Hayes Cricket Club history page

Recollections of Hayes Cricket Club – (Early years & 1920‘s)

Recollections of Hayes Cricket Club (Early Years & 1920‘s)

Narrative by Pam Green

 
Previous to the twenties and thirties, cricket was the game very much organised by the landed gentry, although some peasants were allowed to play and shoulder the work.
We have very few records of that period apart from a game recorded versus the “Gentlemen of Uxbridge” in 1797.  The two photographs on the left are the earliest we have and depict the club well before the First World War.

The pavilion was sited in the corner of the field that nowadays fronts the Beck Theatre.  I recall older relatives saying that the cows had to be transferred to another field and their pats removed before play could start. The changing facilities were primitive with no running water, flushing toilets or showers. Water was carried from where the existing pavilion now stands. They used a water-tap that stood behind the garage block belonging to one of the two cottages that fronted the ground. 

That didn’t deter the serving of tea and sandwiches to the players and spectators as can be seen from the photograph.

Hayes has always been a family club.  The three Greenhead brothers played regularly during this decade as did the Beakhouse boys.  Some present day members have ancestors who played   then, notably the Wilson/Waite/Westgarth/Cooper and Gilham/ Mansfield/Green clans.  Family trees will be in the club archives.  Thankfully the trend carries on today. 

The pictures on the right show Major Shuter, a local landowner, laying the foundation stone for the ‘new’ wooden pavilion that stood to the right of the old one in the same corner. One figure easily recognised by his stance, hand in pocket, is Bernard Greenhead, a son of one of the Greenhead brothers.  

Among the workers taking a well-deserved break are Vic Roberts with his son John in front, Frank Hammond, Frank Beakhouse and Harry Bastable.


Group 1 ( Early century years 1920’s)

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Group 1 ( Early century years 1920’s)

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Group 1 ( Early century years 1920’s)

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Group 1 ( Early century years 1920’s)

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Recollections of Hayes Cricket Club - 1930‘s

Recollections of Hayes Cricket Club - 1930‘s 
 
Narrative by Pam Green

The members held a dinner-dance at a venue in Uxbridge, which is now a night club, to raise money for the new pavilion.  A copy of the menu on that occasion exists in the club archives. 

It was so well supported that this became an annual event.

Vic Roberts, a local builder, who had connections with Taylor Woodrow probably oversaw the project.  The new wooden pavilion was raised off the ground by means of supporting brick pillars. As children we used to lose our balls regularly and have to crawl underneath the pavilion to retrieve them.

It was much grander than the previous one having larger changing rooms, one on each side, with a view of the cricket in progress.  A flight of wooden steps led to the verandah, where the scorers sat, and main reception area.  The toilets were still chemical and housed behind the pavilion in a separate block. 

 The members were very proud of their achievement and a special match was arranged to mark the opening gala day. 

The old pavilion became the canteen.  Old Mrs Wilson, Fred’s mother and Gerry’s grandmother,

did the catering. Her husband was the verger at St Mary’s church

which can be seen from the ground.

 Do you recognise anyone in the photographs?  I can pick out Vic Roberts, Jack Palmer, Harry Bastable, Frank Beakhouse and a very young Charlie Gray.

 In later years Charlie was a regular slow bowler for the twos.  He once went out to bat holding up an umbrella as it was pouring with rain!!

Group 2 (1930’s)

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Group 2 ( 1930’s)

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Group 2 ( 1930’s)

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Group 2 ( 1930’s)

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Recollections of Hayes Cricket Club - 1940‘s

Recollections of Hayes Cricket Club - 1940‘s 
 
Narrative by Pam Green

Fixtures were suspended during the later years of the war.  Almost all playing members were away on war service. We children used the field as a playground at that time.  At the end of the war VE celebration parties were held throughout the land.

People who lived in the vicinity of the club attended the one in the cricket field.

On resumption of fixtures local residents showed a great interest.  The top picture on the left depicts part of the six thousand spectators who watched a Hayes versus Middlesex benefit match. In one such match a young teenager, Doug Higgins, made a spectacular fifty and subsequently was asked to turn out for Middlesex seconds.  Three-tiered wooden benches stood in front of what is now the botanical gardens. These were often full.  During the game cricketers went round with the collecting box for people to put in their pennies, three-penny pieces or sixpences.  If someone put in a shilling we were over the moon!

 The air-raid shelter in the school playground was a good vantage point for us youngsters from which to watch Hayes’ big hitters.  When Bert Calverley came in there was a rush to get there first.  He often hit the ball right over the school roof into the allotments on the far side of church walk (now part of the townhall park).  He originally held the record for the highest individual score of 176, made away in the fifties at the Aladdin Ground, Greenford, where he hit the ball into the traffic on the A40.

Billy Flood was an outstanding spin bowler then. With Vic Roberts keeping and Bill Allibone umpiring he achieved his hundred wickets a season regularly.  He took ten wickets for thirteen runs against London Transport at Osterley in 1947 and was selected to play for the Club Cricket Conference. In both team photographs he is third from the right. 

Hayes versus Hayes football club is on the left and Middlesex on the right.

 Each Sunday morning players gathered at the club to roll the wicket with the heavy roller.  It took at least six men to move it.  When Eric Frewer was groundsman everyone helped with the ground maintenance.


                     

Group 3 (1940’s)

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Group 3 ( 1940’s)

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Group 3 ( 1940’s)

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Group 3 ( 1940’s)

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Recollections of Hayes Cricket Club - 1950‘s

Recollections of Hayes Cricket Club - 1950‘s
Narrative by Pam Green

In this era there were regular fund raising benefit matches with Middlesex, London Counties, and Hayes football club.  Jack Young brought a Middlesex team shown with the Hayes players on the left. Leslie Compton is standing in the back row behind Stan Greengrass. His brother Dennis goes out to start his innings with Ann Schofield scoring and a packed enclosure. 

We had fun as youngsters returning empty bottles from the spectators and pocketing the two pence refund!! 

Another regular fixture was the away match at Folkestone.  On one occasion in late May, a snow shower stopped play!  In the front row of the photograph, wearing a blazer, is Peter Clayton whose first wicket stand with Bob Gower of 256 is still a club record but only just.  A ten-wicket win in 2008 versus Finchampstead with Steve Cooper partnering Simon Green was just seven runs short. 

Chris Lewinton is at the back second from the right. He has since been knighted.  Just in front of Chris is Bill Blanchett with Derek Green to his right.

 The wooden pavilion was burnt down by a suspected arson attack that destroyed the wooden structure. 

Again, members set too laying the foundations. But this time these were set nearer to the cottages

 The nissan hut became the new pavilion. It cost the club £125 and remained in place from 1950 till 1966. 

The changing rooms and toilets behind the hut had showers and flushing loos. 

We now had our own bar and didn’t have to go to the Black Horse or Queen’s Head to entertain the opposition after the match.

Group 4 (1950’s)

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Group 4 ( 1950’s)

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Group 4 ( 1950’s)

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Group 4 ( 1950’s)

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Recollections of Hayes Cricket Club - 1960‘s

Recollections of Hayes Cricket Club - 1960‘s
Narrative by Pam Green


Before league fixtures started all games were friendlies. 

We had regular opponents and great rivalries developed.  One such team was Bill Kitchener’s XI from Friern Barnet in North Middlesex pictured on the top right. If we lost the cricket match we made up for it in the bar afterwards. Sometimes the games finished very early and there was time for a beer match with each player, including the wicket-keeper, bowling one over.  On occasions even the scorer had an over!  Cricket in those days was a very sociable pastime!

 

Behind the team in the top photograph is the old Dr Triplett’s school now demolished and replaced first by a residence for elderly people but now a small housing development.

Derek Green, top left, was another powerful hitter. In a game at Kenton he scored over 30 runs in the last over to win the match!

 

We had a good reputation for cricket teas.  Most of the cricketers’ wives helped when available and relaxed during the evening session of play. The picture bottom left shows Irene Scott, Val Beakhouse, Pam Green and Doreen Westgarth who attends to one of the youngsters.

 

The team on the right is a regular first team from those days.  Two of them, Gerry Wilson and Bill Higginson, joined Lord’s ground staff where they developed coaching careers; Gerry with Somerset and Millfield and Bill with Middlesex and Dulwich College.

  

Ted Vance was the club secretary at this time and through his connections with the Labour Council we were able to rent a brand new brick pavilion with ultra-modern facilities.  This can be seen behind the team in the top right-hand picture.  It incorporated a purpose-built score-box to the right.  A team of past players was invited to play against the current first eleven to mark its opening.  From left to right standing are Charlie Kelf, umpire, Derek West, Mick Pilditch, Bill Higginson, Roger Calverley, Cliff Orchard, Bobby Smith, Harold Schofield, umpire, and Brian Oriss. Sitting are Bert Calverley, Vic Roberts, Gerry Wilson and Dennis Mansfield.

Group 5 (1960’s)

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Group 5 ( 1960’s)

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Group 5 ( 1960’s)

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Group 5 ( 1960’s)

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Recollections of Hayes Cricket Club - 1970‘s

Recollections of Hayes Cricket Club - 1970‘s
Narrative by Pam Green

 By the early seventies we had a flourishing colt’s section several of whom graduated to the senior teams. Bobby Smith, batting in the top left photograph, and Nigel Joyner, non-striker, were two such players. Dave Sanders, stand –in umpire was another.

The Russell’s farm cottage, which stood at the point where all fields merged and was later demolished, can be seen to the left of the photograph.

Brian Eastwood was the colt’s coach in those days along with other senior players who could make Sunday mornings.  Some youngsters made it into the various age group Middlesex teams.  Jason Fenn and Guy Green from that picture did so. 

Do I recognise a shy young Kevin Painter sitting on the far right?

The bottom right photo is of the first team towards the end of the seventies.

The family connections are still apparent with umpire Frank Beakhouse and nephew

Stephen in the back row and Jack Keeler with son Martin scoring.

 The seventies also saw the beginning of league cricket.

Hayes joined the Middlesex Cricketers League.

Group 6 (1970’s)

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Group 6 ( 1970’s)

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Group 6 ( 1970’s)

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Group 6 ( 1970’s)

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Recollections of Hayes Cricket Club - 1980‘s

 Recollections of Hayes Cricket Club - 1980‘s
 
Narrative by Pam Green

The eighties saw a flourishing Hayes Cricket Club.

Acquiring Grassy Meadow gave the third and fourth teams their own ground.  To celebrate the opening, a match between past and present players was organised – the photograph top right.

This was umpired by Jack Palmer and Fred Wilson with Geoff Allwork, Alan Beakhouse, Don Linsell, Mick Pilditch, Laurie Westgarth, Clive Haddock, Joe Snelling, Owen Schofield, B. Lewis, Roger Calverley, Ron Crouch, Dennis Mansfield, Eric Dallow, Brian Fenn, Bert Calverley, Frank Beakhouse, Peter Kyle, Martin Haddock, Jack Keeler and Bill Blanchett playing.

The youth policy of encouraging colts paid off as can be seen by the bottom left photograph

Many of the youngsters played in the 1983 end of season club match.

Hayes became champions in 1985, 1988 and 1989 before moving on to the Thames Valley League.

Trophies came in regularly.  The picture above, shows a trophy we won in a Middlesex six-a-side tournament.  We went on to represent the county in the national tournament when we one our first match but then lost the next one.  Four of the players in the photograph turned out for us regularly in 2008 although they were of course a lot slower in the field!

Ray Wallis, one of our qualified umpires, is on the right wearing a bow-tie. His son Keith is the chap with the moustache sitting in the front row.

Simon Green wrested the honour of the highest individual score from Bert Calverley, with 179 in 1988 against Langleybury at Hayes only to be superceded by Stuart ‘Smudge’ Welch who scored 207 not out in 1996 against Hillingdon at Coney Green. This record still stands today.
                     

Group 7 (1980’s)

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Group 7 ( 1980’s)

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Group 7 ( 1980’s)

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Group 7 ( 1980’s)

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