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Nether Whitacre Cricket Club

 Cow Pats and Cricket Bats by Maurice Barnett ©.

Chapter One

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

Beginnings

 

1887 was not just 'any ordinary year', it was in fact the centenary of the M.C.C. formed in Dorset Square, London, on Thomas Lord's ground in 1787 (and subsequently moved to St Johns Wood in 1814).

Queen Victoria had reigned for fifty glorious years, we believe it was in the wake of the village jubilee celebrations that local sportsmen (having had more than a hundred years to think about it) formally established Nether Whitacre Cricket Club.

Nether Whitacre C.C. were almost certainly in existence prior to 1887, although the Club may have disbanded in the early 1880's to be 'officially' reformed in 1887. There are records of occasional matches played by Whitacre men before 1887, details of two such matches against our neighbours Water Orton have been preserved. Unfortunately, there are very few early copies of the local newspapers in existence and only 1875 and 1881 copies are available until 1887. There was no record of the Club in existence in 1875 but some games were played in the early 1880's.


PLAYED AT WHITACRE ON SATURDAY JULY 3rd 1880
MATCH DRAWN

Water Orton    Whitacre
 J Laferelle 
 c 
 Watkins 
 b 
 Clemson 
 1 
    M Howman     
 b 
 Johnson 
 5 
 Sweet 
 c 
 Butler 
 b 
 Cupit 
 4 
   W Keightley     
 b 
 Johnson 
 5 
 F Billing     
 b 
 Cupit 
 5 
   T White     
 b 
 Lafarelle 
 0 
 Johnson 
 c 
 Butler 
 b 
 Watkins 
 21 
   T Clemson     
 b 
 Johnson 
 9 
 S Day 
 c 
 Oldham 
 b 
 Cupit 
 10 
   W Watkins        
 b 
 Johnson 
 1 
 F Billing     
 b 
 Clemson 
 1 
   T Cupit     Not Out     
 4 
 Barber     Run Out     
 3 
   J Brindley     
 b 
 Lafarelle 
 0 
 Edmonds     
 b 
 Watkins 
 3 
   C Dale     Not Out     
 2 
 Reeves     
 b 
 Clemson 
 1 
   J Oldham           
 Morrison    Not Out    
 2 
   W Hayfield           
 Keeling     
 b 
 Clemson 
 1 
   A Butler           
     
         EXTRAS 
10
           EXTRAS 
 5 
 All Out         TOTAL 
 62 
   6 Wickets         TOTAL
 31 

 


PLAYED AT WHITACRE MAY 20th 1882
WHITACRE WON
Whitacre    Water Orton
 C Dale 
 c
 Hansnip 
 b 
 Day 
 18 
    F Billing     
 b 
 Cupit 
 22 
 A Dale 
 c 
 Butler 
 b 
 Day 
 13 
   A Hansnip 
 c 
 Dring 
 b 
 Clemson 
 0 
 Clemson 
 c 
 Billing 
 b 
 Day 
 7 
   A Morrison     LBW 
 b 
 Clemson 
 0 
 Dring     
 b 
 Barton 
 6 
   Linder     
 b 
 Cupit 
 0 
 Cupit       b   Barton 
 5 
   G Dafform   st   Cupit 
 b 
 Clemson 
 4 
 White   c   Linder 
 b 
 Barton 
 4 
   Barton         
 0 
 Sumner     
 b 
 Day 
 1 
   Barber       b   Cupit 
 1 
 Boneham     
 b 
 Day 
 10 
             
 J Smith     
 b 
 Barton 
 5 
             
 Starkey     
 b 
 Day 
 0 
             
 Butler     Not Out     
 5 
   Some of the entries for this Innings are missing.
                         
     EXTRAS     
 32 
       EXTRAS     
 5 
         TOTAL 
 106 
           TOTAL 
 36 

In 1881, a fixture list was recorded - extracts are as follows:-
NETHER WHITACRE C C FIXTURES FOR 1881
(so far as at present arranged) Mr. Edwin Dabbs, Hon. Secretary
 May 7th   Fillongley at Whitacre 
 May 14th   Coleshill Unity at Whitacre 
 May 21st   Meriden at Whitacre 
 June 4th   Coleshill Unity at Whitacre 
 July 23rd   Saltley Unity at Whitacre 
 August 6th   Meriden at Meriden 
 September 10th   Saltley Unity at Whitacre 


Other fixtures were in fact, arranged during the season and notified in the Chronicle:
e.g. August 20th Fazeley St Albans, at Whitacre.


A most incredible score was recorded by Whitacre against Meriden on August 6th 1881:

Since the original publication of this book we have discovered that this feat is not unique in amateur cricket. However it is clear that it does not happen very often anywhere in the world and the Club has the 'dubious honour' of being associated with it. The local Coleshill Chronicle described it as follows:
"In publishing this score, we should imagine that it is unique in the annuals of cricket; it certainly is so far as our experience goes in this district."


  
 Meriden   73 All Out 
 

 Nether Whitacre 


                    
 Oldham 
 c 
 Watson 
 b 
 Hicken   0 
 Smith     
 b 
 Watson 
0
 Greenway     
 b 
 Hicken 
0
 Cupit   c   Fritter 
 b 
 Hicken 
0
 Handscombe     c & b     Watson 
0
 Boonham     
 b 
 Hicken 
 0 
 White     
 b 
 Watson 
0
 Fiefield     
 b 
 Hicken 
0
 Keightley     Hit Wicket 
 b 
 Hicken 
0
 Dabbs     
 b 
 Hicken 
0
 Dale     Not Out     
 0 
           
     EXTRAS     
 0 
         TOTAL 
0


Bowling: Hicken 7 Wkts for 0,   Watson 3 Wkts for 0

Hickens bowling analysis was to be repeated in the mid 1980's by John Mund playing for Nether Whitacre 2nds who took 7 wickets for 0  against  Birch Coppice


Incidentally, on the same day the score between Maxstoke and Over Whitacre was recorded:

Maxstoke 16
Over Whitacre 15

No doubt many, if not all, of the Whitacre cricketers whose names are recorded, played a significant role, in laying a sound and permanent foundation for our Club in 1887.


Evidence from a very early photograph indicates that the following gentlemen of the district also gave their support to this new sporting venture:-   Messrs Potter (Draper), Shingler (Grocer), Swain, Collins (Jeweller), and Whitehouse.

The usual attendance was around ninety people, and profits £4-10-0 or thereabouts. By todays standards this was a huge sum of money.Fund raising was also arranged via whist drives.


A Fixture Card from 1907, the first year on "the new ground"

Unfortunately, our formal club documents are not available prior to 1907 (we have meeting minutes from then onwards) and consequently our account of the first twenty years is somewhat lacking in details and is based on memories of those who knew and conversed with founder members or their friends and relatives.

I recall as a keen ten year old lad, living in the station house, being told by our next door neighbour, retired signalman Tommy Chance, how he and Charlie Dale (platelayer ganger) used to play in the newly formed team on the ground near the Church. It was in fact the field opposite the Old rectory, immediately beyond the cross roads, on the way to 'The Dog Inn' ( and the Church!).

Players, officials and close supporters in those early days, before the turn of the Century are only known from the foregoing evidence, but we do know that from the following played for the Club around 1902:-
Fred Birch, J Houghton, C Dale, Frank Birch, T Birch, T Holl, Sid Birch, L Wech, Walter Birch, T Harrison, Rev. H E Metcalfe, P Welch, W Leighton, J Affleck, ? Hill, R Affleck, W Jerromes.

For some reason the Club did not function in 1906, but operated again the next year under the Chairmanship of Mr F Whitehouse. The President being The Rev. M Metcalfe, Captain W Birch and Secretary/ Treasurer W Jerromes.

Club meetings in the early days were held in The Railway Hotel or the school. The Committee announced on March 19th 1907, when they met at the former venue, that the present ground opposite Coton Road would be hired from Farmer
J Baylis for the sum of £2 per annum for cricket activities. A field well trod and fertilized by grazing cattle- a factor which prevailed as a threat to fingers and flannels until the 1950's.

A generous donation to meet this rent was given by Mr P Barues (Swan Landlord) and numerous Whist Drives (a popular social occasion) were organized to meet the costs of new ground tackle and kit.

 

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