All cricket clubs, and rugby clubs come to that, have their tours; eccentric celebrations of sport beyond the familiar middens of, in our case, West Yorkshire and North Derbyshire. The main outcome from travelling and playing in exotic landscapes is the accidental and unforseen bonding that takes place between the participants. Some would say this results from the natural development of warmth and empathy for one’s fellow man. Others, of a less generous disposition, might cite the copious sampling of local ale as the lubricant responsible for the deepening of hithertoo somewhat tenous friendships.

The Casuals tour contains some but not all of these elements. For example, not everyone tours. Attendance just on the day of play is permitted. In addition, those who do tour sleep at various locations rather than in a single hotel. No late night revelry and compulsory four o’clock I.T. Botham curfew here. Finally the ladies are invited.

The cricket tour appears integral to The Casuals’ season, apart from the odd break whilst a new destination was arranged. The minutes do not document tour dates accurately, but roughly they were Windsor (1958-63), Hunstanton (1965-67) where 2 of Phillip Haigh’s sisters had hotels at Hunstanton, one of them the Golden Lion, Isle of Man (1983 definitely but possibly some of the years before that as well), Tusmore (1986 or 1987-1998), Wealdstone at various times until recently. The Casuals have travelled to Helmsley since 1970 to play Duncombe Park, Bransdale Farmers and latterly Harome. Some years it appears as a tour, others its just another fixture. Since 2000 or so it has amounted to a September Bank Holiday weekend away with a game of cricket on the Sunday. Rutland, Reeth, Oxford (1967/8), Conway and Hertfordshire appear as suggestions in the minutes but were never progressed.

The following are glimpses of tours:

Derek Bamforth thinks the Windsor tour came about through one of Phillip Haigh’s cousins. Derek once spent a long time fielding in the company of an American tourist who could not get the hang of cricket, especially the fact that Derek wasn’t doing anything. Robert Haigh and Andy Shires corrected this touring fact. One of Phillip’s sisters married Bill Williamson, who was connected with the movie industry and a keen cricketer. They lived at Dorney, hence the Casuals fixture with Dorney Reaches CC, near Windsor. Wives went. One year they went to an evening do by boat, but left a rope hooked up in the lock; they survived to tell the tale. Sheila Netherwood remembers this particular tour as posh. She recalled J Hinchliffe, a well-known Holme Valley family, married into the Ripon Brothers of luxury car fame. One of the few none-textile names.

… at Windsor one remembers lobster cutlets at that gorgeous gourmet’s delight the ‘Hinds Head’ at Bray. The following day a lunch time session at the ‘Pineapple’ followed by the match on the meadow, where once or twice during the course of play, there would be an interlude whilst a herd of cows meandered across the meadow and square – Guy Overton (Chair 1961-1964) Cricket in Perspective 1, 1987

Sheila Netherwood remembers large cars, big car boots and big teas, shooing the sheep off the square and Gary Gledhill getting changed in full view at Bransdale Farmers. David Hinchliffe remembers seven left handers who ill-treated Jimmy Batt.

Itinerary for the Spring Tour 1983 to the Isle-of-Man

  • Train to Liverpool 8.55am
  • Boat to Douglas 11am
  • Cars supplied by Andrew Hindle
  • 6.00pm ‘Swashbucklers’ Friday evening at King Williams School
  • ‘Ringers’ Saturday 2.30pm
  • Boat 2.00pm Sunday
  • 7.10/9.15pm train to Huddersfield
  • Train £6.60 return
  • Taxis £2
  • Digs £15 for two nights (no food)
  • Boat £21 return

Another sad occurrence was the cancellation of the tour to Hunstanton in 1967. This reflected particularly badly on The Casuals as after two successful visits (off the field) the President of Hunstanton CC volunteered to provide a trophy to be competed for annually – Michael Hallas, Cricket in Perspective 1

1993 Tusmore and Wealdstone visited playing at YMCA Rosehill (not on all weather pitch). In 1998, Wealdstone and Italy were tourists, with Italy again in 1999 for The Casuals’ Jubilee. Tusmore and Italy feature in Cricket in Perspective 2.

The sad loss of Stephen Netherwood was recorded in the 1992 minutes, the same year that statistics began to appear. Jim arranged for Wealdstone tours from then.

Wealdstone at Paddock. Dan Smith, Greg’s boy played. A large fit back row rugby forward who charged in off ten paces as if the opposing fly half was batting. I kept wicket and the ball really stung as it hit the gloves, and kept stinging, largely because the batter had no need to play at it. But, talk about raw power. He’d be a real nuisance it he tried to play properly. See also Jim Netherwood’s personal entry.

THirst  Deganwy, N Wales organised by Andy Hindle, Effingham, Surrey.

Germany (Jack T, Richard T)

Some personal notes touring in Helmsley


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