Hampshire Cricket History

Neil Jenkinson RIP
July 21, 2016, 7:55 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Neil J.jpg

This is a photo taken on Broadhalfpenny Down, almost 20 years ago. Neil was my predecessor as the club’s Archivist and the man who first got me involved actively in the history of Hampshire County Cricket Club, before proposing me for the Committee. It is a cropped photo of a small group that set up the Hambledon Club – a dining (not playing) club that celebrates the great achievements of the 18th century side with two lunches every year (next in October, speaker John Barclay).

Neil wrote a number of articles and books – not always about cricket either. On that topic he wrote the biography of the great Phil Mead, an updated history of the Hambledon Club into the 20th century and the story of the greatest victory v Warwickshire in 1922.

He was the most thorough of researchers with an incredible knowledge of many things – in particular the early histories of the club. For some time we divided the HCCC history at 1945 and you could offer him the name of someone who played once for the county in 1903 and he would recite from memory a full biography! Now sadly, after an unpleasant illness, all that knowledge has gone, and with it his great cheerfulness. He was a wonderful companion at the cricket or over lunch with so much to share. Much of his research, including a biography of every Hampshire cricketer, is now in the Archives at the Ageas Bowl. He is a real loss to the history of Hampshire cricket and I shall miss him, while thanking him for encouraging me to become involved in the history of the club.


8 Comments so far
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I have emailed some pals about Neil and I’m sure Alan Edwards won’t mind if I quote from his reply to me:

“So sorry to learn of Neil’s death. He was such a gentleman. I’ll always remember his generosity and patience in sharing information and being so helpful generally. That help was always given unconditionally. I could never have written part of my Tennyson book without his loaning me the subject’s scrapbook and some of his own files. They added real weight to the work. He also helped me with my research on my Hesketh Prichard project by giving me access to Wynyard’s scrapbook. He also always provided wise counsel, which was given gently and sensitively.

His contribution to Hampshire cricket heritage is incalculable. He knew so much about our history from the very earliest Hambledon days. I’m sure his files will prove to be a treasure trove for future historical research.”

Comment by pompeypop

Sad news.

Simon Young Managing Director Cage 4 All CIC

Tel : 07547 003352 http://www.cage4all.org

Comment by Simon Young

Another message, from Alan Rayment who is of course well represented in Neil’s records:

“I was saddened to read news of the death of Neil Jenkinson; a delightful open hearted man who gave so much to all who sought his company and counsel. Players and members of the club, and cricket historians, have so much to thank him for: future generations who delve into cricket history will be indebted to Neil”.

Comment by pompeypop

From Rod Bransgrove:

“This is indeed very sad news. I was aware that Neil had been unwell and I am very sorry to hear of his passing.

His passion for Hampshire Cricket was obvious to all and his contribution as Hon Archivist was just one manifestation of this. His support and enthusiasm for cricket in Hampshire will be much missed by us all.”

Comment by pompeypop

Very sad news and a great loss to Hampshire cricket. He was the genuine English gentleman. Charming, kind, jovial and a very valued friend to many of us.

Comment by Stephen Saunders

Sent from cricket historian Andrew Renshaw:

“Surely no one can have known more about the history of Hampshire cricket and its players than Neil. He started watching the county in 1949 so his knowledge of almost the entire postwar period came at first hand. He researched all the players and had the remarkable ability of being able to identify almost anyone in any photograph in any era. His books spanned the whole history of Hampshire cricket from Hambledon through to Mead and ‘Cricket’s Greatest Comeback’ in 1922. His last book, on CB Llewellyn just four years ago, demonstrated to the full the diligence of his research. Not for Neil the quick look-up on the internet: he spoke to relatives and delved deep into papers in libraries and museums. I still have a couple of death certificates he sent me of players, proving that the accepted record could be wrong. He was John Arlott’s solicitor and one can only wonder at the conversations they must have had, but we can be sure that he attended to his professional duties with the same diligence that was the hallmark of his cricket research. Cricket is very much about friendships enjoyed over the years. I had no better friend than Neil and I know the loss will be shared throughout the Hampshire cricket community and wider, while his contribution must be celebrated.”

Comment by pompeypop

So sad. A true gentleman who typified the essence of cricket over many decades. Neil looks a picture of health in this picture with Dave although fair to say it was around the time when his mobility was about to deteriorate yet even until recent years his dogged determination allowed him a visit or two to the ground throughout the season.In the 20 plus years since I first met Neil I never heard him say a bad word about anyone and of course his wealth of knowledge will be sorely missed.

Comment by Brian Scrimshaw

RIP Neil. I’ve always been a Hampshire fan and watched as often as I could. When Katherine became poorly and unable to go out as regularly and needed more rest I became more focussed on Hampshire Heritage as an interest I could pursue at home whilst supporting her. I bought a couple of Neil’s excellent books and he kindly signed them for me and encouraged my interest. He gave me some autographs and quite a few of his own meticulously completed scorecards to whet my appetite. It has grown into a passion and I was extremely honoured when Dave asked me to be an Assistant Archivist. This was in no small measure due to Neil and I will be eternally grateful.

Comment by Richard Griffiths

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