Visit of Ken Palmer and his son, Gary, to the Somerset Cricket Museum

Article contributed by Trustee and Journalist, Richard Walsh.

Former Somerset all rounder Ken Palmer, who is still a very familiar face at the Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton, made a surprise visit to the Museum last month (March 2024), with his son Gary, also a former Somerset Cricketer (photographed with Museum Volunteer Patrick Draycott).

He may not have been born in Taunton, but Ken Palmer has certainly made it home since he first travelled west from his then home at Devizes, although he was born at Winchester in Hampshire where he initially went for a trial.

However it wasn’t to be and instead the highly talented youngster who was more of a batsmen, was signed on after he impressed Harry Parks who was the Somerset coach back in 1954.

Palmer played his early cricket for the Somerset Dragons and the Second XI at the same time as which he spent a lot of time working round the ground sweeping up the stands and picking up the grass mowings.

“That’s how it was back then. We had sandwiches and a bottle of milk for lunch,” he said.

Palmer made his first team debut against Middlesex at Bath in 1955 and gradually became established in the line up.

“After you had got the taste of first team cricket you didn’t want to go back playing for the Seconds anymore.”

However it was Maurice Tremlett, who went onto become Somerset’s first ever professional captain that taught Palmer the art of swing bowling and made him into the successful all rounder he became.

“Maurice Tremlett took me under his wing and helped me a great deal with my bowling. He taught me how to swing the ball out which I couldn’t do at that time.”

Once Ken had mastered that art there was no holding him back and he went onto become a genuine all rounder, which he underlined when in 1961, at the age of 24 he became Somerset first player since the Second World War to achieve the double of 1000 first class runs and 100 wickets in a season.

That summer Palmer played in 32 three day championship matches in which he scored 1036 runs at an average of 25.90, including a best of 125 not out, and bowled 965 overs, 248 of which were maidens and took 114 wickets at an average of 20.32, which included seven games in which he had five or more wicket hauls.

Between 1955 and 1969 Palmer appeared in 302 first class games for Somerset in which he scored over 7500 runs at an average of 20.73 with two centuries and took 837 wickets at a cost of 21.11 each.

His career best innings for Somerset was an unbeaten 125 against Northants at Wantage Road in 1961, while he best bowling figures were nine for 57 at Trent Bridge against Nottinghamshire in 1963- although Palmer reckons the best he bowled was against Lancashire at Old Trafford in 1963 when he took seven for 37, all of which were bowled!k

They don’t make them like Ken Palmer anymore that’s for sure!

The Clock above the Colin Atkinson Pavilion

A bit of research by Paul Baker has uncovered, he believes, that the clock at the top of the Colin Atkinson Pavilion celebrates its centenary this year (2024).

He writes “It previously resided at the top of the old scoreboard which stood, more or less, on the current site of the Colin Atkinson Pavilion, until 1979. It was then moved to its current location. It is the only remnant of the ground from before 1979. The old scoreboard was paid for by a donation of, as far as I can see, £69 from the Stragglers Club. The donation was made at the end of the 1923 season and so, and I have made a bit of an assumption here, the scoreboard was in place for the 1924 season. It has therefore seen a few things and a bit of change in its time.”

The Colin Atkinson Pavilion Clock 

I am the Colin Atkinson Pavilion clock. 
I marke the walk of Old Father Time. 
Endlessly measuring days 
Since John Daniell stood firm at the crease, 
And Ramsay McDonald first reigned in Downing Street. 
New, from atop the scoreboard then, I cast my steady gaze. 
Now, I am the only remnant of those post Great War days. 
I am the Colin Atkinson Pavilion clock. 
Marking time. Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock. 

Days when brightly jacketed amateurs formed Somerset’s front line, 
With names like Critchley-Salmonson and Ulrick Considine 
Playing on endless summer days. 
Days when Munich’s Beer Hall Putsch simply melted away, 
And winning the Championship was a thing for another day. 
I saw Bill Andrews and Arthur Wellard in their prime. 
In days when Neville Chamberlain claimed peace in our time. 
I am the Colin Atkinson Pavilion clock. 
Marking time. Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock. 

I stood firm as another war was fought and won. 
Then saw Gimblett strike sixes into the churchyard, as if for fun, 
As times changed 
Nye Bevan laid the NHS at our feet 
Before our years of perpetual Championship defeat. 
I saw Maurice Tremlett create a team to fear, 
And Bill Alley score three thousand runs in a year. 
I am the Colin Atkinson Pavilion clock. 
Marking time. Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock. 

I saw the shift from Gentlemen to Players 
And one-day cricket come to Taunton’s sacred acres 
As times changed 
In the wake of the Sixties social revolution 
I watched as Somerset built towards one-day trophies with professional resolution. 
Close, Richards, Garner and Botham to the fore 
But the Championship never came to our door. 
I am the Colin Atkinson Pavilion clock. 
Marking time. Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock. 

The old scoreboard was the first of the old ground to go. 
In its place the new Colin Atkinson Pavilion on show. 
As times changed 
With traditional industries swept away in the face of global competition, 
And wood-splintered cricket stands displaced by plastic modernisation. 
For Somerset, no Championship, but five glorious trophies to ponder, 
Before, beneath my gaze, a great team split violently asunder. 
I am the Colin Atkinson Pavilion clock. 
Marking time. Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock. 

I gazed on in the quieter years that followed. 
Watching the artistry of Jimmy Cook and Mushtaq Ahmed. 
As the world moved on 
The Channel Tunnel completed. The Berlin Wall demolished. 
The Soviet Union unseated. Apartheid abolished. 
Then, at Taunton, a stirring: the Botham Stand erected, Jamie Cox appointed, 
But still, the ever-patient wait for the Championship pennant to be hoisted. 
I am the Colin Atkinson Pavilion clock. 
Marking time. Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock. 

Then, amid the razzmatazz of a new millennium 
Came energy and infrastructure regeneration. 
As times changed 
The Twin Towers came crashing down, filmed live in their plight. 
While Andy Caddick bowled endlessly, never ceasing to fight. 
And Jamie Cox produced a team which played as if in his image cast, 
With atomic energy unleashed, and a trophy eighteen years after the last. 
I am the Colin Atkinson Pavilion clock. 
Marking time. Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock. 

I saw the Stragglers Bar and wooden benches fall away, 
To be replaced by structures designed for the modern day. 
As times changed 
Lehmann Brothers crashed, and Harry Potter ruled supreme, 
While Justin Langer arrived to pursue the Championship dream. 
He laid the foundation for two decades of first-division play, 
But the Championship still in the future lay. 
I am the Colin Atkinson Pavilion clock. 
Marking time. Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock. 

I saw Craig Overton and Jack Leach in their prime, 
And Marcus Trescothick batting with touch sublime. 
As times changed 
In the unreal world, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram held sway, 
While in County Cricket’s world, live streams became the order of the day. 
I saw Alfonso Thomas take four in four, 
And James Hildreth’s hundred with a broken ankle at its core. 
I am the Colin Atkinson Pavilion clock. 
Marking time. Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock. 

Now, as my second century beckons, 
And another dictator threatens, 
As times change, yet remain the same, 
I look down with hope renewed as I have at each new season’s start, 
Waiting to see who will come forth and who will play their part. 
And with every run, and every wicket and cheer 
Breathe the eternal hope, “This year. This year.” 
I am the Colin Atkinson Pavilion clock. 
Marking time. Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock … 

Research Notes into the artist – Mr Alan Durman

This research started in trying to establish the identity of the Artist who painted the picture of the Recreation Ground in Bath shown below.

Painted in the late 1940s/early 1950s. (Note – No Hampton Stand or Leisure Centre) this picture is owned by the Somerset Cricket Museum, and was on temporary loan to the Bath & Wilts Area Committee, before being returned to the Museum.

The signature (bottom right) is a little blurred but with a little guess work and a spot by Michael Tarr in a book containing one of his paintings, one can just about make out the name Durman. Plus the date and location and it all seemed to add up.

Many internet searches later I found that an Alan Durman lived in Saltford until his death in 1963. Further research found other oil paintings and the 1950s/1960s Railway travel posters bearing the same signature. (Google alan durman travel pictures for more information).

According to the Saltford News, after his death, his wife, Kathleen, moved away to Essex to be with her family and there the trail ran dry, However there was a reference in the Keynsham News of his two children Mark and Shelly.

In addition to Shelley, Mark Durman lived in Saltford in 1945 according to “A Wartime Childhood in Saltford” by Elizabeth Sabin published by Keynsham and Saltford Local History Society in 2003.

Now other things of Somerset Cricket interest began to emerge. From the Saltford online Museum “ To commemorate the death in March 1751 of Prince Frederick of Wales, who had visited Saltford for a village royal picnic with his eldest daughter Lady Augusta in 1750 during a visit to Bath (see above), a cricket match was organised in his honour.

This match is the first recorded cricket match in Somerset and was repeated annually for a few years thereafter. According to ‘A History of Saltford Village’ by Percy Sims (1976) the cricket match was held in the same Saltford Meadow where Prince Frederick had dined.”

Also in 1995, Somerset CCC played a charity / testimonial match against Saltford as seen in the Match Programme.

Also of importance to the village was that Alan Durman, spent most of one summer (1963?) painting a mural on the rear wall of Saltford Hall. Each person representing his or her’s organisation. 1.xxxxxx, 2.xxxxxx, 3.xxxxxx, 4.Roger Evans, 5.Joy Brignall, 6. John Brice, 7.Shelley Durman, 8.xxxxxx

Note that No. 7 is Shelley Durman, his daughter, who followed a modelling career and it is believed featured in many of the Railway / Travel posters. However I was unable to find any more information or contact details.

Then the final piece of the jigsaw, searching through LinkedIn and Facebook I did find a fiction writer, Mark Durman, living in Spain and somewhat apologetically inquired if indeed he was Alan’s son and had any recollection of the picture? To which he replied.

“You correctly found the right person concerning the picture of cricket on the Bath Recreation Ground circa 1950! I recognise the distinctive style of my father, Alan Durman, and indeed I have a hazy memory of the day he painted it. At that age, about ten, I was a dedicated cricket fan (still am!) and always tried to watch county games played on the Bath rec. My father did not share my sports enthusiasm but came with me one day and painted that scene while I was enthralled watching the match. Those were the days of the excellent Somerset team where Harold Gimblett would set the innings going leading to swashbuckling cameos from the likes of Maurice Tremlett and Arthur Wellard! Amazing when Somerset played Gloucestershire and we young fans got to watch the outstanding Tom Graveney.

Regarding the painting. The attachment you sent from the Somerset Cricket Museum is the first time I’ve seen it since soon after my father painted it. At that time he frequently painted in the centre of Bath usually around the area of Pulteney  bridge. I would very much like to have a copy of this cricket painting for my family. Could I ask you to send a good quality photo that I can print out?

Art skipped a generation in my family. I inherited no artistic talent but my two sons did. Anthony is currently Head of Art at the prestigious Denia British School in Bangkok and William is a talented photographer currently living in Bali, Indonesia. I know they will both be very interested in your mail which I will copy to them.

I would like to thank the kind folk of the Saltford Parish Council and the Saltford Environmental Group for the help that they gave me.

Mike Unwin (February 2024)

Index of Articles

Somerset Cricketer – Monty Hambling (1921-27)

Article and Photographs contributed by Edwin Morris

Between 1921 and 1927 Monty Hambling played for the Somerset County side, as a ‘holiday’ cricketer, it being the custom of the day that outstanding amateurs were picked by the County when available, usually annual holiday leave from their professional occupations.  

Playing for Somerset, Hambling took 24 wickets for an average of 20.54 and was a member of the team which dismissed Gloucestershire for 22 – only to lose the match.  His best figures were recorded at Worcestershire where he scored 58 and took 6-31. 

Continue reading “Somerset Cricketer – Monty Hambling (1921-27)”

Century on a Broken Ankle – James Hildreth – Somerset Steel

Article contributed by Paul Baker aka Farmer White.

James Hildreth has retired from professional cricket. His career will one day, no doubt, make a classic cricket book. But now, as Somerset supporters everywhere are remembering one of the last great single-team domestic careers here, as a special tribute, are one person’s personal memories of the greatest moment of his Somerset career. A personal appreciation of more of James Hildreth’s great innings for Somerset appears in the preceding post to this one. This is an extract from that article. There is a link to the full article below.

Continue reading “Century on a Broken Ankle – James Hildreth – Somerset Steel”

Somerset v Worcestershire July 1977 B.Close v B. D’Oliveira

County Championship. Somerset v Worcestershire. 23rd, 25th and 26th July 1977. Taunton.  Contributed by Paul Baker.

When Marcus Trescothick opened the Championship batting for Somerset at the age of 43 in 2019 it brought back memories of two other emeritus England batsmen playing in a Championship match at Taunton. It was in a different age and the nature of Championship cricket was as different as the age. Matches were played over three days instead of four, there was no promotion or relegation and so no external pressure on most matches. Declarations to set targets where hard cricket could not force a result were part of the cricketing landscape. Fitness regimes were an undreamt-of thing of the future and players playing into their forties was not an uncommon occurrence.

Continue reading “Somerset v Worcestershire July 1977 B.Close v B. D’Oliveira”

Gillette Cup Semi-Final. Kent v Somerset. 14th August 1974. Canterbury.

Gillette Cup Semi-Final. Kent v Somerset. 14th August 1974. Canterbury, contributed by Paul Baker (aka Farmer White); Also see this article by Richard Walsh.

Toss. Kent. Elected to field.

The 1974 Gillette Cup semi-final at Canterbury is burned into my memory and vivid images abound there. I re-run them often. The impact it made perhaps reflects the importance of semi-finals, and for that matter quarter-finals, in the two one-day cups of the time. They were major set-piece events which bestrode the domestic cricketing landscape like Glastonbury Tor, Dunkery Beacon and the Wellington Monument bestride the landscape of Somerset.

Continue reading “Gillette Cup Semi-Final. Kent v Somerset. 14th August 1974. Canterbury.”

A 1949 Northern League film – including a clip of Bill Alley

Contributed by Trevor Incles

A video entitled Cricketers All ( 1949 ) which features, albeit briefly, Bill Alley, who played a prominent rôle for Somerset in the late fifties / early sixties, has been brought to our attention. This appears to be a cine film which was digitally enhanced and reformatted by Salford University and can be viewed free of charge on Vimeo and Youtube.

Cricketers All (1949) (Bill is seen in the opening introduction and approximately 11:30 mins into the film.

Trevor writes “The film gives a brief insight into post war cricket in the Lancashire League and the profusion of world class players who entertained the often vast crowds who attended those matches. More importantly, I feel, it is the social commentary which puts into context cricket as it was played in those pre multi media days ! Incidentally,  I find the narration extremely funny as it is given by a Lancastrian” trying to speak posh” and ends up talking like Captain Mainwaring !

I confess to self interest in that one of the opening batsman for Rawtenstall v Bacup was Tom Incles, my father.  Lancashire League cricket provided a springboard for factory and mill workers, such as my dad, to become local celebrities and improve their lot. Following the formation of the Northern League in 1951/52, my family moved to Blackpool where Dad used to open the innings with firstly  Hanif Mohammed, then Rohan Kanhai and ultimately Bill Alley. Tom and Bill established a number of batting records which stood for a long time. “

The Wikipedia link to Bill Alley’s playing career is to be seen here

 Apparently (and without verification), an obituary to Bill Alley stated that during his time as the professional at Blackpool CC he was the most highly paid cricketer in the world ! Not only did he have a generous basic salary, he also benefited from cash collections from the throngs of holidaying spectators, whenever a 50 was scored or 5 wickets taken (as the film demonstrates) – an all-rounder’s dream ! He was also granted a testimonial match during  the course of every season. Can any other player who has represented Somerset equal or indeed surpass that record.

Trevor continues “However, the point of this tale is that my father was offered a Sales Representative job with the firm of one of Bill’s uncles in Haslingden, where, incidentally,  my grandad took me to watch their new young pro play – a chap by the name of Clive Lloyd !

The upshot of all this is that my father established his own successful company on the south coast along similar lines to those of Bill’s uncle,  which he ran until his retirement. Were it not for the involvement of Bill Alley  in this story, it is most likely that our family would not have had the opportunities with which we were presented and which we grasped with both hands !  Thank you, Bill !”

Obituary – Vince Lindo. Contributed by Richard Walsh

Vince Lindo who played one game for Somerset in 1963 sadly passed away on January 6th 2022 at the age of 86.

Cleveland Vincent Lindo was a fast bowler and hard hitting batsman who was born in St Elizabeth Jamaica on 6th June 1936. He arrived in England in 1959 with his sights set on becoming a first-class cricketer.

Within a short while of arriving Vince responded to an advert in the newspaper saying that Nottinghamshire were looking for a fast bowler. He duly made his way to Trent Bridge where after appearing in a few friendlies he played in the two day game against Pakistani Eaglets.

Continue reading “Obituary – Vince Lindo. Contributed by Richard Walsh”

Obituary – Michael Hill. Contributed by Richard Walsh.

Both Somerset County Cricket Club and the Somerset Cricket Museum are mourning the sad loss of Michael Hill who had a long association with both the club and  museum and who passed away on December 27th 2022 surrounded by his family aged 88.

Michael was born at Stockland Lovell, near Bridgwater  in 1934 and had his first experience of cricket when his mother Jacky would take him to watch his father Froude playing cricket for the local Fiddington team.

Continue reading “Obituary – Michael Hill. Contributed by Richard Walsh.”

Obituary – Terry Willetts. Contributed by Richard Walsh.

West Country cricket is mourning the loss of Terry Willetts who played cricket for both Somerset and Cornwall who sadly passed away on October 24th at the age of 82.

Terry was born in Birmingham and on leaving school joined Avery’s who were known world wide for their weighing scales.

He was a talented all round sportsman excelling at both football and cricket. He appeared for Bristol Rovers Reserves, but turned idown the chance of a contract playing instead as a part timer with both Minehead and Bath City FC.

Terry played cricket for Weston super Mare where his talents were quickly recognised by Bill Andrews who recommended him to  Somerset, who offered him a contract which he duly signed.

He made his debut for Somerset Second XI against Gloucestershire in June 1960 at Clarence Park in Weston. Terry made two further appearances for the Second XI that year and played once more in 1961.

Continue reading “Obituary – Terry Willetts. Contributed by Richard Walsh.”

Harold Gimblett’s Hundred by John Arlott finds its way back home! – an Article by Richard Walsh

Bicknoller was his village, Harold Gimblett was his name

Farming was his working day, but cricket was his game.

When he was but twenty and first played for Somerset

He played the mighty innings that we remember yet.

Stogumber is the village where Jack White used to live;

But for cricketers in Somerset, that’s the name they give

To the fierce cross-batted stroke they will use for evermore,

Swinging it right off the stumps and past long leg for four…….

Continue reading “Harold Gimblett’s Hundred by John Arlott finds its way back home! – an Article by Richard Walsh”

Kidmore End Cricket Club and its unique relationship with Somerset County Cricket Club

The distinction of leading the first Kidmore End cricket team on to a field here fell to Henry Hamilton Palairet Esquire, who then lived at Kidmore House and was a member of an old West of England family renowned for its sportsmen. Fortunately for the cricket public of the country, he extended his love of cricket untiringly to the tuition of his two sons, Lionel and Richard, as soon as they could hold a bat. Both became great cricketers and all round sportsmen. Both played for Somerset and, to this day, Lionel still holds (with H. T. Hewitt) the record opening wicket partnership for that county, 346 against Yorkshire at Taunton in 1892.

Continue reading “Kidmore End Cricket Club and its unique relationship with Somerset County Cricket Club”

The ‘League of Nations’ and the Battle of the Shilling Ticket’

Article contributed by Paul Baker aka Farmer White

My father was a musician and a good one by the account of those who knew about such things. The consequence was that his entire sense of timing was applied to his music. He had none left for anything else. As a result we were late everywhere we went and for everything we did. Cricket was not spared. Not even Somerset cricket.

Continue reading “The ‘League of Nations’ and the Battle of the Shilling Ticket’”

James Hildreth – a personal appreciation by Richard Walsh

James Hildreth has been a permanent fixture near the top of the Somerset batting order for almost 20 years, but sadly he has played his last innings for the Cidermen.

Even though he wasn’t born in the county the fans have loved Hildy from the very first time he pulled on a Somerset shirt back in 2002 since when he has provided us with so many entertaining innings, but sadly there will be no more after he pulled up with a hamstring injury which has brought a premature end to his retirement season.

Continue reading “James Hildreth – a personal appreciation by Richard Walsh”

21 years ago Somerset lifted C & G Trophy at Lord’s on that never to be forgotten day

Twenty one years ago on September 1st 2001, it seemed like the whole of Somerset were making their ways  up the M5 and along the M4 to Lord’s Cricket Ground to watch the Cidermen take on Leicestershire in the final of the Cheltenham and Gloucestershire Trophy.

Continue reading “21 years ago Somerset lifted C & G Trophy at Lord’s on that never to be forgotten day”

A Tale of two Tons (and other memories) by Pete Aird.

On Wednesday 10th April 2022, two Somerset players made remarkable centuries. One was scored for Somerset by Ben Green in the RLODC tie against Durham at Taunton, the other, the first ever in ‘The Hundred’, by Will Smeed for Birmingham Phoenix in a match against Southern Brave at Edgbaston.

Both performances were exceptional and both worthy of the outpouring of praise that has followed but, for me at least, it is the innings of Ben Green that will last longest in the memory. This is not simply because Green’s 157 was the higher score, nor was it because, after a relatively slow start, his last hundred runs were made considerably quicker than Smeed’s total score of 100 not out. And neither is it down to the fact that I am somehow biased against Smeed because his runs were scored in a tournament that has already undermined county cricket and threatens to be part of changes that will bring about its’ complete demise.

Continue reading “A Tale of two Tons (and other memories) by Pete Aird.”

The successes of the Somerset Academy (the last 5-6 years) – Part 2

by Harry Everett (Journalist and Broadcaster)

I had the privilege to commentate on Sonny Baker’s first ball and first over in professional cricket, v Derbyshire in July 2021 and I cannot remember being more impressed by an 18-year-old on debut. I had already heard lots about this young man from Devon Dumplings teammates who played with him at Kings College and how he ripped through school cricket with in-swinging yorkers. Of course, many had seen the clip that went viral of him doing just that. But there is more to his game than that super strength. It is a travesty injury ceased him from showcasing his skills on the World Stage at the U19 World Cup alongside James Rew and George Thomas. But that 3-46 on debut is one I have watched back on the Somerset YouTube Channel multiple times since-time very well spent. Ned Leonard and Kasey Aldridge will both get further chances in the 2022 season, having been mostly used in the Royal London Cup (RLC) last summer.

Continue reading “The successes of the Somerset Academy (the last 5-6 years) – Part 2”

Somerset in Print by Martin Chandler

By Martin Chandler first published August 2021

Somerset County Cricket Club was formed in 1875, and first competed in the County Championship in 1891, the second summer of the formally organised competition. There have been a number of histories of the club, the first being Ron Roberts’ Sixty Years of Somerset Cricket, a comprehensive look back at the county’s years in the Championship, published in 1952.

Continue reading “Somerset in Print by Martin Chandler”

So good to be back – says Annie Chave

On the 26 September 2019 I stood bereft on a damp outfield watching Marcus Trescothick, cap in hand, leaving the field for the very last time.  An emotional crowd aware that a departing wave saw the end of a 26 year playing career that had embedded itself in the very fabric of the Somerset stands. Not only was there no fairy tale end but Somerset had to once again watch as the trophy, fingertip width from their grasp, was presented to a jubilant Essex and to add insult to injury it looked likely that the quality of the pitch would be called into question. This, I thought, was as difficult a day to stomach as I was likely to have to face in my Somerset support.  

Continue reading “So good to be back – says Annie Chave”

The successes of the Somerset Academy (the last 5-6 years) – Part 1.

By Harry Everett (Journalist and Broadcaster)

In a two-part article I will review the great success of some key names who have come through the Somerset Academy into the first team to play county cricket.

First team regulars for a while now: Ben Green, Tom Lammonby, Lewis Goldsworthy, George Bartlett, Max Waller, Craig Overton, Lewis Gregory, Jack Leach.

More recently: Ned Leonard, Kasey Aldridge and even the much-maligned-by-injury Ollie Sale. And the three current England U19 lads get a mention later on and those who have moved on: Nathan Gilchrist, Eddie Byrom, Dom Bess, Jamie Overton

Continue reading “The successes of the Somerset Academy (the last 5-6 years) – Part 1.”

Bill Andrews (1908-1989)

by Mike Tarr (Artist and Museum Trustee)

This is a story about Bill Andrews, the great Somerset bowler (all-rounder?) who was the manager of the Somerset 2nd XI when I played for the club.

I was very fond of Bill and regret that through no fault of his own, he comes out of this on the wrong side of events, which I am sure may have happened a few times in his working days for Somerset CCC.

Continue reading “Bill Andrews (1908-1989)”

The view from the commentary box 2021 (by A.Gibson)

By Anthony Gibson (Broadcaster, Writer and Museum Trustee)

Picture courtesy of Somerset CCC
Picture courtesy of Steve Tancock

When I look back on Somerset’s season from the commentary box of my mind, I see Tom Abell standing defiant, like the boy on the burning deck, amidst the wreckage of the top order batting; I see Craig Overton pounding in for over after relentless over; I see Ben Green leading out his young team in the One Day Cup; and I see all three of our captains explaining honestly, manfully and sometimes almost tearfully what, in the final analysis, went wrong.

Continue reading “The view from the commentary box 2021 (by A.Gibson)”

Personal Memories re Somerset County Cricket Club

Rosie Dyke: It would be impossible to pick just 1. My grandma bowling to me and my brother on the outfield, John Abrahams (Lancashire) asking me to look after his cricket jumper whilst he fielded on the boundary, sitting with my Mum as the new T20 format unfolded, years of tears and smiles and frustration and elation. Introducing the wonderful club and game to my little boy, the next generation. The 5th generation of our family to be a member.

Mike Unwin: We used to travel by train from Montacute and arrive at the County Ground just in time for play to start – Fare 1/0d Return

If I recollect the first match that I attended would have been in August 1956 v Northamptonshire.

The Forgotten Final – Somerset V Kent at Lord’s, September 1967

by Richard Walsh (Journalist and Museum Trustee)

Whenever people talk about Somerset’s success in one day cricket most refer to the period in the club’s history known as the `Glory Years, when between 1979 and 1983 the team won five one day trophies- four of which came in finals at Lord’s.

Many folk overlook the fact that Somerset had played in two finals before they enjoyed success – in 1978 when they lost to Sussex in what was the precursor to their run of success, and in 1967 when they lost to Kent. The match against Kent in 1967 is often the forgotten final because it was only the fifth year of the  Gillette Cup and one day cricket was very much still in its infancy.

This summer marks the 55th anniversary of the match against Kent and recently I was lucky enough to be able to spend time in the company of Somerset stalwarts Ken Palmer and Peter Robinson who were members of the team on that long ago early autumn day.

Continue reading “The Forgotten Final – Somerset V Kent at Lord’s, September 1967”

My reflections on the 2022 Under 19 World Cup

By Chris Rew (Father of James Rew)

The 2022 Under 19 World Cup was eagerly anticipated after nearly two years of disruption to youth international cricket fixtures caused by the  pandemic. Luckily, the tournament, held in the West Indies in January / February 2022 was relatively unaffected by Covid, although several teams lost a few players to isolation and Canada had to leave the plate tournament early when nine of their squad tested positive. The ICC, however, did a magnificent job of organisation in testing circumstances.

Continue reading “My reflections on the 2022 Under 19 World Cup”