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1996-2010

ARTICLES:
The Grass Roots
by KEN TAYLOR
The First 100 Years
by TOM MORGAN
Our Own Ground and it's Amenities
by ARTHUR BARTON
Our Life Members
by ARTHUR BARTON
The Club Game
by CHRISTOPHER MARTIN-JENKINS
From Nairobi to Nottingham
by BASHARAT HASSAN
Salutations
West Country Tours
Youth Cricket
And Don't Forget the Groundsman

Pelsall Cricket and Sports Club
THE FIRST HUNDRED YEARS
by TOM MORGAN

Like all village cricket clubs, history is passed on by word of mouth. documentation is sketchy and hard to come by. Records show that cricket was played in the village before 1885 in various forms. Little is known of activities before the First World War, after which. the reorganisation of the club took place by moving to The Bush field next to our present headquarters. Here, the club flourished running three sides - the "A", ''B" and "C" teams (remember, no Sunday cricket in those days), meeting and beating the best in the district.

I was privileged to meet some of those great characters who put us in the very strong position we are in toda - Len Snow, Len Hayward, Wilf Davies, David Wright, Bill Clayton, Jack Taylor, Alf Dilks, Harry Shortman and Amos Breeze, to mention a few committee men of some stature who restarted the club after the War and bought our present ground with little or no money in the bank. Many great stories have been told of feats on the Old Bush ground, epic battles with local pride at stake, humorous stories - all true. I'm told of one tragic story with the death of Foddy Parkes in 1926 - struck on the temple with a full toss.

No history of the club would be complete without mention of the strong connection the club had in its early days with the Methodist Church. Remember, Pelsall until recent years was a pit village, pillars of the Wesleyan Church. Fools were not countenanced gladly, Some of this spirit remains today. When invited to skipper the 1st XI in the early fifties, I asked a senior member what was expected of me - he said "Have fun during your year of office", that personifies Pelsall Cricket Club. A lot of people have had a lot of fun over the years and are still doing so today. Incidentally, my year as skipper lasted 17. Later on you will learn of great feats with bat and ball, but the secret of our success over the years has been in our officials being of the highest calibre. Too numerous to mention, but the story is as true today as then
No history of the club would be complete without some mention of Albert Aldridge - nicknamed by the press as 'Ambidextrous Albert' for his feats as right hand spinner, left hand bat. To us of course, he was just 'Bonk', one of the select few club cricketers to record a thousand runs and a hundred wickets during a season on several occasions. His haul of 183 wickets, 1,463 runs in the late fifties must be some kind of record (remember, no mid-week figures allowed). Whoever matches it will be very, very tired !! Tom Ivey. our scorer, recorded a century in 29 minutes against Harborne around this period in time. A further five 'tons' followed when he learned how to bat.
After numerous 9 wicket hauls he eventually took all 10 at Enville - a spinner's paradise. I suppose a hat-trick in Walsall K.O. final is worth a mention. He only bowled the one over. Incidentally, we felt we didn't need him. what with Spike and Smithy in the side. Looking back one wonders what the rest of us were doing as Albert was the icing on the cake. Harry Witcutt, Norman Cross, Alan Cross, Ken Rowley. Ray Law, Bill Pemberton, Harold Spanswick, Ken Smith and Ron Challenor were all very fine club cricketers in their own right and contributed in no small way to our success both on and off the field. Laughter played a big part in the life of the club in after match concerts. .I shall always remember Albert whenever I hear Begin the Beguine. Norman Cross singing - Mammy -, Betty Spooner, Joyce Mills. Bryan Stringer and Challinors "Cork Leg"- happy days!!
I will finish with a tribute to our ladies who not only support us in all we do, but make sure we are not a dead organisation on the social side. Anyone who has ever played cricket will tell you there is nothing to beat changing room humour. It's wicked, it's personal. but believe me. very funny. To all the many lads I've been unable to mention - thanks for the memories.   

TOM MORGAN



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