All Time XIs – Nottinghamshire

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the next post in my “All Time XIs” series. Today we look at Nottinghamshire. There is at least one omission that will seem huge to some eyes, but as I explain in the section immediately after I have presented my chosen XI it is actually not.

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE ALL TIME XI

  1. Arthur Shrewsbury – when WG Grace (see my Gloucestershire team) became the first batter to record 100 first class hundreds he was second on the list of century makers with 41 to his credit. WG at a time when his primacy was unchallenged was asked who he rated next best among batters and responded “Give me Arthur”. In 1886 at Lord’s he took 164 off the Aussies to set England up for an innings victory, and at the time his score was the highest for England in a test match (WG Grace reclaimed the record that this took from him two matches later at The Oval with 170). Shrewsbury’s Nottinghamshire team mate Alfred Shaw, probably the most miserly bowler of all time, asked that he be buried 22 yards from Shrewsbury so that he could send him a few balls – and their graves are actually 27 yards apart, allowing space for Shaw’s standard five yard run up. For much of Shrewsbury’s playing career there was no such thing as a tea break, and it is said that if he was not out at lunchtime he would instruct the dressing room attendant to bring a cup of tea out to the middle at 4PM, such was his confidence that he would still be batting by then.
  2. George Gunn – a man who positively relished taking on the quicks. In 1907-8 when he was in Australia not as part of the official tour party but initially for the good of his health he was drafted into the test side in desperation and proceeded to score 119 and 74. He was also on the 1911-12 tour as part of the chosen party. In 1929-30 when England contested a test series in the West Indies for the first time Gunn at the age of 50 formed one half of test cricket’s oldest ever opening partnership along with the comparative pup 39 year old Andy Sandham (an honourable mention in my Surrey piece). In the 1929 English season he had celebrated turning 50 by being one half of a unique occurrence – he scored 183 for Nottinghamshire and his son George Vernon Gunn made precisely 100 in the same innings. A local amateur of no huge skill once determined to take Gunn on in a single wicket match, suggesting a £100 stake. Gunn was reluctant at first, but eventually succumbed to repeated importunings, although insisting that the stake be reduced to £5. They played during successive evenings – Gunn batted first and by the end of the first evening was 300 not out. At the end of the second evening Gunn had reached 620 not out and the amateur suggested that a declaration might be in order. Gunn refused but as a concession allowed the amateur to bowl at the heavy roller, six feet wide, instead of a regulation set of stumps. Half way through the third evening Gunn had reached 777 and the amateur finally decided that he had had enough and left Gunn to his triumph.
  3. William Gunn – elder brother of George (there was a third brother, John, who also played for Notts and indeed England as well, plus George’s son GV, but as far as I can establish, although she was born in Nottingham, contemporary England Women’s star Jenny Gunn is not related to this Gunn family), regularly no 3 for Notts and England. He scored 225 for The Players against the visiting Australians on one occasion, and in a Non-smokers v Smokers match he and Shrewsbury shared a stand of over 300 as the non-smokers made 803 (qualifications for these matches were not that rigorously checked – on another occasion Bonnor, the big hitting Aussie, made a century for the non-smokers – and was subsequently seen strolling round the boundary puffing on a cigar). William Gunn in addition to his playing career was the original Gunn of “Gunn and Moore” the bat makers, and at a time when many professionals died in poverty, sometimes destitution, he left an estate worth over £100,000. There is a book about the Gunns, “The Bridge Battery”, by Basil Haynes and John Lucas.
  4. Richard Daft – in the 1870s he was considered the next best batter in the country to WG Grace.
  5. Joe Hardstaff Jr – played for Nottinghamshire and England in the 1930s and 1940s. He contributed an undefeated 169 to England’s 903-7 declared at The Oval in 1938, while in 1946 he scored a double century against India.
  6. Garry Sobers – aggressive left handed batter, with a test average of 57.78, left arm bowler of absolutely everything (he began his career as slow left arm orthodox bowler, adding first wrist spin and then also adding pace and swing. He was at one time as incisive as anyone with the new ball. He was also excellent in the field.
  7. Wilfred Flowers – an off spinning all rounder from the late 19th century whose record demands inclusion.In first class cricket he averaged 20 with the bat and 15 with the ball.
  8. +Chris Read – a wonderful wicket keeper and a useful attacking middle order batter, he was badly treated by the England selectors and should have played more test cricket than he actually did. He made 1,109 dismissals in his first class career.
  9. Harold Larwood – the list of English fast bowlers who have blitzed the Aussies in their own back yard is a short one (Frank Tyson in 1954-5 and John Snow in 1970-1 are the only post Larwood examples I can think of, and while Tom Richardson (see my Surrey piece) was clearly magnificent in the 1894-5 series his gargantuan efforts hardly constitute a blitzing of his opponents), and he is on it. His treatment after that 1932-3 series, when he should have been seen as the conquering hero, was utterly shameful as the English powers that be caved to Aussie whinging, and he never again played test cricket after the end of that series, though he continued for Nottinghamshire until 1938. As late as 1936 he produced a spell in which took six wickets for one run.
  10. Tom Wass – a bowler of right arm fast medium and leg spin. On one occasion an over zealous gate keeper did not want to let his wife into the ground and Wass dealt with him by saying “if that beggar don’t get in then this beggar don’t play”. 1,666 first class wickets at 20.46, 159 five wicket hauls and 45 10 wicket matches are testimony to his effectiveness.
  11. Fred Morley – left arm fast bowler who was in his pomp in the 1870s. He paid a mere 13 a piece for his wickets. He died at the tragically young age of 33, or he would probably have had many more wickets even than he did. He was the most genuine of genuine number 11s. In his day the roller at his home ground, Trent Bridge, was horse drawn, and it is said that the horse learned to recognize Morley and when it saw him walking out to bat it would place itself between the shafts of the roller ready for the work it knew would not be long delayed (Bert Ironmonger, the Aussie slow left-armer who was the second oldest of all test cricketers, playing his last game at the age 51, is the subject of another classic ‘incompetent no 11’ story – a phone call came through to the ground he was playing at, and it was Mrs Ironmonger wanting to speak to her husband, “sorry, he has just gone into bat” came the response, to which Mrs Ironmonger said “I’ll hang on then”!).

This team contains a solid top five, the greatest of all all rounders at no 6, a second fine all rounder at 7, a top of the range wicket keeper and three specialist bowlers of widely varying types.

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE PRESENT & FUTURE

Stuart Broad did not qualify for two reasons. Firstly, his wickets cost 27 a piece, which is respectable but not by any means bargain basement. Secondly, as a right arm fast medium (kindly do not attempt to persuade me that he counts as fast, he does not) his effectiveness is heavily dependent on conditions and therefore very variable.Graeme  Swann was a very fine spinner of the recent past, but the inescapable fact is that his first class wickets cost 32 a piece, twice as much as those of Wilf Flowers, and while I would accept that Flowers would pay more today and Swann would have paid less in Flowers’ day I do not accept that the difference would be enough to close the gap that yawns between them. Joe Clarke is a highly talented young batter who may yet go on to become great, but he is very much not the finished article yet. Billy Root has shown some signs of skill but has a way to go to get close to big brother Joe (see my Yorkshire piece). Liam Patterson-White is a left arm spinner who if handled properly should have a huge future ahead of him, and if I revisit this series in a decade or so it is quite possible that he like Zak Crawley and Oliver Graham Robinson who I mentioned in yesterday’s piece about Kent will demand consideration by then.

OTHER OMISSIONS

First of all, I deal with…

OVERSEAS PLAYERS

There were four of these other than Sobers who obviously demanded attention. Bruce Dooland immediately before Sobers was an Australian all-rounder (right hand bat, leg spin) who performed wonders for Nottinghamshire, but he is hardly in the same bracket as Sobers. Clive Rice was more a batter who bowled than a genuine all rounder but he could bowl decidedly quick when in the mood. He was not as good a wielder of the willow as Sobers and his bowling did not have the same range. Closest to displacing Sobers as overseas pick was Sir Richard Hadlee, a right arm fast bowler and attacking left hand bat in the lower middle order. Had he not been a Kiwi he would have been an absolute shoo-in, but I am restricting myself to one overseas player per team, and with the presence of Larwood and Morley I felt that Sobers brought more that I did not already have available to the table. Franklyn Stephenson had one sensational season in 1990, when he did the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets, the only player other than Hadlee to do so since 1969 (for those who consider that the limitation of English first class seasons to 14 games now makes this impossible, WG Grace achieved this double in the space of the last 11 games of his 1874 season – and people who are over-inclined to use the word “impossible” in the context of cricket often end up with egg on their faces), and he finished that season with a match in which he scored twin centuries and took four first innings wickets and seven second innings wickets, the most dominant four-innings match display since George Hirst’s twin centuries and twin five wicket hauls for Yorkshire against Somerset in 1906), but overall he did not do enough to warrant consideration.

OPENING BATTERS

William Scotton was too much the out and out stonewaller for my liking. He was part of a rare happening at The Oval in 1886, when such was the difference in approach between him and WG Grace that the scoreboard at one stage showed No 1 134 and No 2 34. Walter Keeton, Freddie Stocks, Reg Simpson and Brian Bolus all had their moments at the top of the order, without the enduring success of Shrewsbury and the Gunns. In the 1980s Chris Broad and Tim Robinson were both chosen to open for England, and each had one magnificent Ashes series, Robinson at home in 1985, Broad in 1986-7, but neither did enough overall as far as I am concerned, and Robinson was certainly found out in no uncertain terms by the West Indies.

THE MIDDLE ORDER

I regretted not being able to find a place for Derek Randall, but I had reasons for all of my inclusions. Wilf Payton, Joe Hardstaff Sr and John Gunn (who also bowled medium pace), would all have their advocates as well.

WICKET KEEPERS

Nottinghamshire does not quite offer the embarrassment of riches in this department that some other counties do, but other than my choice of Read there are four who would definitely have their advocates: Fred Wyld, Mordecai Sherwin, Ben Lilley (who did the job when Larwood and Voce were in their pomp) and Bruce French who was an England pick at times in the 1980s.

BOWLERS

Sam Redgate was the first Nottinghamshire bowler to make a real impression, and he was followed by John Jackson. Alfred Shaw, over 2,000 wickets at 12 a piece was unlucky to miss out, while his name sake Jemmy Shaw, a left arm medium pacer of similar vintage also had a fine record. It was Jemmy Shaw who summed up what many at that time probably felt in similar circumstances when tossed the ball to have a go against a well set WG Grace: “there’s no point bowling good ‘uns now, it’s just a case of I puts where I pleases and he puts it where he pleases”. William Barnes was an England all-rounder for a time, and once arrived for a match late and rather obviously the worse for wear and still had a hundred on the board by lunchtime. Rebuked over his tardiness by the committee he responded by asking them “how many of you ever scored a hundred, drunk or sober?”. Finally, there was Larwood’s partner in crime Bill Voce. Voce was less quick than Larwood, and probably less quick than Morley who I selected as my left arm pace option, and while not by any means an expensive wicket taker, he did pay 23 a time for his scalps, which puts him in the respectable rather than truly outstanding class. Once many years after their careers were done Voce visited Larwood in Australia where the latter had settled, and while they were drinking together a breeze blew through a window behind Larwood, prompting Voce to say “Harold, after all these years you’ve still got the wind at your back”, a comment that Gus Fraser (an honourable mention in my Middlesex piece) would probably have appreciated.

AFTERWORD

Although the County Championship was not put on an official footing until 1890, various cricketing publications named what they called “champion counties” before then, and in the last 25 years before that watershed in 1890 Nottinghamshire were so named on ten occasions. This is why there are so many 19th century names in my selections for this county – Nottinghamshire were strong then, and barring odd intervals have not been particularly so. The current Nottinghamshire would but for Covid-19 be preparing for a season in the second division of the championship after a quite ghastly season in 2019. Doubtless some readers will have their own ideas about players who I could have included, and I welcome such comments with the proviso that they show due consideration for the balance of the side and that there is some indication of who your suggestions would replace.

LINKS AND PHOTOGRAPHS

Our little journey through Nottinghamshire cricket is at an end, but just before my usual sign off I have a couple of important links to share, to posts by Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK:

  1. Answering the Question: ‘How are you going to pay for it’? – a very clear and straightforward answer to this question, and one that everybody should read.
  2. Writing off NHS debt of 134 billion is a charade. What is required instead is the renationalisation of the NHS: nothing less will doanother hugely important piece, and one that again I urge you to read.

We end as usual with some pictures…

Test of Time
The John Lazenby book that I mentioned in my Kent and Lancashire pieces.

Test of Time back cover

Tour map
The map showing the route of the 1897-8 Ashes tour.

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Virtual interaction with NAS West Norfolk for Autism Awareness Month – this shows me donating £1 as I prepare to eat my lunch (just for the record the wine went back in the fridge with a plate covering the glass, and I will drink it with supper this evening). On the top page the spiral bound notebook are four of my all-time XIs – Warwickshire, Lancashire, Kent and Nottinghamshire.

 

100 Cricketers – Eighth XI Numbers 3, 4 and 5

The latest in my “100 cricketers” series, also marking the start of the new County Championship season.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest in my “100 cricketers series“, featuring numbers 3,4 and 5 from the eighth XI. The introductory post to the series can be found here, the post in which I introduce the eighth XI can be seen here and the most recent post in the series here. Before I get to the main meat of the post there is something else to cover…

A NEW COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON

Yes, today is the start of County Championship season 2019. The first day between Somerset and Kent has been abandoned without a ball being bowled. All the other scheduled matches are in progress. The situation as I start this post is as follows:

  • Yorkshire v Nottinghamshire – Nottinghamshire 204-3
    Yorkshire paying more attention to the early April date than to the weather or the pitch took advantage of the playing condition allowing visiting sides to avoid the toss if they wanted to put their opponents in and so far it has not been working for them. Ben Slater made a fine 76 for Nottinghamshire, Ben Duckett played well for 43 but gave it away when well set and Joe Clarke is on 40 not out. Ben Coad, an England prospect as a bowler, has been economical but has yet to take a wicket. 
  • Hampshire v Essex – Hampshire 192-3
    Another uncontested toss not working very well for the fielding side. Ex-england batter James Vince made 40 at the top of the Hampshire order, South African Aidan Markram scored 63, while Sam Northeast and South African Kolpak player Rilee Rossouw are currently going well on 37 and 35 respectively. Kiwi Matthew Quinn had taken two of the wickets for Essex.
  • Derbyshire v Durham – Derbyshire 156-6
    Derbyshire won the toss and chose to bat. Only wicket keeper Harvey Hosein, currently on 57 not out has fared well with the bat (England are so well stocked with keeper-batters at present that he would need to do something sensational to even enter the selectors thoughts), while Chris Rushworth and Ben Raine have taken two wickets each (at 32 the former is surely too old to be called up now, but Raine might be considered.
  • Northamptonshire v Middlesex — Northamptonshire 182-4
    A third uncontested toss, and it looks suspiciously like 0 for 3 on automatically fielding first thus far. Alex Wakely made 76, wicketkeeper cum opening batter Ricardo Vasconcelos 38, and Rob Keogh is 37 not out. All four wickets have been claimed by Ireland’s Tim Murtagh.
  • Sussex v Leicestershire – Sussex 173 all out, Leicestershire 30-2
    First up, a warning about reading too much in to seam bowler’s efforts in early April: most of the damage in the Sussex innings was done by Tom Taylor (6-47), who prior today had a very pedestrian looking record of 76 wickets at 32.80 from 27 matches. Three of the other four wickets went to 32 year-old journeyman Chris Wright. The two Leicestershire wickets have fallen to Ollie Robinson (who came into this match with 165 wickets at 23.92 in first-class cricket – stats that suggest a quality performer) and Mir Hamza, a Pakistani left-arm medium pacer who takes his first-class wickets at an eye-popping 18.34 a piece.

The other matches taking place at the moment involve university sides, and I question whether such games should be awarded first-class status and certainly pay them no attention when considering potential England picks. Now to the main business of the post, starting with…

*MICHAEL VAUGHAN

Vaughan the batter had his finest hours against India at home in 2002 and then against Australia away in 2002-3, scoring six centuries (three against each opponent) in that period, the lowest of which finished at 148. He only made one major batting contribution to his greatest captaincy triumph, the 2005 Ashes, 166 at Manchester in the third test match, which finished with Australia clinging on nine down in their second innings. For people who traditionally despised draws (to quote Australian born Somerset captain of yesteryear Sammy Woods “draws are for bathing in”) their celebrations at having escaped were something to behold, and a sure sign of the destiny of that series. 

DILIP VENGSARKAR

At Lords in 1986 he scored 126 not out, his third century in successive Lord’s test matches. Then in a match at Headingley in which no other batter could manage even one fifty plus score, and England only just topped the 100 in both innings he contributed 61 and 102. Making runs in difficult conditions is particularly impressive, and especially given that Indian batters have by and large tended to struggle away from the subcontinent. These performances briefly had him rated the number one batter in the world.

SHIVNARINE CHANDERPAUL

164 test matches yielded him 11,867 runs at 43.11. His leg-spin bowling was hardly used (a grand total of nine wickets at that level). A wide-open stance and very ugly looking method did not stop him from making stacks of runs or from serious crease occupation – most of the current test records relating to long periods of survival stand to his credit. He spent a large part of his career as a cricketing equivalent of Casabianca, standing on the burning deck of the West Indies innings. 

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

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Records Galore at Lord’s

An account of yesterday’s Royal London Cup final.

INTRODUCTION

Yesterday Nottinghamshire and Surrey contested the final of the Royal London Cup at Lord’s, and it is that match that is the subject of this post. However, before I move on to the body of the post I have one other thing do…

A NEW WEB ADDRESS

I recently upgraded my package for this blog because I needed more space for photos. As part of the deal I acquired a free domain name, so for an overview of this blog you can now go to aspi.blog. This new address is considerably short than the old one.

THE ROYAL LONDON CUP FINAL

Surrey batted first and scored 297 from their 50 overs. Mark Stoneman, who must have been considered by the England selectors for the test match that starts on Thursday scored 144 not out, at that time the second highest score ever in a big Lord’s final. Many of us had hoped that he would break the record which had stood at 146 since the 1965 Gillette Cup final (a 60 overs a side match as compared to 50), not least because of the identity of the old record holder, a certain G Boycott.

The Nottinghamshire response started as though the innings was being played on two different pitches – while Alex Hales was in complete control at one end, a succession of batsmen struggled and failed at the other. When Chris Read came in at the fall of the fifth Nottinghamshire wicket Surrey were still probably just about favourites, not least because there was not a lot of batting to come (Luke Fletcher is a capable lower order batsman but Messrs Broad, Pattinson and Gurney are all very definitely picked purely as bowlers.

Read played a fine innings, while Hales blazed on into record setting territory. He set the record in emphatic style with a thumping boundary. By the time Read was out Nottinghamshire were pretty much home and dry. In the end it was Luke Fletcher who hit the winning runs, with Hales 187 not out. This is Hales’ second recent record breaking innings, as he also holds the record for an England men’s One Day International with 171 (the distinction is necessary, since the highest individual score for England in any One Day International is Charlotte Edwards’ 173 not out for the womens team). 

Mention of womens cricket leads me to finish this section with another record. Chamari Atapattu of Sri Lanka scored 179 not out in a team total of 257-9 against Australia in their womens world cup match. Australia chased them down, with skipper Meg Lanning 152 not out. The key difference was that Lanning was well supported, first by Nicole Bolton with 60 and then by Ellyse Perry who was 39 not out at the end. Atapattu set two records with that innings. First, and unwanted, the highest individual score for a losing team in an ODI. Second, that 179 not out was 69% of the team’s total, also an international record. Viv Richards had scored 189 not out in a total of 272-9 against England in 1984, which is a similar percentage to Atapattu, but for no3 in the list you have to go back to March 1877 and the inaugural test match, when Charles Bannerman scored 165 out of 245 all out in Australia’s first innings (also the first innings of the match). 

A FEW PHOTOGRAPHS

I always like to include photographs in my posts, so here a few to end this one:

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Bawdeswell Church
Bawdeswell Church captured through the window of a moving bus.
St Peter Mancroft
The frontage of St Peter Mancroft church, which is pretty much plumb in the centre of Norwich.

Cricket, Music and Local Elections

Some cricket, some music including references to the Classic FM Hall of Fame, some stuff about upcoming local elections and some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

An odd combination of topics to appear in a title, but all will be made clear in the course of this post. There will of course be some of my photographs as well. 

CRICKET

The English cricket season is well underway. Because of an alteration to the structure of the two divisions of first class counties last season to a first division of eight teams and a second division of ten teams, it is now possible for all 18 first class counties to be in action simultaneously, as was not the case when there were nine teams in each division. Over this Easter weekend, for the first time since 1999 (the last season of the single division championship) all 18 of said sides have been in action. Glamorgan lost heavily to Worcestershire before today was underway. Leicestershire had also suffered an innings defeat at the hands of Gloucestershire. Essex and Somerset also finished early, a century from Alastair Cook anchoring Essex in their fourth innings chase of 255. Warwickshire only kept their match against Yorkshire alive into the fourth day because of some assistance from the weather, and having started the season with back to back innings defeats, and three shocking batting performances out of four innings, they must be considered heavy favourites for one of the relegation spots from division 1. Of the five remaining matches, Nottinghamshire are nearly done and dusted against Durham (since I wrote this Nottinghamshire have completed the job as expected, with nine wickets in hand), and it would also seem to be only a matter of time before Kent finish the job against Sussex (this match has also subsequently reached its predicted conclusion). A draw looks the most likely result in the Surrey versus Lancashire, although Surrey are not out of the woods yet. Hampshire and Middlesex also looks like being a draw, although again the Londoners are not quite safe yet. That leaves only…

DERBYSHIRE VERSUS NORTHAMPTONSHIRE

Overnight this also looked like a draw was the most likely result, with Derbyshire 128 runs to the good with 10 second winnings standing. However, some behind the scenes discussions obviously took place, since Northamptonshire spent the morning session of today feeding Derbyshire easy runs, handing Reece (168) and Godleman (156 not out) a new record opening stand for Derbyshire. A declaration at 351-1 left Northamptonshire two sessions to score 326 for victory. Whatever happens in these two session neither team will emerge from this match with much credit in my book. While Northamptonshire’s motivation was obvious, Derbyshire could easily have declined the offer, backing their batsmen to score off proper bowling. 

MUSIC

The long Easter weekend is when the Classic FM Hall of Fame is unveiled. It is assembled from listener votes. Each participant votes for their first, second and third favourite pieces of classical music, and the votes are all tallied up. The Hall of Fame comprises the top 300 pieces that emerge at the end of the process, and they are played counting down from 300 to 1 between 10AM and 10PM on each day of the weekend (it used when it first started to be 9AM to 9PM). This is the first occasion on which there has been a clash between the Hall of Fame and live cricket. I have resolved that clash by listening to the cricket when it has been on five live sports extra, and to the music at other times. The only exception to this was on Saturday afternoon, when it was time for…

MUSICAL KEYS

A shortage of available NAS West Norfolk Committee members meant that I was there for both sessions. The attendances were unsurprisingly low in both sessions. However, those who were able to make it had a good time. In the second session I renewed my acquaintanceship with Scratch 2, and next time I shall be moving on to another aspect of this program. Here are some pictures…

Kirsten
Kirsten, one of the two people from Musical Keys who run these sessions, at a very impressive looking keyboard.

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MK8
I shall be adding some mathematics to the mix in two weeks time.

LOCAL ELECTIONS

Various places in the UK will be going to the polls on May 4th. Last time I mentioned this subject I said that I was between Labour and Green, and leaning towards Green. Since then, although I have yet to receive anything from any candidates a search of the King’s Lynn & West Norfolk borough council website turned up the following information about who was standing:

candidates

In view of the fact that there are three candidates in this list of four for whom I am absolutely unwilling to vote and that I regard failing to vote as unacceptable my vote will therefore go to Mr Collis, and I urge others who are voting in this election to cast their votes for Mr Collis as well.

Moving on from my own area, there also elections taking place much more extensively in Wales and Scotland. 

WALES

In Llanbadarn Fawr ward, Powys, the Labour Party candidate is none other than Mike Sivier of Vox Political, a fact which he announced in a post titled “Vote for Mike in the local elections!

– Vox Political’s Mike Sivier is standing as a Labour Party candidate for Powys County Council’s Llanbadarn Fawr ward – and there’s more to him than a nice smile [Image: Mike Sivier].

Today, Mike has put up another post about his candidacy under the title “Shadow cabinet minister is right – local elections are about CANDIDATES, not Corbyn“.

SCOTLAND

The big debate in Scotland at the moment is over whether or not there should be a second independence referendum (#IndyRef2) following the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU, when Scotland was strongly pro-remain. It is not for me as a Sassenach to comment on whether or not Scottish independence is desirable since the only people who should be making decisions about the future of Scotland are the Scots, but I do believe that brexit is a sufficiently major change in circumstances as justify #IndyRef2, especially since one of the main claims of the no camp in 2014 was that an independent Scotland would not be able to join the EU. It would appear, if the article to which I link at the end of this section is anything to go on that the Tories seek to make the local elections in Scotland a sort of ‘pre-referendum’. Anyway, here courtesy of the website indyref2.scot, is a post that goes into detail on the issue, titled “Sending a message

Towards Indyref2…

PHOTOGRAPHS

I posted some photographs in the music section of this post, and I finish the post with some pictures mainly from outside…

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ENDNOTE – CRICKET REVISITED

During the time it took to put the above photos up both Middlesex & Hampshire and Surrey & Lancashire have shaken hands on the predicted draws. These means that only the ‘declaration bowling’ game between Derbyshire and Northamptonshire is still to be settled. 

Side By Side

Some musings on the county championship (cricket), and an acknowledgement of King’s Lynn’s latest effort to advertise its heritage.

INTRODUCTION

I am posting about two unrelated matters, hence the title, which is borrowed from a series of Bridge Magazine articles written many years ago by Terence Reese. The firs topic of the day is…

CRICKET

As another English season draws to a close there are two topics to cover in this section, first of all…

A THREE WAY TUSSLE FOR THE COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP

Thanks to Somerset continuing their late charge with a 10 wicket victory over Yorkshire, and Lancashire earning a draw against leaders Middlesex the final round of games will commence with Middlesex, Somerset and Yorkshire in that order all in contention for the title. Owing to the fact that a decision to alter the structure of the two divisions has meant that there is only one promotion place up for grabs the second division is now settled, with Essex having secured the promotion.

In the final round of matches Middlesex will play Yorkshire at Lord’s, while Somerset face already relegated Nottinghamshire. While my chief emotion as a cricket fan is gratitude that the championship race is going down to the wire, I cannot claim complete impartiality – despite having grown up in London and possessing a Yorkshire surname, it is my support for the underdog that wins out in this contest – I will be rooting for Somerset. Somerset have never won the championship (Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire are also in this position, although the latter were named as champion county three times in the 1870s, before the official start of the county championship in 1890). Apart from being a historic first, a championship win for Somerset this year would also be a fitting reward for Marcus Trescothick as he approaches the end of a long and distinguished career with the county.

The change in the structure of the two divisions mentioned earlier, moving from nine teams in each to eight in first and ten in the second, is not the most significant one happening in English domestic cricket, that distinction going to…

THE INTRODUCTION OF CITY FRANCHISES

Yes, it has been decided by a vote of 16-3 in favour to augment the existing domestic T20 competition with an eight-team city based competition. I am not going to say either yea or nay at this stage, waiting to see how it works in practice before making a judgement. I mark the break between this section and the second section of the post with some recent photographs from King’s Lynn…

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This is the uncropped version of a butterfly picture
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And this is the cropped version.

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A CODA TO HERITAGE OPEN DAY

Beales Department Store which is near thus bus station in King’s Lynn has recently closed down. Rather than leave the frontage as blank windows, it has been used as an opportunity to advertise our town’s heritage, as shown below…

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Save for the planning notice at the end, these pictures are presented in the order in which they were taken.

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Cricket Classic

An account of the finish of the Nottinghamshire vs Surrey game in the county championship, some quality photos and some important links.

INTRODUCTION

As well as an account of a classic finish in the county championship match between Surrey and Notts I have some photos and a few links to share.

SURREY’S UNAVAILING FIGHT BACK

Thanks to Kumar Sangakkara and Arun Harinath in their second innings Surrey came into the final day with half a chance of completing a Lazarus like come back. Surrey’s second innings ended on the stroke of lunch with them having built a lead of 168 – just enough that things might get interesting…

Opener Greg Smith played a solid innings for Notts, but when he was out the score was 152-7 and an upset was definitely possible. However, nos 8 and 9, with a pair of genuine tail-enders to follow saw through the danger to get Notts home by three wickets. There was no play anywhere else in the country.

PHOTOS

Owing to the nature of the day (cricket in the middle thereof), I took two walks, one in the morning and one in the evening and I have pictures from both to share…

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Shot through the window of a bus yesterday.
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All Saints Church
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The side of All Saints Church – note the checkerboard panel.

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These butterflies were enjoying the sun and the dandelions near Old Boal Quay

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This pic and the next have gone down well with my twitter followers.

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These three shots of the Brunel £2 set demarcate morning and evening pics.

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LINKS

My first link is to a piece in the Mirror which shocked me. This is a story of a school using leg gaitors to restrain a six year old autistic child.

My second link is a thunderclap “#Kidsneednature

My next three links all relate to:

ACCESSIBILITY ISSUES

The folks at disabledgo have put out a top 10 of fully accessible attractions in London which has led me to create:

  1. A new page on my London transport themed website, called “Attractions” and
  2. The introductory post to what will be a series based on the disabledgo piece.

My remaining links also belong together, constituting

THREE MORE REASONS FOR LONDONERS TO
VOTE FOR SIAN BERRY IN THE MAYORAL ELECTIONS

Sian Berry has been running the best campaign of all the contenders for London Mayor by the proverbial country mile, and today she has responded as a potential decision maker to not one or even two but three change.org petitions that I have signed. I have links below to the pages that show her very detailed and very positive responses to all three.

  1. The first is a call for a statue of a suffragette to be placed in Parliament square.
  2. The second calls for mayoral candidates to invest in youth work.
  3. Thirdly and finally is a call addressed by the creator of the petition to Zac Goldsmith and Sadiq Khan, but today answered by Sian, to protect independent shop owners in the capital.

 

 

 

Sport and Spring Weather

Cricket, golf and a walk – features lots of pictures.

INTRODUCTION

The county cricket season is underway, and just after midnight our time the first golf major of the year was decided. Additionally the weather today is so pleasant that for the first time in 2016 I am using my ‘outside study area’…

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AN EXTRAORDINARY FINALE

Reaching the point at which Jack Nicklaus among others has said majors really begin – namely the back nine on Sunday, this years US Masters was looking like Jordan Spieth was going to comfortably retain his title, but then he hit trouble, first in small way with bogeys at 10 and 11 (both very difficult holes) and then in a huge way at the 12th. At this tiny but fearsome par 3 Spieth put two balls in the water, clocking up a quadruple bogey 7 and losing the lead for about the first time of the tournament. England’s Danny Willett recorded a 67 to get to the club house at five under for the tournament, and Spieth reached the 17th needing a birdie, birdie finish to tie (barring miracles neither hole offers any chance of an eagle). A bogey at 17 and it was all over, and Willett, the previously unknown Englishman was the champion. The 18th at Augusta is a long par-four, not remotely drivable, and in any case the longest distance from which anyone has holed out to win a tournament is 176 yards by Robert Gamez (the victim of this freak, not for the first or last time in his career was Greg Norman).

A MORNING WALK

Before the cricket started today (day 2 of 4, Nottinghamshire having peen put in by Surrey had run up 445, Surrey had survived two overs without incident) I headed off for a walk.  I was barely started when the first photo presented itself…

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The riverside stretch to Hardings Pits yielded some cracking pics, a good few featuring cormorants…

The parkland stretch of the walk yielded two different types of train and several birds…

The walk back into town, following Bawsey Drain, yielded a wide variety of shots…

SURREY IN TROUBLE

Having conceded almost 450 by poor bowling, Surrey are now struggling with the bat, at 149-5. Elsewhere, Durham and Somerset are enjoying a low-scoring tussle, while Ben Duckett of Northamptonshire has relieved the Sussex bowlers of 254 (and counting – he’s still there). I shall be doing some prep for my photographic display at the Positive Autism Awareness Conference this Friday once I have published this, which ends with this picture…

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