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Nether Whitacre Cricket Club

 Cow Pats and Cricket Bats by Maurice Barnett ©.

Chapter Seven

Chapters: [Introduction] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [Appendix]

After The War Was Over - Back To the Ball

A General Meeting at the Swan in November 1946 resolved to make the arrangements to re-commence play at the beginning of the next season.

A new committee was formed:-
Messrs. H Harrison, E Crossland, A Arnold, C Price, F Johnson, W Pinfold and M Barnett.

Match Secretary M Barnett
Treasurer & Secretary (Elected Later) J Upton & J Pinfold respectively.

It was confirmed that Mr Dade (who rented the field for grazing purposes) and Mr Hughan would put the ground at our disposal, rent to be decided later. The annual subscription was 10/- .

The election of Jack Upton as Secretary at a time when 'so many threads needed picking up' was of considerable benefit to the Club. He continued to hold this position with great efficiency for the next nine years.

The Upton family were conspicuous workers in the late forties and early fifties. Mrs Upton (Senior) provided teas in a second-hand wooden garage we picked up 'for a song' and Roger expending his energy and vocabulary on starting our 'new' second-hand Dennis Motor Mower and when ultimately successful, mowing the field for twenty-five bob a cut.

Not only did the Cricketers commence operations in 1946, the Football Club was also reborn. It was considered a good idea by some for the two clubs to combine. this was ratified at a meeting in 1947.

The amalgamation prompted the decision to use the Cricket Ground for football once more and did not help foster much enthusiasm from the cricketing fraternity towards their new sporting colleagues. Fortunately, the ground was only used for one season (a very wet one!). The wicket did not really recover from its winter mauling for several seasons.

Propitiously, the cricketers out numbered the footballers at a subsequent meeting and the abortive alliance was terminated and peace once more reigned, as the Football Club went over the bridge to Walley's field to the mutual benefit of both sides.

From that time onwards we have been able to nurture the wicket throughout the close season, much to the gratification, no doubt, of those batsman who were to face a battery of Whitacre fast bowlers second to none in our class of cricket, in the fifties and sixties.

As to be expected the pavilion needed much renovation after the War and our funds were low. Nevertheless we were able to celebrate our resurrection by opening the 1947 season in May at Ward end Unity, with our pre-war kit - carefully preserved by Arthur Bayliss. We lost - a result which predominated throughout that season.

There was a game which we were confident about, however. Jack Upton had arranged a fixture with what he described as a small club the other side of Atherstone, Sheepy Magna. We arrived there by Austin Seven (Jack's) and taxi and were ushered to the dressing room - wash house in a neighbouring cottage. if I remembered rightly our opponents came already changed.

'Changed' is a questionable definition because many of us on both sides were still suffering from the restrictions of limited clothing coupons (or points) and consequently had to make do with plimsolls, Greg trousers, near white shirts and pre-war relics. There was a duck pond between the wicket and the boundary and the pitch was in a similar state to ours - rough.

They batted first - I'm not sure of the details but their score was low - in the forties I vaguely remember, a score which we had no doubt, we would pass easily. A slightly built chap, wearing a trilby hat, with blue serge trouser bottoms tucked into his socks and a knowing look on his face, opened the bowling. I'll swear he did himself up to kid us. He tossed the ball up, it span like a top and made us look like a bunch of idiots and we were soon all back in the wash - house, thoroughly licked. It served us right. Whenever I hear the phase 'whitewashed' I think of Sheepy Magna.


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