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.
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.'
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
The Great Bentley Team suitably attired
in Top Hats, side whiskers, black boots and mufflers arrive in style
at the Cricket Pavillion.
Photo courtesy of the Suffolk Free
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
Suitably attired in
1840 clothing, Harry Morton and Harry Munson are the first out to
Photo courtesy of the
Suffolk Free Press
Bures Cricket Team.
Photo courtesy of the Bures Cricket Club,
names supplied by Robin Springett one of the original team
AMENDMENT:- Lez Binks to read Les Binks
Great Bentley had been
practising 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
Hume batted merrily along, passing the century mark and scoring
124 before being dismissed with a fine running catch by Phillip
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
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
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
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.
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
and the Essex Chronicle
and last but not least a front-page mention in the News of the World
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
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.
Text courtesy of the East Anglian Magazine
More detailed information on the
match can be found on the Cricket
Club History page
Suffolk Free Press, August 27th
Essex Herald Sept 28th 1841
Report of a match between the Single gentlemen and Married gentlemen
Played on Bures Marsh
Free Press and Post, 9th July 1938
Suffolk and Essex Free Press,2nd