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)

Somerset Cricket Quiz 2023 – No. 6

Questions 101 – 120 (and Answers here)

2023-101 Which Somerset player is being described here by John Arlott? “With his precise manner, high forehead, dignified step and trim moustache he looked completely unlike the Bath Rugby full-back and natural games player that he was”
2023-102 Who once took a wicket for Somerset in a first-class match wearing evening-dress shoes?
2023-103 Did C. R. M. Atkinson ever score 1000 runs in a season for Somerset?
2023-104 Who was the second-eleven bowler called up to play against Sussex in the Gillette tie of 1964 at Taunton who became Man of the Match?
2023-105 Only two of the Somerset Gillette Cup final side of 1967 had played in every match for the county since the competition started in 1963. Who were they?
2023-106 Viv Richards with 4745 runs is the John Player League highest aggregate scorer for Somerset. Who comes second?
2023-107 What other players have scored more than 3000 runs in the John Player League, now Refuge Assurance League?
2023-108 How many times have Somerset reached the semi-finals of the One Day knock-out competition, i.c. Gillette and Nat West?
2023-109 At the beginning of season 1988 what is their overall record in matches won and lost in this competition since 1963?
2023-110 A Somerset cricketer, still playing (in 1988) first-class cricket has scored over 1000 runs for the county in this competition. Who is it?
2023-111 Of the current staff (1988) who has the highest average in this competition (qualification – having played 5 matches or more?
2023-112 At the end of 1986 only one bowler on the staff had taken half as many wickets as Ian Botham in the Gillette and Nat. West competitions. Who was it?
2023-113 Who holds the Somerset record for carrying his bat through a completed innings?
2023-114 Which Somerset captain made a century on his debut for the county?
2023-115 Who made five first-class centuries before lunch in 1901?
2023-116 On how many occasions did Viv Richards score a century before lunch?
2023-117 Name the two players who made centuries against touring teams on their debut for the County?
2023-118 How many times did Ian Botham hit 10 or more sixes in an innings for Somerset in a county match?
2023-119 Who has recorded the fastest-ever hundred for Somerset?
2023-120 Who has scored the fastest double century?

Somerset Cricket Quiz 2023 – No. 5

Questions 81 – 100 (and Answers here)

2023-81 Who was the early Somerset professional who had a melodrama produced on the London stage?
2023-82 With what county had the writer played as an amateur?
2023-83 Why was he allowed to leave Gloucestershire?
2023-84 In which game at Taunton did the opposition’s last man come to the wicket in a blue pin-striped suit?
2023-85 Who used to turn up for matches in the 1920s dressed in top hat and morning coat?
2023-86 How  did he spend his Sundays?
2023-87 At which match (post-World War Two did the Somerset pros hire a donkey and cart, borrow sombreros and pretend to be visiting South Americans?
2023-88 Who was denied a collection at a home game after scoring 310 runs because “that’s what he’s paid to do”?
2023-89 Which two Kent players conspired to give Wally Luckes his only first-class century?
2023-90 Which county captain, enquiring of his partner if he should appeal against the light at Weston-super-Mare, received from him the reply “I can hear you m’lord, but I can’t see you.”?
2023-91 In which match was an angel (almost) caught fiddling?
2023-92 Whose remedy for cramp in the legs was to rub them with whisky?
2023-93 When Jack Hobbs broke W. G. Grace’s record of centuries at Taunton in August 1925 was he compiling his 83rd, 127th or 141st?
2023-94 How many centuries had he previously made that season?
2023-95 What Somerset batsman scored a century in that same match?
2023-96 Who succeeded Jack White as captain of Somerset?
2023-97 Which Somerset cricketer was a one-time bouncer in a Sydney dance hall?
2023-98 What do H. Gimblett, K. Palmer, Arthur Wellard, Maurice Tremlett, Harold Stephenson and L. C. H. Palairet all have in common?
2023-99 In 1946 Somerset recorded three successive scores of 500 or over. Who were the opponents in these three matches?
2023-100 Who did Somerset defeat in the 1967 Gillette Cup semi-final?

Somerset Cricket Quiz 2023 – No. 4

Questions 61 – 80 (and Answers here)

2023-61Who was the Yorkshire player who took Martin Crowe apart during a Sunday League match at Middlesbrough in 1984?
2023-62 Who dismissed Jack Hobbs in the only match he himself played for Somerset?
2023-63 Name the Surrey batsman, known as “The Guv’nor”, who scored 357* against Somerset at The Oval in 1899?
2023-64 What was the Surrey total in that match?
2023-65 On which ground did Bill Alley score his 3000th run in September 1961?
2023-66 Name the Keynsham batsman of the 1980s whose highest score for Somerset was 99*?
2023-67 For what other sport is Clarence Park used?
2023-68 And Bath?
2023-69:For what other sport has the county ground at Taunton been used?
2023-70 Can you name the Somerset skipper who was capped by Scotland in a Boys’ International golf match?
2023-71 Who was the John Player League record holder (first to 2000 runs and 200 wickets) who recorded his highest first-class score against Somerset?
2023-72 He started his first-class career in the year when England won the soccer World Cup and he hit 227 for Northants against Somerset in 1976. Who is he and where was it?
2023-73 What record did he set that day and who helped him to it?
2023-74 What is Julian Wyatt’s highest score in first-class cricket?
With which public schools do you connect the following Somerset players, either as pupils, teachers or coaches:
2023-75 R. J. O. Meyer?
2023-76 M. M. Walford?
2023-77 Harold Gimblett?
2023-78 H. Watts?
2023-79 Colin Atkinson?
2023-80 Denis Silk?

Barrow Gurney Cricket Club – Club History

Barrow Gurney Cricket club was founded in 1874 in the North Somerset village, by a group of local people. Copies of the founding documents are displayed in our pavilion.

Initially cricket was played in a field just off the main road in Barrow Gurney village but in the 1930s the club arrived at its current ground in Hobbs Lane, leasing the land from the local landowners, the Gibbs family.

Continue reading “Barrow Gurney Cricket Club – Club History”

Virtual Tour available for disabled Visitors

Delighted to say that disabled visitors who are unable to go up stairs can now view those exhibits using our virtual tour system, which was installed within the museum today (8/11/2023).

Thank you 360 South West Ltd. for all your help on this project.

Uphill Castle Cricket Club – Club History

The Somerset Cricket Museum is very grateful to Mr Richard Twort for the donation of the book 100 Years of Uphill Castle Cricket Club and for permission to publish extracts from the book in the following article, also to Mr Ade Gardener for the photographs.

Uphill Castle Cricket Club has been inextricably linked with the Graves-Knyfton family ever since its first tenuous steps in 1893.

It was a great social occasion when the family took up residence in the Uphill Manor a year earlier in 1892 and they celebrated their arrival by inviting the whole village including 150 children to a tea and concert at the Castle.

Continue reading “Uphill Castle Cricket Club – Club History”

Chilcompton Sports Cricket Club – Club History

Stratton on the Fosse CC was founded in the early part of the 1900s and played at Downside School until 2015. The 1913 Midsomer Norton CC Fixture list below shows fixtures between both Stratton on the Fosse and the original Chilcompton club. The Club also hosted a County match between  Somerset and Glamorgan in 1934.

The Club played friendly cricket until the late 80s when it joined the North Somerset League, and won several divisional titles in the late eighties and early nineties.

Continue reading “Chilcompton Sports Cricket Club – Club History”

Museum Guide Books

Delighted to take delivery of our new Museum Guide Books, pictured below is our Curator David Wood, receiving the first copies from Imogen Parker of the Wellington based @CarlyPressLtd .

The twenty four page Guide Book was compiled and written by Museum Volunteer, Paul Smith, with photos by Geoff Vian and Alain Lockyer. We are also very grateful to Annie Chave and her team at County Cricket Matters for their work in proof reading the text. The booklet was printed at the Wellington based Carly Press.

The books will be on sale in the Museum during the next CC match v Notts, do come & see us.