Corridor Of Uncertainty Articles- Meandering around ( and beyond ) Middlesex

Charles Sharpe, A Yorkshire Cricketer And Clergyman. Corridor Article Now In The Yccc Yearbook 2015!!!

  Potters Bar to Codicote is twelve miles ‘as the crow flies’ but I am neither flying nor walking as the way is criss-crossed by a motorway, ‘A’ roads and train lines.  In fact the traveller would be advised to go by train and alight at Welwyn then take the bus to Codicote.     Codicote is a large village of some 3 500 people and is set on a chalk ridge on the dip slope of the Chiltern Hills.  It has grown as a commuter village being near ....


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Middlesex In Potters Bar

      Walking through urban and suburban Potters Bar I saw few tangible signs that the town is of historic and proper Middlesex which confirms Stephen Fenn’s belief that Hertfordshire County Council have wiped out the past.   One actual sign referring to Middlesex County Council does remain, on a small roadbridge in Warrengate Lane leading out South Mimms - the furthest part of ‘old’ Middlesex before you do indeed arrive in ‘real’ ....


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Botany Bay To Potters Bar, County Patriotism

    You can walk from Botany Bay to Potters Bar but that is next to the busy A1005 so the best form of transport is a fifteen minute journey by the London Omnibus.  There are excellent views of the rolling and green landscape as the road, called The Ridgeway, takes a relatively high route before passing over the M25 and entering the spiritual heart of Middlesex patriotism and revolt, urban Potters Bar.   The M25 appears to me to loosely follow the historic boundary ....


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Enfield Lock To Botany Bay

  Last winter, you may recall, I ‘virtually’ traversed the length of the River Lea/Lee from its meeting point with the Thames to Tottenham – with detours round Hackney and Leyton.  The river, in part canalised, is the traditional boundary between proper Middlesex and Essex.  It is convenient for a returning wanderer to re-commence a walk around the ancient border of Middlesex beyond Tottenham at Enfield Lock in the north-eastern corner of the county and head ....


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Yorkshire And Black Cricketers: Final Part Weekes,best,mills And Bowry

      The next Black cricketer to play for Yorkshire was Lesroy Weekes, a pace bowler who could bat.  Weekes, born in Montserrat, played Under 19 Test matches for the West Indies against Australia in 1990 when his victims included three future Yorkshire players, Craig White, Michael Bevan and Damian Martyn and then for the Leeward Islands.  He impressed Yorkshire on a pre-season tour of the West Indies in 1994 and they tried to find him a club for the following ....


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Yorkshire And Black Cricketers, Malcolm And Richardson

        Yorkshire CCC’s first opportunity to sign a Black cricketer from within the county was when Devon Malcolm, born in the West Indies but resident in Sheffield from the age of 16, began to develop as a fast bowler in the early eighties.    Malcolm’s early years are related in an article in Wisden from 1995 when he was named as one of the five ‘Cricketers of the Year’.  I quote, “ DEVON EUGENE MALCOLM was born on ....


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Yorkshire And Black Cricketers, Gary Sobers

  Yorkshire and Black cricketers, part 1 Gary Sobers   My walk up the Lea Valley through Tottenham, the former home of the Haringey College Cricket Academy and the research for article which followed, made me wonder about the role Black cricketers have or have not played in Yorkshire cricket. Yorkshire CCC were long criticised, and in my opinion wrongly so for the most part, for the lack of Asian cricketers coming through their system until Ajmal Shazhad and Adil Rashid broke into ....


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Haringey And Black Cricketers

  Hackney’s neighbouring northern authority is Haringey, a council district which has received much negative publicity over the years and where, of course, the infamous riots of 2011 began. It is a district, like Tower Hamlets and Hackney, where cricket has not been strong – notably in the east of the borough - and where various national and local cricketing initiatives have also been introduced. It is also where a particular initiative to develop inner–city, ....


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Back In Hackney, More Inner-city Renewal

After ruminating over the question of Crusaders and Panthers I have resumed my walk around Middlesex but have still not covered many more miles up the Lea because there is so much to discover in these parts in such a short distance. I had barely re-commenced my walk along the river path from the Olympic site when I came across another major sports venue, the vast acres of the famous Hackney Marshes. They are flanked on its western boundary by the Lee navigation and on its eastern by the Lea ....


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Back In Middlesex, A Question Of Identity!

I have returned to Middlesex and, with the assistance of the county cricket clubs’ supporters website “Middlesex ‘Till We Die”, have unearthed yet another question of identity in the ancient land. ( You will of course recall that some contributors to their site questioned that I was the rambling rambler from Yorkshire I claim to be and instead suspected I was a long standing, subversive and indeed banned poster from among their own ranks. Happily that infernal issue ....


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Gordon Barker, A Yorkshireman In And Of Essex

Gordon Barker was one of many Yorkshire born cricketers who have had to leave the county to secure a career in the game, giving excellent service to Essex cricket as an opening batsman for 17 seasons before working at Felsted School in the county and helping develop the careers of three future Essex and England players. He was a very reliable county opening batsman and was unlucky never to be selected for England whilst the tributes given to him as a coach mark him out as one of the best.Gordon ....


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Paul Gibb Part 2

Paul Gibb’s war service was recalled by Jim Kilburn in his ‘History of Yorkshire County Cricket 1924 to 1949’. He joined the RAF and undertook training in Yorkshire and then in the USA before becoming a flying-boat pilot over the Bay of Biscay and the North Atlantic. The Sunderland and Catalene aircraft were used for various duties, anti-submarine patrolling, air-sea rescuesand gun-fire spotting for battleships. Gibb then changed duties deliveringplanes to East and South ....


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Paul Gibb Yorkshire And Essex, Part 1

  Since the 2nd World War fourteen Yorkshiremen have played for Essex over varying lengths of years. The first were two pre-war cricketers who had moved south in the thirties because of employment, a medium fast bowler called Francis Appleyard who farmed and a batsman named Harry Crabtree who was a teacher. Crabtree was born in Barnoldswick and he and Appleyard were joined in 1947 by two other ‘boundary’ men, Middlesbrough born leg spinner Bill Greensmith and ....


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Yorkshire In Essex, Personal Recollections

On a personal note I have watched Yorkshire twice in Essex, both in the County Championship and both memorable matches. The first time was at Southend in 1989. Yorkshire were all out for 115 on the first day to Foster, Pringle and Topley and the pitch inspector visited to check the wicket. I remember seeing Trevor Bailey in serious discussions with other Essex officials. Essex made 248, Paul Jarvis 6 wickets, and Yorkshire 239 second time round setting Essex just 105 to win. However, ....


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Change Of Fortunes..the Balance Shifts

Yorkshire’s immediate post-war matches in Essex were played on all of their grounds except Ilford, that is Southend, Westcliff, Colchester, Brentwood, Clacton and Romford. Essex returned to Leyton in 1957 but Yorkshire did not play a match in the county that season as the format during the decade and into the sixties was for all the 17 counties to play 28 matches each, 14 at home and 14 away, presumably on a cycle. Yorkshire always played some counties home and away, Lancashire, ....


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Lingering In Leyton (and Walthamstow)

Leyton is not an obvious place for an autumn break yet there are so many fascinating destinations in the Waltham Forest council district for the sports enthusiast, both high and low profile. You cannot get much more modern and important than the Olympic Park, which is partly in the borough. The velodrome, aquatic centre plus a paralympic tennis venue are in the borough. There will be ‘legacy’ as they say for locals. The Olympic Park was of course interesting to see but my ....


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Matches At Leyton Part 2

Yorkshire won five titles in the seven years following the Great War when a new team quickly established itself and such names as Holmes, Sutcliffe, Oldroyd, Leyland, Kilner, Macaulay, Robinson and Waddington became as well known as any of their illustrious predecessors. Lancashire – inspired by the Australian Ted McDonald - dominated the late twenties but Yorkshire remained strong especially in batting with Holmes, Sutcliffe and Leyland outstanding. Essex struggled at times during this ....


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Matches At Leyton Part 1

Yorkshire first played at the County Ground, Leyton in 1890, in a 2 day ‘friendly,’ and last appeared there in 1976, in a Sunday League match. Between 1895, when Essex became a first-class county, and 1933, when Leyton was last used as the club’s headquarters and last hosted county cricket for 24 years, Yorkshire played annual fixtures at Leyton, except in 1920 and 1924, when they were hosted at Southend. Counties agreed their own fixtures between themselves and not everyone ....


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Getting Ready To Cross The Lea

Getting ready to crossing the Lea, (migrations between Middlesex and Essex)My walk around Middlesex has truly been a meander as there are so many interesting cricketing things to discover around every corner. There is more to find out in Hackney and Haringey but I am curious about Hackney’s neighbouring township, Leyton, situated just three miles away over the Lea in the borough of Waltham Forest in traditional Essex. Two of Yorkshire’s most memorable matches were played in ....


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Harold Pinter Of Middlesex And Yorkshire

The diversion into Tower Hamlets was very worthwhile but tiring and I have decided to stay longer than anticipated in Hackney and contemplate, with suitable long pauses, the life and times of Harold Pinter - the famous playwright who was born here and grew up near the Lower Clapton Road. He was devoted to cricket throughout his life, being captain and president of an actor’s wandering team, The Gaieties CC, and a devoted watcher of the game. Pinter said he was so keen on cricket ....


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Tower Hamlets, Reviving Cricket In The Inner City

Exectly half of the modern day London boroughs formed in 1965 (16 out of 32) were created out of areas once under the jurisidiction of the Middlesex County Council, 7 once belonging to Surrey, 5 Essex and 4 Kent. (There are complications where authorities straddle the Thames but that is part of a later walk). The boroughs taken from the Middlesex County Council in 1965, adding to those lost in 1889, naturally meant its demise as administrative body though not as a traditional county! A ....


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Middlesex, An Olympic Marathon

After much thought I decided to begin my sojourn through the ancient land of Middlesex at the meeting point of the rivers Lea and Thames, a few miles east of the city of London. The Lea is the traditional border between Middlesex and Essex and brought to mind the fact that the old East End is in fact Middlesex and not Essex which a northerner might be forgiven for assuming. (We talk of the north-south divide and issues around the Watford Gap but we of the north may know little of the ....


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Middlesex, Some Background

I mentioned some time ago that last winters’ trek around the Yorkshire county boundaries had made me restless for a similar venture this close-season and indeed curious about other counties. I posted a message stating I was heading for Middlesex in October and after a few days delays I’m off! It’s another walk ,well ‘virtually’ a walk, around the ancient county of the Middle Saxons, I say virtually as there may be places which necessitate the use of a car or public ....


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