“Backwatersman”, the author of this blog, is, at the time of writing, 54 years old and a member of Leicestershire County Cricket Club. He has a partner who is quite indifferent to cricket and a daughter who enjoys watching it in fine weather, but is now away at University in Kent. His father was a very good cricketer, a talent the author largely failed to inherit, though he has inherited his love of the game, a very decent collection of old Playfairs and various items of MCC regalia, none of which he is entitled to wear.
The first cricketer to capture his imagination was Colin Milburn, the most recent James Taylor. He has high hopes of finding another, an ambition he pursues whenever possible at Grace Road, the County Ground, Northampton and various club and village grounds, mostly in the East Midlands. This blog is chiefly an account of that search.
The author is a believer in the Spirits of Cricket.
13 thoughts on “About the Author”
In the late 1940’s I was privileged to see Dennis Compton play in a benefit cricket match at Mkt Harborough. Would you happen to know how I can obtain confirmation of this game? Having recently returned to the town after 60 years away, none of my old school mates still with us can remember the game.
Hello Tony. I was about to quote this http://liberalengland.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/denis-compton-john-fothergill-and.html as evidence, but then I realised that it was taken from your own book! I think your best bet for finding out details of the match would be to go to the local library and have a look at the copies of the Harborough Mail I believe they have (on microfilm?). If you’d like to come down to watch Harborough play next season there are various old photos and newspaper clippings on the walls of the pavilion which might have something about Compton, or perhaps one of the older members might be able to remember the game. You’d be very welcome there anyway, of course. It’s still a pleasant ground and quite a decent standard of cricket. If I find out anything more about Compton I’ll let you know.
Best wishes “BW”
I think the match in question was played on 3rd July 1949, and was a match played as part of Paddy Corrall’s benefit, and have pictures to prove it!
Just belatedly come across your replies for which I thank you very much. I will certainly be paying a visit to Harborough CC where I once played as a boy. Fond memories of George Plowman, Eric Reeves etc. Proud member of MCC since 1971
Look forward to seeing you. Not too long to go now!
Stumbled over yr blog. Love yr photos and sly sense of humor about following the less fashionable counties. I live in Chicago but keep up with the county game thru cricinfo and BBC commentaries. Native of Hollowell, Northants–grandma lived in Arthingworrh. My first experience of county cricket was the Bank Holiday game Northants-Leicester August 1950. Sat in old football stand at Wantage Rd and saw Les Berry score a ton. Berry of course was a Harboro man. I garther from blog u hale from around there.
Hi, Mark – thanks very much for your kind comments & delighted you’re enjoying it. Chicago must seem a long way from dear old Wantage Road. Yes, I live in Harborough (Little Bowden) now, though I was actually born in Kettering. My Dad used to watch Northants as a boy in the early 50s too, so you may have been rubbing shoulders in the old stand. Somewhere I’ve got his old autograph book, full of great names such as Vince Broderick, Bert Nutter and Ken Fiddling (not necessarily great players, but certainly great names). Best wishes & I hope you’ll keep reading.
Just got back from UK where I was staying with a friend in Nottingham. Trent Bridge has this wonderful cricket library of around 20,000 volumes–All Wisdens and every other cricket book ever written. It is run by a remarkable fellow Wynne-Thomas by name who has written many books on cricket–he is President of the club this year. He has just completed a biography of Arthur Carr the Notts and England Captain who among other things was the central figure in Alec Waugh’s “the Bloom of Youth”. Carr, of course, was one of the architects of the Bodyline Tour. He also was present at the Battle of Mons, was wounded on the Aisne when his dead horse crushed him. He was sacked from Eton for betting on the nags, but finished his schooling at Sherborne where Alec Waugh knew him. In WWII he ran off with his COs wife, and lived with her “in Sin” because his own wife would not grant him a divorce. He ended up in North Yorkshire training race horses–his father was a keen racing and hunting man. Wynne-Thomas has mentioned all this in the book. However, I suggested to him that Carr was such a character that he should try a more “life and times” book and he should flush out all the hunting, racing, boozing, and womanizing, as well as all the cricket stuff, to make the book have a broader audience. W-T is 84 and I fear he won’t have the energy to do this kind of revision. Whatever he does, he will produce a fine book.
Again, I want to congratulate you on the fine blog. I loved yr visit to Desborough and the photos of bucolic rural A6 area. You were much earlier than anyone else on the potential of Duckett–the Times did an article last Monday on him. Your most recent post on Northants v Glam was first rate.
Please continue to produce yr blog both in winter and summer. It is unique–many congratulations.
Thanks again for your kind comments, Mark. I hope to continue writing through the winter (when I’ll certainly have the time), though I’m not quite sure what form it will take yet.
I have visited the library at Trent Bridge when I’ve been there to watch cricket – only wish I lived near enough to use it on a regular basis (Grace Road did have a small library once, but I think it’s mostly been disposed of).
Carr was an interesting character, as were a lot of players of that era, and I agree that a biography that looked at his life outside cricket would make for a good read. Someone wrote one on those lines about Lionel Tennyson a few years ago, and I’m sure there are plenty of other candidates for that kind of treatment.
No-one who’s watched Northants play this season could really miss Duckett’s talent. I’ve been hearing about how promising he is for several years now, so it’s gratifying to see him in full bloom, as it were. I hope the selectors (and public) persevere with him, if he doesn’t quite come off for England straight away – though that would, of course, mean that I shouldn’t be able to see him at Northants much anymore!
With relevance to one of your earlier posts, do you perhaps know where on can obtain copies of the old tv series in which Patrick Campbell featured?
I’m sorry, Garth, but I don’t think I can help you. As far as I know, the early series of CMB have never been issued on video or DVD. Presumably the BBC would have copies, and there may be some copies in private collections – you could try asking the person who originally posted the clip on YouTube, who may own one of them.
May I send you an article for your blog? About wandering cricket in the Thames valley 50 years ago?
Hello, Robin. I must admit that I’ve never published anyone else’s writing on the blog, but I’m certainly open to the idea. Would you like to send it to me at email@example.com and I’ll see what I can do. Your piece sounds like the kind of thing my readers would be interested in, so I shall look forward to reading it. I can’t offer you a huge readership, I’m afraid!