Auction night - July 6th 2019

Events | 27th March 2019 | 2 comment(s)

We are holding a fundraising Auction Night at the club on Saturday 6th July to raise funds for the club, to which everyone is invited - club members, friends of the club, relatives - and even if you have had no previous involvement with the club, please come along  - all are welcome.  Food will be available on the night and of course the bar will be open.

We also need help with acquiring items to be auctioned on the night, so would welcome anything that people could provide or source that we could offer up.  There…

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Four Elms CC - What's Happening

General | 26th March 2019 | 0 comment(s)

The 2019 cricket season is nearly upon us and following Friday’s AGM, we thought it would be a good time to provide an update on the latest happenings within the club.

Annual General Meeting – Friday 22nd March
The AGM was held last Friday at the Four Elms Inn and was attended by approximately 20 members. Some of the key points have been highlighted below, including a list of all Officers appointed during the AGM:

  • Andy Harrison appointed as a Vice President.
  • Andy Hills proposed Clive Croft, Bob Richards and Kevin Allman also be added as Vice Presidents. It was agreed that all…
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Sunday Report 2018

General | 1st March 2019 | 0 comment(s)

This was the most successful Sunday side Four Elms has produced for many many years.

At a time when the trend for Sunday cricket is on the wane, we managed to produce a team that was more than capable of holding its own against all comers to the Elms. Indeed, only once, against Tim’s XI, which comprised the cream of the First Division of the Kent Village League, did we capitulate, and we were missing over half of our regular side due to unavailability and the fact that the three Aussie stalwarts had returned home.

On many occasions, the opposition were simply…

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Second XI Saturday Report 2018

General | 1st March 2019 | 0 comment(s)

Another restructuring saw us in Division 6 of an expanded League and a changing of the guard saw yours truly back for another stint as skipper. I was looking forward to the 150th anniversary celebrations and, as it turned out, that was a particular highlight. The buzz of cricket week, the marquee, a big crowd and a big occasion with the historic match against the MCC. The ground we all love was looking at its best and attracting admiring glances from guys who play around the country. It was a great way to celebrate and, like all who were fortunate…

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First XI Saturday Report 2018

General | 1st March 2019 | 0 comment(s)

As I sit here and write, overnight temperatures dropped way below minus and the cricket season seems a million miles away. But as we all know, it quickly sneaks up on us and will soon be here.

I’ve decided to break from tradition slightly this year and instead of writing in tedious detail about each match – I’m going to attempt to write a witty, analogy filled ‘review of the year’ in a style you might see summarising the latest Brexit (yes he mentioned Brexit *sigh*) tribulations in the Guardian. Enjoy.

Well, not for the first time, we find ourselves stood amongst…

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20th July 2018, Four Elms CC vs MCC XI

Cricket at Four Elms celebrated 150 years in 2018 and whilst the game, equipment, quality of facilities and players have changed in many ways over time, the commitment to the club from those who play today is as constant as is our beautiful ground and its superb vista. The picturesque village ground of Four Elms nestles beneath the North Downs, close to some of the most historic attractions in England, Chartwell, Sir Winston Churchill's home, Hever Castle, the childhood home of Henry VIII's wife, Anne Boleyn and Penshurst Place.

We have featured as the backdrop for advertising campaigns, Vauxhall cars and for a television series on the history of Great Britain. We have played host to an MCC side in 1968, our centenary, and the MCC will join us again this year to celebrate another 50 years. We have hosted a number of county senior matches as well as a highly successful and enjoyable celebrity game between Tom Graveney's XI and Colin Milburn's XI.

The earliest records available indicate that cricket was played at Four Elms from 1864 with the club officially forming in 1868. The original ground was on Lord Bramwell's fields, Holmwood, adjoining the cabbage field on the site that is now Boons Estate. It moved, via Four Elms Farm "near the nurses cottage", to its present site in about 1890 when the current pavilion was built opposite St Paul's Church and close to the Four Elms Pub which occupies a 14th century building.

Colin Milburn XI.

The pavilion was extensively damaged during the Second World War when a Doodle Bug landed on the ground and numerous club records were lost. After the war the pavilion was rebuilt and running water and flushing toilets were added. In the following years the size of the pavilion was increased left and right by 'one bay each end', and cesspit drainage was improved. An extension incorporated shower facilities/changing rooms was built which allowed the 'entertaining' area to be enlarged and the bar and kitchen to be redesigned with a view over the ground. The pavilion is a real 'Old Grandmother' of a building deeply loved and respected by the members, barring the occasional wayward cricket ball or bat! All of these changes have been carried out by members or friends thereof, and are all done for the best interests of the club and its future.

The ground and square have improved greatly over the years. The square has gone from being low-slow to something a little more virile, albeit not Perth on day 2! Modern machinery and current technology have a lot to do with the quality we have today but ultimately the time, care and the amount of work that goes into the square and outfield from members is as strong as it was fifty, a hundred and a hundred and fifty years ago. From reading back through the old records the care of the ground has always been a labour of love and commitment. You argue, love, laugh and cry over it but, ultimately, you put in the effort to get the best out for all.

Since 1868 one thing that certainly hasn't changed is the commitment of the players and their personalities! Currently we are fortunate enough to run two Saturday sides and one Sunday side, manned with the flotsam and jetsam of current society, solicitors, osteopaths, builders, taxi drivers, printers, butchers, policemen et al, who all come together to form strong and lifelong friendships in the pursuit of a game of cricket and playing together as a team.

Newspaper Article
Major Williams & Ground Handover.

We have been fortunate to have many strong cricketers over the years many of whom can be seen in the photographs in the club house and have been remembered with commemorative benches and trees around the ground. The Cartwright brothers dominated sides through the 40's, 50's and 60's. Season's 1957and 1958 saw Frank Cartwright claim 205 and 213 wickets respectively, as well as scoring 991 and 1113 runs with his bat. Have better all-round stats been seen? Fellow bowlers clearly didn't get much of a look in as Frank claimed 23 five wicket hauls and one 10 wicket haul in 1957; his brother, Doddy, was no slouch with bat or ball either. Cecil French, Henry Knight and Colin Trigg all chipped in with decent wickets and runs. From conversations with senior members who new Frank and Doddy, they were incredibly consistent performers. No surprise the brothers used to prepare the wickets back then ensuring they were just as they liked them!

The 60's saw the Cartwrights still performing well but other names made significant contributions, the likes of Dennis Keating, Mike Clapp, Barry Rees, Adrian Greenwood, Mike Sleeman, John Bennett, Lawrence Wilson, Graham Larby and Peter Rylands all made the limelight in many games.

Newspaper Article
1968 centenary newspaper article.

1970 saw Chris and Stephen Tavare debut for Four Elms scoring several fifties. Chris who, ultimately played for Kent, Somerset and England, still serves as a valued Vice President of our club. David Prowse, Peter, Lawrence and Stuart Wilson, Drummond and Duncan Stephens, Keith and Roy Dawes, Peter Smith, David Biggs and Braddy Wells all performed with great aplomb during the 70's. A noticeable change appeared with Four Elms moving from a strong bowling side to an even stronger batting one. Six or seven players performed with the ball consistently but the runs flowed from Messrs Larby, Rylands, Tavare, Stephens and David Silk.

The days of sides being dismissed for less than 100 were seemingly long gone, consistent scores in excess of 160 were becoming the norm. Good batting without a shadow of a doubt but also a sign that the wickets were also performing better and possibly more reliably. By this point a ground committee had taken over the ground preparation duties and many of the players listed would turn up religiously on Thursday and Friday evenings to mow and manually pull the heavy wicket roller.

The team of the 70's and early 80's excelled locally and were renowned for being exciting to watch. In 1989 Four Elms became one of the founding members of The Kent County Village League, breaking away from the established structure. Graham Larby, Lawrence Wilson, Peter Rylands joined by Jeremy Tavare and Guy Spelman, scored stacks of runs, took many wickets and were an absolute pleasure for younger players and spectators to enjoy and learn from.

Club tie and blazer
Club blazer and tie.

In the Second Team, albeit no scorebooks remain from this time, the likes of Peter Smith, Colin Trigg, David Biggs, Roy Dawes, Henry Knight et al, were the main stay of the team and were joined by younger members all expertly coached and nurtured by John Bennett and Roy Dawes. Greg Prowse, Alan and Steve Jenner, Stuart Barnes, Richard and Michael Bennett, Tim Seegar, Justin Sharp, Sean Richardson, Ian Killick, Steve and David Fletcher, Bob Richards and many others all plied their trade, supped the occasional half of shandy and dreamed of the first team.

Jon Pike, who is still churning out the overs for the second team, joined the club in the late 70's and made an instant impression both as player, captain and League Chairman. With some excellent connections within the game and a great analytical mind, new players were eased into the club and strengthened an already strong brace of teams on a Saturday culminating with our memorable league win in 1984.

What would players from 1868 make of the club now and ideas for its future?

Fixtures Listed

Date Oppostion Ven Start XI
13/04/2019 Linden Park CC H 1.00 1st
20/04/2019 Felbridge & Sunnyside CC H 1.30 1st
24/04/2019 Brasted & Sundridge CC GH 2.00 SW
27/04/2019 Penshurst Park CC H 1.30 1st
28/04/2019 Waggoners H 2.00 Sun
30/04/2019 Essex GH 12.00 GH
04/05/2019 Horton Kirby CC A 2.00 1st
05/05/2019 Tatsfield CC H 2.00 Sun
11/05/2019 Linton Park CC H 1.30 1st
11/05/2019 Outwood CC A 1.30 2nd
12/05/2019 Locksbottom CC H 2.00 Sun
18/05/2019 Outwood CC A 1.30 1st
18/05/2019 Linton Park CC H 1.30 2nd
19/05/2019 Cowden CC A 2.00 Sun
23/05/2019 Bucks GH 12.00 GH
25/05/2019 Meopham CC A 1.30 1st
25/05/2019 Horsmondon CC H 1.30 2nd
26/05/2019 Horton Kirby CC H 2.00 Sun
29/05/2019 Warlingham CC H 2.30 Mid
01/06/2019 Speldhurst CC H 1.30 1st
01/06/2019 Penshurst Park CC A 1.30 2nd
08/06/2019 Penshurst Park CC A 1.30 1st
08/06/2019 Otford CC H 1.30 2nd
11/06/2019 Herts GH 12.00 GH
15/06/2019 Sissinghurst CC H 1.30 1st
15/06/2019 Farningham CC A 1.30 2nd
16/06/2019 Langton CC H 2.00 Sun
22/06/2019 Bearsted CC A 1.30 1st
22/06/2019 Bearsted CC H 1.30 2nd
23/06/2019 Woldingham CC A 2.00 Sun
29/06/2019 Shipbourne CC H 1.30 1st
29/06/2019 Locksbottom CC A 1.30 2nd
30/06/2019 Dormansland CC H 2.00 Sun
06/07/2019 Bidborough CC A 1.30 1st
06/07/2019 St Lawrence CC H 1.30 2nd
07/07/2019 Lamorbey Park CC H 2.00 Sun
13/07/2019 Linton Park CC A 1.30 1st
13/07/2019 Outwood CC H 1.30 2nd
14/07/2019 Sanderstead CC  H 2.00 Sun
20/07/2019 Outwood CC H 1.30 1st
20/07/2019 Linton Park CC A 1.30 2nd
21/07/2019 London New Zealand CC H 11.30 Sun
22/07/2019 Linden Park CC A 2.00 Mid
23/07/2019 Sussex GH 12.00 GH
24/07/2019 Cudham Wyse CC GH 2.30 SW
27/07/2019 Meopham CC H 1.30 1st
27/07/2019 Horsmondon CC A 1.30 2nd
28/07/2019 Presidents Game (Tav Trophy) H 2.00 Sun
03/08/2019 Speldhurst CC A 1.30 1st
03/08/2019 Penshurst Park CC H 1.30 2nd
04/08/2019 Selsdon CC H 2.00 Sun
10/08/2019 Penshurst Park CC H 1.30 1st
10/08/2019 Otford CC A 1.30 2nd
11/08/2019 Knockers CC H 2.00 Sun
14/08/2019 Heathfield Park CC GH 2.30 SW
17/08/2019 Sissinghurst CC A 1.30 1st
17/08/2019 Farningham CC H 1.30 2nd
18/08/2019 Woodside Green CC H 2.00 Sun
21/08/2019 Stage CC GH 2.00 SW
24/08/2019 Bearsted CC H 1.00 1st
24/08/2019 Bearsted CC A 1.00 2nd
25/08/2019 Ground Hired H 2.00 GH
31/08/2019 Shipbourne CC A 1.00 1st
31/08/2019 Locksbottom CC H 1.00 2nd
01/09/2019 Beckenham Wizards CC H 1.30 Sun
04/09/2019 Od Cuaco CC GH 1.00 SW
07/09/2019 Bidborough CC H 1.00 1st
07/09/2019 St Lawrence CC A 1.00 2nd
08/09/2019 Romany CC H 12.30 Sun
14/09/2019 Trinity Midwhitgiftians CC H 1.00 1st
15/09/2019 Linden Park CC H 1.00 Sun
18/09/2019 Linden Park CC GH 1.00 SW
21/09/2019 Cowdrey CC H 1.00 1st
22/09/2019 Sidcup CC H 1.30 Sun
24/09/2019 Herts vs Surrey GH 12.00 GH
25/09/2019 Warlingham CC  GH 12.00 SW
26/09/2019 Herts vs Surrey GH 12.00 GH
28/09/2019 Falconhurst CC H 1.00 1st
29/09/2019 Tim Seegar Xi H 12.00 Sun
01/10/2019 Herts vs Surrey GH 12.00 GH
02/10/2019 Sevenoaks Wednesday CC H 12.00 Mid
03/10/2019 Herts vs Surrey GH 12.00 GH
05/10/2019 Old Victorians CC GH 12.00 SW
06/10/2019 Linden Park CC H 12.00 Sun

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