2012 marks 90 not out for the Lancashire Schools Cricket Association
Amazingly in that time the Association has had just THREE Hon. Secretary’s
Herbert F.B. Thomas MBE from 1922 to 1971 (=49 years)
Bob Hurst from 1971 to 1984 (=13 years)
Yours truly from 1984 to current day (=28 not out)
Three batsmen totalling 90 years (Average = 45)
Our last celebration was when we pushed the boat out for our 75th Anniversary in 1997.
At that time I produced a potted history of the Association. I want to broaden that out a little over this winter – Blogging allowing – and to extend it to the present day. This will mean regular visits to the archives. I am hoping that as I produce more and more facts and figures from our past that this will provoke a response from others who must have old programmes, press clippings, scrapbooks etc. We have to remember that ten years ago the digital age was only just beginning. We can now store hundreds, nay thousands of pictures on our computers. When we celebrated our 75th Birthday in 1997 we had to take our films off to be processed and printed.
If I may I will just produce for now an extract from my original “potted history”.
In 1919 Herbert F B Thomas started the Manchester Schools Cricket Association which became very influential in inter-school competitions. Early in 1921 he agreed with Salford and Stockport to play representative “town” cricket. In 1922 Herbert Thomas convened a meeting at the Granby Row School, London Road, Manchester at which the Lancashire Schools Cricket Association was formed. Ten “Town” teams at the Under 14 age group agreed to participate in a county competition with two divisions of five teams – the winner of each to play off in the Final. The North League comprised Adlington, Burnley, Clitheroe, Rishton and Todmorden. The South League was made up of Bury, Heywood, Prestwich/Whitefield, Salford and Manchester. The very first Town Team Final was played at Burnley Cricket Club before a crowd of 2,000 spectators. Manchester Boys scored 32 for 9 before dismissing Burnley for 21 – not a high scoring game.
In February, 1923, the Lancashire Cricket League, with the consent of the donor, Mr. Joshua Hacking, presented the Association with the 'Hacking Cup'. The 1923 Final was played at Todmorden Cricket Club between the home team and again Manchester. The local newspaper reported on the game:
“An unusual amount of interest was shown in the final for the championship of Lancashire played at Centre Vale on Friday between teams representing Todmorden and Manchester. Ideal weather favoured the match and there was a remarkably good attendance with gate receipts of £38. There were many visitors from other towns including two chara loads from Manchester. The play generally was of a high standard, and the match proved a most interesting one from start to finish. It would have pleased the Todmorden spectators had the result gone otherwise but it must be admitted that Manchester were the better team. Taken all round they were a much bigger lot of boys, and were also much better equipped. In view of certain remarks made it must be stated that in accordance with the County rules birth certificates were produced of each of the 22 players testifying that their ages were less than 14 years on the 31st March last.”
In that second Town Team Final in 1923 Manchester again emerged victors scoring 96 runs to Todmorden's 76.
How did we celebrate our 75th Birthday. The Annual LSCA Handbook in 1998 reported the following:-
“On Friday, 13th June, 1987 over 200 people gathered in the Tyldesley Suite at Old Trafford for a celebration dinner. We were joined by many of the current Lancashire players, including the England captain, Michael Atherton, who like many of the players present had moved up through our ranks from being an 11 year old playing in our Under 13 team. Two of our youngest England stars, Gary and Philip Neville, showed their appreciation of their time in the LSCA ranks by their presence as well. Many other friends joined us in listening to our three guests, Brian Statham, our President, Trevor Bailey and David Lloyd. David was, of course, his usual inimitable self. All present agreed that it was a fitting way to set off our 75th celebrations.”
At this stage we have no definite plans for 2012. We did say in 1997 that the next celebrations would be for the century mark. There are some days when I feel full of the joys of spring and think how I could help celebrate that milestone. There are, however, days when I wonder whether my zimmer frame will get me to the bar, never mind help me to raise a glass.
So I suspect we are going to have to do something in 2012.
What, when and where we will have to give some serious thought to.
I had to say 75th for the Anniversary in 1997 because I am not aware of a “symbol” for that one. As far as 90th is concerned I have even less of an idea. 45th is Sapphire because I have googled it. Could 90th by Double Sapphire. We could do with some inventive suggestions.