Westley Cricket Club

Team 1956/57

My older brother Dennis Burton was a team member of the Westley Cricket Club in 1956/7. My sister Anne and I, together with our cousin Toni Devine, used to go along on Sunday afternoons to the field on the corner of Dry Street and the High Road where the Beacon is now sited to watch them play. I think that Anne and Toni helped out on the tea stall. However, I recall that Dennis spent much of his time working on the base of a pavilion he was building for them in a corner of the field. I only got to see him play once, when unfortunately he was bowled out for a duck. 

Remains of the pavilion’s concrete base can be seen in the field.  Very sadly Dennis passed away in May 2010, however, I remember those lovely sunny Sunday afternoons and the long walk there and back from our home in Alexandra Road, Laindon (the unmade part of King Edward Road).  In the photograph, Dennis is second from left in the back row. I can’t remember the names of any other team members but recognise a few faces.

1______?2 Dennis Burton3 ______?4  David Markin
5 Sid Phillips6 Charlie Clark?7 Dale Ratcliffe8 Bill Hopkins
9_______?10 Harry Hill?     11 Johnny Simpson ?
Westley Cricket Club - 1956/57 Team
Nina Humphrey
Original programme autographed by Trevor Bailey who opened the Westley Cricket Club.
Joyce Burton
Joyce Burton
Joyce Burton

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  • My boyfriend Ken Emery played and I often did the scoring by hand at matches . He was a Fast Bowler .
    I still have a Dinner, Dance invitation at the Crown Hotel and menu .
    Circa 1955/56 ish
    Janet Clark .

    By Janet Tucker (23/03/2023)
  • An original autographed programme of the opening of the Westley Cricket Club in 1956.  My sister-in-law, Joyce Burton, found it while sorting through things at home.  In 1956, she along with many others queued for Trevor Bailey’s autograph and has kept the programme all these years.  I simply had to add it to this article. 

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (19/06/2015)
  • Hi, stumbled on your site,and was surprised to find this picture, 7 from left back row my eldest brother David Markin, photo jumped out at me, as sadly Dave passed away in 1972 aged thirty five.  8 next to Dave I believe is Bill Hopkins, 6 is Dale Ratcliffe.  The Markin family and Hopkins family lived in Nightingale Ave, Langdon Hills.

    By Chris Markin (10/02/2013)
  • Hi your numbers are wrong on photo David Markin number 7 from left back row standing Bill Hopkins number 8 from left back row standing Dale Ratcliffe number 6 from left back row standing Regards Chris.

    Editor: Hi Chris, it’s a bit confusing but there are three rows of players in the photo, the back row has four players, the middle has four and the front has three.  Could you confirm that the names are correct when viewed as three rows.

    Many thanks  Colin

    By Chris Markin (10/02/2013)
  • Hi Colin sorry, viewed as three rows your right, Dave 4 Bill 8 Dale7 Bill Hopkins in twice but 8 not 3 Thanks Chris

    Editor: Many thanks Chris, delighted that you discovered our website and were able to name more of the team.  Colin

    By Chris Markin (10/02/2013)
  • I can remember playing against Glen in a match, but it was not locally. He was playing for a London business team and it was played somewhere south of the river if my memory serves me correctly. 

    Also Harry Hill and his brother did in later years switch to Laindon CC, and I believe George Buck was at one time a Westley player before joining Laindon.

    By W.H.Diment (05/12/2012)
  • Hi Nina, yes I am that Glen from St Davids Road. Thank you for your regards, looking through this website has brought a lot of memories. Hope to find the photographs of the Westley Cricket Club soon.

    By Glen Cunningham (04/12/2012)
  • I believe that the sixth standing figure from the left is Dale Ratcliffe. Also, the kneeling figure with cap and pads is Harry Hill. I was a friend of his son Roger. 

    Harry and my father, Richard Cunningham, were among the founder members of the club. They did most of the work building the pavilion, largely at weekends while my brother and I played cricket in the outfield. My older brother Glen went on to play cricket for the club. 

    I remember the inaugeral match against Westcliff, where Trevor Bailey bowled the first ball. Somewhere my brother has photographs of this match and I am trying to persuade him to search for them.

    Editor: We would love to publish them so please continue your efforts.

    By Brian Cunningham (02/12/2012)
  • Hi Brian. Did you and your brother Glen live in St David’s Road, Langdon Hills? If so, I believe Glen and I were in the same class at Laindon High Road School, we left in 1962. See my article “Photographs of 5X and 5X2 1962”, there’s a couple of photos of him on there. I seem to remember he played a lot of cricket at school. Please give him my kindest regards. 

    I remember Trevor Bailey visiting Westley Cricket Club in the fifties. My sister-in-law Joyce (Dennis Burton’s wife) joined the long queue to get his autograph. I believe a photo of that occasion appeared in the local paper.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (02/12/2012)
  • I believe No 6 is Charlie Clark who used to own a toy making factory in Langdon Hills High Road just up from Milton Avenue.

    By Russell Beckford (13/05/2012)
  • I suggest that the no.11 in the photograph may have been Johnny Simpson, whose brother Wilf played in the prewar Bicycle Polo team.

    By WHDiment (18/01/2012)
  • Hi Ken. Thanks for the info. That’s very interesting indeed. I wish I could remember more about the cricket club but I was only 10 years old when my brother was in the team. I was probably playing with the other children at the side of the field instead of watching the match. Best wishes.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (17/01/2012)
  • Hi Nina; The concrete base in the Beacon Field you refer to was also the base of the Cook House for the Langdon Hills German POW camp. The Cook House was the only brick built building in the Camp.

    By Ken Porter (16/01/2012)
  • On the far left No 5 is Sid Phillips (my late brother Dennis’ wife Joyce recognised him).

    By Nina Burton (13/11/2011)
  • I almost came into contact with West Lee as a member of Laindon CC. We had an away fixture with them and when as we were changing, another team arrived. Although our fixture secretary had confirmation of the match, it seemed that the other team also had similar confirmation. It was suggested that we should toss to see who played, but the other team stated that as they had travelled some distance they should be allowed to play, the West Lee captain agreed.

    As far as I can remember, there was never any further fixtures arranged between the clubs.

    By W.H.Diment (24/10/2011)
  • In the October 1923 edition of the “Laindon, Pitsea and Stanford-le Hope Advertiser and Railway Timetable” (a monthly publication printed by E J Bagent and Sons of High Road, Laindon and sold in the district for 1d per copy) the following appears: 



    “The season closed on Saturday August 25th, when the club played their last match against East Ham Baptist and won a good game by 13 runs. At a committee meeting it was decided that the last two fixtures should be scratched as the committee found it impossible to field a team, thus the last two fixtures as arranged and advertised in handbooks were not fulfilled. 

    On Saturday, August 11th, Bulphan scratched their fixture with us only a few hours before the arranged start, so that no match was played on that date. 

    “With these three games not played the club won eleven of the remaining matches, while on six occasions we had to give our opponents best. The greatest defeat of the season was on July 21st at Laindon, when our visitors were St. John’s C. C., a team from Seven Kings. They were a good batting side and scored 114, the highest score on our ground. This game was lost by 65 runs, the club only replying with 49, of which L.Key scored 27. 

    “The other five games lost were only by small totals. Two matches were lost only by 3 runs. Perhaps the keenest game of the season was our fixture with Elmswood C. C. at Laindon. They gave us the hardest tussle we experienced, fighting hard they almost succeeded in making the result one in their favour. West Lee (sic) last wicket fell when they were leading by only one run. This was our narrowest win. 

    The following clubs also lost to us:- Midland Railway, Dagenham, East Ham Baptist, Basildon S.C. 2nd XI., Park Athletic, Fairfield House, Glenavon, and Horndon-on-the-Hill. The three last named teams in return each registered a win against us, while Park Athletic, the only other team we met twice, lost both their games to us by 12 and 5 runs respectively. 

    “Another interesting fixture was the Seniors v. Juniors, arranged and played on May 26th. The Juniors batted first and scored 55 runs. Then the Seniors started badly, losing their first four wickets with only one run scored, but were actually within two runs of victory when their last man was run out, the Juniors thus winning by one run. 

    “All matches were played at Laindon except the fixture with Dagenham C. C. and Horndon-on-the-Hill C.C. and these were played on the grounds of our opponents. Of the three fixtures played away from Laindon, two resulted in a win for the club. 

    “L.Key tops the batting list with an average of 7.50 runs per innings, he also made the highest individual score and was the only member to score more than 100 runs for his club this season. L.Ward came second with an average 6.06 runs per innings, being closely followed by Holmes, Gatby and Brown each having an average of over five. 

    “The bowling honours go to Holmes who has an excellent average of 2.64 runs per wicket. His bowling has done much towards the success of the club this season. H.Firth and B.Lagden come next followed by M.Roper with an average of 4.42 runs per wicket taken. He has 57 wickets to his credit, the most taken by any member of the West Lee Cricket Club since the club was formed. Holmes ran him close this season, being only a wicket less than his score, which is 56 wickets, while H. Frith has taken 18 wickets. 

    “Altogether this season 51 catches have been made by members of the team, of which V. Mawby claims 11 from behind the stumps, while Gale and Gatley have seven each to their credit. Teams visiting Laindon have made 64 catches at the club’s expense, so that roughly on an average one-third of the team per match have been caught out. 

    “Our results do not look so well as they did last season, but considering we have played teams on several occasions above our standard one cannot say we have has a bad season. Last season our opponents were not so strong and I think that this season we have done a lot better than was anticipated by many. 

    “Our Handbooks did not sell so well as they might have done. It was only a trial this season. Next season we hope to have a Handbook worthy of its name, and further that this club run with as much success again as it has done this season.” (The report carried no signature.)

    By John Bathurst (08/07/2011)

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