A return to the crease – fancy a reunion?

There’s been some interest online lately about local cricket clubs in Brownhills and Walsall Wood which many men of a certain age locally played for, or enjoyed spectating. Sadly, both clubs dissolved years ago now, so the halcyon days of willow upon leather locally are but a memory.

We’ve covered Walsall Wood cricket a fair bit here over the years, but nothing much about Brownhills which I find surprising.

Well, former member Dave Slatcher is proposing a Brownhills Cricket Club Reunion, which seems like a cracking idea to me.

He wrote:

About time we had a reunion for anyone who played, or was a relative of a former player from Brownhills Cricket Club, please circulate and share, and anyone interested please contact me on slatch@talk21.com.

I’ll then collate names to try and sort a date and venue…

You can also find Dave on Facebook here.

In the meantime,

Micheal Smith posted this image on Facebook of Brownhills Cricket Club team – believed to be the First XI in 1972. Click for a larger version. Who do you recognise?

Local teacher Eryl Powell is probably the person I’ve come across who knows most about the club in latter days, and recently he posted this team sheet from 1987, supplied to him by Neil Stringer, all the way from Canada:

It’s a bit fuzzy, but enough to jog memories there I think. Click for a larger version – Brownhills Cricket Club, 1987 kindly supplied by Neil Stringer via Eryl Powell. Click for the full size version.

If you have any recollections of either club, or have anything to add, please do comment here, tug my sleeve on social media or mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

The local sports clubs were a vital part of our communal history and it would be great top build up more of a history of them. Let’s see if we can…

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25 Responses to A return to the crease – fancy a reunion?

  1. andkindred says:

    My uncle Alan played for many years, but moved to Pelsall in about 1970. I played for the colts a few times in the mid-70s. The man front left is, I believe, Mike Kempson, who was a physics teacher at Shire Oak.

  2. ivor osborne says:

    Hi Ivor Osborne replying Played for Brownhills CC in the mid 70s was taken there by my friend Larry Lazenby also both my uncles Sam and Ivor Shingler played in the 1930s/40s

  3. Eryl says:

    I’m very proud to say that I captained the first teams at Walsall Wood and Brownhills in the day!
    We won the Walsall KO with Walsall Wood, and The Mercia League with Brownhills.
    Happy days, and immense teas.

  4. Len Boulton says:

    I Played for Brownhills from1963 – 1983 I believe the photo to be the 2nd team from around 1973/4.
    Players on Photo are Back Row: M Smith, G Orgill, G Whitehouse, ? , J Cox, Small boy ?, Umpire B Boswell. Front Row M Kempson, J King, I White, ? , Chris ?, D Wright.

    I do recognize the ones with a ? but cannot put a name to them.

    Apology’s for any names wrong or spelt wrong.

  5. Robert Cresswell says:

    Thinking back I can’t remember the Wood and Brownhills playing against each other.

    • len Boulton says:

      As far as i can remember they never did, have spoken about it in the past to Paul Frost and Terry Whitehouse, both who are no longer with us.

    • Jon Whitehouse says:

      I captained Walsall wood and played again Brownhills at the wood , both myself and Greg Thompson bowled them out for 19 runs , my best ever figures 7 for 11 and j think 4 of them were byes , personally I am very sad to see Walsall wood go as my family along with yours rib have very special memories down there , I’d like a reunion or Walsall wood other than at a funeral ,
      Attended Tony Shirley’s funeral not to long ago and sat chatting with graham smith who asnt changed one bit , graham is second from left front row , I would like to wish Brownhills all the best in there search for previous member and hope you have a fantastic reunion ,
      If I close my eyes and cast my memory back I can still ear the bells ringing down the wood , Megan with penny laughing doing the teas , and just a general happy fantastic atmosphere , the weekends were very much looked forward too and terribly missed

  6. dave dunkley says:

    Dave Dunkley says
    Played two seasons Mid seventies, great times. Remember some of the faces but also Bernard and Roy Marigold, Bob ? was captain and I can remember one match he took 9 wickets and I captured the last. Bob didn’t speak to me for weeks. Happy days.

  7. len Boulton says:

    To complete the names on the photo: Middle front row K Beaston and its Chris Ray.

    • Derek Wright says:

      It’s not Chris Ray it is Alan Burns
      Photo is a first team on either 1976 or 1977 but it is missing a few regulars

      • len Boulton says:

        Derek I thought it the 2nd team the season Graham Whitehouse was captain. Not convinced that it
        is Alan Burns. if its the 1st why no Monty?, why so many regular 1st team players missing. Also I don’t remember Jim Cox who I used to catch the bus from Aldridge with, ever playing for the 1sts. I may be wrong but that was my first thoughts. Although perhaps the give away is that Bill was umpire and he generally only umpired the firsts.

        • Derek Wright says:

          Len It is definitely Alan Burns and he and Ian White were first team regulars from the early 70’s
          You are right that Bill only did first team games
          Graham was second team captain in 1975 but would have taken seated spot if he was skipper that day
          One possibility was that it was bank holiday match
          Les Carless joined 1976 I think

          • len Boulton says:

            Derick Yes I agree if Graham had been captain he would have been centre front, 1975 was the one season I very rarely played, You are right Les Carless would have joined about 1976. Another possibility could be a Sunday game, very few of the regulars played in the early days of us playing on a Sunday. I recognized the small boy but cant put a name to him, i am sure he played for us at a latter date.

  8. Dave Dunkley says:

    My time at the club Bob Dorcett was captain [remember his surname from my last post] of the seconds, good all rounder Bob was. I can remember Eddie Tennant and Norman Edwards who persuaded me to leave Rushall CC. My first match was against Rushall and strange bowling against them. Another player was Gill Preece who I knew as a building inspector. .

    • len Boulton says:

      There were 3 Tennant’s at the club Dennis (the Father) who may have stopped playing when you came , his 2 sons Giles and Lloyd. Lloyd went on to play for Leicestershire.
      It was Tony Preece. Frank Smith, David Powell, Paul Gomery, Graham Orgill, Bob Dorset’s brother John also played. I played quite a bit at that time and if not playing would score.

      • Dave Dunkley says:

        You are right with the names above, it’s such a while since those memorably days. Dennis would always bowl up the slope at Holland Park, I could never get the hang of it. I was talking to Steve Hartshorne last night and he filled me in about Lloyd. Dave

        • len Boulton says:

          Dave I remember Steve well, Please give him my regards. it is well worth googling Lloyd Tennant lots of information. He was bowling coach at Leicestershire for 29 years and I believe now works for ECB. I remember his first game for Brownhills 2nds he was about 13.

  9. Dave Dunkley says:

    How many remember the indoor sessions at Oak park during the winter coached by Jack Bannister. Jack helped me a lot on batting, but I was always last man in with an average of 0.

  10. Dave Powell says:

    Dave Powell here replying to various posts re Brownhills cricket club, I played for the club during the 70s. The picture is of the 1st team captained by Ken Beeston and is from the late 70s. The Line up is the following,

    Back row left to right Mike Smith, Graham Orgill, Graham Whitehouse, Les Carless, Jim Cox, Nigel Corbett (scorer), Bill Boswell (Umpire).

    Front row
    Mike Kempson, Jeff King, Ian White, Ken Beeston (Capt), Alan Burns, Dereck Wright.

  11. oldcoachdave says:

    Hi Len

    Havent seen you for years. Have you still got my old bat !!!
    Memorable days in the 2nd team with A D Preece as captain. A few other names to jog your memory who played with us
    Martin Gebhard, Les Smith, Bob Kendall, Graham Pickering, Norman Edwards, and I can`t believe nobody has mentioned monty (john Gomery).
    Best Wishes
    Dave Powell

    • len Boulton says:

      Hi Dave hope you are doing well, yes memorable days indeed, i remember all those and many more, including your kid, is he still well? I saw Monty over Christmas, we still have an annual get together, from Deanson/Tradeprint. Unfortunately both Riggo and Yankee have both passed on. As you are aware both played for Brownhills at some time. Best wishes Len

      • Dave Powell says:

        good to hear your still going len. I saw Mick Busst a few months ago and he told me about riggo and yank.
        Our kid is still doing ok although as you are both the same age it’s stretching it a bit to call him kid at 73 ha ha.
        Ive been in touch with slatch regarding a reunion so hope you would be up for it too. if so it would be good to catch up over a few beers

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