© Fiddlers Cricket Club 2017

Members Given Out

Steve Jessup - 1951 To 2012

(remembered by Peter Hamilton)


Steve joined the Fiddlers in 1978 and his first game was on 16th July 1978 against the Royal Household. He played his last game in the 2011 season but was still turning out to support the club at the start of the 2012 season, for the game against Cookham Dean.

For over 35 years Steve never missed a season's cricket and probably played more times for the club than any other player. As a rough guess (with evening games in the League & Cup in the 80's & 90's and going on every tour) it is estimated he played well over 800 games.

Steve's Fiddler's career spanned many eras and he joins all the great characters that played for the club in the past. Steve had a warm and outgoing personality and was friend to all, both on and off the field. He was well known and welcomed by all the other clubs he played against.

Steve would arrive at the game only just in time, coming into the changing room with his bat, pads, jumps, towels and cricket gear all falling out of his bag and dumping it down in middle of the changing room with a "Hello Mate! Are we batting or bowling?"

Steve was an all-rounder and in his hey day a good number three. His favourite shot was off his legs for a four or a six making him thousands of runs.

Steve was a medium paced bowler with a short run up who could make the ball swing, pitch it on length and move it away off the seam, claiming him hundreds of wickets for the club over the years. My father took some cine film of Steve bowling in the nets when he was about 16 and his action and run up never changed.

Steve would put the gloves on and keep wicket when asked to and it is where he got his nickname as "Sloppy" which I think came from his playing days on a Saturday at Farnham Common 1st XI. (A bit harsh as Steve never let anyone down when behind the stumps.)

In his prime, Steve was quick and razor sharp in the field zipping the ball to the keepers gloves right over the stumps with a stinging thud. You took a quick run to Steve's fielding at your peril.

Steve was a great sport and he never got upset at any decision given against him or nothing a beer or two after the game couldn't put right. Although he was one of the last to arrive at the game he was always last to leave the opposition's clubhouse ensuring the Fiddler's goodwill and spirit on and off the field was maintained and the fixture secured for the next season.

In later years all of Steve & Lyn's (extended) family would come along for the Sunday afternoon game and either took part and played or watched from the boundary. Simon, his son, has played for the club for many years and has his father's high standards with bat, ball and fielding. Luke (Simon's son) played a number of games in recent seasons and, with them all on the field at the same time, a first for the club having three generations on pitch at the same time. (See photo of last game of the season in 2005 at Bledlow). Steve's father Dick and mother Jessie were great supporters of the club from the 60's onwards and along with Adele, Steve's daughter and her family. Last but not least Lyn, Steve's wife who has supported him and the whole family through sun, rain, wind and snow. Lyn would be there turning out at every ground helping supporting the family. If Steve played 800 games then Lyn was there for the vast majority.

In his early years, Steve other sport and love was football. He played for Slough Boys Club, Slough Sports Club and Slough Hawks and was a crunching right back that had immaculate timing for a sliding tackle which no one ever got past.

Steve's great spirit, personality and camaraderie on and off the pitch will always be missed but never forgotten by all those who were lucky enough to meet and play with Steve.

To my great life-long mate, a true Fiddler, great club cricketer, sportsman, friend to all and most importantly a family man.

Pete

For one of Steve's great games, read 'Put the Tea Urn On' - August 1981 Great Missenden. If any one would like to contribute their memories of Steve please email them to me at peterh@bucksandberks.co.uk and I will post them to this site.



James Platt

(remembered by Peter Hamilton)


Jimmy Platt played for many seasons for the Fiddlers usually batting at Number 3 when in his (Fiddlers) prime. Jimmy was a fine shot marker and scored many runs for the club. A memorable 6 over the railway line at Great Missenden one season was always a talking point. Jimmy also bowled slow spin and sometimes, never taking his cap off, would turn in around so the peak was backwards (Boycott Style). Always the best turned out player on the pitch and always wearing his Blue's cricket jumper from Cambridge days and his stiff peaked cricket cap. Jimmy never queried a decision and walked to and from the crease with his bat under his arm, A throw back to the old more traditional days of the game. Jimmy being and extremely good Jazz Pianist was always the star of the show at many Fiddlers Cricket Dinners playing many a sing along song for the club. When going to a pub or club after the game you would never want to play Jimmy at darts which was another gift he had to add to his many skills. Jimmy was also an accomplished footballer, having played in front of a 100,000-strong Wembley crowd for the combined Oxford and Cambridge team, in the FA Amateur Cup-winning team of 1951.
Jimmy played many seasons with the Fiddlers and was a true Fiddler until he moved away from the area.

Bernard Hamilton - 06 Jul 1913 - 06 August 2004

(remembered by Peter Hamilton)



Bernard Hamilton was a Fiddler, from his first match on Sunday 22nd May 1949 v Laleham C.C (Now Staines & Laleham CC) bowling 16 overs taking 1 wicket for 39 runs, until his death on 17th August 2004 at the age of 91. Bernard devoted over 55 years of support for what he called "His Club".

Bernard was a left arm bowler, making the ball fizz in the air. The Fiddlers club would not exist as it is today if Bernard had not cemented the corner stones of the club and its playing ethos, rules, codes, and traditions. Bernard did his best to make sure that everyone, whenever possible, took part in the game. If you got runs then you were unlikely to open the bowling. If you had not taken much part in the game he would give you a few overs to bowl or put you up the batting order. He believed it was a team sport for eleven players and not just a game for 6 or 7 and that if you let someone take even a small part in the game then they were more likely to be available for next weeks game. In turn, the players would speak highly of the Fiddlers when returning to their Saturday clubs. As he used to say "It's not whether you win or lose but how you play the game". Bernard had a real dislike for League cricket which he said spoilt the game and limited the number of players that took part for fear of losing. As far as he was concerned if you wanted to play league cricket there were plenty of other clubs to join in the area or play it on a Saturday.

Bernard Held every position in the club: Vice Captain, Captain, Treasurer, Secretary, Scorer, Umpire, Vice President, President, Life President and President Emeritus.

Bernard introduced the presentation of the weekly "Club Medal", "The Watering Can Beer Jug", "The Play of the Season Cup" (made by Dick Jessup from a peach tin!) (see artefacts). He introduced the "Club Tie" with 16 Fiddles on it, (one for each playing club member), the "Club Cap" and arranged the first Fiddlers tours. He organised the club dinners, which were held in early part April to make sure everyone got together before the season started. He wrote the match reports for the newspapers and got the press along to take photos whenever possible.

Bernard was well known throughout Bucks and Berks cricketing circles and his aim was to make the Fiddlers a famous club and the club to join when your best cricket was behind you. If you wanted to join the club you had to be a certain type of cricketer and this would not just depend on cricketing ability, sometimes far from it. You had to be very keen on cricket, a good sportsman in the tradition of the game, but you had to be able to laugh at yourself and the situation and of course stay after the game to enjoy a pint of beer in the company of fellow players and opposition. This is what the Fiddlers were about then and his ideas and traditions still exist in the club today.

There are too many stories to tell about Bernard, (he himself being a great story teller). However, one very very wet Sunday morning nearly every game was rained off, but the Fiddlers, in Bernard's eyes, should play in whatever weather if the opposition wanted to. After being on the phone all that Sunday morning he eventually found a club who would play the Fiddlers in the appalling weather. Excitedly, he quickly called the other players got the car started but could not find his kit anywhere. Eventually he went up stairs and heard the bath running. Looking inside the bathroom he saw his kit bag sinking in the bath with all his cricket kit in including his trousers, jumper, boots, bat, pads, gloves, jock strap and box. Whereupon his wife, Lorna, came up the stairs and said "if are stupid enough to play in this weather you might as well start off soaking wet". Bernard and Lorna stayed happily married for 59 years and Lorna supported the Fiddlers throughout their time together and attended hundreds of games .

Bernard was a great character, story teller and cricketer. On his grave it says "He loved his wife, his family and cricket"

(from an article in the Cricket Clubs Annual, 1932)
"Bernard Hamilton for Harrow St. Mary's. A promising young medium pace left hand bowler, bowled no fewer than 63 maidens out of 194 overs, and took 56 wickets at an average of 6.2, doing the Hat Trick on 4 occasions"

(from his own notes)
"These were happy times, and we had a wonderful team spirit. We might have lost on the field, but never in the bar!"



"And when the one great Scorer comes
To write against your name,
He asks not if you won or lost,
But how you played the game"


Sixty years of Tom Lawford's cricketing career were in ashes, when he retired from the game at the age of 71. Tom made a bonfire of all his treasured cricketing gear, his pads, gloves and cap etc. but he kept his boots. "I want to be buried wearing them!" he said. He decided to burn all his gear so he wouldn't be tempted into making a comeback. Tom was sadly killed when his bicycle was in collision with a car when he was aged 72. He was well known to many people for his enthusiasm for the game that was so close to his heart.

Tom Lawford

We believe that Gerry Kirby joined the Club in 1947 and (from Bernard Hamilton's notes) played a few games that season before being called up for Military Service. Gerry embodied what Fiddlers cricket was all about and this carried on when he was Captain, making sure that everybody took part in the game, batting or bowling, wherever possible. Gerry was a fine wicket-keeper and a good batsman with a powerful late cut that scored many a run. Gerry's enthusiasm for the game was infectious and always got the best out of players and the team.


Gerry Kirby

(remembered by Bernard Hamilton)


In the spring of 1949, I was standing at the bar in Slough Cricket Club, when Gilbert Husband approached me. Gilbert, a tall thin man, 6st 6ins with a mass of reddish hair, had a commanding personality and invariably was the centre of the steady drinkers who gathered in the bar at weekends. He had joined the Club two years previously and quickly became a popular member. Whilst seemingly well connected in Rugby circles, he had little cricketing ability. Whilst playing for the third eleven, the previous season, I had met him socially on a number of occasions, when he was attempting to gain a permanent place in the the third eleven, which due to the playing strength in general he was often unsuccessful. In view of this, he had gathered around him a number of more senior players who were past their best, but still enjoyed a Sunday afternoon our in convivial company. He had arranged a few fixtures with local village sides and a week end tour in Devon. In spite of his success, he was not too popular with the Senior Club officials who felt that he was attempting to form a 'club within a club'. He enquired of my playing intentions the following season and said "will you join me?"

Gilbert Husband

(remembered by Bernard Hamilton)


Paddy usually telephoned me at some early hour in the morning and always had the same cheerful and laughing greetings. It is of cricket, however, that I have my fondest memories of Paddy. His skill was limited but his enthusiasm unbounded. He was one of the best club members I have ever known. He would always turn up at any game, and whether batting, bowling or fielding his enthusiasm was contagious. On the rare occasions he made a few runs, he was as joyful as if he had made a hundred and the evenings celebrations at his performance were happy and joyful. He had that wonderful Irish charm which endeared him to all our members and opponents.

Paddy Lanagan

(remembered by Bernard Hamilton)


Eric was one of the original Club members and played regularly since the club's inception in 1946 up until 1965. If any one person personified the outsider's image of a member of our club, it was most surely Eric Boulton. A keen cricketer, a brilliant fielder in the gully where his catches will be long remembered and a very difficult batsman to dislodge! A more unselfish player it would be hard to find and one who put the rest of the team before himself. His cheerful nature, combined with a very friendly approach, made him a great favourite with all our opponents and it was surely due to his manner with opposing club secretaries that our fixture list, in the early days, was sustained.

Eric Boulton

(remembered by Bernard Hamilton)


It was a very happy day for the club when Arthur did us the honour of becoming Club Pianist at our Annual Dinner. He was a great favourite with all our members and his happy and cheerful manner always brought a cheer from all players and guests when he made his appearance around 9 o'clock. He was the first person who was not a cricketer who was presented with our club tie; much sought after by outsiders but not given.

Arthur Fazackerley

(remembered by Bernard Hamilton)


Frank was born in Yorkshire, and was a life member of the Yorkshire Cricket Club. He moved to Slough in 1935 and followed his profession as a groundsman. After the war, he returned to Slough and became groundsman at the Licenced Vituallers School where he stayed until he retired. He played for several local clubs, and was always immaculately turned out and known to cricketers all over the country. A right arm slow spinner, amongst his many successes were 10 wickets in one innings, the bowler in a Hat Trick in stumpings against the M.C.C. and in 1973, took over 100 wickets whilst playing for Slough. His wonderful fund of stories made him in great demand as a speaker at local dinners, and both he and his straw boater are sadly missed wherever cricket is played.

Frank Lees

(remembered by Bernard Hamilton)


I met Mike when I moved to Slough after the war, and although I was not a member of local clubs at the time, we shortly became close friends, a friendship that lasted through the years. We played cricket together on many occasions and apart from his playing ability, which often kept the team together and the opponents at bay, his never failing good humour and wealth of stories and songs made him the ideal companion. During the years when we played together for the Fiddlers, he had many good innings and all our rivals held him in very high esteem. He was the first president of the Fiddlers and in this position he took more than an active interest. Our annual dinner centered around his chairmanship and it was largely due to the humour and repartee that he brought to the proceedings that the function was always a great success.

Mike Brining

Vic was the Fiddler's umpire for many years and was a well known local character within the Slough area. Opposing sides will always remember Vic with his cheerful demeanor and his signature shout of "Wayhey". Vic was even better known for his after match impersonation of a ventriloquist's dummy! He would come out from the dressing room with a fez and a theatrical dressing gown, accompanied by Geoff Keeble. Then he would sit on Geoff's knee and perform an act which included singing 'Danny Boy' whilst Geoff drank a pint of bitter down in one!

Vic Buckland

Alan was skipper from 1968 to 1975. If anyone has any memories of Alan, please email Peter Hamilton.

Alan Bolton

John was skipper from 1989 to 1987. John was a competitive cricketer, and a good opening bowler usually taking most wickets in the season and was difficult to score runs from. He was also a good No3/4 batsman and rescued the Fiddlers on many an occasion with a determined innings.


(Remembered by Nigel Haines)


John Moules played for HDA, Slough Estates, Eton, Colnbrook, Cippenham, Burnham and The Fiddlers. He captained sides in the Berkshire League and the Thames Valley League, succeeding in winning Division 3 of the Thames Valley League at the second attempt in 1994 having come third from bottom the previous season.


John played and was the mainstay of the evening cricket league which was a limited over competition which ran for 8 years in the Slough area, there was also a knock out competition which was won in its final year by The Fiddlers. John played for and captained The Fiddlers for many years and took 400+ wickets and scored over 2,500 runs.  His final season was one of The fiddlers most successful and John had a batting average of 108.


The John Moules memorial match was played against Burnham in the 1998 season which was to be the last match to be played by Burnham at their historic "Gore" ground, the match fittingly ended in a draw and was a fine tribute to a very good all round cricketer. The Fiddlers side included stalwarts Dave Woodworth, Pat Morris, Dave and Andy North, Mike Salmon and Steve Jessup and also batting at number 7 was John's son David.


John is still regularly mentioned in the bar after current Fiddlers matches, a testament to his standing in the game.



John Moules

Roy was Vic's son, and joined the Fiddlers in 1967. In the Fiddler's minutes for that year it said that Roy was an 'opening fast bowler of yesteryear and also a very good bat'. Roy played for many years and even in retirement supported the Fiddlers, attending games and was always at every Fiddlers dinner.

Roy Buckland

Ron was known as ‘Sergeant Major Bruce’!

Ron Bruce

Jim Hawkins

(remembered by Peter Hamilton)


Jim Hawkins was a real cricket enthusiast. My first memory of Jim was from the summer of 1972 when I was 16 and playing for Slough Colts.  Slough Cricket Club had 3 Saturday XI’s in those days but still had enough players wanting to play cricket so Jim was elected skipper of the new 4th XI in the 1972 season.  Jim’s side was a joy to play for. A mixture of colts, middleman age and more senior players coming to twilight of their career.  Jim kept wicket and he made sure everyone took part in the game.  Always laughing, and a smile on his face backed up cheerful encouragement. It was a joy to be in Jim’s team.  Jim’s wife Hazel always made the teas when we played at home which was at Eton’s School’s Agar field.  So good was the outfield at Eton playing fields that a pitch was cut in the outfield and it played just as well as any cricket square around. Hazel’s teas were the envy of the other Slough XI’s and the 4th XI was never short of players.  Jim supported Slough all his life and his garden backed onto the Chalvey Road ground.  Jim could be found at many a cricket club supporting the game of cricket from the pavilion and in his later years was a regular Fiddlers supporter on a Sunday where he would tell his many wonderful cricketing stories.  Jim was also a flight engineer on the flight deck for many of the major airline and was once on a plane that was hijacked.  When Jim returned to Slough Cricket club he found he had been dropped for not turning up to the previous week’s game.  “Hijacked or not you could have told us you were not available” said the Slough committee!


Jim’s warmth ,enthusiasm for the game and his stories will be greatly missed.  A lovely gentleman and genuine cricketing character.