The Early Days of Cricket in our Community

There appears to be very little prewar history

Crown Hotel with what looks like a Cricket Roller in the foreground

Langdon Hills CC certainly existed prewar and must have been formed very early, as the photograph of the Crown Hotel shows a car cark with only one vehicle which I believe to be a model T Ford, yet in the foreground there is a roller on the hotel meadow which suggests cricket was being played and there is no history of Langdon Hills. CC in the archive even though it would appear to be our oldest club.    

Prewar there was also a wooden cricket pavilion halfway up the Langdon Hills Rec. and a primitive strip, but I cannot remember any club there. 

I did play cricket prewar with some of my friends from Laindon but this was for Dunton Colony.

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  • Hello, interesting to hear there was a cricket club associated with Dunton “Dunton Colony CC”. Any idea where they would have played when they were at home?

    In addition, do any of you blokes know of any history associated with West Tilbury CC if it ever existed or who played on the ‘Condovers Pitch’ near the church at West Tilbury?

    By David Thompson (20/05/2015)
  • Hallo John, I am sorry to hear your aunt has passed away. For your information, as far as I remember it was in the later 1950’s when I knew her and our workplace was the British Rail, London Goods Accountancy Office, Blandford Square, St. Marylebone, which was a large central accountancy office. It was on two floors and your aunt worked on the second floor but I worked on the ground floor. 

    You mention her gentleman companion, he also worked at Blandford Square. and accompanied her on her visit to Laindon. I do not think the purpose was to watch cricket but to visit family and the came to the club as Stan was playing that afternoon. 

    I did not work very long at Blandford Square as I preferred the operating side of railways and transferred out, although I had to drop grade to do this. 

    My connection with your aunt was simply that of a working colleague and not social.

    By W.H.Diment (28/10/2012)
  • Well, Bill, I thought I had a good memory, but yours knocks mine into a cocked hat! That’s amazing, because I don’t remember my Aunt May ever coming to cricket matches. May didn’t have a family, as she never married – although she did have a constant companion for many years. She died about 15 years ago, so there is no-one around to ask now. 

    If I sent you a photograph of her, do you think you might be able to recognise her after all these years? I would love to know if it really was my Aunt May who you worked with. With the British Rail connection, I guess you must be right. I shall be pleased for the Editor to give you my email address, if you are happy to pursue this discussion off-site.

    Editor: I will pass on your email with pleasure

    By John Peters (27/10/2012)
  • Following Bill’s notes about prewar cricket in the Laindon area, I have some information which may add to the debate. My parents, Stan and Grace Peters, moved to Laindon from Walthamstow in 1933. 

    In 1934, my father joined the Basildon Cricket Club and I have his old fixture cards for the 1934, 1936 and 1938 seasons. According to the 1938 fixture card, the club ground was at the rear of the Church Hall in Rectory Road, Basildon. My father’s hand-written notes on this card tell us that the club was disbanded in July of that year. 

    I was particularly interested in hearing of Bill’s connection with the Dunton Colony team, as the 1938 fixture card for the Basildon C.C. lists two fixtures against Dunton Colony in May of that year, only one of which was actually played (i.e. 14th May ‘away’ at Dunton Colony). From this, it is possible that my father and Bill were on opposing sides on that occasion. 

    None of these three fixture cards lists any matches against Langdon Hills C.C. or Laindon C.C., so we can probably deduce from this that neither of those clubs were in existence at the time.

    By John Peters (26/10/2012)
  • Hallo John, Further to your remembrances of Stan playing for Basildon CC in the 1930s’, while it is correct that Laindon CC did not exist then as it was only formed after the war known as Laindon Meadow CC and changed to Laindon CC in the late 1940’s. However Langdon Hills CC was playing on the Crown Meadow in the early 1020s’. 

    As to the Dunton Colony fixture, while I do not remember it specifically, I am sure your dad would have as these were played before a very large crowd as most of the colony residents would attend, possibly due to the fact that the tea marquee supplied cake and sandwiches to all, after the teams had taken theirs. I cannot remember many of the players for Dunton, only myself, Ken Ripper, Phillip Hibbert and Jack Goldingay. 

    Quite apart from cricket, I believe that in the early 1950s’, I worked in a London Accountancy office with a lady who I believe was your mother’s sister and who would sometimes visit Laindon on a Sunday and watch the cricket.

    By W.H.Diment (26/10/2012)
  • Very interesting, Bill. As to the lady who came to watch the matches on a Sunday, I don’t think that either of Mum’s two sisters would have come down from London to watch cricket. Only one of them went out to work and she was employed by British Rail in their offices at Liverpool Street Station for most of her career. It may have been one of Mum’s friends, but I don’t have any recollections of that, I’m afraid. Must get my thinking cap on!

    By John Peters (26/10/2012)
  • Hallo John, I am sorry that I have to disagree with you as to the identity of the lady in question, but it certainly was your your mothers sister as she sat with your mother and was introduced to me as her sister. 

    She did as you say work for British Rail and may have worked at Liverpool St. but I did not know her from there, even though I spent some of my working days as an Asst. Station Master Liverpool St. 

    I worked with her at the British Rail London Accounts Office at St. Marylebone. Do you still have any contact with your aunt’s family who could verify this.

    By W.H.Diment (26/10/2012)

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