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Oral History Project - Audio Clips

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Montgomery Cricket Club dates from the 1840s and is one of the oldest cricket clubs in Wales. The club still plays on its original ground in the idyllic and little changed rural surroundings of Lymore Park.

With funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the innovative Montgomery Cricket Club oral history project was undertaken in 2011/12 and aimed to record past and current players’ memories of Montgomery cricket from the 1940s to the 1990s. Within this funding, provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Club were also able to publish two books compiled by long serving member John Jones. These books contained newspaper cuttings from local newspapers related to Montgomery cricket between the years 1840 and 2000. Copies of these books can be found at the Clubhouse.

With professional support and training, the project has been entirely carried out by adult and youth members of the club. Over 30 past players have been interviewed both individually and in groups. Interviews were digitally recorded (and some were also filmed), and all the interviews have also been transcribed into a written record.

The result is a fascinating insight both into 50 years of ‘MCC’ cricket - with all its highs, lows, controversies, characters, incidents and enjoyment - and into shifting patterns of life in a rural Welsh border community through a time of significant social change.

Below, in roughly chronological order, are some of the highlights. They range from our current President Harry Williams' first memories of the club during the Second World War, to the 1980s and 1990s when the club enjoyed a golden age, winning a host of league and cup titles. If you want more information on the project, or want to hear the full interviews, contact Andrew Black (01743 236156) or David Thomas (01686 668934)




Lymore

Harry Williams first played cricket at Lymore in 1942. Since then he has done more for Montgomery cricket than anyone else and has served as groundsman, captain, chairman and is now president.


In this clip he remembers the first time he played cricket at the club in 1942 and some of the pre-war players.

Lymore

Bryan Bolderstone comes from a Montgomery farming family. His father was captain of the 2nd XI and Bryan went on to play for the club in the late 1940s and 1950s.He also played football for Montgomery in the famous cup winning team of 1959.


In this clip he remembers watching cricket with his family and some of the notable players. He also recalls games played on his father's fields at Weston.

Lymore

Bob Bayliss was born in Montgomery and played for the club as a young man before leaving to start a teaching career.



In this clip he recalls the great rivaly of sporting events between the 'top' and 'bottom' of the town.

Lymore

Harry Williams first played cricket at Lymore in 1942. Since then he has done more for Montgomery cricket than anyone else and has served as groundsman, captain, chairman and is now president.

In this clip he recalls a visit to Manchester to watch the Victory Test between an English team and an Australian team that included the likes of Lindwall, Miller Bob Christofani and Lindsay Hassett.

Lymore

Des Mellings' lived in the toll cottage on the Chirbury Road. He left the area as a young man to pursue a teaching career, eventually becoming a headteacher in Worcestershire.


In this clip he recalls learning to face tricky bowling on the school yard.

Lymore

Peter Lawrie is from a Montgomery farming family.



In this clip he remembers being persuaded to go to school because of cricket and the extreme lengths he went to to persuade teachers he was ill.

Lymore

In their group interview John Bennett, Harry Williams, Kendrick Evans and Bob Bayliss discussed their memories of the town, cricket and football in the years following the Second World War.


In this clip they recall the first television sets in Montgomery and the Welshman Gilbert Parkhouse who toured Australia with the England team in 1950-1.

Lymore

In their group interview John Bennett, Harry Williams, Kendrick Evans and Bob Bayliss discussed their memories of the town, cricket and football in the years following the Second World War.


In this clip they discuss the best players to play for Montgomery since the Second World War.

Lymore

Wyn Owen was born and brought up in Garthmyl where he was neighbours with John and Philip Jones who brought him to the club. He later moved to Hereford.


In this clip he describes how he fielded up close when Selwyn Bishop was bowling and made the mistake of taking a catch.

Lymore

Kendrick Evans was born on a farm just outside Montgomery and played for the club as a young man before leaving to join the RAF, where he served at home and abroad until his retirement.


In this clip he remembers the appearance of a new player, Frank Keyes, and the injury he sustained whilst wicketkeeping for him.

Lymore

Peter Lawrie is from a Montgomery farming family.


In this clip he remembers how the ground and wicket was prepared for matches in the 1950s and the equipment that needed armies of people to pull across the wicket. He also recalls using the local fire engine to water the pitch.

Lymore

Brian Purslow was rated by Harry Williams as one of the best all-rounders to play for the club. He began playing in the 1950s and stayed at the club through the 1960s until he moved away from the area.


In this clip he remembers the state of the ground in the 1950s, how it affected his batting, and the efforts to remove cow pat and sheep droppings.

Lymore

Philip Jones played with his two brothers Roger and John for the club. In later years he became the club's umpire.


In this clip he remembers Brian Purslow, the outstanding all-rounder of the day, and his correction of the score book that involved the umpire, the scorer and himself.

Lymore

Chris Weaver was raised in Montgomery and played football and cricket for the town before leaving to pursue a career in teaching.



In this clip he remembers umpire Harold Davies, who was the local saddler, and his advice about oiling his bat.

Lymore

In their group interview John Jones, Chris Weaver, Brian Purslow and Phillip Jones discussed their memories of the cricket in the 1950s and 1960s.


In this clip they remember the outstanding bowlers of their time and the favourable LBW decisions that Bert Bevan received from his father-in-law Harold Davies.

Lymore

David Brown was born to a farming family at the Goronddu between Montgomery and Abermule. He played for the club between 1954 and 1964 when he moved to Welshpool and began to work for an insurance company.



In this clip he recalls a typical day of cricket at Montgomery in the 1950s and 1960s.

Lymore

John Jones was an outstanding batsman for the club and played many times for the Montgomeryshire team in the 1960s. He later became an umpire and served as treasurer and secretary of the club for many years.

In this clip he recalls playing for the county against other north Wales counties and touring sides from Pakistan and Australia. He also remembers some of the other Montgomeryshire players.

Lymore

Peter Stewart is the son of the doctor who served the town in the middle of the last century and played cricket for the club while a young man.



In this clip he recalls raising a team to play Montgomery on his wedding day in 1971, the unlikely score, and the results of two kegs of beer.

Lymore

Mark Lloyd is the son of Howard Lloyd and played cricket as a youngster for the club, developing into one of the best young players in the early 1980s.



In this clip he recalls that the teas served at Montgomery in the 1970s and 1980s were the best in the league.

Lymore

Eddie William's father came to the area to play football professionally. Eddie was a teacher and kept wicket for the club during the late 1970s and early 1980s.


In this clip he recalls teas at Montgomery and the need to avoid sitting next to Phillip Jones.

Lymore

In their group interview Rob Kinsey, Stan Davies, and Eddie Williams discussed their memories of the cricket in the 1970s and 1980s.



In this clip they remember umpire Phillip Jones no-balling the Lilleshall bowler Roy Bolton.

Lymore

Richard Slowik moved to the Montgomery after living in London for a while. He learnt to play cricket while at school and was mainly a bowler, and moved away to play for Condover in the late 1970s.


In this clip he remembers the bowling feats that earned him the nickname 'Destroyer'.

Lymore

Andrew Jones is the son of former player and umpire John Jones. He first started playing 'over the grid' with his brother cousins and friends before starting to play for the senior teams in the 1980s. He moved to Newcastle in the mid 1990s and still lives there.


In this clip he recalls the games 'over the grid' as a boy, and Neil Tuffin's unlikely score of over a thousand in one game.

Lymore

Neil Tuffin used to come and watch his dad play in the late 1970s and then began to play for the team in the mid 1980s. He has captained both the 1st XI and the 2nd XI.


This clip recalls his memories of the 'over the grid' games with his friends.

Lymore

John Barker has played for Montgomery since moving to the area to teach in the late 1970s. He was instrumental in setting up the second team in the mid 1990s and has been chairman of the club for the past ten years.


In this clip he recall's Colin Davies' 158 runs against Lilleshall - probably the most spectacular and possibly the highest innings ever seen at the club.

Lymore

Stan Davies started at the club as a spin bowler but quickly developed into a hard hitting batsman. He captained the club in the 1990s and is now our vice chairman and groundsman.


In this clip he recalls an innings of 154 against Shelton when he and Harry Williams secured an unlikely victory.

Lymore

Gareth Jones is the son of former player and umpire Phillip Jones and came along to the club with his dad as a boy. He played for the club in the 1980s and early 1990s before moving to Australia to live.


In this clip he recalls the occassion when Montgomery needed to secure a losing draw against Newtown to secure the Borders League title.

Lymore

Robert Kinsey has been the outstanding all rounder at the club for the past thirty-five years. He was captain of the side in its heyday in the 1980s and helped to win many games with both bat and ball.


In this clip he recalls a rough wicket at Overton that caused Colin Davies to purchase a chest guard.

Lymore

In their group interview John Barker, Neil Tuffin, and Jonathan Williams discussed their memories of cricket in the 1980s and 1990s.



In this clip they try and pick the best team from the last 30 years.

Lymore

Nigel Vaughan originally came from Ruabon. He was a spin bowler who moved to the area to teach at Newtown High School.



In this clip Nigel sums up his thoughts about Montgomery Cricket Club and what it meant to him.

With thanks to - 

Participants: Brian Balderston, John Barker, Bob Bayliss, John Bennett, David Brown, Mary Bunner (jnr), Mary Bunner (snr), Elene Cadwallader, Colin Davies, Elvet Davies, Stan Davies, Kenrick Evans, Andrew Jones, Gareth Jones, John Jones, Philip Jones, Wynne Jones, Rob Kinsey, Peter Lawry, Mark Lloyd, Des Mellings, Howard Newell, Wyn Owen, Brian Pugh, Brian Purslow, Richard Slowik, Peter Stewart, Neil Tuffin, Nigel Vaughan, Chris Weaver, Eddie Williams, Harry Williams, Jonathan Williams.

MCC Oral History Team: Andrew Black (Project Manager), Ian Bapty, Phil Betts, Caroline Black, David Thomas.

Youth Interviewers: Thomas Corfield, Gareth Griffiths, Ned Hayes, Caspar Mould, Ping Mould, Theo Mould.

Specialist Support: Helen Lloyd (Oral History Consultancy), George Pryce (filming).

Additional Support: Old Bell Museum (Ann & John Welton), Montgomery Church in Wales School (Judith Baker), Pete Davies, Dr Andrew Hignell.