World War II Beckons (1935-1939)
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L. Montague Harris was unanimously elected president of the Club at the annual meeting in February 1935. Wally Vickery became assistant secretary and L. Brown took over from Harry Lewis as 2nd XI captain with Ivor Watkins as vice-captain.
On June 8th 1935, Chipping Sodbury gained their first win at Badminton since 1929 scoring 127 for 3 (R. A. Hone 62 not out) to Badminton's 123. Jarvis Savory and Claude Jones, who were both studying at Bristol University, played regularly for the Varsity side. But they were able to assist the Club on occasions and against Hanham on June 29th they put on 102 for the first wicket in an hour. Chipping Sodbury brought off a good sequence of wins over the Bank Holiday defeating Bristol Gas Co., Schoolmasters A, Soundwell and Devizes. In the Schoolmasiers match on August Monday, Geoffrey Waters took 9 for 44.
It was during the 1935 season that Jarvis Savory created a Club record (which has never been equalled) by scoring centuries in two consecutive games. Playing for the Thursday XI at Gloucester on July 25th he made 104 not out in the side's total of 197 for 7 and two days later in the 1st XI'S game with St. Paul's (Portland Square) he made an undefeated 133 which included two sixes and fifteen fours. In this match, Savory and Claude Jones (83) added 153 for the first wicket, the innings being declared at 254 for 5.
It was not surprising, therefore, that Savory headed the batting averages of both the 1st XI and Thursday XI. He scored 611 runs with the 1st XI for an average of 67.9 and finished with an average of 104.5 with the Thursday XI for whom he scored 209 runs. Geoffrey Waters again did well with the ball and so did Tom Phipps whose 44 wickets cost 11.5 runs apiece.
At the annual meeting in 1936, it was decided to increase the annual subscription from 5 / - (25p) to 7/6 (37 ½p) with a match fee of 6d. (2 ½p) for each Saturday game (home and away) in view of the heavy expenditure in operating three teams. Don Kirby succeeded C. D. Waters as 1st XI captain with L. M. Harris and Jarvis Savory being made joint vice-captains. Alfie Paul was appointed to the management committee.
In 1936, Chipping Sodbury had the services of another Grammar School master, D. Paling, who, in his first match against Darnleigh cracked six sixes and seven fours in a score of 70 out of 172, the visitors passing this total for the loss of four wickets. As opening batsman, he had another good knock against Hambrook in June scoring 80 out of 148 for 5.
On June 17th, in the 2nd XI's match with Hanham 2nd XI, D. Hughes took four wickets with four balls (all clean bowled) and finished with 6 for 32, giving his side a win by two runs. Another bowler who was rapidly making his presence felt in the 1st XI's matches was Mel Turner who dismissed seven of the Corinthians side for only eight runs on July 4th.
In the match against the Grammar School that month the school side included four masters who were all members of the Town Club in the persons of R. A. Hone, E. Hewitt, D. Paling and C. D. Waters. For the School, Hewitt made 63 out of 121 while Jarvis Savory (an ex-Grammar School pupil) scored an undefeated 94 out of the Club's total of 135 for 4.
After holding the position of hon. secretary for nine years, during which time he had rendered valuable services to the Club, Hedley Wilkins informed members at the annual meeting in April 1937 that owing to increased business calls on his time it would be impossible for him to accept re-election and his resignation was accepted with great regret. Mr. J. B. Kendall (Club chairman since 1929) took over his duties.
With many splendid innings to his credit, Jarvis Savory was, by this time, attracting the interest of the Gloucestershire C.C.C., having already played for the County's Club and Ground XI in the preceding season.
In the " Gazette " of May 1st, 1937, the writer of " Local Notes referred to the Gloucestershire Club's practice match at Cirencester Park and had this to say: Some of the new players coached by Reg Sinfield were on view and I was particularly struck with the batting display given by H. J. Savory whose home is at Chipping Sodbury."
While at Bristol University, Savory had captained the University side and the strength of Chipping Sodbury's 1st XI in the years before the 1939-45 war may be gauged from the fact that, in addition to him, other Club players such as Trevor Tranter, Claude Jones, Mel Turner and Geoffrey Waters, were, in turn, regular members of the Varsity XI. In 1937, Chipping Sodbury lost the regular services of both Savory and Wally Lewis, who joined Stinchcornbe Stragglers and it was during this season that Savory played for Gloucestershire. Lewis subsequently assisted the County 2nd XI.
On June 5th, 1937, Claude Jones opened Chipping Sodbury's innings against Wick and when a declaration was made at 208 for 7, he was 87 not out. Wick were dismissed for 151. Playing for the 2nd XI against Hambrook 2nd XI on June 12th, F. Tanner performed the hat trick in taking three wickets for five runs. On July 17th. L. Griffiths scored 113 (including four sixes and ten fours) in a total of 217 for 6 declared against the Schoolmasters and put on 116 for the fifth wicket with D. Hughes. On the same day, L. Brown took 7 for 16 in the 2nd XI's game with Ashley Down Old Boys.
On the following Saturday, Tom Phipps bowled extremely well and performed the "hat trick" against St. Paul's to finish with 6 for 42. The match produced a very keen finish with victory going to Chipping Sodbury by one run. There was another century by a Chipping Sodbury batsman on August Bank Holiday Monday, when E. Hewitt knocked up 107 against the Schoolmasters in a score of 246 for 6, the visitors being dismissed for 160.
Thursday XI Cricket
Spectacular cricket was seen at 'The Ridings on August 12th when the Thursday XI played Cainscross. Jarvis Savory beat his own previous best score for the Club with an undefeated 142 and with Cliff Monks (who had made his debut for Gloucestershire two seasons earlier) shared in a second wicket stand of 197 in just over one hour. Chipping Sodbury reached a total of 272 for 3 declared; then Mel Turner (5 for 8) and Monks (5 for 10) bowled unchanged to dismiss the visitors in 37 minutes for only 19 runs.
During the Club's first annual dinner held at the Royal Oak, Chipping Sodbury on October 1st, 1937, a presentation (in the form of an inscribed watch) was made to Hedley Wilkins in recognition of his services to the Club as secretary from 1929-1937. L. Montague Harris presided and the toast to the Club was proposed by Cliff Monks of Gloucestershire C.C.C. It was announced at the annual meeting on March 23rd, 1938, that the Club had lost the services of two players, Jarvis Savory (who had taken up an appointment in Nigeria) and E. Hewitt who had removed to Long Eaton.
Cliff Monks, Gloucestershire 2nd XI who began playing for Chipping Sodbury Cricket Club again in 1953.
In the match against Wick on May 21st, 1938, Ewart Ritchings took 7 for 34 and Chipping Sodbury won by 41 runs. First century of the season came from Frank Boulton, the Arsenal goal-keeper of the day. Assisting the Thursday XI against Bath Thursday XI on June 23rd, he scored an undefeated 104 in a total of 163 for 2, Bath being dismissed for 102 (R. W. Jones 5-24).
On July 2nd at Knowle, Chipping Sodbury were chasing a total of 172 for 7 and although they had only 90 minutes batting they achieved their target with two wickets to spare, V. Boulton scoring a fine 68. Wins were recorded during July over Cirencester, Tetbury and Harris's of Calne.
Visiting Nailsworth on August 18th, the Thursday XI reached 235 for 4 declared with Claude Jones scoring 100 not out-and C. Jarvick making 60. Their fourth wicket stand was worth 110 runs. Nailsworth were dismissed for 110.
The Club sustained a great loss that month through the death of Alfie Dando of Westerleigh, one of the oldest playing members. He had been a cricketer for 50 years and had been playing regularly for the Thursday XI up to a few days before his death. He had been Vice-captain of the Thursday side for the past eight years.
In September, Ewart Ritchhp secured six Downend 8 wickets for 31 runs and brought his total number of wickets for the 1938 season to 51.
The annual dinner took place at the Royal Oak Hotel in February, 1939. Proposing the toast to the Club, Mr. A. Humphries (president of Downend C.C.) recalled matches played with Chipping Sodbury forty years previously when Doctors E. M. and A. H. Grace took part. In his reply, the Club president (L. Montague Harris) referred to the Chipping Sodbury Club as a nursery for some of the first-class Clubs.
Dr. Claude Jones was appointed 1st XI captain at the annual meeting in March, 1939 with Don Kirby as vice-captain. Ivor Watkins was elected 2nd XI captain with Ewart Ritchings as his deputy. Appointed to the management committee were: Messrs. W. H. Evans, W. Vickery, C. D. Waters, T. Phipps, P. Greenaway, E. L. Lloyd, W. E. Thompson, H. J. Goodman, A. Paul, H. King, A. L. Brown, C. S . Heseltine, F . Sargent and H. Wilkins.
In addition to the annual subscription of 7/6 (37 ½p), it was agreed that members of the 1st and 2nd XIs should contribute 8d. (40p) per match towards transport and the groundsman and that members of the Thursday XI should pay a contribution of 2d. (10p) per match towards the groundsman.
On May 6th, 1939, Ewart Ritchings took 7 for 10 for the 2nd XI against Ashley Down Old Boys, giving his side a win by 31 runs. On the same day A. L. Brown took 7 G.A.F.L.A.C. wickets for 37 and followed this up on May 13th by taking 6 for 20 against Tetbury. Against Oldfield Park, Bath, on May 27th, Percy Greenaway claimed 7 for 19 and in the return match on June l0th, Trevor Tranter scored a brilliant undefeated century in a total of 211 for 3 declared.
Playing for the Thursday XI against Nailsworth at The Ridings on June 15th, F. Boulton was unplayable and finished with 8 for 10, the visitors being all out for 32. The 2nd XI had an easy win over G.A.F.L.A.C. 2nd XI on June 17th thanks to a 7 for 26 spell by Ewart Ritchings and F. Velacote's 76 out of a total of 187 for 9. On July 1st, the 1st XI opening batsman, F. Vasey, completed a hard-hitting century (which included six sixes and nine fours) which gave the 1st XI a five wickets win over Christopher Thomas after they had been set to score 199 to win in two hours.
At The Ridings on August 19th, Claude Jones, the 1st XI captain played what was to prove his last great innings for the Club against Wick. His knock of 85 included 13 fours in a total of 164 for 9 declared. He was well supported by E. L. Lloyd (27) and the pair added 78 for the seventh wicket. The match ended in a draw with Wick's last pair at the crease requiring 18 runs to win.
It was late August, 1939, and the international situation was deteriorating rapidly. On Sunday, September 3rd, war was declared and in the ensuing conflict, three Chipping Sodbury cricketers lost their lives. One of the three was Tom Phipps, killed by enemy action on 27th February 1941. Back in July 1937 Tom had claimed a hat-trick, as one of the better bowlers of Chipping Sodbury Cricket Club.