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More History of Stone CC

We had been playing cricket at our new ground at Shenstone for about three years when Les Talbot phoned me at the shop to ask me if I would take on the job of fixture secretary for Stone Cricket Club.

 

A meeting had been fixed at Shenstone House (D.Talbots’s home) in two days time and I had to decide by then. I took on the job at the meeting and was told to look for new fixtures. Alex Ritchie put his arm on my shoulder and said “Please keep the fixture with Burwarton.” I wondered why. I found out later that he had family connections there.

After about 2 or 3 years I increased the fixture list from 28 games a year to 40 but our main worry was lack of funds. It was in the Plough one night after a match, when Walter Talbot called me over and I met a man called Jim Sewter who was playing for Kidderminster First at Chester Road. Jim said “Pleased to meet you, Dennis. I understand you’re short of funds at the club.” We agreed I would leave a Sunday fixture vacant for him to bring a Kidderminster XI down to Stone and run a raffle after the match. This was a great success as we raised a lot of money for the club and it was a chance to play against good players.

Over the years many well-known players came to Stone, Roy Tattershall, ex Lancashire and England spinner, Doug Slade, John Aldridge, Glen Turner, ex Worcestershire and most of the First team Kidderminster players. In the 1970′s Jim Yardley, who played for Stone as a boy, was released by Worcestershire County Cricket Club, along with two other players, so we had a match at Stone to raise money for them. They brought a Worcestershire XI which included Narman Gifford (Worcs. captain), Brian Brain and many other County Second XI players.

Part of my job as fixture secretary was to arrange our annual Dinner & Dance at the Dog at Harvington which I’m pleased to say was well attended and always a great success. Our main speaker one year was Alan Ormerod, Worcs. opening bat, who I later got to know well. Later on he rang and asked me if we could raise some money for his benefit season. We held a dance at Cutnall Green Village Hall. We should have played a full Worcestershire Cricket XI at Stone but to my disappointment, this was rained off.

One fixture I always remember is playing against the Colonel’s XI. This team was run by Ray Mercer and always inluded a lot of Kidderminster footballers, e.g. Stewart Logan, brother Gavin, Keith Hirons, Fred Buxton and many other local sportsmen. I remember one Sunday playing against Netherton. I said to the wicket keeper that the bowler had got very large hands. Apparently it was Gill Merrick, the then Birmingham City goalkeeper!

After 20 years as fixture secretary I gave up the job and played on for three years and then retired owing to business pressure. Looking back over 25 years at Stone, I have met a lot of nice people and been to some lovely village grounds.

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