Moulsford Cricket Club

Moulsford Cricket Club History

Historical notes on the Moulsford Cricket Club March 2001

                The Moulsford Village History, which has been in circulation for some years, doesn't appear to mention the Club. From various documents which had been passed to me since I became Secretary in 1973/4, having come to the village in 1972, I attempted to put together a Club history, back in 1992.  I had to rely heavily on discussions and hearsay items. If any person has any details about the Club and its role in Moulsford over the years, or any old Fixture Cards, Scorebooks, Photographs or other 'memorabilia', the Club would be still be very grateful to receive them. They will of course be returned ! I hope I shall get more information so that I can update, improve or even correct this account! I believe this was originally circulated in a Village Newsletter. Although now leaving the Village and the Club, I am still attempting to put the overall records in order.  Allan Newman April 2001

                As I understand it the Club may have existed back in the nineteenth century. The first 'record' we have is a photograph, dated 1910, of a team; outside what I am told is the Barn in Great House Meadow, just East of the A329 on the corner of Ferry Lane. I understand that the Club later played in the area behind the East side of Underhill, between Underhill, North Road and the main A329. Another very important item is the Minute Book of the Moulsford Social Club, starting in 1927. It became the Cricket Club Minute Book after the war. It seems that the Sports and Social Club, as it was now called, closed down around 1936 and that a Meeting of persons interested in re-forming a 'Cricket' Club was called in 1948, when the same book was again used. Together with a Treasurer's Book, which goes from 1927 to 1971, an interesting period of Club and village life up to the 1967 Annual Meeting is apparent - albeit that the writing is proving very difficult to understand! Although I have been Secretary and Treasurer for long periods, it is only now that I hope to have more time and may be able to find more items of significance. The Social Club used to meet at the Recreation Room at Sowberry Court. The Hall (possibly 'Old Hall'?) was used for meetings later and then the School. There may be items in the Parish Council Minutes, which go back to 1895 (as I recall from the time when I was clerk) which can help trace some historical facts about the Club.

                I believe that the Parish Council acquired the land, which is now the Recreation Field, around 1935. The field was used in wartime for growing produce apparently, as were many others. I don't know if it was used for cricket before the war, although we have been told that the ‘old kit shed’, at the back of the recreation ground, was put up by Mr Venables in 1935. Undoubtedly the square was laid extremely well, by Mr Venables, with good drainage and 'Cumberland' turf, etc. There were no problems with grass-cutting , etc., as Mr Venables provided any effort and machinery! One of his workers, who was indisputably the outstanding player over the years, was Ted Wells, who died ~1990. A big-hitting batsman and penetrating bowler who was feared and revered in the district, Ted played for Aldworth before the war and it is to Aldworth C.C. that we are indebted to the first playing records - two scorecards of the Moulsford/Aldworth games in 1936 - they contain a few recognisable village names! Ted was very proud of an inscribed ball, given to him by Aldworth when he took 9 for 16 in a match, including 'six in one over - all bowled'!  I have another sheet, provided by Theale C.C., showing Ted's remarkable performance of taking ten wickets in an innings against them! He won both batting and bowling in Moulsford in the 1961 Season. Present playing records begin with scorebooks from 1966 & Fixture Records exist from 1962. I have my own collection of Fixture Cards from 1973 and I am making a Club Scrapbook of Lists and Cards, etc., from as early as possible.

                Tony Buchan, although a "Cholsey" man, kept the Club going through the late sixties, when it all but collapsed a few times. He died tragically young in 1975, by which time we had a strong Committee and excellent Presidential and Vice-Presidential support. There have been many problems over the years with vandalism, lack of good grass-cutting, rolling, expenses on kit, etc., especially the lack of players from the village itself! The Club used to use the battered old kit shed for everything, including changing! Later teas were at Mrs Clarke's in Underhill or the School (Clock House). When the prefab school classroom was moved to the Recreation Field in approx. 1970-72 it was real luxury to change "in the main - tea room"! Fortunately the later extension in 1975 has further improved matters!

                In 1963  the Clubs we played included Cholsey, Aldworth (who would probably be the oldest opponents as we played them in 1936!), Radley and Basildon of those we were still playing in 1992. Sadly only Radley of those villages still runs weekend teams. Aldworth and Basildon are defunct. Many of the surrounding villages have been unable to continue in this modern age and I feel that Moulsford has a priceless asset of Englishness in having a team. The present players are mainly from out of the village and indeed it is very hard to believe that a village of our size could raise quite a strong side in the past. Although it is true that not many live in the village now, 19 of the potential 31 players available for the Club in 2000 have either lived in Moulsford or had a connection which has lasted for more than ten years. Many were playing over 25 years ago and have remained loyal. When I first came to Moulsford and played for the Club in 1972/3 we could actually get more than eleven players from within the village. General Sir Anthony Farrar-Hockley has been President since 1971 and recently celebrated 30 years of his family’s association with the Club. He has a long military pedigree and has written books about conflicts, notably that in Korea. His eldest son Dair has also commanded the 3rd battalion of the parachute regiment – the first time a father and son had done so. He has been a great supporter of the Club and has provided an annual game since 1971. Tradegy almost struck the family and the village in recent years when a bomb was set in his garden and his grandson was in danger.

                Those of us who are playing for or running the Club in 2000 are very mindful of the heritage of the Club in the village and very much want to see it continue long into this new millennium!

It is understood that the Pavilion Management Committee has strong support from the Parish Council in its plans to increase the size of the main room of the Pavilion for functions, with the possible enlarging of the kitchen and other areas. We hope that the needs of a long established Club, such as Moulsford Cricket Club, will be considered in any future plans for the building and for the positioning of any extra items in the recreation field, where we have played properly organised games for over 50 years. The Club is not hopefully asking for the impossible, but many other Clubs, i.e. Goring, now have some excellent storage, tea, changing and washing facilities. It is possible that grants can be obtained, not only from SODC or the Lotteries Funds, etc., but from some sporting bodies. I don't know how much the Council has looked into this, or indeed whether it would have to be the Cricket Club who applied. There may be limits as to the conditions for such grants in the same way that the Pavilion Management Committee have come up against some snags with the non-charitable trust nature of the building.

The Council has been kind enough to give the Club good security of tenure on the ground over many years. I believe this is documented in various Parish Council Minutes.

The Club is interested in carrying on for the benefit of present and future players of Moulsford and the local area as necessary. It is in our rules and constitution that Moulsford needs come first.

We hope that with the Parish Council's and Pavilion Management Committee’s support some mutual action to improve future facilities at the Pavilion and in the Recreation Field can be made.

Each year the Club runs Fund-Raising events and endeavours to provide improvements in facilities. We aim that the actual playing costs are borne by the players. We have an active President in General Sir Anthony Farrar-Hockley and many Vice-Presidents who support us because we do present them with an annual report on our doings and where the money comes from and goes to.

It is intended that the historical part of this report, which was specially provided for the members of the Parish Council in the Millennium year, can be used to form an up to date historical record.

                                                                Allan Newman, still active in collecting Club Records .

                In  1972 the Playing Subscription was £2, Match Fees and Teas were some 10p and 20p and it was quite expensive to try for a catch and miss it - as it cost you 10p!

                Sub. increases: 1973 - £3 (£1 juniors), 1976 - £5 (£1-50), 1987 - £7-50 (£2), 1991 - £10 (£3)

       Match Fee increases: 1981 - 15p, 1985 - 25p, 1986 - 35p, 1988 - 50p, 1990 - 100p, 1992 - 150p.

Tea increases: 1975 - 20p, 1981 - 50p, 1985 - 75p, 1988 - 100p, 1992 - 150p.

Junior Members have always been approx. half -price Match Fees and Teas!

Since 1973, when the records have been fully processed - I hope to include  back to 1966 soon -

including season 2000, the Club has arranged 731 games at weekends, with 16 2nd XI games in the 70’s and 98 Evening /League games between 1980 and 1992 (A total of 845 games over 28 years).

At weekends we’ve played 584  (80% of those possible) and of these the Club has:

                Won 202 (35%), Drawn 158 (27%), Lost 201 (34%), Tied 4 (1%), Aband. 19 (3%)

with - Aband. No Play 4 (0.5%)  and  Cancelled 143 (19.5%) of those arranged

Between 1973 and 1992 John Bonner scored over 6000 runs and held over 250 catches, he did a lot of bowling during his earlier years. Bryan Parkes has scored over 5000 runs and taken app. 300 wickets.

       David Slade over 4000 runs & 300 wickets.   Allan Newman 1400 runs and over 600 wickets.

I hope these latter can soon be updated from the records I am holding.

                     Apologies for this rather brief and sketchy account! - Allan Newman.

Admin. Changes following Club’s belated 2000 Annual General Meeting:  Club Secretary is now:

Mark Hamilton-Farey, 3A The Pound, Cholsey, Wallingford, Oxon., OX10 9NS. Tel: 01491-652692.

With the Club Chairman and Treasurer:

Bryan Parkes, 41 New Road, Shillingford, Wallingford, Oxon., OX10 7ED. Tel: 01865-858137

Press/Publicity Officer – Adrian Allen, 21 Underhill, Moulsford, OX10 9JH. Tel: 01491-651905