After a two year gap, Little Chart Cricket Club resurrected its tour on the Suffolk/Essex border this year. It was touch and go up until the last minute, with the original list of twelve players dropping to eight in the end, with the addition of long term supporters Gerald Jeans and Audrey, Terry and Heather Lister, Brigitte Lawrence and Kate Pinnock.
Checking in to the Mill Hotel at Sudbury (much rebuilt since our last visit) on the borders of the beautiful Stour water meadows late on Friday afternoon, the main party arrived by minibus, while the seniors managed to find their way under their own steam. Suspense still in the air as Whatsapp was alive with the latest bulletin on the likely arrival of a ninth member, we set off for our first encounter of the tour, with Wickham St Paul’s Cricket Club, who supplied us with extra players and took our numbers in their stride. The Chart managed a laudable runners up position, and retired to The Victory(!) pub for a few beers and a robust dinner.
Saturday started with a quick trip to the pub to collect the abandoned minibus, and a walk into town before rolling up at the picturesque Twinstead ground. The rain did its usual thing, and started just as we left the hotel, but the locals are obviously used to it, and gave us a warm welcome. Settling for a 30 over match, Twinstead batted first and were restricted to 103 by some fine fielding coupled with some less fine fielding, and challenging bowling, and were all out in the 30th over. The Chart demonstrated excellent consistency by achieving second place, and then the local side reinforced their tremendous welcome by serving up sausages and chips from their in house fryer and lashings of mainly Kentish beer. Man of the match – Terry, as umpire – was rewarded with a Twinstead cap for his fortitude in standing out in the rain for three hours! Then the matter of Fines – – but at this point your correspondent is silenced by the ancient oath Quondam peregrinus semper peregrinus.
Many thanks to Wickham St Paul Cricket Club and Twinstead Cricket Club for their welcome and helping us out with players. Until next year!