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Ilford Cricket

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During 1973 and through to 1977 the Club had considerable success in the Lillywhite Essex Cricket League and was guided through this period by Secretary Steve Colley and Treasurer Gerry Turner. Unfortunately, when the School closed the supply of new members ceased, which caused difficulties.

Alan Kent formed a colts team which produced some formidable talent, including Simon Harwood, Simon Marshall, and Stuart Dowsett who became excellent batsmen, and Dane O’Mahoney and Keith Leitch who were very good all-rounders.

Alan was helped considerably by Bob Hawkridge and his wife, Jean, who continued this policy for a few more years and helped Harry Meadows, Adrian Cooper and Grant Reynolds to come through and eventually make the 1st XI.

In 1977 Gerry Moon took over as Secretary while Gerry Turner continued as Treasurer and the Club realised the benefit of Alan Kent’s and Bob Hawkridge’s work. Unfortunately Club records during this period have been lost but we, along with our co-tenants at Barkingside Rec., Ilford Catholics C.C., had considerable success.

We were fortunate in having Peter Howard as Treasurer of the Social Bar in the ‘Pavilion’, which enabled us to have many Saturday and Sunday evenings entertaining our visitors.

In 1979 John Dixon returned from Manchester and rejoined the club. He brought with him three of his sons: David, who was a good all rounder; Peter, who was a fiery fast bowler, and Andrew, who was a good fielder.

Throughout the eighties John Dixon took over as Secretary and Gerry Turner continued as Treasurer, while working also as the main wicket taker. Stalwarts of the Club at this time were wicket-keeper Len Reynolds, and Bob Hawkridge, both of whom guided the younger players, and Steve Colley, who captained the 2nd XI. This team topped their league in 1984.

We had a major problem during 1986 and for the following three years when a fire destroyed most of the pavilions in Barkingside Recreation Ground. Throughout this difficult period our reputation was damaged as a result of the poor changing facilities on offer, which caused the team severe problems. Some of our senior players retired, including Bob Hawkridge, Alan Kirby and Steve Colley, although Steve continued with us to act as one of our umpires.

The Old Parkonian C.C. had the North Pitch on Barkingside Recreation ground but they moved. The Ilford Catholics were running three senior Saturday teams, so we applied for and were given the Old Parkonian’s table It meant we had to discontinue the bar arrangements we had enjoyed with the Catholics but we were always welcome back for a drink.

As a consequence of the School closing several years earlier the Committee decided at this time to change the Club name to Barkingside Cricket Club.

We wanted to acknowledge previous members whose hard work had made the Club successful for 68 years and many were invited to a ‘farewell’ dinner Dance at Nan’s Pantry on 23rd April 1994, which was the same venue we used for the Golden year celebration.

It pleased us that so many accepted our invitation, including Ken Cooper, Ray Porter, Jack Collins, Bill Noakes, Joyce Maylin, Alan Sarjeant, Garry and Veronica Moon, Bill and Marcia Birch, and Derek Keeley, with apologies received from many more who couldn’t join us.

The evening was a complete success. Afterwards many older members wrote to express their agreement to the name change.

During the evening a toast was proposed “Farewell Old Clarkonian Ilford Cricket Club – Welcome Barkingside” and flowers were presented to our lady scorers, Joyce Maylin and Veronica Moon, and Treasurer’s wife Lil Turner.

John J Dixon (Valentine 1949-55)

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