Edition No . 23 . Autumn/Winter 2005.
Letter(s) From Reader(s)
Hi Everybody, it’s a beautiful autumnal day and a couple of days after the Association AGM , therefore an appropriate time to start this issue of the Mumblings.
As you know Alan Baker distributes the magazine and it was to him that a member has written to say that he no longer wants to receive the Mumblings due to the ‘inexcusable language’ used ( I presume, particularly, the last edition ). In response, I can only say that I have never intentionally set out to offend or alienate anybody. Had this occurred at any other time of the year, I would have offered my resignation to the committee. As all members of the outgoing committee are technically out of office when we attend the AGM, I outlined the foregoing situation to those in attendance. Unlike the current leadership battle for those wishing to lead the Conservative Party, candidates for election to the Association Committee are pretty thin on the ground. In fact, it has become commonplace for there to be just one person prepared to stand for each office of the Association. Thus, there were no other candidates for the post of editor of the Motspur Mumblings and I was unanimously re-
In the meantime I shall do my best to complete another three issues, in my own style, which I couldn’t change if I wanted to. Of course, should a volunteer step forward to take over the reins. I will be delighted to step aside. So ‘stiffen the sinews’, here we go again!
I am delighted to be able to report that the OTA has finally been able to introduce itself to Louise Fox, the School’s Head Teacher. Brian Lester and John Addlington enjoyed a very positive meeting, over a spot of lunch, with Ms.Fox, who seems to be very open minded to the Old Boys attempting to renew its traditional relationship with the School. Many of you will know that that relationship had all but withered on the vine over many years.
This meeting was followed up by Alan Baker, John Addlington and Pete Langford attending the School Remembrance Day Service. Ms Fox was apparently delighted at the presence of some of our senior ( you know what I mean guys ) members at the service. Afterwards AB spoke to Ms Fox and found her thoroughly approachable, personable and professional. Ms Fox has invited the Old Boys to make a presentation to some of the Schools senior pupils and I am sure we all hope that such an opportunity will prove to be very beneficial to the OTA.
The chances for another ‘golden age’ of the OTA still might seem a long way away but the events of the last few months have certainly given us grounds for optimism. Ms.Fox has further demonstrated her commitment by putting forward a member of staff to sit on the Ground Company Management Board for the first time. This is a great step forward for the Ground Company and they look forward welcoming their new colleague at the next meeting.
OLD TENISONIANS ASSOCIATION
GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT FOR 2004 – 2005
2004 – 2005 has been an unusual year for the OTA. We came very close to having to close the football club (more of that later) but apart from that little problem the last twelve months have been fairly routine.
The management of the football club continued to pose a quite serious problem; it seems that in effect, all tasks were left entirely to one individual who not surprisingly, soon became swamped. The result was that fines totalled almost £1,000 most of which were incurred for administrative failings, and the club was summoned to appear before the league committee, to explain its situation. This level of fines is ridiculous for a club with the amount of income that we enjoy, and can only be viewed as a complete waste of money. I do not attach blame to any individual; the whole football club should share the responsibility. This problem culminated in the main OTA committee insisting that an extraordinary general meeting of the football club be convened to decide amongst other things if the football club has a future, and if it does who will assume responsibility for its management. Glen Cain took responsibility for organising and chairing the meeting, and ran it in a positive and professional manner. The discussion was very full and frank, and a range of views was expressed. The result was very encouraging, a number of football club members said they would volunteer for the management jobs, others wanted to be captains of the teams, and there was a general agreement that financial controls would be tightened. This EGM was followed a few weeks later by the club’s annual general meeting when the appointments were ratified. It seems to me that the club’s management is in good hands, and I for one am optimistic for the upcoming season.
On the playing front I understand the football season was less successful than had been hoped, and I know that there were problems fielding full teams on some weeks. I believe the number of teams is likely to be reduced for the upcoming season. I mentioned in my report last year that some consolidation may be a positive step, but consideration will need to be given to the consequent decline in income, including bar takings.
The committee of the cricket club once again made special efforts to recruit new players, with the aim of strengthening the whole club. Their efforts did not reap much reward, so the same players were once again the stalwarts of the club. New blood is becoming essential; perhaps some new ideas are necessary to cash in on the positive publicity surrounding the game generally. The first and second teams had only moderate seasons, but I think enjoyed their cricket. The Sunday Taverners appeared to play fewer games than in previous seasons.
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. We have an opportunity to make a presentation to senior boys at the school, at one of their year assemblies, if anybody has any ideas how we can maximise the OTA’s appeal, I am very much looking for suggestions (or even inspiration)
On the social side the Association has not been particularly active, again this year. Eddie Boyle organised a very enjoyable and well-
The web site is a positive contribution to OTA publicity, I for one like the photographs. I understand there has been a request for more up to date pictures, and I am sure Mick Vaughan can include these. 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 continues to do a fine job as editor; however I believe he has decided to retire gracefully after one more year. A new volunteer is urgently required, sooner rather than later so that the presses can continue to roll!
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 is better than it has been for some time. Alan Baker has retired as bar manger after many years of sterling service, the job is now shared by Paul Kain and Nevil Perkins. They have instigated a new regime including selling chocolate – a service I have not personally found necessary from the bar – just goes to show how out of touch you can get!
The committee has met regularly during the year and I would like to offer my thanks again this year to all those who have given up their time. I mentioned in my report last year the need to recruit new committee members to move the Association forward, that need becomes ever more important and I implore the membership to take a greater interest in their Association.
I ended last year’s report by suggesting that the OTA needs a plan for its future. The football club has come close to folding, the average age of the cricket playing members seems to increase by one year for every passing year, a redefinition of the role of the Old Tenisonians Association is becoming urgent. We have an opportunity to try to recruit a new generation of Old Tenisonians, we must not fail to grasp this opportunity, or I believe we will enter further into a period of slow decline
I should apologise now for any omissions in this report.
That Gentlemen, is the General Secretary’s report for 2004-
Keating’s Golfing Carnival.
Oh Clare, the moment I saw I you I swear
I wanted to see your underwear …
Enough of old Gilbert O’Sullivan’s paedophilic ramblings … let me tell you about another Clare. The County of that name in the west of the wonderful Emerald Isle. Sadly, but profitably, I was unable to make the first day and the usual suspects had to make the journey from Gatwick without me. Fortunately for me though the first course, Ennis, was not the best of the weekend – in fact it sounded like the worst – but gave them all a chance to ease into the weekend. The venerable Reginald Buckley won the day with Dave English and that old stalwart, David Evans (I can’t remember if he’s got a nickname) winning the two nearest the pin competitions.
As a brief aside I should tell you that travelling the way I did it has got to be the best option in this modern day world of airline queues and plane delays. My jury returned their verdict (guilty) at 4.35pm, my ticket was booked at 4.58pm, my flight was at 7.00pm and my dinner was on the table in the west of Ireland at 9.30pm. From wig and gown in Hove to pie and mash in Clare in 5 hours! Give me that kind of travel any day.
So after I’d said my hellos and we’d all had tons of mashed potato (I never knew Ireland had so much potato – they must ship it in from somewhere), it was off to the hotel bar for a long night of chat about the day’s golf and catching up after a year apart (except for the times people had got together at various times and locations). A sadness to discover that Ian Lloyd was unable to make it this year, something about him building up his property portfolio. Still, with no Scousers in the party, at least big Dave knew his property was safe and the golf buggies would not end up on bricks.
Friday brought us to the rightly famous Lahinch course; a.k.a. The Irish St Andrews. What a magnificent course the old one is! Famous for many things, it is particularly renowned for two holes (7 and 8 I think) that have an enormous sand dune between the tees and the greens. The first is a par 5 where the dune should be between your second and third shot. The funny thing about this hole is that there is a hut at the top of the dune and every now and again a man pops out with a red flag to let you know when you can play your shot. What a job? Not much chance of career progression there, and probably the worst job I’ve encountered since seeing a poor woman in Varanasi railway station scooping spit from the public spittoons into a bucket with her hand. Luckily, the week before they’d provided her with a marigold glove. Anyway, once you’ve managed to finish the par 5, you’re faced with a par 3 at which the dune completely obscures the green. You have to play over the dune and hope your ball is somewhere on line with the flag – or near the green.
Needless to say, on probably the most demanding course of the weekend, our best player romped home the winner; i.e. Geoff Brown, with Nicky Tonks winning both the nearest the pin competitions. I played with him that day and I can say that both shots were magnificent. I seem to remember him pipping Big Dave to the second one (or was it the first??).
The clubhouse at Lahinch was also magnificent and we enjoyed a fine time there after the round, sampling their wines and delicious food. It was good to see some earlier winners of tournaments there adorning the walls; names such as Padraig Harrington, Christy O’Connor and Paul McGinley. They’re now in good company with Geoff Brown.
Friday night is always bath night in my house, and just because I was on holiday I wasn’t going to change my regime. So, once my roomy (Dave English) had made himself scarce I settled down for a nice slow bath … Sorry, I slipped into a reverie there. However, once everyone was clean and sparkly, we made our way into Ennis for a great night out on the town. Ennis on the weekend is the kind of place that makes you think ‘where the hell have all these people come from?’ It was chocker, but it’s a town only about the size of central Wimbledon! But it was all great fun and no sign of trouble anywhere. The bars are all smoke free so no worries about coughing your guts up all night – and your clothes still smell fresh in the morning. Isn’t that nice?
Now I remember Gerry Reardon turning up at some point but can’t now remember if it was Friday night or Saturday – I wish Bob Blewer would give me a deadline for this rubbish. Either way it was great to see him. He’d got the train across from Dublin and it was fun to hear him say that he couldn’t understand a word the locals were saying. What a funny old place Ireland is.
Saturday took us to a newish course called Doonbeg. This has clearly been designed with American tourists in mind and because of that we all had to pretend to be good golfers and not who we really were. Something very dodgy going on there between Mick Keating and Kaiser Sosa (probably). Another links course, everything here was spanking new and of the highest quality (except the golf, of course). Bizarrely, the 12th green has got a bunker on it, but, so far as I can remember only one of our crew ended up in it. I played with Mick Walton that day and was playing some wonderful golf until about the 5th when, lining up a delicate chip, he creeps up behind me and throws his bag onto the floor behind me. It scared the bejasus out of me and upset my golf for the whole weekend … honest Smithy! Still, it was a great course and the day was won by Dave English with Mick Walton and Dave, again, winning the nearest the pins.
Like Tony Blair, we had a three word mantra for the whole weekend; i.e. drink, drink, drink. Unlike the great betrayer though, we stuck to our guns and carried on throughout the Saturday, again in Ennis.
Sunday took us back to Lahinch but this time to play the Castle course, which is not as demanding as, and a lot flatter than, the old course. Evidence for this can be found in the fact that Phil Unwin finished the day as our winner. Geoff Brown and Dave English (I should get a special button on my keyboard to press every now and again when I want his name to appear – it would save me a lot of time) won the nearest the pins.
As this was the last day of the individual competitions Taffy imposed some swingeing fines on the bus back to Ennis, it has to be said for some pretty petty (and some might say, imaginary) offences. I can’t let this pass however without mentioning two of them. Hermann was fined for wearing a pair of underpants that were described as having a pouch in the front with a boot-
Sunday night was fairly quiet in the hotel with the awards ceremony going down a treat. Dave English, as you’ll have gathered from above, won a day and three nearest the pins which inevitably put him well out in front to take the overall award for the weekend. Well done roomy.
After all of the frivolity of Thursday to Sunday came the serious business of the team event at Shannon Golf Course. A tricky woodland course meant some difficult holes, especially for me with partners named Terry Palfrey, Brian O’Leary and Terry Smith. In spite of all the golfing shortcomings I possess -
After food and a few drinks in the clubhouse, we made our short way to the nearby airport for the flight home. Another fantastic weekend, expertly organised by Keato (as ever), left us all, inevitably, gagging for another trip next year … after the requisite rest period of course. As ever I’d like to say a personal thank you to all who went – the craic is always fantastic – and especially to Mick Keating for doing us proud yet again. Where would we be without him (all waiting at different airports for flights that have never been arranged to hotels that don’t exist … probably)?
See you all in July 2006 – and next time I hope justice gets a bloody move on and I can be there from the start.
In Jeff’s comprehensive report he mentioned Taff’s ‘fines’ regime. Taff has long been regarded as one of our finest but things could be changing. He was the soul investigator, judge and jury of some startling miscarriages of justice. One hates to be personal in these pages but I wonder. With his increasing similarity in appearance to Benito Mussolini, Taff might be starting to overeach himself.
I fell foul of ‘Taff’s Court’ simply for wearing a corduroy jacket, a rather smart and well cut one, if I do say so myself. Taff had decided that nobody should wear corduroy. Lots of our dads’ fought wars to allow us the chance to wear corduroy, you. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if several of Taff’s teachers wore corduroy and I bet some of them even had leather patches on the elbow’s of said jacket. I intend to test the sartorial waters next year with a fine Harris tweed, so there!
My next fall from grace was to be fined for smiling at a woman in bar. Let me explain. If memory serves I was in a group including the ‘Fines Commisar’, when a woman walked in and walking towards me, appeared to be smiling. I politely returned a smile of my own….and the moment was gone. However when the fines were announced the following day, I had been fined for beaming at a woman who apparently looked like Joan Rivers mother! So it is no longer true that good manners cost nothing.
On the flight home I was sitting across the aisle from Terry Smith and we chatted for the duration of the flight. I’d noticed the woman sitting in front of me trying to settle for a snooze, which I thought was a bit optimistic for such a short flight, let alone her proximity to two OTs in animated conversation. About an hour later as we were about to disembark, the aforementioned lady turned round to Terry and said “and they say women can talk”. Terry, momentarily, was speechless. Those of us around the incident wet ourselves.
By the way, if you are wondering what qualifications Jeff Lamb has to be our golfing correspondent, he is a close and personal friend of U.S.Open winner – Michael‘Cambo’ Campbell.
Speaking of injustice, take a look at this:-
Sue Grabbit & Run
Solicitors to the Nobility
& Gentry (& OTs)
4th September 2005
I represent my client Mr Michael Johnson who has
been seriously defamed in an article in your scurrilous journal by a certain
Eddie Boyle who alleges that my client was seen to be “most pissed” in a
house of ill repute called The Cock.
My client strenuously denies this serious
allegation and wishes to put the record straight; he is also insistent that
this letter is published in the next edition of your organ or serious
repercussions may occur. On the night in question my client observed his old
friend from the 500 club (apparently this has some sexual connotation) to
whit Graham Day, bachelor of this parish, who was extremely tired and
emotional. He was in this unfortunate condition because the day had been er
tiring and very emotional. Mr Day was having a quiet rest in the corner of
The Cock when he was subject to the unwelcome attention of two women of
indeterminate age who were making strenuous efforts to engage him in
conversation with the possible outcome of carnal happenings. Naturally Mr
Day resisted such overtures and my client Mr Johnson was seen to be
assisting Mr Day in his unfortunate predicament, the consequence of his
gallant actions is that my client has been unjustly accused of being
inebriated by Eddie Boyle.
There is the faint possibility that Mr Day may
have been mistakenly thought to have been drunk which he was not and even if
he had been, there is no crime in being guilty by association-
most of the Old Tenisonians would not have been present that day. There has
however been a serious assault on the English language by Mr Boyle which
would have the late JJ Laidlaw Browne turning in his grave in the ending of
his defamatory letter “Be there or be square”. My considered legal view is
that this constitutes the only misdemeanour of the occasion.
My client is not in the habit of issuing
threats but failure to provide adequate compensation for the grave injustice
that he has suffered from this article will result in the editor having to
sit by himself at The Oval cricket ground in 2006.
Sue Grabbit & Run
My reply needs to remain private as I would not wish to embarrass Mr.Johnson further but it is important that everybody who has and who will attend School Dinners’, needs to be aware that ‘The Edmeister’s’ decision in the matter of ‘most pissed person’ is not for discussion or debate. Previous ‘winners ‘ of Ed’s accolade have actually worn this mantle as a badge of OTA honour. Which perhaps, is the true spirit of the award, although other members of the owner of the award’s family may not agree.
Although Mr.Laidlaw Brown never soiled his hands on this poor scholar, a fact which I all to easily demonstrate in the pages of this magazine, I cannot help but wonder what he would have made of letter sent by Mr.Johnson’s solicitor.
Message from ‘Lamby’ :-
I have to tell you that on the 10th hole of the course we were playing near Marbella they have a charity nearest the pin -
It has often been said that a miss is as good as a mile but it did make me think that as I’ve so often sat in front of a blank Mumblings page that all of us over many years have stories like Jeff’s to tell. Coats of varnish and paint, finger tips and fingernails, one more roll of the ball etc. etc; all the difference between success and failure, victory or defeat. What a category this might have been. At this late stage in the day, I would be very pleasantly surprised if anybody wanted to make a contribution, so should Jeff’s story fire your memories of defeat being snatched from the jaws of victory, please feel free.
It is only recently that my wife and I have decided to belong to the 21st century and to use the Internet, and in doing so, I have rediscovered the joys of the Motspur Mumblings.
My name is Stan MacPherson and went to Tenisons between 1956 and 1963 and I am sure that we know each other from both school and the OTA. When I left school I played both football and cricket for the OTA. I was much better at football and played in the 1st XI for a few years. The team consisted of Fred Potthurst, Lou Baker/Alan Baines, Larry Lambert, Mick Patmore, Roger Parker, Bobby Daws, Dave Orchin, Ken Langford, Fred Hall and Kenny Gibbs. Others who come along later were Dave Sadler, Ernie Pope, Mickey Brown, Peter Leberl and Bernie Johnson. Other names, which spring to mind, are Dusty Miller, Stu Courtenay, Bob Huntley, Martin Edison, John Sanderson and Harry Thorogood. There are obviously others but their names have escaped me with my increasing senility.
I also had a couple of years playing cricket. I had plenty of enthusiasm but no talent and I used it mainly to fill the gap between the start and finish of the football seasons. I played in the 2nd XI under the captaincy of Charles Kemble with Tibbs Tyack, Dennis Bryant, Lou Baker, Roger Parker and Geoff Uglow. I can always remember my first game. It was at St Thomas Hospital ground at Cobham where we were well beaten. They got quite a few and we got forty something. I got 5 batting at number 8 or 9 and was greeted with the comment when I got out of “you didn’t tell me you could bat”. The following week I batted at 5 and got a duck. Normal service had been resumed. I did improve and once scored 59, my career best, at Croydon MO although 56 runs were accumulated through square leg. Whilst at school, in my last year I played in a school side, which actually beat Bec School. At the time, I was too good for the school second XI but not good enough for the first XI. On the day of the match, 2 of our better players, Mick Myerson and Vic Leverett, the captain, were not available. I was quite friendly with Mick Neville, the son of Tom and vice captain, as we did “A” level Latin together (no comment). Our Latin exam was on the morning of the match and we took the paper at 8 am to be available for the match at 11.30. We won by 2 wickets and my contribution being “did not bat” and 0 for 33 have and treasure off 8 overs. ‘George’ Robb described my bowling as the worst he had seen for some time. I am pleased to say that my dropped catch and the fact I was hit for 6 (it was the short 20 yard boundary) do not show on the scorecard, which I still treasure. We won thanks to fine innings of 73 by Charlie Angear, who later went to play hockey at a very high standard and 29 not out by Bernie Bremer, who played top non-
I have also looked at some of your back issues of MM and noted that my dad’s name (Mr Mac) was mentioned. When I first started playing for the OTA, our support consisted of Sid Lambert, Roger Walker, Roger’s dad and my dad. When I started playing for a more local side, dad continued to watch the Old Boys under Dave Sadler and Mick Brown and I still have the pewter mug presented to him by the team at the end of a season for his support. Sadly dad died in 1991 at the age of 91. (we could never forget his age). It was also sad to learn of the deaths of Fred Hall, Bernie Johnson, Harry Thorogood , Joe Laidlaw-
My last game of football for the OTA was in a Vets match at Barnet against Old Stationers in about 1979/80. Again my memory fails me who was playing in the game, I can only remember Roger Parker and John Sanderson and maybe Derek Hazell and John Bolwell. I played right back and I think we lost 1 or 2 nil.
I am now semi-
I also have a couple of school football team photographs. 1 is from about 1958 and includes Eddie Davis, Dave Griswood and John Townsend who also played football for the Old Boys at some time. Another one is from 1961, when Jack Frost and Hugh Lindsay run the first team and we nearly beat the Old Boys, the final score being 4-
I am no longer a member of the OTA, I think my membership lapsed when I closed a bank account and forgot to change over my standing order. If you can give me details of whom I should contact to rejoin I would be most grateful.
My current address is
84 Thanet Road
Tel No 01843 586616
With kind regards
Stan, thanks very much and welcome home. Stan’s letter is yet another reason to celebrate the work that Micky Vaughan does for the Club, not just as President of the OTA but also as the Club’s webmaster. Stan is not the only former member who has found his way back into the fold via the website. So well done Mick.
Another change of address I can’t remember whether I included in a previous issue is that of Colin Steere, who can now be found at:-
5 The Courtyard
Uckfield TN22 3QW
Tel: 01825 791229
One other letter I have received since last we met is a tad strange, even by the standards of Old Tenisonians. Many of us I am sure have things we are ashamed of, me more than most but the writer of this letter declined to identify himself nor did he give an address. Once again, he found the website through Google. He did say that his time at the School was not particularly happy but he included a small photograph of Miss Despicht taking a class, at the front of which he identifies a pupil named Barry Scott Douglas. Does that narrow it down for anybody? He also says he may hang around The Cock after next years School Dinners. Whether he will identify himself, who knows?
Ground Company Quiz
Yet another enjoyable and successful quiz evening was held at the ground on Friday 18th November. Compiled and compered by Alan Baker, with help in front of the bar from Vera and Ron Forrest, and behind the bar by Neville Perkins and Paul Kain and others too numerous to mention. Due to the generosity of all present, the Ground Company were, at the end of the evening, better off to the tune of £428.94.
Once again, the quiz was hotly contested but the winners, who, having been runners up for the past three years or so and had thought their best days were behind them, were the Blewer, Brown and Simmons team. I am sure most teams experience similar feelings during the quiz. Moments of humour, pleasure, disappointment, flashes of temper (Brownie, as usual!), sounds like our playing days in a way, doesn’t it ? Thanks again Alan&Co.
Here is one question plucked from each of the nine rounds ( ten questions to a round ).
1. In which sport do players compete for the Swaythling Cup?
2. Who was the first American President to make an official visit to China?
3. The annual Three Choirs Festival comprises the Cathedrals of Worcester, Gloucester and which other Cathedral?
4. What is the name of the stretch of road which runs along the south side of the Thames in-
5. On which beach was the TV programme Baywatch situated?
6. What is the name of David Blunkett’s dog?
7. What is the name of Hercule Poirot’s secretary?
8. Which family of birds does the Jay come from?
9. Other than a model of a car, what is the meaning of the word corniche?
I did not get down to the ground after the Ashes started so I have little or no idea what sort of season our lads had. It seemed that days passed when I was glued to the telly from 11.00 to 6.00 I doubt that I was alone in that. Many years ago, I was in a pub with Brownie, enjoying a lunchtime pint. A man came in, ordered a pint of bitter, took a mouthful and complained to the barman about the beer. The barman, who we knew as quite a dry wit, replied…’What do you expect for 89 pence, thunder and lightning!’ Well thunder and lightning was what we seemed to get from almost every day of the series, perhaps with the exception of the Saturday at the Oval and of course that was the day I had a ticket for. As Alan Ewart pointed out to me, Saturday at the Oval was what Test cricket used to be like and he was absolutely right.
I’ve subsequently learned Eddie Boyle saw all five days, Steve Simmons went on the Friday along with Mick Myerson and Patrick and I joined Patrick and Steve for the Saturday. I am sure a few more of you were pleased to pay up to watch us take the Ashes back after so long. Joan and I went to dinner with Mick and Christine Myerson on the Monday evening. It was the day before my birthday and Mick presented me with a commemorative mug. Inside the mug were some ashes, which he charged me to return to Australia for the next series. Unfortunately Joan was not aware of this scenario and when she came to make me a mug of tea a few days later, she chucked the ‘muck’ in the bottom of the mug away without realising the significance of the contents. Que sera sera!
Unfortunately, Jim Butcher has a lot on his plate at the moment and hasn’t been able to submit his regular 1st XI report but here is Micky Vaughan’s for the 2nd XI.
2ndXI Report 2005
A disappointing start to the season at Horley, all out for 87, Mick scoring 30. Horley made it look so very easy, rattling up the runs in quick time for the loss of just one wicket.
Much better batting against Southbank the next week, scoring 214 for 5, Joe Wallis getting 46, Mick 45 and John Munden 38*. Sadly our bowling didn’t match up to it and the opposition were able to score 217 for 4 very easily.
The next week against Croydon was no better, being bowled out cheaply for 54 and Croydon having little difficulty in scoring the runs.
The side managed to easily beat a poor Englefield Green, Oz scoring his maiden fifty in the Fullers and Gary Parsons 44 helping T’s to 241. Barry Mercer took 5 for 16 as Englefield were all out for 73.
At Hazlemere the next week, a fine 68 * from Will Lingard and 39* from John Halsey ensured a reasonable total of 167 for 3 on a difficult track. Barry Mercer 3 for 40 and Jeremy Borgust 3 for 23 reduced the opposition to 119 for 8. However T’s could not take the final wickets and had to settle for a winning draw.
The weather started to improve by the second week into June and the visitors Merstham struggled to 184 for 9 on a decent wicket at Motspur. Vic, playing his only game for the 2nd XI scored 82 and helped by John Halsey ensured T’s scored 185 for 5 to win by 5 wickets.
Staines and Laleham were the next opponents and scored 184 for 9. James Varney taking 3 for 28. Our batting was not up to the task and we were bowled out for just 70.
A miserable game, in dismal conditions against Hampton Wick Royal saw the opposition bat first and score 237 for 5. Dropping 9 catches did not help our cause at all. Hampton then tried to bowl us out with too much short stuff and never tried to induce a result.
So Oz’s 30 in as many overs and John Halsey’s defiant 36, followed by Paul Kain’s match saving 2* in 16 overs ensured a boring draw.
Away to Westfield the following week and a much more interesting game. Barry Mercer scored 50, Paul Kain and John Munden both scoring belligerent 30’s in T’s total of 206 for 7. Westfield never looked like scoring the runs and were all out for 109, Dez Emanaus 3 for 34 and Barry 3 for 5.
Home to Stoke D’Abernon the next week and the opposition scored 222 for 8, Dez taking 4 for 48. T’s hang on for a draw at 152 for 9, Paul Power scoring 30.
Home again, against Ottershaw the visitors scored 232 for 5. Barry taking 4 for 75. Once again T’s survive with 132 for 8 a draw, Mick scoring 41.
The third home game on the trot saw a change of fortunes, T’s scoring 197 against Old Sutts. Joe Wallis (62) and Paul Powell (34) and then bowling them out for 147, John Munden taking 5 for 16, a welcome win.
At Long Ditton the following Saturday, T’s bowled out the home side for 192. A brisk 78 from John Munden, 35* from Joe Wallis and a patient 50* from Oz saw T’s to victory when the Long Ditton skipper conceded in the drizzle. Their bowlers had only turned up with trainers and could stand up in the damp conditions. The result was subject to an inquiry by the league and was allowed to stand.
A very good performance against top side Wandgas resulted in a narrow defeat for T’s by just 19 runs. Barry Mercer took 5 for 42 to help bowl the visitors out for just 157. Richard Marshall played his only game of the season and scored 22, Paul Kain scored 28 but T’s fell 19 runs short.
What turned out to be the last game of the season was a washed out game at Caterham. Invited to bat T’s struggled at 30 for 4, until Barry Mercer (48) and Oz (35* in 55 overs) batted well to take the score to 148 for 8. Sadly the rain won and the game was abandoned at tea.
The following Saturdays’ game was cancelled because of heavy rain on the previous day.
A decision which was questioned by several T’s players and the opposition, one of whom actually travelled from Worplsdon to inspect the pitch himself! The league also made enquiries as to the condition of the ground, as this was the only game to be cancelled that weekend.
The following week added further suspicions to the league as we were unable to field a 2ndXI for the last game of the season.
Oz collected the batting award, scoring 283 runs at 23.58 and Barry the bowling award taking 26 wickets at 12.19.
Overall an enjoyable season, sadly however the end of season curry night was also a farewell to “Normy”, who returned home to New Zealand on the 25th October.
He had been with the club for 10 seasons and will be missed. We wish him well in NZ and hope he gets a chance to enjoy some cricket. That’s another player we will need to replace!!
Here’s to the 2006 season.
I am delighted to tell you that former Cricket Club stalwart Brian Lester has been awarded his Surrey Veterans cap. Seeing Brian looking slightly more tanned than usual at a recent OTA committee meeting, I asked him what he’d been up to. He told me he’d gone out as a spectator to a Surrey Veterans tour to South Africa and ended up playing in all five games without killing himself. Well done Brian! No doubt Micky Vaughan will be demanding you surrender your umpires coat and get your bowling boots back on..B.B.
After the last issue of Motspur Mumblings, the Assistant to the Editor Paddy Blewer invited me to write an article on my experiences of umpiring for the Club over the past two seasons. Now, Paddy is a big fellow (so is his Dad!); so an invitation from the Blewer ‘family’ is an invitation that you don’t refuse!
I had been playing cricket for the Old Boys for 45 years when, in the hot summer of 2003, my struggling body told me that it really was time to give up trying to keep wicket for 45 overs and then try to bat for another 45. The message came home unfailingly on Sundays when I creaked around the house, fit for little else except psyching myself up for my usual round of golf on Monday mornings. So the cricket boots were hung up and the white coat was donned.
I had done quite a bit of ‘casual’ umpiring over the years, taking my turn when the team did not have an umpire; and I had taken and passed the basic umpiring course a few years earlier, in preparation for the likely transition from playing to umpiring. All in all, therefore, I was looking forward to umpiring when the 2004 season arrived and approached the responsibility with a reasonable degree of confidence. I was soon to learn how different it was!
My first game was at Horley where the local side were hosts to the OTA First Eleven, who were playing their first game in the Fullers League. I could not believe how nervous I was. It was like Saturday mornings when I used to referee all over again. I didn’t feel like eating; I visited the bathroom more times than I can remember; I checked all my gear about six times; I checked out the route several times (it was a ground I had not visited before); and I arrived about an hour and a half early! I couldn’t wait for the game to start.
It was a bit like waiting to go in to bat. Nervy until you actually start walking to the crease: then all the nerves disappear. And so it was: well, almost. The game had been totally free from controversy and I was feeling quite relaxed. Horley had scored over 200 and we (I mean “Old Tenisonians”!) were salvaging a draw after losing a lot of early wickets. Then another clatter of wickets brought the last pair together with about six overs remaining. I suddenly found the nerves returning. What if I gave a bad decision which deprived Horley of a deserved victory or the OTA of a hard earned draw? It is a measure of how fiercely I was concentrating that I cannot remember now whether or not we held on for the draw.
Well, I had had my initiation; and I learned a lot from my first season. There is so much that can happen, and often does, that one hundred per cent concentration is essential all the time. It is a bit like being linesman: there is no time to relax and start watching the game as a spectator. The enjoyment and the satisfaction comes afterwards, provided you haven’t made too many mistakes.
And, of course you do make mistakes; every game. You hope that they are not too important and you try to put them quickly out of your mind so that they do not affect your performance for the rest of the match.
I have often recalled a Second Eleven match in which I was playing during my early days in the Club. A batsman of limited ability (who shall remain nameless) was not coping very well with an opposition bowler who was bowling huge away-
Imagine how I felt when, after the game, the batsman told me that he had edged both deliveries!
The moral, and one that I have taken with me for many years, is that it is not always a simple matter to know for certain what happened 22 yards away. I still find decision on catches at the wicket the most difficult, and potentially, the most controversial. Whether you give an LBW appeal out or not out; no one can say for certain whether the decision was correct or not; but the caught-
Having played most of my later cricket for the OTA Third Eleven in Division 5 of the Kookaburra League, to be umpiring the First and Second Elevens in the higher realms of the Fullers County League was bound to be something of a culture shock for me. For one thing, I had to get used to the amount of ‘chat’ that goes on on the field. Most of this is good natured; and it does seem to be accepted by the players as part and parcel of the game.
What I find less acceptable is the excessive appealing which has permeated from the senior levels of the game. Our own Club is not immune from the player who appeals vociferously (usually for a catch) when he knows that the batsman has not hit it. I imagine that the theory is that the umpire will give one of the appeals ‘out’ if you appeal often enough and loudly enough.
Players do not stop to think through what the effect will be of putting pressure on the umpire in this way. I did succumb to the pressure of constant appealing on one occasion and raised my finger for a catch off the inside edge. I knew as I gave the batsman out that I was not one hundred per cent certain if I was right; and judging by the batsman’s reaction, I was probably wrong. I was upset at having been drawn into making a poor decision; and this simply stiffened my resolve never to fall into the same trap again.
Setting such rare incidents aside, though, I have thoroughly enjoyed my two seasons umpiring. I have derived a great deal of satisfaction from the appreciation shown to me by players from all teams. It takes me back to my refereeing days when I hoped every Saturday that I would have a good game. But above all I enjoyed the respect shown by players who were pleased to have someone without whom the game could not function properly; to recognise that he was trying to carry out that responsibility to the best of his ability; and to accept his decisions with good grace, including the bad ones. I count myself lucky that our Club continues to hold true to all those values. Long may it continue.
I am sorry to report the death of Ronald Tyers who was one of the OTA’s oldest members having attended Archbishop Tenison’s Grammar School from 1934-
I do not think that Mr Tyers had had any contact with the OTA for many years. Our records for him show that he had addresses in Newton Abbot, Kenya and Nottingham before settling in Ottery St Mary in Devon. He was a keen reader of Motspur Mumblings and he still had enough affection for his old School to write to me last year with a donation for the Sports Ground 80th Anniversary Appeal.
Here are some extracts from Mr Tyers’s letter, which are truly reflections of a bygone age:
“ When Captain of Football team in the 1930’s my memory of the showers
is of them being taken with snow falling, as they were open to the sky.
“In the summer, for the first week or two on Wednesday afternoons before we could play a game of cricket, we had to dig out plantains from the ‘sacred’ pitch.
“I was one of the first of Dr Robinson’s [the Headmaster] Cadet Corps. We had a most interesting tour of Belgium with other Cadet Corps, which was arranged by Dr Robinson, with Mr Husband our Captain.
“We also had privilege places in Westminster Abbey for the Empire Youth Service and on the Embankment for the Coronation procession in 1937.”
Mr Tyers concluded by sending his greetings to all Old Tenisonians. We send our condolences to his wife Peggie in her loss.
I’m sure you would also like to join me in passing our condolences to David “Taff” Evans and all his family on the death of Taff’s father. I know that a number of Taff’s OT pals and partners were present at the funeral and I subsequently learned that the singing at the funeral and then at the wake was lead by a full Welsh choir which had passers by trying to find out what this wondrous noise was all about. B.B.
1. Table tennis
2. Richard Nixon
4. Albert Embankment
7. Miss Lemon
9. Coastal road
Johnny Haynes and George Best died within a few months of one another. Most of you will remember Johnny Haynes was the nations first ever £100 a week footballer, captain of his country and perhaps, one of the finest passers of the ball the game in this country has seen. I was reminded that he took over from Dennis Compton to become the second ‘Brylcream boy’ and surprised to learn that in the early sixties, Johnny Haynes was often photographed with a young starlet on his arm.
I know it sounds ridiculous but I can’t remember if I saw George Best play in the flesh. Obviously if I did it was one of his quieter games. Fortunately, there was so much TV coverage of his life and career you would have had to have lived on the remotest of islands never to have heard of George Best. I must also confess to being one of those dads’ that have given the odd present knowing that I would get at least as much pleasure out of it as the recipient. So it was that Patrick’s first ever football video was a BBC compilation of ‘Charlton, Law and Best’. Truly the gift that keeps on giving, although unfortunately, their brilliance was not transferable.
Naturally there have been many photographs of George but the ones that struck me more than the posed ones were those taken whilst in full flight, a tribute to both snapper and snappee. I know we’ve got tape and digital ‘stuff’ but I felt these photos clearly showed his incredible balance and grace. With his array of skills and bravery he was perhaps the most complete footballer I have ever seen.
Football Club Report
The season has got off to a relatively good start for all four teams and I’ve had the opportunity to look at all our teams.
The 1stXI have had mixed results but hope for better things when some of the new blood in the squad settles in. It is particularly pleasing for me to see the Sellick brothers playing, as they played there first season in the Club under mine and Ronnie Byrne’s management. Matt and Kev’, I know that the country yokel jokes are wearing a little thin, but did The Worzels ever make a Christmas Album? Skipper John Peers is doing a great job and its fingers crossed for the future.
The 2ndXI are using the tried and tested combination of youth and experience. From a recent game I watched, this policy already looks to be paying handsome dividends. I believe the final result of the Cup game I saw was 8-
The 3rdXI seem to be pretty much unchanged from previous seasons and are still turning in good results, a penalty shoot out seeing them through to the next round of the Cup. The Duraglit Company have once again been saved from extinction, Terry Smith and “Taff” Evans picking up the silverware for last years league campaign. I recently witnessed a post match analysis, together with player ratings, given by Kevin McCarthy and Terry Smith. These occasions have long been part of the theatre of the Club and the Eurovision Song Contest would look on in amazement at some of the tactical markings allotted by the aforementioned duo. Who am I to accuse these two of skulduggery and gamesmanship, with their record of service and achievement, keep it up guys and enjoy every game. Nice to see Johnnie Pearce score a goal. A bit of a rarity these days, I understand.
Last but by no means least, “Big Ted’s Blue and White Army”, the 4thXI. Results have been going well. It is good to see Shrek (Robbie) and Johnny Rotten (Nick), at last, maturing into the players that some of us knew they could be. The squad has been strengthened by the addition of Tom Shearn and on occasions, Welsh Rugby matches, Charlotte Church concerts and Eisteddfods permitting, Taffy Evans. Ted, you and the boys know that my heart is always with you and my drinking arm will be with you whenever the opportunity presents itself. You are doing a great job Ted and it doesn’t go unnoticed
Thanks too to Ashley and Amy for doing such a great job of the catering. Without you and the work you do, the ground is a less welcoming place.
In closing I must remind everyone that it is of vital importance that we continue to move the Club forward. We seem to be finally turning the corner from the sorry events of the close season. It is vital that this momentum is maintained. I know that I still have a lot to do as Chairman. I do not seem to be able to convince some individuals of the importance of face to face meetings. Texting, e-
I hope that every member feels they have a stake in the future of the Football Club and I will always make myself available to anybody who has any suggestions as to how we can improve any aspect of the Club. We are still looking at the affordability of a Sky package, the Cricket Club have received an offer through Surrey County Cricket Club which may be slightly discounted to those that are generally available, I’ll keep you in touch.
Enjoy the rest of the season.
Football Club Chairman.
Thank you very much Keith.
Peter Langford recently bumped into Pam Bowers in downtown Wallington. Pam was in good nick and asked to remembered to all her old friends.
News of a couple of stalwarts who have turned up in, perhaps, unexpected places. I’m sure I am not the only one to notice that there is a Baines playing left back for Wigan at the moment. He was looking in great nick when I last saw him but it can’t be easy playing in the Premiership in your mid-
Should you go to the Barbican Concert Hall on the 27th June 2006 you will be able to hear a concert performance of Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni’. Singing the role of Il Commendottore is a certain Signor Parodi. It is all over! The fat fella is singing.
On the way out of the concert Joan and I attended at the Barbican where I came upon the above information, we managed to lose one another. This sort of thing happens all the time when one leaves a crowded auditorium ( at least that’s my excuse ). Earlier this year we became separated whilst leaving a theatre. When I caught up with her, she was chatting away with Janet Street-
On a more sombre note, I’m sure you will all join me in wishing Phil Unwin, perhaps the best player ever to wear the blue and white, a swift and full recovery from a malignant tumour which was discovered during a routine examination. I understand that the ensuing surgery has been successful and at the time of writing, Phil is undergoing a course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. B.B.
No J.P.Morgan or Andrew Carnegie or N.M.Rothschild or any of their ilk have ever one a single draw in the 150 Club. Here are the most recent members to join the OTA plutocracy.
Thanks to all of you who continue to support the Association through membership of the 150 Club. Your generosity is much appreciated. But should you feel that you can never have too much of a good thing, please feel free to buy more shares by sending me any multiple of £12 which will undoubtedly offer you a better chance of becoming a bit closer, in financial terms, to any of the above.
September 2005 December 2005
Special Prize £50 19 D.G.Baker Special £100 124 Mrs.J.Daws
1st Prize £25 53 R.Huntley 1st Prize £50 54 S. Mitchell
2nd Prize £15 10 Mrs.B.Clark 2nd Prize£30 114 J.W.Baker
3rd Prize £10 86 R.J.Clifton 3rd Prize £20 63 D.Bryant
Congratulations to all the winners, but don’t forget, there are no losers in this Club!
58 Feering Hill
Finally, don’t forget School Dinners! I’ll give you the date again, its Friday 28th April. Just do it!
That’s your lot for now playmates. Thanks as always, to Brian for producing and Alan for forwarding this ‘drivel’ to you. Just two more issues to go before I pass on the red pen, so if you have anything you want to get off your chest, please direct your pigeons to any of the following addresses.
As yet nobody has put down their marker to take on the none to onerous task of editing the Mumblings. I obviously think that this is a job well worth doing and once again appeal to all and any of you that feel you would be prepared to give it a go. Please contact either myself or any other officer of the Club.
Here’s hoping you all have a smashing Christmas and a great New Year.
286 London Road
Tel.No. 0208 647 4670