Brocklesby Park Cricket Club


This section is devoted to extracts from G F Collins book, Farming and Foxhunting. Collins was Captain 1898-1905.

"There is no cricket so enjoyable as what is called, "country house cricket" and Hunt cricket is certainly the best of that type. Nowhere is the game played in a more truly sporting spirit, nor with a greater feeling of camaraderie, than in a match between two hunts. It is game from start to finish, each man doing his best for his side, playing to win, and never taking the slightest unfair advantage; yet running sporting risks, and giving one's opponent a sporting chance.

It has been my good fortune to take part in this kind of cricket, and for eight seasons acted as Skipper for the Brocklesby Hunt Team, previous to which I had acted under Mr Percy Frankish.

We played home and away matches with the neighbouring packs in Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, and Nottinghamshire; and it was always a treat to meet the good fellows who represented their respective, and sometimes famous Hunts; with many of the players being known to fame over both natural and regulation fences: Mr Arthur Soames, who played for the Blankney and Burton, for instance.

When we were the visiting team, it was a treat as their hounds were there as well, for it was always arranged that the Huntsman and his pack should put in an appearance during the afternoon. Occasionally, the Huntsman himself was one of the eleven, and my recollection goes back to Mr N C Cockburn, the Blankney Master, Mr T Wilson and his amateur first whipper-in; Mr E Bramley, of the Burton; Mr E P Rawnsley, and Mr J Fox of the Southwold, and Will Dale, Sam Morgan and George Leaf. Mr G F Wells-Cole1, the Lincoln Smiter, as he was called, was always a thorn in our side as he played for both the Blankney and the Burton, as did his two brothers.

Messrs H and R Melbourne, both good bats and the younger a fine fast bowler.

Messrs H Burraand and E H Marfleet also did good service for the Blankney, and Mr H Watkins for the Burton; while Mr R Chatterton always made a lot of runs for the Southwold. Mr J Bain used to Skipper the Holderness side and would put up a useful score.

Lord Yarborough would play for Brocklesby sometimes, as did Mr J M Richardson, who had been one of the best men in the Harrow, Cambridge University and I Zingari elevens.

Others who turned out for Brocklesby in my day were Messrs Underwood, R Bygott, G T Cliff, Captain of the 3rd Dragoon Guards,(killed in the War), E & H Abraham, Woodthorpe Clarke, J H J Webb, W Waddingham, J K Clixby, J Drakes, Captain Broderick, and Captain Garnier.

I still have some photographs2 with which I recall these most enjoyable matches, the first being of the Brocklesby team when we were playing against the Southwold at Brocklesby, and which consisted of Mr P Frankish, Lord Yarborough, Captain Broadrick, (also killed in France) , Messrs Abraham, Woodthorpe Clarke, WW Undewood, J H J Webb, W Waddingham, J K Clixby, J Drakes and myself, but I do not have the date of this match.

The other two photographs that I have are of a match; us and Lord Galway's Hunt at Brocklesby on August 31st 1905, when I was Captain. One is capital photograph of both teams, with Jim Smith and the hounds, the Hall peeping through the trees in the background; while the other shows the two elevens in front of the pavilion. The Brocklesby team consisted of Captain G C Garnier, Lord Worsley, Lord Conyers, Capt Hon Dudley Pelham, Dr G Middlemist, Major J Topham, E Norris, sub for Lord Yarborough, J H J Webb, W Waddingham, E G Dunn, and Capt G Collins.

I have but records of this match, though the photographs help to bring back a few of the incidents to mind. I won the toss and went in first with Capt Garnier, compiling seventeen runs by undistinguished cricket; Capt Pelham, always my best bat, made thirty in dashing style, while Dr Middlemist put together the same number by more patient methods; and Mr George Broomhead's fast bowling accounted for four wickets at a cost of thirty-five runs. We were all out for 154 runs.

For Lord Galway's, Mr Broomhead made thirty-eight, and Mr Barber thirty-five, the game looked all in favour of the visitors, for my regular bowlers could make no impression on the above two batsmen. Then came a bit of luck. I put myself on to bowl, the first ball was a full-toss, which Broomhead banged straight into mid-on's hands, and he held it. With the next ball I clean bowled Barber. It was quite simple good length, quite guileless ball, he played all around it. I got one more wicket, 3 for 15. Then Norris Topham and Waddingham rattled them out for 137 and we won by 17 runs. Broomhead and Barber of the Grove team met us as we left the field, threatening me with getting three wickets with such bad balls.

It was nearly thirty years ago, but I can still pick out some of my favourites among the hounds. What a pack they were to look at. The small boy in the Panama hat and the Knickerbocker suit is Little Marky, Lord Yarborough's youngest boy, who was in the Life Guards during the first War, (he was also Marcus, sixth Earl of Yarborough, our good friend - Ed)

Oh, you kind, hospitable Lincolnshire folk! The best of farmers and the best of sportsmen. For nigh on a quarter of a century I have lived among you and I shall never forget you. I have much to be thankful for; thankful for those happy years in Lincolnshire, and the great hunting with the Brocklesby and other packs, and that the recollection of it all is still green in my memory; thankful that I was able to do my little bit for my country in the Great War, and that I came through it all after over five years in service, a bit battered, but still whole in limb, and thankful that I have what many have not, more's the pity-a little home of my own, and enough for necessities. Ought one to expect more?"

  1. Author's note: G F Wells-Cole was Captain of Lincolnshire, and in 1894, scored 149 in a total of 344, in beating Norfolk at Grantham. This was the third highest win by the county, an innings and 148. A Wells-Cole was not quite so prolific. He played for Brocklesby in 1961 and scored 3 in 2 completed innings. an average 1.5. Nor was N Wells-Cole: 7 runs in 3 innings.
  2. Unfortunately we do not have copies of G F Collins photographs.bumble dating uk
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A cricketer is as old as he fields - Fred Root (1937)