Happy memories of cricket
OUR recent old photograph of Exeter's Richmond Cricket Club brought back happy memories for Jon Clatworthy of Newport Park.
And no wonder given his amazing sporting achievement with the club.
The photo was sent in by Kathryn Lambert and showed: club members in 1951, including her father Ronald Burgess who was the captain during the 1952 season. Mr Clatworthy was also a member of the club joining in 1948 when he was just 11 years old having just passed for Hele's School and playing for Hele's Colts XI.
Mr Clatworthy says: "Kathryn's Dad was a very good fast bowler. The other bowler I recall was "Tiny" Smith who weighed in at about 18 stone.
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"Also in the picture is "Duke" Wellington who was held in a Japanese prisoner of war camp until 1945, Bill Louten who use to score runs by doing a hand stand on his bat and letting the ball go where ever – he was also the wicket-keeper – and Des Deacon, the opening batsman.
"My partner in bowling for Richmond was David Vranch who, I understand, still plays for Topsham on the odd occasion despite being, as I am, in his seventies."
In fact Mr Clatworthy was no slouch when it came to fast bowling as a quick look at the old Echo sports reports will confirm.
On one occasion we wrote: "John Clatworthy, Richmond fast bowler, took six wickets for two runs, including that hat-trick, when playing against Exwick in the first leg of the Exeter and District Knockout final at Gras Lawn.
"All his victims were fast bowled. Richmond had made 84 for nine while Exwick were left at 17 all out.
Mr Vranch, who as Mr Clatworthy suggested is still playing for Topsham St James, also remembers Henry Ford, Peter King, Jonny Stark and Wally Gibbs, playing for Richmond CC.
"I started with them as a 14-year-old in 1953 and so this has been my 60th year in men's cricket. Richmond were a decent side," he said.
"There was a first and second X1 and they won the knock-out cup in 1958 or 59."
Mr Vranch, who bowls a deadly off-spin of four paces – as opposed the 14-pace speedster of yesteryear – said the great flood of 1960 ended the club.
"The pavilion had all our equipment in it and it was washed away, much of it later turning up ruined on Exmouth beach.
"I joined Exeter St James who played on what is now the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital site . When it was built we moved to Exminster and then when that was redeveloped we joined up with Topsham Rugby Club to be come Tospham St James.
"I have been in touch with Mrs Lambert and she has sent me a copy of the original picture. I recognise many of the old faces."
For those whose memories don't go back that far, Mr Clatworthy said:"Richmond CC were a Ministry of Works team whose office was just inside Richmond Road , hence the name.
"The pitch was at Exwick, just behind the old Hill, Palmer & Edwards bakery.
"We were always losing balls in the leat and River Exe.
"Exwick CC played on the next pitch and both clubs lost their pavilions in the floods of the 1960s and both, as I recall, were replaced with grants from the sports Council."
Also on that same Nostalgia page was a report on the old Exeter Home Guard dispatch riders, among them the late George Woolway, who went on to live in West Terrace with his daughter Denise Carpenter.
So far there has been a remarkable response to identifying those in the photograph.
If you have any other pictures of the Home Guard, please forward them to email@example.com