to bad weather. I think the general consensus is that the cricket square has improved.
The committee has met regularly during the year and I would like to offer my thanks to all the officers who have given up their time. It cannot be healthy for any organisation to be managed by mostly the same people for year after year. As part of the development of the OTA, that I alluded to earlier, a younger, more dynamic committee is required; I do not know how to arrive at this position, and as part of the consideration of the Association’s future this situation needs to be considered. Doing nothing is not a serious option. I mentioned in my report last year that if properly allocated the jobs are not at all onerous and I (perhaps in vain) suggested that a few more people should consider the future of the Association worth making a small effort for.
It seems to me to be appropriate now, to consider where the OTA wants to go, in the future. We struggle to attract new members from the school, and the football and cricket playing complement is almost entirely non old-
I should apologise now for any omissions in this report.
The Windows are Open.
You all know of and many of you have contributed to the Ground Company’s appeal to mark 80 years at the bottom of Arthur Road. The Ground Company’s management committee had committed themselves to replacing all the dressing room windows and were duly installed by Prestige Windows of Sutton High Street during the summer. All agreed a fine job had been done, any required brickwork was done to sympathetically match the existing walls.
The last cricket match of the season on the 4th September, when the 2ndXI hosted Worplesdon & Bury, had been earmarked for the official opening. The Ground Manager arranged a wonderful late summers afternoon for the cricketers to play in whilst the handful of spectators took their ease and shot the breeze under the shade of the trees at the far end.
Ground Company Chairman, Ron Forrest made a short speech during the tea interval. Detailing a brief history of the Ground Company and its fight to continue to provide the best facilities that it can, on a limited budget, to the School, the Old Boys and other users and the appeal that resulted in the installation of the new windows. Ron’s natural good judgement precluded from declaring the windows ‘open’, as on such a hot day they obviously had been for several hours.
The cricket match had been won quite comfortably. Although the opposition had got more than they should, we still only needed just over a hundred. However this sort of total had been beyond our batters on several other occasions during the season. So skipper Micky Vaughan must have been pleased to walk out with Mick Myerson who was coming toward the end of an extended holiday from Queensland, Australia.
Brownie, Simbo and I had met Mick down at Canterbury for a day of the Kent/Surrey county championship game. Peter Leberl joined us at tea time and we had a lovely day in the sunshine. Unfortunately the weather precluded Surrey from completing their usual victory. Mick told me then he would love to get a game in if it were possible and fortunately it was. It has to be said that on a very slow wicket, neither of the Mick’s made batting look particularly easy. But Mick M with a couple of back cuts and one exquisitely timed extra cover drive, reminded some of his old team mates, who were watching, what a good player he was/is. Watching the running between the wickets however was excruciating. Comfortable twos or scrambled threes were turned into interminable singles. The win was secured thanks to a few lusty blows from Richard Marshall and Jamie Mercer.
I have mentioned before how proud I am of the way that my particular generation has supported the Club for so long and once again that generation was well represented on the day. As well as those still playing, others turned up to watch and join in the evening festivities, which coincided with a double birthday celebration of John Halsey and sister, Penny. I realised that there was a reasonably well balanced side present, so here is my team which is picked on 1972 levels of fitness and is in batting order, as follows: Pete Leberl, Pete Henry, Mick Myerson, John Halsey, Alan Ewart, Dave Sadler, Chris Bullen, Barry Mercer, Micky Vaughan, Steve Simmons and Bob Blewer. No real pace and no support for Barry but the attack wouldn’t give too much away and batting to number ten. There are a lot of natural skippers in the side but I think I’ll ask Barry to captain the side. Always a thoughtful cricketer, I’d like to see how he deals with wicket keeper Myerson, when he decides a few of his leggies are called for. Alan Baker would be invited to manage the side with Brownie on drinks duty.
Even though Mick Myerson left the country many years ago, I’ve seen him many more times than I’ve seen Pete Henry (1961-
Added to those that have already been mentioned were Christine Ewart, Vera Baker and it was great to see Richard and Ronnie Byrne there too. I think everybody who made the effort, had a great day and so it only remains for me to thank, on behalf of Ron Forrest and his management team, all of the many Old Tenisonians who contributed so generously to the appeal. I feel it is only right to say that contributions from today’s membership have been fairly few and far between. The work we hoped to carry out in the showers at the visitors end is not yet complete but with the help of some late donations (or the bank manager), we hope that all works will be completed within the twelve months of the appeal. Including gift aid we have raised £6000 so far, which includes an anonymous donation of £1000. We still need another £4,000 and are hopeful of a grant from either the Surrey Cricket Trust and/or the Football Foundation. We should hear from both of these organisations quite soon. I will publish a complete list of all donors at the end of the appeal. Thank you all very much.
Before leaving you in the capable hands of several golf correspondents, here are my sporting highlights of the summer. Firstly a sentence that would have been unusable for much of my time in the Editor’s chair. What a fantastic season for the England Test side! The Olympics were again inspiring. I would not normally get up early in the morning to watch essentially posh blokes drive up a river but what drama! Kelly Holmes, jubilant at her double victory. I know a bloke who once trained with her and he told me she is just as nice as she seems to be. For our relay squad to beat the ‘septics’ is nothing short of remarkable. Too many others to mention in Athens but I couldn’t help but smile at the lady weight lifters. Some of them obviously still wanted to make the best of their appearance and painted their nails in national colours but you’d have thought they’d have bothered to shave as well wouldn’t you?
I am not at all anti-
It was good to see you on Wednesday at Old Thorns. I was talking to Bob
Daws who probably played in the first one, if not the first one then the
early ones, and he thought it could have started in 1972, I suspect it was
a little earlier. Casting my mind back for something to try and relate this
to, not an easy job with my memory which was always suspect, and continues
to deteriorate. I am pretty sure I was still Captain of the First Eleven
Football Team, and Golf Day was the fruit of just one or two soft drinks
after the game! It was certainly before I married Viv, so that places it
back to around 40 years ago, 1964? So last Wednesday could have been No.40?
I wish I had not started this thought process it is scary, I cannot be that
old? Mind you to see me walking these days maybe I am even older than that,
just wait till I have my second second hip replacement on October 11th. Do you
think I could charge the cost of this to the OTA? It would be a better
investment than the new windows? (Obviously a matter of opinion. Ed.)
I was at a Social function a couple of weeks ago at Egham Bowls Club, which
I joined 19 years ago in an effort to keep drinking on a regular basis. I had firmly intended to keep my mouth shut and just be one of the Members, leaving all the organisational stuff to somebody else! In my first year I was on the Outdoor Clubs Committee where I have had a variety of roles (trying to find one I could manage), and
have also been on the Management Committee of the main club, as Management
Secretary for over 10 years, but I digress. I was talking to one of the
Bowls Clubs Trustees, a Mr E. A. J. Bunn who I was surprised to find out was
a pupil at Tenisons, when it was at Reading. Is there anybody out there
that remembers him?
I will look at booking No. 41? at Old Thorns, after I recover from the hip-
Many thanks for your e-
Andrew, Kevin and I thoroughly enjoyed Old Thorns (in spite of our abysmal
performances in the morning (we did redeem ourselves somewhat in the
afternoon). I thought that the course was in excellent condition (and the
I first played in the OTA Golf Day when it was the last year at Betchworth,
just after I started golf, probably 1992. I had not realised that it dated
back quite so far as 1964!! (A memorable year -
St Marks Kennington).
Re Mr E A J Bunn, I am copying this to Dennis Bryant, who is my 'Reading' source.
Like you, I look forward to Old Thorns 2005.
Thanks again to you (and Bill) for making it possible. I am copying this to Bob Blewer, in case he wishes to include a note on the Golf Day in the next Mumblings.
Thank you for your e/mail re Old Thorns.
I was unhappy with the service of the lunch, how can it take up half an
hour to provide what is a prepared meal with chips added? This caused us
problems with the starter, or perhaps, provided us with an excuse for our slow play
in the morning, causing us to miss our afternoon tee times! I am also in the
process of complaining about the main course in the evening being changed
from the steak and kidney pudding that was contracted, to what I suspect
was a steak pie.
If you are looking to Bob Blewer to mention this ancient ceremony in the
Mumblings, then he perhaps should be advised that the OTA element was 7 of
18, but these seven were "vintage" Old Boys It just goes to prove how
friendly we are, to be able to attract eleven friends from seven OT’s
Having spent time working out how long the OTA Golf has existed. I started
to wonder just how often this seven represented the OTA at sport? I
guestimate that I played in around 600 football games (Including Easter
some badminton matches, a couple each squash, tennis and athletics matches
against the school. Plus a charity marathon, or was it a half marathon?
Motspur to Reigate and back, I would still like to know who planned the route
for this bloody event. You had to run down Reigate hill to check in at a
Pub at the halfway stage. Have a quick chat with the lazy/sensible/lucky
officials (probably including the event planner) who were standing there
enjoying a pint or two, before starting the run for home, climbing
Reigate Hill. Even my car takes a deep breath before tackling Reigate Hill.
Wandering down memory lane is easier than trying to play golf. Another
possible statistic popped into my mind, but is, I suspect, beyond
calculation. How many pints of beer have I and these other six OT’s consumed in
the service of the OTA? There is obviously a need to re-
after all these exertions, or that was our excuse. I remember at one stage,
after the OTA Sunday home cricket games, I was consuming a
whole case of Guinness a night (between 8.00 o'clock and closing time, 2.00
o'clock Monday morning). I guess one or two were a little over the limit
for the drive home. The football season was a little less extreme, but team
bonding required a couple pints after the game at around 6.00pm. Then back
to the Surrey Tavern for another couple before rushing out to catch a bus to
the other side of the river at 10.30, where closing time was half an hour
later than at the Surrey Tavern.
Drawing a veil over my debauched past, and returning to the Old Thorns
Golf. The handicap range was 12 to 28 and the Stableford points spread was
from 18 to 33. With only one player exceeding 30 points, proving that there
is a fairly generous comfort zone, though I must confess that my seven
points for the first nine holes was fairly disturbing. Perhaps 5 months
between rounds is poor preparation. I am pleased to say that the second
nine were more rewarding enabling me to amass 23 points.
What a shame they have already picked the Ryder Cup Team.
You are right to complain about the service at lunch; but it was a very good
lunch when it arrived.
Even if there had not been the delay, afternoon tees beginning at 2.00 will
be very difficult to meet with morning tee-
a good 4.5 hours). Can we get back to an 8.30 start for next year?
Numbers of appearances for the OTA???
I have still to make my debut for the Football Club, although I did referee
a few matches between 1958/59 before moving on to local Leagues. I also
refereed between 1976 (when I retired from the Football League) to 1996
(when I retired full stop) -
As to cricket: my debut in 1958, every Saturday and Sunday until 1974, then
every Saturday until 2003 -
Whew! It’s exhausting just thinking about it!!!
I am copying again to Bob (goodness what he will make of it all).
PS. The marathon/half marathon you refer to was I suspect the run/walk in
conjunction with the School in the 1970's (?). I believe that Charlie Kemble
was the OTA lead; but don't hold me to it.
A phone call
At the top of the issue I said that nobody had written to me about anything in the previous issue and that’s true but I did have one phone call from Gary Kedney. Gary had the odd query about my ‘all-
Modern, if only by the standards of the above.
Golfing in Ireland
To the green and lush County Tiperary in the west of Ireland for the tenth The Any Excuse Will Do Golf Society’s annual golfing sojourn. Seventeen dedicated golfers and Terry “Smiffy” Smith made their bleary way to Stansted Airport for an early flight to Shannon and a step into golfing history.
On arrival in the Emerald Isle we all shuffled onto our luxury coach piloted by a local who was last seen in an out-
There followed a two-
Bob “Blewy” Blewer, Mick “Keato” Keating and I, were joined on the 16th tee by Ian “Lloydy” Lloyd who had flown from Plymouth. He was told that he would be sharing a room with Dave “Betty Stove” Clifford who had let us all know that when he discovered he was sharing with a scouser thought it best to bring more padlocks than clothes. My how we laughed. Anyway, after we’d got over that episode of regional bigotry, “Keato” chipped onto the green and marked his ball with a 1 Euro piece. “Lloydy” followed him on and thought his day had been made when he found a 1 Euro piece sitting on the green. Slipping it into his pocket he said out loud; “what the hell’s that doing there”. Having read the green, no doubt to perfection, “Keato” was thrown off his stride a tad when he discovered his marker had disappeared. There was even more laughter. When he found a scouser had nicked it.
Four hours later we all made our way into the bar of the delightful clubhouse to discover – to our horror – that the silver fox Mark II, Brian “O level” O’Leary had beaten us all into a cocked hat and won the day with a Stableford score of 33. Even more depressing was that Terry “Palf” Palfrey and silver fox Mark I, Johnny “Izo” Issitt had won the two ‘nearest the pin’ prizes. We’d all had a great round of golf on a magnificent course. The trip had got off to a fine start and we all thought that this would be the beginning of a beautiful weekend. “Keato” had done us proud with his organisational skills and dedication.
Next came the drive to the hotel. I don’t know what the driver had been doing while we played golf but I don’t think Father Jack was drinking alone that day. On arrival we were all pleasantly surprised at the luxurious setting of our short-
After a bit of chilling, we all met up in the hotel bar for a post mortem of the day and then a delicious meal in the restaurant. The bar took another pasting later in the night as the night-
Day two took us to Castletroy Golf Club – another long drive but this time with a different driver – but comfortingly, the same bouncy chair. We were told before we started that there were “a few alterations being made to the course” and “a few areas where, if we hit the ball into the workings, we couldn’t get it but could take a free drop in the designated zones”. From the first tee you couldn’t see any trouble at all. But from the third; Ay caramba!!! It was like playing whilst they were building the M1, the Severn Bridge and Heathrow Airport all at the same time and in the same place. At some points you had to be able to drive like Ernie Els just to get over the workings. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who quickly realised that if you just chipped your ball fifty yards into the building site, you could take a free drop about 200 yards up the fairway (or was I?).
Although sworn to secrecy, I couldn’t possibly not tell you about the curious incident involving “Izo” and the 14th fairway. After a bit of a struggle, Taff “Taffy” Taff – who had joined us that morning – “Lloydy” and me had managed to make our way to the green. We looked back to see “Izo” heading into the trees even though his ball was in the middle of the fairway. We shouted to see what was up only to be told that he had been caught short and had to take what he quaintly called a “dump”. “Stop” we cried in unison and pointed him to a portaloo conveniently situated behind the green. The consternation in his face was clear for all to see. His dilemma: the portaloo was safe and private; but the trees were forty yards closer. He made a dash for the portaloo and by his account, only just made it. The three of us waited with baited breath – thinking after a while that it must be like some kind of Tardis he’d entered. But he rejoined us safe and sound – and again by his account – a very relieved and much lighter man.
The only other thing of note that happened that day was that I chipped into the hole on the seventeenth from 140 yards!! Much to the delight of “Lloydy” who was waiting at green side for us all to join him – and of course, me. I only mention it now because I don’t think I told anyone about it when we were in Ireland … or did I?
The day ended, not surprisingly, again in the bar, with “Palf” being named as the winner for the day with “Smiffy” and Mick “Waltz” Walton winning ‘nearest the pin’ prizes.
That night was something special. A few drinks in the bar, a walk into town for a meal and back to the bar for loads more drinks. The locals didn’t know what hit them, but the bar-
The dedicated golfers straggled away to bed after 2 o’clock with the dedicated drinkers staying on, drinking and singing long into the night. I was unfortunate to have the room next to “O level” because I was woken at 5 o’clock by him and his golf bag falling over as he tried to use it to prop open the door so he could see to turn on the light. Still, not as unlucky as “Palf” who was sharing a room with him.
Day three took us to Ballykisteen Golf Club. No building site here on the course – but no clubhouse either! This time it was the clubhouse being rebuilt and we had to make do with portakabins and a marquee. At least 19 of us were sensible enough to use the men’s portakabin with only “Browny” thinking he was a woman. It must have been the influence of Lance the dummy from the night before. Still, it was a lovely course and the only one we had any rain on. For the first six holes my umbrella was up and down like the Assyrian Empire and my wet weather gear was like the Burton/Taylor marriage … on/off/on/off.
In truth this was an earth-
Somewhat strangely, the mood was a little subdued in the bar that evening and a relatively quiet time was had. Things livened up a bit later on when a hen party arrived and “O level” led the singing. The night came to an end when someone realised that this was not a hen party made up of page three models. An expression of sympathy went out to the poor groom, who was going to have to get close to the chief hen – and worse, would have to kiss her.
Day four found us entering Tiperary Golf Club – not to be confused with County Tiperary Golf Club. This day was an absolute nightmare for me and I played golf like I had never even met a set of clubs. I’d like to say that it was all the fault of “Smiffy” but he’d only laugh at me and call me names, so I won’t. Suffice to say, Phil “Unners” Unwin and me found ourselves Dormey 7 (seven) down– remember the teleprinter on BBC when it would print the number in words just so you knew you hadn’t misread the score – to “Smiffy” and “Blewy”, going on to lose 7 and 6 ( Yet another world class performance by the C Form. BB. ). Another 5 Euros down the swanee. That being said our poor performance was mitigated somewhat by the fact that “Blewy” won the day (on countback Ed.) with “Smiffy” a very close second, so in my book it shows that they both had to play out of their skin to beat us. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
“Waltz” and Ian “Herman” Lines won the ‘nearest the pin’ prizes. Sadly, “Taffy” had to leave us after the round and took a cab from the course to Shannon airport. He had to get back home for a garden party with the queen (no, not Lance) on Tuesday. How strange I hear you mutter that he left a day earlier than anyone else would. That is because he thought the party was on the Monday. Doh!
Sunday night brings strange licensing hours to Ireland. Following another fantastic meal in the restaurant – and the presentation of various prizes to sad, limelight-
Fortunately, the golf club was only a 15 minute drive from the hotel, so no time for our driver to crash into a flock of cows or a herd of goats, or whatever – although there were one or two close shaves. The course was in fine fettle and we all enjoyed it immensely. The competition was a close run thing with “Unners”, “Browny” and Reg “Bucktooth” Buckley winning out, but only on count back from me, “Herman” and “Englo”. The reigning champions, “Smiffy”, “O level” and “Palf” bottled it and scored a 5 on the last (with us all watching) when a par 4 would have secured them the victory. Their defeat was about as popular as “Keato’s” and “Blewy’s” wins earlier in the week, although most (if not all) the earlier crowing and goading had come from only one of their number. I couldn’t possibly divulge who that was, but I can say his nickname rhymes with “iffy”.
The weather was beautiful and it well rounded off a fantastic five days of golf, drink and craic. All that was left was the drive to the airport, the flight to Stansted and the drives home. Before we left Stansted, we all promised ourselves another trip next year, and no doubt immediately started looking forward to it. I for one would like to thank all those who went, including of course, those not mentioned above; i.e Dave “Woodsy” Woods, Phil “The Fluter” Willis and Geoff “the Collier” Collyer for making the weekend as enjoyable as it was. And in readiness for some fierce competition next year, may I wish all those going, the yips, a swing that never ends, and that your balls never drop.
Your learned friend.
Jeff “Lamby” “M’Lud” “My learned friend” “Your Honour” Lamb.
Old Tenisonians’ Association Cricket Club
Chairman’s report for the 2004 Season
The 2004 season hadn’t started and the committee already had to make a difficult and disappointing decision. That was to inform the Kookaburra League that we wouldn’t be able to field our 3rd XI in their Division Five where they’d played for many years up to 2003. The committee made this decision in February after reviewing the likely playing membership numbers.
Winter nets at Cheam were not supported as well as in previous years, particularly in the months of January and February. However, those members who were attending all seemed to be looking forward eagerly to the club’s first season in the Fuller’s league.
The season got off to a wet start on the first of May with the First Eleven game cancelled and with a Second Eleven game at Godalming that would never have been played at Motspur on such a saturated wicket. A very strong Godalming side (who finished up as division champions) was obviously keen on starting the season with a win against league newcomers. We lost by seven wickets to get no points at all from the game and I suspect more than a few of us were soon wondering if 28 for 8 (recovering to 85 all out) would be par for the course during what might be a long hard season.
Both matches were rained off the following week but on 15 May both sides started the season in earnest.
The First Eleven had a praiseworthy first half of the season, winning three and losing only one of the first seven games played. Unfortunately lack of availability contributed towards a less successful second half and they won only one of their last seven matches while losing five and finished the season in fourteenth place in the table. There were several notable performances with bat and ball. Graham Butcher had an excellent season scoring 629 runs at an average of 57 including a memorable 200 not out (out of 278 for 5) against Westfield Saints and another hundred against Woodmansterne. Nevill Perkins scored 342 runs (at an average of 29) including a typically hard hitting 94 against Whitely Village. James Butcher and Neil Perkins both scored nearly 250 runs for the season making one fifty each and Dave Towse scored 160 runs (averaging 32 and including one fifty) in his five innings in the early part of the season before football lured him away. Captain Jim Butcher was the stalwart of the bowling taking 41 wickets in 175 overs with seven wicket hauls against the Long Ditton and Wandgas sides. Grant Hubbard and Chris Turner both bowled just over 100 overs in the season taking 16 and 13 wickets respectively. Graham Butcher bowled fairly regularly ending up with 11 wickets including a six wicket haul against Southbank in the side’s first league win. Wayne Robertson and Barry Mercer both took nine wickets each, Barry taking six wickets against Ottershaw in one of his three matches for the side.
The fielding was generally very good throughout the season with the opposition always being made aware they were in a game and Jim Butcher handling the side well.
Overall the side competed well, scoring over 200 runs on six of the nine times it batted first during the season and achieving three victories (and only one defeat) from the five occasions when they batted second. One big learning point for the season has been how important it is to win the toss and insert the opposition if you want to give yourself a good chance to win matches.
After their Godalming debacle on 1 May the Second Eleven recovered well and didn’t lose another game until the 31 July. Of the sixteen matches played to a conclusion they won five, lost five, had three winning draws, one tied draw and two losing draws to finish in eleventh place (above eight other teams) in the table. This must rank as a very creditable result considering that for the second half of the season it was losing at least three or four of it’s players to the first eleven and on some weeks was struggling to make up eleven players. A rota system introduced to try and make sure all second eleven squad members got a fair share of matches lasted a full two weeks before a shortage of players made it redundant!
There were several individual performances worth mentioning. The batsmen scored eight fifties between them with Richard Marshall getting close to the magic ton with 91 in the match against Ottershaw when we chased 209 to win and did it with seven wickets to spare. Richard scored the most runs with 246 at an average of 19 and captain Micky Vaughan also passed 200 at an average of 17 including 69 not out in the win over Westfield Saints. Jamie Mercer and Paul Kain both scored excellent 50s against Long Ditton in the only other game when the team scored over 200. Will Lingard (in his only game for the Second Eleven) scored a dashing 72 in the win over Croydon MO and John Munden hit an unbeaten 51 against Haslemere whilst adding an unbroken 95 with Gary Parsons for the sixth wicket. Barry Mercer scored two fifties towards the end of the season to average 42 in the League and remind the captain that he can still bat a bit. The most memorable of these (to me at least) was 63 against Wandgas when, after going in at 16 for 6, he coaxed 100 out of the last 4 wickets including a partnership of 32 for the tenth wicket with young Toby Hubbard. Sadly I let Toby down and got out when we were just 4 runs short of a batting point!
Paddy Blewer was the principal Second Eleven bowler taking 31 wickets from 171 overs at an average of just under 16, including 7 for 44 against Horley and 6 for 34 against Croydon MO. Barry Mercer took 23 wickets at an average of 16 from 133 overs including 6 for 24 off 14 overs in the last match of the season victory over Worplesdon and Burpham. John Munden and Jeremy Borgust both bowled just over 100 overs and took 17 wickets apiece. John’s wickets were at the excellent average of 13 runs each and at a miserly 2.2 runs per over. Jeremy’s were at the reasonable but higher average of 21 and included the impressive figures against Battersea Ironsides of 10.1 overs, 5 maidens, 9 runs and seven wickets! Des Emanaus and Gary Parsons also bowled well when called upon by the skipper but often without luck.
The average age of the side meant that some of the fielding was not always up to scratch but Micky Vaughan’s captaincy helped to hide those most at risk of injury and/or embarrassment. The team’s spirits were also enlivened on more than one occasion by some excellent performances behind the stumps by Grant McQueen-
Overall the variety and spirit of the cricket in the Fullers League compared to that played in recent years in the Kookaburra League made it more enjoyable for all concerned. The second eleven are all looking forward to next season and hoping their captain can win the toss a bit more often (like the first eleven the second eleven only lost once when chasing a total).
One important positive from the season must not go without mention. The reduction in players from the 2003 season, which resulted in the club not running a third eleven, was partly caused by the playing retirements of Alan Baker and Brian Lester. The bonus for those remaining players came when Brian and Alan both made themselves available to umpire League matches on a regular basis. This meant that the first eleven had an umpire for every game and, depending on them both being available, the second eleven for the majority of its matches. This was a godsend for the captains and a blessing for those of the rest of us who appreciate consistent and fair umpiring. The club are extremely grateful for Brian and Alan’s efforts.
The Taverners Eleven won three, lost five and drew two of the ten matches that were completed during the season. Other matches were abandoned or cancelled due to the weather and a few had to be cancelled due to lack of players. The scorebook records for this eleven are not exactly perfect but suffice to say that the bulk of the runs were scored by the regulars in John Halsey, Nevill and Neil Perkins and the wickets were mostly taken by Jim Butcher, Chris Turner, Vic Govey and Jeremy Borgust.
The pitches at Motspur Park, having had a good amount of money spent on them over the close season, played well if a little slow and low. Apart from one unfortunate first eleven match where events and the weather conspired to give an unprepared wicket there was a definite improvement from the 2003 season. With more money being spent over this close season prospects are even better for run making at Motspur in 2005.
It would be remiss of me to leave out of this report the wives, mums or girlfriends who provide us with excellent teas week in week out. Our oppositions are always commenting on the superb spread we provide. We are very lucky to be looked after so well.
The most pressing item for the club is, as ever, recruiting new blood. The last two months of the season were very tight for Second Eleven players and the Sunday side has relied upon the same old ten or eleven players for too many years now. We unearthed two very keen Tenison’s schoolboys (the first for many years) towards the end of the season, which was encouraging, but more desperately needs to be done on the recruitment front before the start of next season.
As many of you will know I am standing down as club Chairman after several years in the position having taken up the post when Alan Baker stepped down to undertake the more arduous General Secretary’s role. Before I sign off this report therefore I’d like to express my thanks to all those committee members who, over the years, have given up their time and energy to run the club, and by doing so have made my job so easy.
11 10 2004
Hard on the heels of Barry’s excellent report came Mick’s:-
By mid June we were starting to get the hang of things in the Fuller’s.
Batting first against Stoke D’Abernon, T’s managed to score 145 in 55overs. Thanks to Dez Emanaus 26* and twenties from Mick and Halsey. Excellent bowling from John Munden (4 for 16 off 13 overs) and Paddy Blewer (3 for 47 off 15) restricted the opposition to 116 for 7 and we finished with a tied draw.
The following week at Long Ditton we scored 220 for 8 in 50 overs. Paul Kain finishing with 64* and Jamie Mercer 56(12, 4’s). Chris Bullens’ first game for 20 years saw him score a quick 27. Long Ditton quickly succumbed to 14 for 3 off 13 overs and then to 49 for 7 off 26, finally finishing on 70 for 9 with all the bowlers chipping in. A good winning draw.
On to a very wet Hazlemere wicket, we scored 191 for 5 in just 44 overs. An unbeaten century partnership between Gary (46*) and John Munden (51*) taking us on to a good total, after Mick (32) and Joe Wallis (39) provided a reasonable foundation. A couple of quick wickets gave us a good chance, only for some very wayward bowling to offer Hazlemere the opportunity to score the runs quickly, albeit helped by some bad dropped chances! Barry bowled well to curtail the run chase and the opposition finished on 173 for 7. A winning draw.
The first Saturday in July saw lots of rain and an on/off situation at the ground, before eventually cancelling the game after an early tea!
The following Saturday we comfortably beat Westfield, bowling them out for 159. Paddy 4 for 29 off 16 overs and Jeremy 4 for 70(much better than the runs conceded suggests!) off 19! Mick batted through for 69*, with Richard (30) and John Halsey (23) offering support.
The next week saw another comfortable win over Ottershaw, bowling them out for 208 in 55 overs. Richard led the way with 91. (Or was it 93, 96. 99 or even a hundred and something! The scorebook was a disgrace, with bowling and batting figures adrift by some 20 odd runs and Richard may well have missed out on a well-
Back down to reality, wonderful batting track, hot sunny day, 16 for 6 after 15 overs. Barry (63) saved our faces, batting very well with support from Paddy, Jeremy and Toby to take the score up to 116. Wandgas knocked the runs off all too comfortably, losing just 3 wickets!
Battersea Ironsides visited Motspur the following week and were dismissed for 125 in 50 overs. Jeremy’s excellent bowling doing the damage, taking 7 for 9 off 10 overs. Our batting could not match the bowling performance and we were all out for just 61. Sadly Battersea haven’t changed much on moving up to the Fullers, their constant appealing and gamesmanship leaving a lot to be desired. They won promotion and I’m sure they will not be missed from our division.
A visit to Churt saw us score even slower than usual, scoring 136 for 4 after 55 overs on a not very good wicket! Barry’s 60* and Miland 24* giving some respectability to the total. Good bowling ensured Churt struggled to score the runs, winning eventually by 4 wickets on 138 for 5.
The next week at Motspur, Caterham were just too good for us. They scored 220 for 5 off 46 overs. We hung on for a draw thanks to John Munden (42*) and Dez (23*) finishing on 136 for 6 in 47 overs.
The next week was at promotion hopefuls Olinda Vandals. They scored 184 for 6 in 47overs. After struggling to 67 for 7, Barry and Kevin batted out the last 20 overs to secure a draw, finishing on 100 for 7.
The final game of the season at Motspur saw a surprise appearance of Mick Myerson (A former pupil who had emigrated to Australia in the early 70’s).
Worplesden were bowled out for 101, Barry taking another 6 wicket haul for just 24 runs. Mick (23) and Mick Myerson (27) gave us a steady start before Richard (19*) and Jamie (16*) saw us home by 8 wickets! Our fifth win.
Barry Mercer deservedly won the batting award, as did Paddy Blewer winning the bowling trophy.
A very enjoyable first season in a new league which offers much better playing facilities and sportsmanship. Hopefully we can improve on this year’s performance and do better next season. The last couple of games saw the introduction of James Varney, a pupil of the School; hopefully we can encourage some more pupils next season.
In October many of the 2nds met at Motspur and after some drinks, enjoyed a curry at the Motspur Tandori. The spirit in the Club remains excellent, however we must address the recruitment issue if we are to remain a successful, albeit small one!
"The 1sts have had a miserable start to the season losing 4 out of our first 5 league games and getting dumped out of 2 cups. Ironically, our only league win was against Enfield Old Grammarians, who are now sitting pretty at the top of the division. Unfortunately, availability has once again blighted our season so far, due in the main to holidays and injuries, but when we have had our top 11 or 12 players available and fit, we have showed signs of our mid-
On the positive side, we have started scoring goals (and missing chances), with Moff and Tworty cashing in over the last couple of games, but this improvement isn't quite in line with the increase in goals conceded. Admittedly playing with 8.5 players by the end didn't help, but shipping 9 at Beales hasn't done our goal difference any good. We are going to have to win the league on points when it comes to the crunch.
Other points of note include another Jenks' retirement, which lasted around 3 weeks or so, before his other half got fed up with him moping around at home and pleaded with us to take him back. Kieron Bennett has also announced his retirement from Old Tenisonians, which will see him finishing with the club at Christmas. We did suggest that he is lacking commitment, but he's adamant that commuting from Australia every Saturday morning would leave him a little jaded come 3 o'clock. On the other hand, we have got a new member of the squad, William Brewis, courtesy of Simon. Unfortunately, he's still got some growing up to do (no comment!), but should be ready and fired up by the start of the 2021 season. (Congratulations Simon. Lets hope the Club can hang on for William and hopefully, a few of his mates. BB. )
There is still plenty of belief that we can turn the season around, but we need to get going quickly so we're not drawn into a relegation fight come the new year."
Thanks a lot Dave. I tried to contact the other XI’s for their news but with no luck.
Another phone call
It came whilst I was making myself a spot of lunch, listening to Robert Elms 94.0. Radio Station to the cognescenti. He was talking about Beulah Hill. I’ve mentioned in the past that Alan and Vera Baker started their married life there, some forty years ago. Other than going to a boozer near there after playing either Clapham or Josephs’, not much else had registered (too close to Crystal Palace F.C.). A couple of fellas called in, one said that the Great Train Robbery had been planned in a local public house and the other chap told the listeners that it was at Beulah Hill that Pickles (the dog) had found the World Cup in 1966.
It was then that the phone went, it was Gary Kedney. “Are you listening to Robert Elms?” “Yes”. I replied. He said, “I’m just preparing an e-
I’d never heard the story and I was still just about at school at that time. I told Gary I’d get on the case. Could only find Alex Robb’s (a friend and colleague) address. No reply from the Baker residence. Browny had never heard the story either and he had known George Lewis pretty well. Latterly I asked Steve Simmons who George took for A level in 67/8. Again a negative response. Gary did not send his e-
Alan Baker’s Ground Company Quiz
Although I was there, I did not really take part this year only having returned from hospital a few hours earlier and feeling a touch uncomfortable. That did not stop me from realising that Alan and Vera had once again provided an excellent evening’s entertainment for those that partook. The Ground Company ended the evening £579.81 better off. The Braziers’ ended the evening in the winners enclosure. I think they had been there before but not for some time. There can be no doubting that having the experience of Alan's mum and dad on the side is a definite advantage. Averaging about 90 years of age apiece, they are that much closer to any history question which might arise. Well done Mum and Dad!
You will find the results of the six months up to December this year on the back page. The 150 Club still plays a big part in supplementing Club funds and I’d like to thank all of you for your continued generous support. With house prices looking vulnerable and the dollar weakening against all currencies, now could be a good time to hedge some of your investment portfolio exposure by piling into the 150 Club with renewed vigour. It is true, we are not governed by the FSA but we are at least as safe as many final salary pension schemes and the National Bank of Toytown (Feering Branch) will make certain that winners are paid in full. Eventually! Possibly! Should they have the temerity to demand such winnings!
Thank you all, very much.
58 Feering Hill
Motspur Park 80th Anniversary Appeal
Just to let you know that the appeal remains open for another few months, so if you have been a little slow off the mark, you still have the opportunity to send your donations to the Treasurer: -
13 St George’s Road
On the day of the Quiz the fund was given a substantial and unexpected boost. Since Ron Forrest retired, he has attended an annual social function held for senior personnel of his former employer. On this occasion he was asked what he was getting up to these days. Ron replied that, among other things, he was Chairman of the Archbishop Tenisons School Sports Ground, Management Company, a registered charity, who were currently using the ground’s 80th anniversary to appeal for funds to carry out essential repairs at the sports ground. The person to whom Ron was talking to, suggested that Ron might make an application to the Company’s Charitable Foundation. Needless to say Ron did not hesitate and incredibly his application was rewarded with a donation of £2,500. I say incredibly because as far as I know Ron’s former employers have nothing whatsoever to do with the School, the Old Boys or anybody else, other than Ron. Surely an example of the importance of who you know being as crucial as what you know and luckily Ron knows a lot as well. Anybody know Chris Gent? He probably carries the last few quid we need in small change.
Well that’s about it. As you will see from the unchanged address below, we didn’t move. We’ll probably have another look next year, by which time I’ll also know if my Arthroscopy has finally been successful. Terry Smith played football within two weeks of his, Alan Ewart assured me it would be a piece of cake and my sister in law, Cate was almost back to normal after a fortnight. Nearly a month has passed and I can barely walk, can’t flex my leg to even drive and the operation has caused more damage than it was supposed to rectify but then I’ve never had a lot of luck with hospitals!
Thanks to all our contributors, particularly the first timers. Don’t forget you can read the Mumblings and much more on our website and Micky Vaughan is always on the lookout for contributions (www.oldtenisonians co.uk) Alan Baker had some good news recently when Nev Perkins and Paul Kain agreed to take over the running of the bar. But don’t worry, he’s still got plenty to do, including posting this lot, so thanks again Alan. Brian Lester is still open to offers for anybody who might take over what is now a reduced level of printing, thanks to the e-
I hope you all have/had a smashing Christmas and lets hope that the New Year is a better one for the world than the one we are just kicking in to touch.
Hope you and yours enjoy the festivities
Bob Blewer Tel.No. 0208 647 4670
286 London Road e-
Diary date for 2005.
School Dinners – Friday 8th April.
Eddie Boyle will contact you if you have been before and are on his list. If you find you might be newly available this year, contact me and I will put you in touch with Ed. The venue will be unchanged (why would you want to?) at The Heights Restaurant, St. Georges Hotel, Langham Place. London.