The Follow On
It is curious to
reflect that whilst Norfolk is regarded, in terms of historical
documentation as "one of the best recorded counties in
England" its natives display a casual indifference to the
preservation of records concerning their own history. Hence, it
is not surprising, though regrettable, that even a
cricket-conscious parish like Hethersett has "mislaid"
the records of its cricket club. This is no reflection upon the
Club's many past secretaries. Even the best of them must pass on
to leave his records in the hands of other people. In short, it
seems a classic instance of leaving matters to be dealt with by
"the other fellow" - that half mystical character who,
if he exists at all, didn't seek the responsibility in the first
Thus it is that for
the period 1910-1914 we are again faced with a lamentable gap in
the story of Hethersett Cricket Club. All we have is a few
chance newspaper reports, plus what we learn from the ubiquitous
grapevine which at least assures us that "plenty of cricket
was being played in Hethersett in those years." And some of
the matches played were those significantly described as
specials for one reason or another.
One such match for
instance was that in which "Teddy Dann tried to kill the
bull." A wild exaggeration in fact, it is nevertheless a
story which warrants being recorded here... and that we hope
without giving offence to anyone. Life is life and cricket is
cricket and... so what? It was during an away match that Teddy
Dann, a notable hard-hitter, drove a ball so hard that it struck
a bull which was contemplating proceedings from over a fence.
The animal suffered no harm whatsoever. But honour resided in
the fact that Mr Dann was, by trade a butcher, this leading to
the crack that he was "trying to mix business with his
cricket." Thus to make more of the incident the owner of
the bull duly presented Mr Dann with a bill, claiming recompense
for "a bull that died from having one ball too many!"
Another special of
that period was a match played at Old Buckenham against a team
of very experienced cricketers one of whom was Fielder, who
bowled for Kent CC. Hethersett lost the match, though Dodman
knocked 49 ("and that was something against Fielder!")
and Teddy Dann "hit the ball out of the ground with the
biggest hit that he ever made." Dodman's was a captain's
innings. For W. Childs wasn't playing that day. But Fred, in
after years, would be happy to recall how "Fielder came and
told me he was sorry Mr Childs wasn't playing because he'd heard
what a good bowler he was."
To judge from what
reports we do have for 1913, the season must have been a
reasonably good one for the Club. The files of the Eastern Daily
Press yield the following information.
May 31st, 1913 at
Colney: Hethersett 161 (W. Chlds 29; E. Childs 77 not out),
Colney 61 (E. Childs 7-29)
June 6th at
Hethersett: Hethersett 108 (E. Childs 31 not out), Cringleford
26 (B. Ward 7-8).
July 6th at Norwich:
Hethersett 150 (E. Dann 104 not out. P. Curson 15), Inland
August 13th at
Hethersett: Colney United 77, Hethersett 78 (E. Dann 55 not
All in all then, at
the AGM held in April 1914, Hethersett were able to look back on
a satisfactory season for the previous year. And to celebrate
the fact that the "kitty" held the unprecedented sum
of £2 1s, left over from that season! So with confident
anticipation, the club looked forward to fulfilling a fixture
list containing such names as Colney, Wymondham, Empire Press
(Norwich), City Asylum, Morley and, as usual, the redoubtable
Yet all we can
record of that season of 1914 is that "some of the matches
were never played," and that the one played against YMCA on
the 1st August was the last played by Hethersett (as with many
another village club in effect) for several years. For three
days later, war was declared. Within four months, nearly 50 of
Hethersett's young men were already serving in the Forces. And
that figure would be increased by more than half within a few
more months. Cricket became merely a subject to dream and talk
about, as some relief from pressing employments of a far less
But the tradition
and its spirit survived. So much so that when early in the
Spring of 1919, the parish of Hethersett set about the task of
"getting back to normal" the revival of cricket was
regarded as being some minor contribution to that process. The
Parish Magazine reported on a happy note: "At a well
attended meeting in the Old Schoolroom on April 29th, it was
decided to restart the Cricket Club" with H. W. Back as
President, the Vice-Presidents being Captain Matthews, G.E.
Deacon, Rev F. Jarvis, Miss Raikes, Mrs Ransome, J.A. Boswell,
F.A. Bainbridge, Major E. H Evans-Loombe, H.W. Back, F. W.
Doggett, W.H. Buckingham and W.J. Sadd (it will be noted that
for the first time on record the club featured lady members).
Fred Dodman was
appointed captain, supported by Mr E. Dann as vice-captain
whilst Mr George Moore (Old George II) was reaffirmed as
groundsman and treasurer with Mr G.H. Salter as secretary,
Messrs W. Childs, J. Read, E. Smith, P. Curson, H.W. Back, F.A
Bainbridge and W.H. Buckingham comprised the committee.
was called for and arranged. It was further decided to
"play a few games as the strength of the club
increased." In fact a few games had already been arranged,
the first of them being against Wymondham to be played on Whit
Nor was this all.
Soberly aware of the toll taken by the late war and how another
generation was springing up without benefit of cricket, for the
first time in its history, the club opened its doors to the
Junior members under the age of 16, "a special welcome was
expressed to all boys keen on the game," they being
promised expert tuition by our worthy captain. Fees were fixed
at 2s 6d for Seniors and 1s 6d for Junior members. Moreover War
Bonds would be accepted as payment!
It was on this
occasion too that Dr Deacon (quoted verbally) stirringly
reminded the club that "Hethersett has a long and worthy
tradition, one which must never be allowed to die."
When recalling that
immediate post-war season of 1919, Fred Dodman would dryly
reflect "as I remember we weren't all that good. Lot of
ground to make up. Still I can tell you we beat Wymondham."
But after all that season was scarcely more than one of intense
practice and muscle flexing, so that in April 1920 G.H (Pa)
Salter was able to announce (via the Parish Magazine)
"Cricket will soon again be in full swing - and if the
number present at our last meeting held on March 11th is
anything to go by, we are in for a prosperous season... The
juniors, who were present in full force, elected G. Kerrison as
their captain and W. Dann as vice-captain, and it is hoped to
arrange a series of matches for the Bainbridge Cup of which our
juniors are the present holders... It is hoped to start practice
in early April, due notice of which will be posted in the
With respect to the
matter of posting notices in the village, it is worth recording
that, until the advent of World War I, Hethersett Cricket Club
had long been accustomed to publicising forthcoming matches by
printed posters, these being exhibited not only in the village
itself but also in neighbouring parishes.
exhibited by the Juniors in response to the kind of training
they received was to be reflected in future years. Meantime we
may take note of young W. Dann (i.e Walter Dann). The third
generation to play for Hethersett, his grandfather, another
Walter, having performed in the early days, young Walter was to
blossom into "a first class cricketer", Besides
captaining the East Norfolk Cricket Club, he was also to play
for Norfolk County. Yet somehow he would still find time to make
appearances for Hethersett.
Not surprisingly so
soon after a decimating war, the season of 1920 was not a full
one. "Only five real matches were played." One of
these was against Wattlefield, which Hethersett were all the
happier to win because "a lot of the Wattlefield team were
really Wymondham players.
May 8th, 1920 at
home: Hethersett 65, Besthorpe 25
May 22nd, 1920 at
home: Hethersett 125-5 dec, Norwich Police 33
June 6th, 1920 at
Lakenham Second Round of NJ Cup: Boulton and Paul 86, Hethersett
June 1920 at home:
Hethersett 118 (J. Read senior 45), Wattlefield 35 and 24.
August 21st 1920 at
Hellesdon: Hethersett 64 (J. Read senior 24 not), Hellesdon
Among the players
now, and in some cases, still playing for the club were: B.
Ringer, G. Salter (known as Pa Salter), H. Moore, E. Childs, L.
Claxton, R. Hickling, R. Quantrill, W. Childs, P. Curson, S.
Haining and, just beginning to show his paces, the
aforementioned Walter Dann.
And of course there
were the Reads: two of them each with the initial J .. the
reason why the elder of them was known in cricketing circles as
"PA2Read." Both father and son were exceptionally good
bowlers. Some evidence of the former's prowess as a bowler is
afforded by Mr J. S. Penny; one time official scorer for Civil
Service (Norwich).. a club which later under the captaincy of
Michael Trueshaw adopted the name "Mallards".
Originally formed in 1921, in the course of the following nine
years, it played 16 matches against Hethersett of which the
following is a brief but illuminating summary:-
1921 June 4th (NJ
Cup) - Hethersett 110-6 dec, Civil Service 63.
1922 May 6th - Civil
Service 136 Hethersett 33
August 19th - Civil
Service 104, Hethersett 56
1923 June 16th -
Hethersett 136, Civil Service 47
July 14th - Civil
Service 131, Hethersett 133-5
1924 May 17th -
Hethersett 96, Civil Service 29 (R. Hickling 6-19)
1925 May 23rd -
Hethersett 75 Civil Service 63
June 12th -
Hethersett 88 Civil Service 80 (Pa Read 6-42)
1926 May 15th
Hethersett 32 Civil Service 46 (Read 6-42)
June 17th Hethersett
134 Civil Service 192 (Read 7-62)
1927 June 4th
Hethersett 62, Civil Servce 39 (Read 7-17)
July 23rd Civil
Service 145 Hethersett 146-6
1928 July 7th Civil
Service 93 Hethersett 44
Hethersett 143 Civil Service 24 (Read 6-16)
1929 August 31st
Hethersett 97 Civil Service 101 (Read 7-37)
1930 June 21st
Hethersett 125 Civil Service 77
One conclusion too
readily drawn from the above is that Hethersett's bowling was
more consistent than its batting. But it would be false, since
it takes no account of the opposition's good bowlers.
Nevertheless Pa Read was widely esteemed for his bowling. Yet he
was no cut-a-dash bowler. He was in fact described as "a
steady slow bowler, but a real cunning one." Furthermore it
was said of him (to quote in full) that "his trickery would
get a batsman in such a flummox, the fellow wouldn't know
whether to wave his bat or dig a bloody hole with it."
But of course many
other matches were played during those years we have just
rapidly surveyed. Of some, though lamentably not many, we have
record. In this context we may note that, from time to time,
Hethersett played Bracondale School. These matches were regarded
as "Specials". The more so since the school had a name
for the quality of its cricket, particularly during the early
20s when one of its brightest hopes was a boy named Bill Edrich.
Hethersett players had reason to note that young man's
propensities not only with the bat but also for the way that he
would run between the wickets. As Fred Dodman would recall
"that boy Edrich was that hungry for runs, I remember how
he once threw his pads off, so he could run quicker."
That may have been
the occasion in July 1925 when Bracondale made 127 against
Hethersett's 72 of which 36 were made by C. Cann. Hethersett
didn't think much of that, but ragained their self esteem when a
week later they trounced their traditional rivals, Wymondham
July 18th, 1925 at
Wymondham Hethersett 168 (LeGrice 26, C. Cann 37, Pa Read 24),
Wymondham 91 (Pa Read 8-24).
But a week later
Hethersett took a hammering from CEYMS the score line reading
CEYMS 145 Hethersett 59 and that despite Reg Hickling bowling
like a demon to take five of the opposition wickets. But priode
was solaced when, in August, a match against Attleborough
(another traditional rival) resulted in the following scoreline
Hethersett 81 (H. Fulwood 23), Attleborough 76.
fresh from the mint of the Junior Team now began to feature
prominently in the Major Team namely:- G. Watling, K. Ward,
Ralph Summer, G. Kerrison, W. Howard, K. Pope and W. Clarke
being new names found in the list. H. Fulwood mentioned above,
though local by virtue of residence hailed from the Shires,
being a member of a Nottinghamshire cricketing family.
It was in this
year too, it may be noted, that Mr e (Teddy) Dann died. His
death as £friend, member and one time player of the club was
felt as a great loss.” It was said of him “He was an
all-rounder and in all the matches he ever played for
Hethersett, he never once dropped a catch.”
are scant, the season of 1926 was reported as “a very good one
for the Club.” The three following reports (all we have) seem
to support this belief:-
Hethersett 135 (R. Summers 30, F. Dodman 37) Yarmouth 62 (R.
(Read 8-24), Hethersett 54 (C. Cann 21)
It is believed,
for we have no actual record for it, that this was the season in
which “Reg Hickling got the hat-trick against Wymondham.”
season followed season, and, as with all cricket clubs,
Hethersett’s fortunes fluctuated. There were some (as there
always are!) who felt “the Club would never again be what it
had been”. And so as if to prove the error of this judgement,
Hethersett won the Norfolk Junior Cup once again beating a
strong Yarmouth Team in the Final. The year was 1929. The
occasion was one for great rejoicing when a social evening was
held in the Village Hall and later, a well-attended dinner took
place at the Old Greyhound Inn… the pub which had witnessed so
much of early cricket at Hethersett. At that dinner, Mr George
Salter (Pa) reviewed the history of the club back to the 1850s
whilst Dr Deacon (by letter) did likewise, not neglecting to
mention the astonishing score of 695 made against MCC in 1888 by
a Norfolk team “made up chiefly by those who played regularly
for Hethersett.” (And he Dr Deacon had watched the match).
further warmed by the announcement that young Walter Dann, a
star member of the club, had been selected to play for Norfolk
So the club
continues its story and, although records evade us and it would
be fruitless to cite them all if we had them… we hear of young
“all rounders like Ralph Summers”, the contribution still
made by members of the Childs’ family, of how J. Read could
still take 5 wickets for 33, not forgetting Fred Dodman… still
carrying his bat after 30 years of playing for the club!
are listed as players for the period under review:- H. Childs,
F. Dodman, J. White, R. Wright, R. Summers, H. Fulwood, J.
Hodge, J. Read, J. Thraxton, M. Wadsley, E. Bishop, R. Johnson,
V. Rule, R. Childs, G. Bishop, L. Thraxton, W. Howard. H.
Quantrill, P. Huggins, R. Johnson, R. Bailey. Familiar names
feature in that list. Others such as Moore, Curson and Hickling
are missing. Yet in due time they would re-appear. Tradition and
the lure of the game would see to that…
So in the year
1939, which brought the club a reasonably good season, of the
seven matches reported, Hethersett won five. We must record,
however, that Fred Dodman upon “thinking back” stated: “We
must have played about 15 games but we won most of them, because
I know we had a good season.”
Hethersett 158-7 Hellesdon Hospital 131
Park 124 Hethersett 64
Poringland 121 Hethersett 111 (W.Howard 20)
Hethersett 176 (H. Wright 69, J. White 20) , Wymondham 73
Hethersett 104-8 dec (r. Wright 39), County Police 71 (M.Wadsley
81 (R. Wright 26) Mulbarton 62
Hethersett 68 (L. Salter 29), Norvics 38 (P.Huggins 5-15,
By the time
that last game was played, several of Hethersett’s younger
hopes were already donning a uniform not intended for cricket.
For another era had ended, as war once again took priority over
less offensive pursuits.