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The annual W&HCC AGM will take place on Thursday 10 December at 7.30pm and, for obvious reasons, will take place online via Zoom for the first ever time. Details of how you can join the call will be sent out via newsletter:

Despite the challenging circumstances that everyone has found themselves in during 2020, the club had a very good season with the first eleven winning their league, a significant number of new players joining us, and the junior section still thriving. Despite that, we are still looking for volunteers to help with various jobs that always need doing at a club like ours. If you would like to help out then please do contact our Chairman, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Until his recent death, Ron Taylor was, apart from Paul Charman, Woking and Horsell’s oldest surviving cricketer still in touch with the club.  Ron, Paul and Val Day, until the latter’s death in March 2019, were the members of the “Sunday drinkers” whose memories of the club extended furthest back in time and enabled many a reminiscence of when it was still Horsell CC and making its way up in the world from a village side to one which could vie with the best sides from across Surrey.  
 
It’s not known for sure when Ron joined the club but it is thought to have been about 1950, perhaps slightly earlier.  Always on the portly side in build, Ron was nonetheless a quick and agile mover who batted and kept wicket. He was also a useful footballer.  Ron’s early employment was as a fireman on steam trains operating on the Southern Region of British Railways.  This occupation gave rise to an oft-told story of the day when on a late-running service he found himself firing on a Waterloo-bound service at a time when he should have been getting himself to a 2nd XI cricket match at Oatlands Park.  Recognising where his obligations lay, Ron abandoned his train at Woking (“due to a shortage of staff we regret…..”) and was driven by Paul Charman to Oatlands Park, a club in one of the most prosperous areas of Surrey where very few people had had even met someone who worked on the railway.
 
Ron was for much of his cricket career a 2nd XI player, although for a spell in the 1960s, after the outstanding Horsell side of the previous decade had broken up, he played in the 1st XI and would usually open the batting. Ron was a combative batsman always willing to take on the opposition seamers especially if they fed his favourite pull and cut shots by dropping short.  The current club President recalls his first 50 for the 1st XI at Old Hamptonians in 1966 when he reached his milestone some time after Ron had departed for a 50 of his own out of an opening stand of 55.  
 
Ron was a great team man, encouraging of younger players and happy to see them develop at his own expense as a senior player.  He had a considerable fund of jokes, most of them better not repeated here.  He enjoyed socialising after the game and was a popular figure with opposition players as well as his own teammates.
 
Ron was a close friend of Bill Smith, Woking’s premier fast bowler of the 50s and 60s.  The friendship was tested, however, in a match at Horsell around 1966 when Bill took the first 9 opposition wickets cheaply with Ron keeping wicket.  While the bowler at the opposite end was aiming deliberately wide of the stumps to maximise Bill’s chance of all 10, Ron brought the innings to a close with a smart stumping, probably instinctive, although he defended it afterwards by pointing out that the team had a match to win (they were left with about 4 hours to chase 60).
 
In the early 1970s Ron developed a cancerous growth requiring a serious operation and he played less after that.  More recently after a period where we saw little of him he resumed regular visits to the club to join the Sunday drinkers and despite his failing health these continued until shortly before the club had to close in March because of lockdown.  We found him a lot quieter than in his younger days but he took the ribbing of his fellow old-timers in good part and his own sense of humour still shone through. Another link with the club’s immediate post-war period has sadly left us. 
 
John Craig, who died in August 2020, was one of Woking and Horsell’s most important and best loved cricketers of the last quarter of the 20th century.  For no less than 10 years – the whole decade of the 1980s - he captained the 3rd XI when it was the most junior of the teams regularly taking the field for the club (the 4th XI only became a permanent feature in the 1990s).  After he stopped playing he took up umpiring, firstly as a club-appointed official and then as a member of the Surrey Championship panel.  For good measure he introduced his four sons to the club, three of whom played significant amounts of cricket in various club teams.
 
John, wife Margot and sons Andrew, Matthew, John and Peter moved from Hull to Woking in August 1970.  Family commitments consumed much of John’s time in his initial years down south and his first season at the Woking and Horsell was 1974. Previously he had played for the staff team of Hull University, where he was a lecturer in economic statistics. They played various East Yorkshire villages and staff teams from other universities in the north.  John was best described as a seam-bowling all-rounder who delivered the ball at a modest medium pace but with almost metronomic accuracy.  His batting style tended to be obdurate rather than flamboyant although he had often put himself down the order and his approach was forced on him by the need to rescue a situation bequeathed to him by supposedly better players. 
 
Clubs rarely take long to recognise organisational talent in new members but John’s first role of this kind was not to assume captaincy but to inherit from Roland Cartwright the unenviable task of ringing up players' wives and girlfriends to enquire if they would mind giving up 3 hours of their Saturday or Sunday afternoon to make teas, and wash up afterwards. Roland’s suave charm had fitted him well for the role but John proved himself a worthy successor.
 
Paul Charman, having done a creditable stint as 3rd XI captain in the latter part of the 1970s, handed over the reins to John for the 1980 season.  By now the club’s youth section, carefully nurtured by Nigel Taylor, was producing increasing numbers of young cricketers ready for an introduction to senior cricket and John spent the next 10 years helping them to find their feet.  The art of the skilled captain of such teams is to ensure the young players get their chance without being exposed to what might be a discouraging experience, while ensuring that the team does not pay for its inexperience by suffering a run of poor results.  John was a sympathetic enough captain to achieve the first of those aims while understanding how to deploy his own talents and those of other senior players in the team to guard against the second.  In this respect the fact that he was a cricketer whose skills tended to be underrated meant that he was just the man to steady an innings or contribute some testing overs when the team needed him.  His demeanour, calm and rarely without a smile, was ideal for managing a young team of varying talents and temperaments.  It no doubt helped that he drove a VW camper van, with room for the team kit bag and 3 or 4 players.
 
The third XI of that decade played on both Saturdays and Sundays without always having pre-arranged fixtures and John would get his chance in the 2nd XI when a 3rds could not be raised.  There he would show either with bat or ball or both how he might have become a regular performer at a higher level if he had not committed himself to arguably the most important captaincy role in the club. To underline his all-round abilities he was the winner in 1979 of the fiercely-contested club single-wicket competition.
 
Having a clutch of sons to bolster club availability helped considerably to make the 3rd XI a viable proposition even if the boys tended to aspire to higher XIs as they grew older.  Although scorebooks from that era have been lost over time the family has a clear recollection of at least four Craigs taking the field in the same team on several occasions, with John senior and Peter accounting between them for all 10 opposition wickets in a match in 1989
 
The family have many memories of John’s cricket including one of him taking a hat-trick which was slightly marred by the third victim being oldest son, Andrew, who had decided to try to hit every ball for 6 having been donated to the opposition who were one short.  He had come only to watch the game after attending the opening of a local music shop by his heroes, the Jam, where he had enjoyed a beer or two with them. 
 
Having studied statistics and lectured on the subject in his early career, John took up a job in the Office of Populations, Censuses and Surveys on coming south and had a hand in planning two or three national Censuses and analysing the resulting statistics.  His knowledge of the techniques and technology for storing and handling numbers led him to develop some ideas for how cricket statistics could be made more meaningful if the full power of computerisation could be brought to bear.  In an exchange of letters with the legendary TMS Statistician, Bill Frindall, he may have been taken aback by a reply making it clear that Frindall wanted nothing to do with computers and any further such ideas should be addressed to the Association of Cricket Statisticians and kept well away from him!  Needless to say much of what John was suggesting to make cricket statistics more meaningful and interesting to the ordinary fan have subsequently come about in the form of such things as the rankings for test and ODI players.
 
After John retired from playing at the age of 60 he took up umpiring, a natural fit given his scrupulous impartiality. He graduated to the Surrey championship umpires panel. 
He was also an active member of the WHIGS, where he enjoyed a round of golf and the fellowship of the WHCC community.  His illness in recent years meant that the club had not seen much of him and the steady rate of turnover ensures that his is not a name that is well-known to many of the current players.  It is hoped that those who trouble to read this appreciation will understand why those of us who can remember him do so with such affection and respect.
 

On Saturday 5 September we will be holding the twelth annual Woking and Horsell awards following our final league games, to celebrate the good, the sublime and the not so good that neatly sums up a W&HCC season. Despite the truncated season, we have had plenty of all three this year and there has been lots of discussion as to who will win what.

We will be presenting a Player of the Year for each of our five teams as well as Best Newcomer, Batsman, Bowler, Fielder, Young Player and Clubperson of the year so there is much to play for as we enter the last couple of league games this season.

We will also be presenting many other awards to those whose season may not have hit the dizzy heights of those winning official awards ie Injury of the Year (we've even managed to have a few of these in our short season) and Most Ducks.

The evening will be beach themed so please dress in your finest beach gear. 

The event will be held at the club as soon as is possible after our final league games so please get back to the club as soon as you can. You never know, you may win something! We hope you can make it. 

This Thursday (13th August) we take on our sponsors, Moore Barlow, in a T20 game at Brewery Road. The bar will be open.and we are hoping to run a BBQ if we get a couple of volunteers, so please come down and enjoy some cricket.

Moore Barlow supports England Cricket Team

The W&HCC End of Season Awards will take place on Saturday 5th September 2020. More details will be available soon.

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