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History Of Stone CC

Stone Cricket Club was founded in 1927 and celebrated it’s 80th Anniversary in 2007. It has had several homes and now plays on the ground at Shenstone shown below.

In the book “Stone Remembered”, two articles were published which give an important and interesting insight into the history of the Club as seen by two of their past players.

These articles are reproduced with the kind permission of Les Talbot, Dennis Banks and the all the local people who produced “Stone Remembered”.

Stone Cricket Club – Les Talbot

Cricket has played a very big part in my life. I was first introduced to the game by the Rev. Stork whilst still at Stone School. He would take us to the field at the bottom of Stone Hill. It was opposite the old vicarage where we played for 1 hour or our 1.5 hour lunch break. One evening per week we played matches against Kidderminster schools.

When I was 15 years old I played for Stone Cricket Club. The Talbot family owned Moule’s Farm and in 1937 agreed to have the cricket pitch on land that adjoined the house. We had a hut to change in. This was in the corner of the field near to the bowling green at the Hare and Hounds. A pavilion was built later. On the far side towards the main road was the building where all the social events took place. This was just referred to as “The Hut”. There were dances, whist drives, snooker and parties of all kinds. A room at the back was used by the tennis club which was on the same site.

My brothers, Stan and Walter, Bert Bayes, Bert Grove, Alf Jones, Cyril Quinn, Harry King, Jim Baylis and Vernon Hopcroft as skipper, were some I remembered. They helped move the pavilion to be sited nearer the house and entrance.

When the war started in 1939, cricket was abandoned. German P.O.W.’s worked on the land and after a while they were allowed to live on the farms if accommodation could be found. Stone cricket club pavilion became the home for some of them.

In 1948 with Cliff Thatcher as president, Stone Cricket Club was reborn. Charlie Goodyear headmaster of Stone School was captain. Some of the players I remember were the very fast bowler Charlie Stephens whom I always used to open the bowling with. Cyril Quinn, George Graham, Owen Evans, Tony Talbot, Cyril Coombs and Percy Crossland, the Principal of Shenstone Training College. Later when others joined including Les and Stan Whiteman, Mike Downes, Ray Higley, Don Brimble and Des Pheysey, a second X1 was formed.

When Bert sold Moule’s Farm, the cricket club had to find a new home. Mr Palethorpe from Stone Manor was always very good to us and he persuaded Arthur Pardoe to let us have the pitch on the field below Stone Manor that joins Butts Lane. Ken Davies, Ken Morgan and George Wheeler were playing now. Once again the pavilion was moved under the guidance of my brother Stan. He helped with transport, construction and preparation, along with many club members.

Play continued for a few years but with livestock grazing the same field, players were getting more than grass stains on their clothes. So a decision was made to move. Stanley Cattell was president at the time and he offered us land at Spennels. Again it was his brother Stan who organised the moving of the pavilion and the laying of the turf. Water was pumped from Captain’s Pool.

Alec Ritchie was very involved with the club and members now included Arthur Bond, Ronnie Talbot, Dennis Banks and John Rose. After a time the pitch became far from ideal, moles had started burrowing under the pitch.

On Sunday morning I was in The Dog at Harvington with Alec Ritchie, Ken Davies, Arthur Bond and David Talbot when brother Ern came in with Charlie Grainger, Reg Robinson, Bill Allport and Bert Mann. Ern heard us discussing the state of the wicket and offered us the field at Shenstone where the club remains today.

This time the pavilion was not moved. A new one was constructed by Gino, an Italian ex P.O.W. who had previously been a carpenter in Italy before the war. He worked on the farm for John Green at Lower House Farm at Chaddesley Corbett. The old Nissan hut was utilised as a tea room to begin with but later a new one was constructed, again by Gino. Mains water was brought down off the main road opposite Astons. Gradually the club got stronger and stronger. More players joined. There was John Matthews whose father was Principal of Shenstone Training College. Jack Aldridge, Jim Yardley who played for County, Don Aldridge, Bill Dean, Les Ward and Mike Underwood. He was a very powerful batsman who once hit a ball onto the roof of Ronnie Hill’s house.

Annual matches were always held in June and arranged against a Kidderminster XI. Some of the well known players who have played on the ground at Shenstone include Martin Horton, Glen Turner, Les Caldwell and John Aldridge.

The football club also played on this field before the war. I remember Frank Roberts who played in goal, Harold Hartland, George Southall, Jim and Reg Goodwin, Walter Talbot and Eddie Shewry. In 1964 I went into hospital but cricket was not forgotten. I was kept informed by John Kerr who used to bring me the scorecard. I am very proud to have been skipper of Stone Cricket Club for 16 years. It has played such a big part of my life. My wife Helen also played her part. She has been a stalwart behind the scenes with the help of Muriel Ritchie and many other ladies, they have been invaluable in providing delicious teas, supporting their men and last, but by no means least, washing all those cricket whites.

Over the years I have met so many players and it is difficult to recall every name. To those of you I have forgotten, you have all played your part in making Stone Cricket Club such a great village side. I am proud to have been part of it.