A Flourishing Period (1930-1934)
[LENGTH:8mins Reading Time]
The Thirties will always be regarded as one of the most flourishing periods in the Club's history, for the "Chipping Sodbury Town Club" (as it was known in those days) had some conscientious officers, a hard-working committee and some first-class cricketers.
The committee of that day determine: that the Club colours should be "Dark blue with the Sodbury arms in gold and Rule No. 9 laid down "That the captain, vice-captain, secretary and treasurer shall form a match committee to decide what fixtures shall be made for the season and they shall also appoint a ground committee for each home match, consisting of one of themselves, one committee man and one member who shall be held responsible for the necessary preparations and putting away of Club property on that day."
At the annual meeting in 1930, L. Montague Harris was elected 1st XI captain and held the office for the ensuing four seasons. He also continued as Hon. Treasurer. R. Slatter was made 2nd XI captain and H. S . (Hugo) King became the Club's umpire. The year 1931 was a notable one for it saw the construction of a pavilion, the introduction of a Thursday XI and the re-laying of the playing pitch at The Ridings. Constructed of concrete blocks and stone, the pavilion was built by Club members with the late Mr. Stephen Blakeney as the chief mason and it was to prove a great boon not only in the coming season (which was notoriously wet!) but in subsequent years. (Around 1960 it was used as a tea room at The Ridings).
With the introduction of the Thursday XI-the third team to be fielded then-another Club stalwart, Jack Sandells, commenced his association with the Club, being appointed captain of the Thursday side. He skippered this team throughout the Thirties.
In the second match of the 1931 season, Jack Tanner (regarded as the fastest bowler ever produced by Chipping Sodbury) was in fine form with the ball, securing seven Pucklechurch wickets for only six runs (including the "hat trick"). Sodbury won by 32 runs after having dismissed Pucklechurch for 30.
Against Shirehampton on June 13th, Tanner claimed 8 for 16 but his efforts were to no avail as the Town side were all out for a mere 15 runs! Heading the 1931 batting averages were W. Allen (1st XI), H. Lewis (2nd XI), and A. Crewe (Thursday XI) while bowling honours went to J. Tanner (1st XI), M. Greenaway (2nd XI), and G. Alsop (Thursday XI).
At the annual meeting held on February 20th, 1932, Harry Lewis was appointed 2nd XI captain and Wally Vickery was first elected to serve on the general management and entertainment committee. In 1932 a considerable improvement was effected to the outfield as a result of a novel invention by Messrs. W. Vickery and W. Smith who converted the old mowing machine into a motor mower by skilfully adapting an old Douglas motor cycle engine for the purpose. So the first piece of motorised equipment came into use at The Ridings. As a result of improved amenities, the Club benefited considerably being able to secure stronger fixtures.
The year 1932 was a most successful one from the playing point of view with such young cricketers as Jarvis Savory, Claude Jones and Wally Lewis playing their first games with the Club.
In the match against George's on May 14th, Dunne took 5 for 20 (including the "hat trick"). Wally Lewis (then only made his first appearance with the 2nd XI in an evening game against Old bury who were dismissed for 18 in reply to the Town's score of 22!
The 1st XI was rapidly developing into a fairly formidable side and a typical first 'team of 1932 was made up of the following: C. Jones, W. Vickery, J. Savory, R. A. Hone, W. Allen, A. E. A. Searle, L. M. Harris (Capt.), J. Dunne, P. Greenaway, J. Tanner and I. Watkins.
August 6th, 1932, provided two outstanding individual performances. Playing for the 2nd XI, F. Lock took eight Rangeworthy wickets for only nine runs while Jarvis Savory, batting at No. 3, dominated the 1st XI's innings with an undefeated knock of 77 out of a total of 126 for 7 against Georges Brewery. The following Saturday, Savory reached 102 not out in a total of 244 for 7 declared against Knowle Wanderers at The Ridings to record his maiden century for the Club. On August 20th Lock, batting at No. 9, scored 72 out of a total of 180 for the 1st XI against Stoke Bishop.
Jarvis Savory, in his first season with the Club, topped the batting averages and was followed by Claude Jones. Most successful bowler was Jack Tanner whose 52 wickets cost only 5.2 runs apiece.
At the annual meeting on February l0th, 1933, Harry Lewis became 1st XI vice-captain and his place as skipper of the 2nd XI was taken by V. Stump with A. L. Brown as his deputy. Evidence of the Club's growing prestige was borne out by the secretary's announcement of stronger fixtures against Clubs outside the immediate area. Thanks were expressed to L. Montague Harris for providing his office for committee meetings which he still did in 1960 and "to all those members who placed cars at other members' disposal and to Mr. H. King for his services as umpire".
On July 8th, 1933, R. Pullin scored 103 (72 in boundaries) in a total of 188 for 5 declared at Hambrook and shared in a fourth wicket stand of 115 with Claude Jones (36). Later in the month, the 1st XI tied two consecutive matches. Playing Netham (I.C.I.) at The Ridings on July 22nd they were dismissed for 128 and R. Pullin took the last visitors' wicket with the scores equal; then in the return match with Hambrook on the following Saturday they succeeded in dismissing the visitors for 52 but with the scores equal, their last wicket fell amid tense excitement.
In a "Local Derby" match with British Quarrying Company on August 5th, Wally Lewis (then 16-years-old) scored his maiden century for the Club and with Jarvis Savory shared in an opening partnership of 173 which was to remain unbeaten for 22 years. Chipping Sodbury won by nine wickets in a match which produced 365 runs in three hours. B.Q.C. who batted first scored 178 (J. A. H. Awdry 50, H. J. Ball 38, M. W. Perrett 35), Roger Waters taking 5 for 51. When Chipping Sodbury's opening pair wanted only six more runs to overhaul B.Q.C's. total Jarvis Savory was dismissed for 62 and when stumps were drawn, Wally Lewis was 100 not out.
A remarkable bowling feat was performed by Les Brown in the 2nd XI'S game with Kington St. Michael on August 26th when he took nine wickets for nine runs and caught the tenth man, Kington St. Michael being dismissed for 19 runs. So another successful season came to an end, with Jarvis Savory heading the 1st XI and Thursday XI batting averages.
Owing to the increased demands of his legal practice, L. M. Harris relinquished the captaincy of the 1st XI at the annual meeting held on February 5th, 1934, and was succeeded by C. D. Waters (headmaster of the Grammar School). Committee members appointed were Messrs. G. Flook P. Greenaway, J. Dunne, R. Slatter, V. Stump, C. L. Strachan, H. J. Savory, C. Jones, R. Waters and W. Lewis. Secretary Hedley Wilkins referred, in his annual report, to the departure of several players since the season had ended. among them, A. E. A. Searle.
There was a sensational finish to the match with Hambrook on June 23rd, 1934 when Roger Waters abruptly terminated Hambrook's innings by performing the "hat trick" and thus gave Chipping Sodbury a win by 31 runs three minutes from time. He finished with 9 for 37. On July 7th, at The Ridings, Wally Lewis took 7 for 28 against Rodborough who were beaten in another exciting finish and on the same day, the 2nd XI knocked up 210 for 8 (W. Evans 73, Tom Phipps 61, Harry Lewis 32) to beat Soundwell 2nd XI by 95 runs. Playing for the Thursday XI against the Schoolmasters on July 26th, Jarvis Savory scored his second century for the Club.
Saturday, July 28th, 1934, produced some exciting cricket for both XIs. At Berkeley, the 1st XI seemed doomed for defeat but thanks to a magnificent last wicket stand of 57 between J. Dunne and Tom Phipps they snatched a thrilling three-run victory. Playing for the 2nd XI against Newton Whitley, L. Lediard took seven wickets at a cost of only three runs and at one stage in his devastating bowling spell he dismissed five batsmen in six balls, including the ''hat-trick."
Second century-maker of the 1934 season was T. Tranter, who scored 132 against Montpelier Nomads in an all-day match at The Ridings on August Bank Holiday Monday and Chipping Sodbury reached their highest-ever total of 296. The visitors were dismissed for 44 (L. Brown 5-19, W. Lewis 3-18. G. Waters 1-0) and 20 (G. Waters 6-1, R. Waters 4-9).
Both Jarvis Savory and Wally Lewis were in great form with the bat during the last month of 1934. Savory scored 87 out of 208 for 4 declared against Uphill Castle at Weston-super-Mare and in the return match Lewis made 63 out of 140. On the following Saturday, Lewis made 82 out of 215 against Chippenham 2nd XI and at Calne on September 1st, Savory knocked up 90 out of 171. Savory, Lewis, and Tranter figured prominently in the leading batting averages for 1934 while the Club captain's two sons-Geoffrey and Roger Waters-and Lewis emerged as the most successful bowlers.