This is the sort of picture where you can smell the newly mown grass, feel the sun on your back and taste the cheese sandwiches and beer in the shade of the canvas marquee.
All in all, it’s a wonderfully evocative picture. It shows the scene, about 1951, when Borstal Cricket Club opened its lovely ground
at Brambletree. To mark the occasion, the Borstal side invited an XI led by Mayor of Rochester Andy Anderson.
It was both as sporting and municipal afternoon — in the days when Rochester was a city bursting with civic pride. The councillors look a rather rotund and pompous lot — by all accounts they were – but at least they knew how to keep Rochester a city, unlike Medway Council.
I’ve managed to find a fairly complete list of names for the line-up, but will be pleased to hear from anybody who can fill in the blanks.
Here goes. Back row: Unknown. Second row from back: ?; Alf Corthorn; Wally Huckstepp; ?; ?; Harold Chambers; Cllr Swain; ?: Fred Giles; Cllr Jack Phillips (owner of the lemonade firm and former chairman of the governors of Rochester Mathematical School – sorry, there’s a 60-year-old blot on his face); Fred Gore; ? (he was Cornish and lived in Mount Road, Borstal); Bill Rudd; Frank Nash; Alec Dadd (the builder, who was an umpire at this match).
Third row: Cllr Leslie Darley (later Mayor of Rochester and a man about whom I’ve never heard a complimentary word spoken); Fred Oliver (Borstal captain); ? (the city surveyor?); Mrs Anderson; mayor Cllr Andy Anderson; Cllr Tickner; ?; Fred Dadd.
Front row: Ewart Rayner (my father); ? Rudd (Bill’s son); John Rayner (my father’s cousin, who captained Borstal for decades); Billy Cullum; Alan Miles.
Later, the club acquired a hut for a pavilion — Alec Dadd (the man who built our house in Mount Road) dismantling it and taking it to Brambletree on his lorry. I remember the pavilion vividly, as well as the gent’s toilets, which were fascinatingly simple (but details of which are not suitable for a family website).
Thanks to my father (hello, Dad!) for the information. Let’s hear some more from all you cricket veterans, please.