Hampshire Cricket History

Cure for the Blues
June 1, 2016, 3:50 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I refer quite often about my musical activities. Over 50+ years they have been quite varied but my real fondness is for blues & jazz pre-1960. Despite the name ‘blues’ it’s not at all depressing – at its best, it lifts you from the blues, transcends it if you like.

I spent this afternoon listening to Kevan and Kevin (who was very generous) describe our deserved demise and then learned we had been fined one point for a slow over rate, meaning that we got what it seemed we deserved from that match – nothing! How to lift myself from such disappointment?

On either side of that gloomy couple of hours I found the cure. This morning, following on from my post about Abercrombie (below) Mrs A (Lou) and I went to Portsmouth Dockyard to see the new exhibition about the Battle of Jutland. It is a clear and nicely presented show (on such visits I’m always imagining wistfully a Hampshire Cricket Museum) but as I suggested, also a vivid reminder that there are far worse things than losing a cricket match.

For Hampshire fans, the past four days have been quite horrible but this afternoon I’ve been transferring some audio tapes, kindly loaned by one of our supporters to the Archive, and most featuring John Arlott. Some are general commentaries (Gillette Cup Finals, Eng v Australia etc) and there are a couple I know and have – Ralph Dellor interviewing Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie and HCCC’s 1985 tape (with the booklet) celebrating the centenary of Northlands Road.

But there were a couple of real treasures. One was Arlott’s description of Graeme Pollock’s wonderful 1965 century at Trent Bridge, the second day of Test cricket I ever saw.

But crowning it all was a half-hour BBC radio programme with interviews with the whole team, made by Arlott within the hour of them winning the title in 1961. I remember very vaguely hearing at least part of it live on the day, but I’ve never heard it since. Ultimately, if I have to live with the disappointment of today there are always such memories to make everything seem worthwhile – whether Bournemouth in 1961, Cardiff in 2014 or any of the other triumphs in between.

The triumphs don’t last for ever of course (although the history can) and the disappointment will fade too, even if this is going to be a very tough season.


9 Comments so far
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I would LOVE to hear that 1961 tape. How?

Comment by Henry Thompson

Me too!

Comment by Paul

I need to stress that there is almost certainly a (BBC) copyright on it even after 50+ years. HOWEVER, I’m content for it to be available on loan from the Hampshire Cricket Archive Library in the form of a CD. Is that OK? I should be able to do that by Sunday. What I don’t want to do is make multiple copies so it might need to be a matter of taking turns – again does that seem OK? If I’m challenged (which is unlikely) my argument will always be, it’s a single CD copy, for educational use, no charge or profit made. Meantime I shall keep a ‘master’ copy in my computer’s audio library.

Incidentally if any of you out there still (like me) listen to vinyl, I still have in the Archive some LP recordings of the Championship Dinner speeches, including one by Harry Altham. Hapy to make them available as part of Dave’s ‘Everything a Quid’ store! (I don’t think they are copyright)

Comment by pompeypop

Can I be first in the queue please?(!). See you Sunday

Comment by Ageas

Interestingly the official website says we were deducted two points in this game. Mind you the official website also thinks Sean Ervine is a South African.

Comment by James

Two unrelated comments
– the ECB table was showing Hampshire as having a three points deduction, so I assume that we lost two in this game, which is what the official website has coughed up to
– although the only Hampshire connection is Arlott, there was a superb demonstration of his knowledge, but I don’t know if it’s available. There was a Sunday league game at Trent Bridge which was rain interrupted, but with an expectation of an early resumption. Cue JA in the Trent Bridge museum. He started talking about the first few artefacts, then clearly resumption was delayed…and delayed. And on and on he went – all off the cuff. Each item sparked a fund of history/ reminisces. I don’t know how long it lasted, or whether it’s available, but it was brilliant. I can imagine CMJ doing it, but no-one else of the current vintage of commentators. A man imbued in cricket history, mystique and relevance

Comment by Ageas

On a similar theme I recall listening to Test Match Special many years ago on a day when there was a long rain break and Fred Trueman held forth for an hour or more reminiscing about the great characters playing when he was young. I know Fred could be a grumpy old sod but his deep love of the players and of the history of the game shone through. Magical listening!

Comment by James

If we were deducted two points then we ended up minus one overall. I cannot find a precedent where the deduction is for slow over rate. I have asked Stephen Chalke who knew only of teams finishing in deficit because of pitch penalties, so Northwood this week might be unique.

As for Arlott – a great man and a great commentator

Comment by pompeypop

So to put this performance into perspective, if we had sent an Under 12 team to Northwood and Middlesex had scored say 1000-0 and we had been dismissed for 0 & 0 we would have suffered the biggest loss in the history of cricket and still ended up with more points than our current first team managed.

Which of course makes our current first XI worse than an Under 12 XI. Just about sums it up doesn’t it?

Comment by James

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