Use our  Calendar to find a meeting near you. For more details of Societies in your area, contact David Taylor.
taylor_d2@sky.com 07794775784

 Will all council delegates please note the AGM will be held at Edgbaston on                 SATURDAY 24th March 2018.



Stourbridge Cricket Society are inviting members to attend the 175th Anniversary Dinner of Stourbridge Cricket Club. On Friday 22nd Sept. at Copthorne Hotel  Merry Hill. Arrival time is 7:00pm. Tickets cost £35. Contact  Kay     07854272054 or email  ktallack@sky.com




Venues  and Speakers for week  Saturday to Sunday 







Check who’s speaking and when in your area. Look under the calendar tab on this Home page, or CLICK on your local society.




A new link as been added to the Societies column for anyone interested in contacting the Australian societies.








Lots of council delegates will now know Drew Payne, the following is a report to sister Antipodean societies.

Introducing Australia’s Ambassador to England’s Council of Cricket Societies – Drew Payne. Drew Payne is the Australian Cricket Society ambassador in England at the Council of Cricket Societies – a role he accepted following Murray Hedgcock’s retirement in 2015. He travelled to the antipodeans last summer and while here attended play at Blundstone Arena as our guest during the final Shield match in March 2016. We invited Drew to put pen to paper following his return to the UK regarding his experience while in Australia but first a brief introduction from notes penned to the editor a year earlier:

My father, Kelvin, was born in Ulverstone (12 July 1915) and played full back for Sandy Bay, no less! His extensive journalism career culminated in a long-serving stint as a sporting sub-editor on the Melbourne Herald. With him working Saturdays, we both travelled up to the city going our separate ways, me to the ‘Y’ and him to the office. If there was footy or cricket on at the MCG I’d head to the match, and if he’d had a slack day he might join me at three quarter time or tea respectively, otherwise we’d meet up at his office where I pinched the best of the photo’s they hadn’t used in the evening paper and sold them at school on Monday morning. (Hence several ‘source’ accreditations in Ken Piesse’s books!) I’m now in my 32nd season with Meopham CC (pronounced Meppum) in Kent, sadly just as a Vice President since a double knee surgery ended my playing and coaching career, along with any chance of retaining my stealth-like figure. Dad passed away the day after Bradman (I said at his funeral he’d gone to report on the ‘Heaven XI’), so whilst back in Australia for his funeral, the Melbourne CC kindly agreed to honour him through the two clubs competing for the Kelvin Garth Payne Memorial Trophy. The inaugural match was won by the XXIX’ers, and two ladies from Melbourne duly placed the bails in the trophy, which, by tradition, remains in the pavilion in Meopham. They have been back to Meopham seven times since the initial visit in 1993. Our neighbouring village of Cobham was the family residence of the Earls of Darnley, the eventual 8th Earl being none other than Ivo Bligh who was sent to Australia to restore England’s pride after that historic victory at The Oval in 1882. He was personally presented with the original urn by two ladies from Melbourne, one of whom – Florence Morphy – eventually became his beloved bride after several failed attempts to obtain his parent’s permission to request her hand in marriage. The urn adorned the hearth above the library fireplace at Cobham Hall until his death, at which time his ‘Australian Countess’ kindly donated it to Marylebone CC, where it – after extensive restoration – now resides. History on our doorstep, twice!

On a personal note, pride of place in my cottage overlooking Meopham Green, is a limited edition (78/100) signed print of Sir Donald Bradman AC, which Dad kindly purchased for me to add to my collection of cricketing memorabilia. As I recall the funds raised went towards the development of junior cricket in Tasmania – judging by the ongoing progress of your State players into the national squad, I’d say that it has resoundingly been money well spent!  Drew’s latest email: “It was not just a visit – rather a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Whether it be a bright crisp spring morning during a colts match, the final overs of a senior friendly match on a still, warm ‘Indian summer’ evening, or an enthralling major limited overs match with spectators on the edge of their seats…the sound of willow-on-leather evokes spine-tingling feelings to avid cricket supporters far and wide! So it was when making a long overdue trip down under to catch up with family and friends earlier this year. Having accepted a kind invitation to join the ‘Thank You Luncheon for Volunteers’ in the Cricket Tasmania Chairman’s Room on Day 2 of Tasmania’s final Sheffield Shield match of the season against South Australia, I admit I was initially spell-bound by the significant ground improvements I was to witness! The last time I took in the facilities at Bellerive Oval – a mere straight drive from my Dad’s sister’s home unit in adjoining Luttrell Avenue – was a footy training evening in 1999, under floodlights and with the threat of a clearing shower never too far away. I was certainly taken aback by both the immenseness and quality of the latest addition to the ground as homage to living legend Ricky Ponting.

Moreover, I was indelibly impressed with both the passion and fervour of my hosts Geoff Rowlands and Mike Gandy, who so eloquently welcomed both my friend – local girl and long-time Tasmanian supporter Jennifer Norris – and myself over the next few days. Collectively, and separately, they conveyed their love for the game, the ground and future developments of cricket throughout the state. No less passionate was the effervescent and ebullient Rick Smith, co-author with Mike Gandy and Ric Finlay (who sadly I didn’t meet on this journey) of the glorious “Tigers Roar – Celebration of Cricket Tasmania’s 150 Anniversary”, published in 2015. The efforts of these dedicated gentlemen, and others, to both preserve and celebrate the history of the game is testament to the sense of pride with which they have for the game, it’s players and an overwhelming desire to ensure future generations can relate to the immense legacy bestowed upon cricket in Tasmania. From the bronzes of Messers’ Boon and Ponting, to the squad, team and individual photographs of past and present players, I thoroughly commend any cricket enthusiast from anywhere in the world to take in this impressive and I’m sure ever evolving collection on display. Oh, and as for the sound of willow on leather, I shall not torment my generous hosts by recounting the scores – especially in light of my cousin’s youngest son being South Australian bowling coach (Rob Cassell has recently been appointed Bowling Coach for Ireland!) – suffice to say the home-side’s implosion by lunch chasing 300 in the fourth innings for victory, left me with time to spare on an extraordinarily hot autumn afternoon to locate my father’s ashes at the Old Hobart Cemetery, and treat Jenny and her mum to a lovely meal at Constitution Dock. Little did I know that I was to receive a last-minute invitation a week or so later to attend Cricket Victoria’s Annual Award Ceremony at Southbank, not only meeting current and former state and national players, but most unexpectedly seeing first-hand the much heralded Sheffield Shield which Victoria had just won in Alice Springs – the first time they’d achieved the ‘hat-trick’ – needless to say, celebrations (which had clearly begun in earnest on the flight back!) evidently lasted some time, but as ‘designated driver’ to my host, ACS Victoria President Ken Piesse, we took our leave well before stumps!

Once again, may I convey my most sincere thanks to all those I met during my fleeting trip to the “Apple Isle” for your superb hospitality, and I trust the enduring friendships made.”

Kindest regards,

Drew Payne, Melbourne CC Member, Meopham CC (Kent) Vice President, ACS Member, Australian Delegate to the Council of Cricket Societies.


The council committee, meeting at the Cheltenham Cricket festival, to talk about the running of council

I think I should point out the committee paid their own expenses for this get together.


On Monday 28th August, there will be a WORCESTERSHIRE CRICKET MEMORABILIA MARKET, in the Chestnut Marquee between 10:00am & 5:00pm, at New Road. For full details contact John Weston, 01527 873483 or email johnaandros20@gmail.com.
There will be 2015 Wisden on sale for
£12, and a three books for the price of two event.



An old friend of cricket societies up and down the length of the land, Stephen Chalke. As written the article below about societies, and included it with his book list. This article will now go out to 1400 people on Stephen’s mailing list.


Up and down the country, through the winter months, there are Cricket Lovers Societies which meet regularly, usually with a guest speaker. Twelve of these groups, gathering one evening each month, hold their meetings at county grounds: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Chester-Le-Street, Derby, Hove, Leeds, Leicester, Manchester, Nottingham, Southampton and Worcester. There are also groups in Barnsley, Barton-under-Needwood, Bath, Chelmsford, Cheltenham, Chesterfield, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hereford, High Peak, Hull, Liverpool, London, Norwich, Sheffield, Stourbridge, Southport, West Norfolk and near Bournemouth. The last of these groups – the Dorset Cricket Society at the Hurn Bridge Sports Club – is exceptional in that it meets every Thursday afternoon through winter, with those in the mood staying on for a cricket net in the adjoining building. All rely on volunteers, and the enthusiastic dedication of those volunteers can be most impressive. Fifteen years ago the Stourbridge group attracted an audience of about 30; now they get 80 or 90, and they also organise a Christmas lunch, an annual outing and a regular newsletter. West Norfolk, where Peter Parfitt recruits the speakers, fills a pavilion at North Runcton; Sheffield, where David Drabble is still in charge 57 years on from setting up the society with his father, stages top-drawer events such as the 2009 dinner for the 1959 Yorkshire team; and High Peak, where the tireless Bob Wood knows in advance how many to expect for its mid-evening hot-pot, always has as good a programme as any, with speakers such as Geoff Miller, Henry Olonga and Michael Holding. Then there is Cheltenham where, till his death, the President Tom Graveney could always be spotted in the audience; the Wombwell at Barnsley where you will often see Dickie Bird; and Leicester which, for all its Cinderella status on the field, draws in the biggest crowd on the circuit. The Cricket Society, which stages the London meetings, has branches in the Midlands (at Edgbaston), in the North-East (at the Riverside) and also here in the West of England where we at Fairfield Books have been closely involved in the recent revival of the group. We meet on Tuesday afternoons at Bath Cricket Club, attracting an audience of sixty. Speakers in the past year – every one of them a joy – were Fred Rumsey, Mark Alleyne, Matt Maynard, David Leatherdale, Ralph Dellor, Vic Marks and Mike Procter. Most were interviewed by Stephen Chalke, though the wonderfully entertaining Fred Rumsey needed just the one question to set him off. So much stays fresh in the memory: from Mark Alleyne’s description of the ordeal of facing a Shane Warne over to Fred Rumsey’s hilarious tale of the time he shared a hotel room with Geoffrey Boycott. They are great meetings; they brim with a love of cricket and, with the Bath club close to the railway station, we have been attracting cricket lovers from as far afield as Weymouth, Witney and Weston-Super-Mare. For further details of meetings in your area, or the West of England Society’s programme for 2017/18, do get in touch.

Stephen Chalke

Thanks Stephen for this boost in promoting the Cricket Society Movement



The Council of Cricket Societies (CCS) was founded in 1969. The organisation’s primary purpose is to further the interests of cricket lovers and societies during the winter months.

The CCS provides a forum for societies to meet and exchange views of their activities. This interaction ensures that cricket lovers are well supplied with fresh ideas for the furtherance of the individual societies. The CCS also can offer help to those who may be interested in the formation of a society.

The CCS holds biannual meetings. The spring meeting, incorporating the Annual General Meeting, is  usually held at Edgbaston, with an autumn meeting at  Derby or Trent Bridge. Representatives of all member societies are entitled to attend. The CCS is extremely grateful to Warwickshire CCC for its  continued sponsorship and support.

The CCS strives to represent the views of over than thirty cricket societies in the United Kingdom and around the world.

In this regard, the CCS also serves as a contact address that overseas members can approach for help regarding club tours, visits and advice of a cricketing nature. Individual societies in Australia, New Zealand and Zimbabwe reciprocate and numerous individuals have enjoyed hospitality and a warm welcome when supporting relevant Test teams. However, it must be noted that neither the CSS nor individual cricket societies undertake to arrange cricket tours or make any arrangements.


Individual cricket societies hold monthly meetings generally between October and March (some have meetings in April), occasional dinners / lunches are arranged so that the cricket lover can join others to listen to cricket personalities – past and present – and discuss topics of mutual interest.

Members of cricket societies are kept informed of activities by newsletter, local papers, local radio, email, twitter, social media and in many cases, have their own website.

Most societies raise funds for local charities and worthwhile causes.

Individual societies may offer or provide support for coaching to promising young cricketers.

Some societies may offer practical help to arrange events and support for cricketers in their benefit years.

Without exception, cricket societies rely to a great extent on voluntary support from their members. Besides serving on the committee, help is always warmly welcomed to those willing to provide assistance in various ways – selling raffle tickets, obtaining raffle prizes, writing newsletters – lively societies have active members!





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