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The Bures 100 Year Cricket Match

1845 - 1957

Update July24th 2022


During 2017, I came across an article in the local "East Anglian Magazine" describing a cricket match held on the recreation ground in 1937, which was an exact re-enactment of a game played in 1845 between Gt Bentley and Bures Cricket Club,
With further research in the archives of the Suffolk Free Press, I managed to locate additional information which I subsequently published on the Bures-online web site.

I was very fortunate in contacting Robin Springett who lived in "The Croft". He was one of the 1937 team and could supply me with names to the Bures Team photograph.

But it left one question, What was the source of these grainy black and white photographs taken of the 1937 match in these publications ?


This week, the mystery was finally solved
The BBC had been advertising the launch of their new web site "BBC Redrawn" which was the online location of their archived material.
A search of "Bures" only revealed one archive film - The 1937 Cricket Match
Its only 1min 12sec in duration, but with no sound

Click on this icon to Play Video.
It may take some time to load

Link to BBC Rewind

 

In 1845, eight years after Queen Victoria ascended the throne, a cricket match began between Bures and Great Bentley. The Essex team batted all day, scoring 301 runs for the loss of nine wickets, which in those days was an exceptional score.

The match was being played for a barrel of beer and the stakes were therefore high! It is said that after the teams had left the field to quench their thirst at a nearby inn, the Bures captain protested that his side had fielded all day and had not been given a chance to bat. He received the reply: 'You can have your innings in 100 years' time.'
I wonder if the beer would still drinkable ?

On the death of the secretary of the Great Bentley Cricket Club, his widow found a paper bearing the score of this now historic game and she handed it over to his nephew, Mr. E. P. Nevard, who was himself then secretary.
In 1956 Mr. Carl Morton, chairman of the club, suggested that the match should be finished, an idea the Bures Cricket Club gladly accepted. It was agreed that the match should be completed as far as possible according to the laws of 1845- four-ball, under-arm overs and the players dressed in ruffled shirts, silk scarves and top hats.

On a damp Saturday in June 1957 a wagonette drawn by two horses and driven by Alec Thompson attired in smock and Cavendish gaiters drew up at the Bures 'Eight Bells'.

The Bentley team, in their Victorian cricket costume, together with their supporters in crinolines and poke bonnets, were welcomed by 'mine host', George Boulton, with ale for the team and water and lumps of sugar for the horses.

Supporters of the Bures team, the men folk wearing their best cravats and top hats, escorted the ladies in their long dresses and lace caps to the recreation ground as the 'stirrup cup' was being drunk.

Photo courtesy of the Suffolk Free Press
gt bentley team

The Great Bentley Team suitably attired in Top Hats, side whiskers, black boots and mufflers arrive in style at the Cricket Pavilion.

 

Photo courtesy of the Suffolk Free Press


As it might have done 112 years before, the church clock chimed the hour as the Bentley team left the thatched pavilion to take the field for the second day's play.

 

Suitably attired in 1840 clothing, Harry Morton and Harry Munson are the first out to bat >>>>

 

Photo courtesy of the Suffolk Free Press

Bures Cricket Team
Bures Cricket Team.

Photo courtesy of the Bures Cricket Club.

I was fortunate to find Robin Springett (now dec) who lived in The Croft and one of the original team members
Robon could remember all thirteen names in the photograph

AMENDMENT:- Lez Binks to read Les Binks

Great Bentley had been practicing under-arm bowling and Bures soon lost the wicket of Harry Munson, the captain with the score only 13.

Then Frank Bullivant was run out-two wickets down for 53. The Bures captain, Harry Morton, was joined by David Hume and the score began to increase.
Hume batted merrily along, passing the century mark and scoring 124 before being dismissed with a fine running catch by Phillip Morton.

 

Harry Morton made 54, Leslie Binks 47 and Peter Baker 44. So with only five wickets lost and the score at 285 Bures appeared well set for an easy win.
Then Peter Nevard dismissed Baker, Robin Springett and Edgar Warden with successive balls.

The Bures score stood at 300, two runs short of victory. Then, Maurice Cansdale made the winning hit and Bures had won the match of the century.

Photo courtesy of the East Anglian Magazine


Harry Munson takes the first ball from the Gt Bentley bowler.
The supporting ladies in their long dresses and lace caps >>>>>>>>>

 

Photo courtesy of Bures Cricket Club

Edgar Wardens wife was also known as "Denny".

The memory of this historic match will long remain, for from the ashes of the game on 22 June a trophy has arisen.

After the game the bails were burnt and the ashes placed in a walnut casket. For this trophy an annual cricket match will take place between Bures and Great Bentley, two teams which until 1957 had not met since 1845.


It will be noticed from the score card, as was the custom of the time, the bowler was given no credit for a wicket unless the stumps were hit
.

 

With both teams visiting the Eight Bells before the match started, it can be assumed that the effects of drink played a large part in the game.

score card

This most unusual game was widely reported in the press at the time, with entries in the:-

October 1957 edition of East Anglian magazine,
The June 26 edition of the Suffolk Free Press,
The June 28 edition of the Chronicle and Mercury
The Essex Chronicle
and last but not least a front-page mention in the News of the World !


HISTORY:-
Bures Cricket Club Pitch.
The first games were played at Bakers Hall. It is believed around 1921 the Cricket Club moved to the Recreation Ground in Nayland Road.

The site of the present day pitch was formerly part of Bures Vicarage and called "Vicarage Meadows"
This was purchased by Mr & Mrs Thomas Wood for the community in the early 1940`s and is the site of the present day cricket pitch.

 

magazine
Issue dated 1957



OTHER MATCHES:-


Suffolk Free Press, August 27th 1857

Essex Herald Sept 28th 1841
Report of a match between the Single gentlemen and Married gentlemen of Bures.
Played on Bures Marsh ?

Free Press and Post, 9th July 1938

Suffolk and Essex Free Press,2nd September 1858

Published 11/01/2017
Alan Beales
Updated 25/07/2022 with BBC Rewind Video

Alan Beales