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By website, May 3 2017 02:18PM

Sussex Cricket Museum Newsletter Spring 2017

A Message from our Chairman, Bob Warren

The Sussex Cricket Museum goes from strength to strength. During 2016 the number of people who visited the Museum increased dramatically. The increase was particularly apparent in the number of schools who had decided that there was much their students could learn by visiting the Museum. Geography, Maths and History were just some of the subjects that were tackled on site.

The interactive iPads have proved very popular, particularly with our younger visitors; these are being updated for the coming season when we will be featuring Women’s cricket and particularly the influence Sussex women have had on the development of Women’s cricket. There will be particular reference to this year’s Women’s World Cup and the Women’s Kia Super League Finals day at Hove on September 1st.

We will also have a special display celebrating Jim Parks’ amazing season in 1937 when he scored 3000 runs and took 100 wickets, eighty years ago. Our display marking the 100 years anniversary of the 1st World War continues.

Our new displays also include a display marking the 200th anniversary of William Lambert who in 1817 became the first person to score a 100 for Sussex. He actually scored two hundreds in the same first-class match. A feat not matched until W.G. Grace did it over 50 years later.

Our recent acquisitions include items belonging to WW2 General Sir Miles Dempsey who commanded the British Second Army in the Normandy landings in 1944, who played two matches for Sussex in 1919. Plus the ball used in Sussex v Surrey match at Hastings in 1902 when Sussex scored 705 runs in an innings. A record Sussex score which stood for over 100 years.

As usual our hard working volunteers will be producing several publications including:

1. J. H. Parks – his record breaking season of 1937. 2. The Sussex Martlets – a statistical record. 3. C. Aubrey Smith – from Hove to Hollywood and back.

We are delighted that Jim Parks will be officiating at our reopening on Saturday April 15th.

An exciting year ahead – come in and see us. You are very welcome.

Sussex Cricket Museum Report March 2017

We now have a group of dedicated volunteers who have met weekly in the museum throughout the winter to prepare exhibits for the 2017 season and to continue the endless task of cataloguing our collection and updating our Friends and Patrons mailing list. We have been pleased to acquire artefacts relating to General Sir Miles Dempsey who was one of Montgomery’s most senior Generals in Northern France at the end of WW2. He also played two first class matches for Sussex in 1919.

In early February we welcomed Jim Carter and Mike Simkins to the Museum to record a radio programme about C. Aubrey Smith, which will be aired on Radio 4 on Sunday May 21st at 1.30pm. We took them to visit Smith’s grave in a Hove Churchyard and as a result will be collaborating with them on a project to restore the grave. Our 2017 exhibition will include a focus on the 80th Anniversary of Jim Parks’ unique feat of scoring 3000 first class runs and taking 100 wickets in the same season, 1937. We will also be publishing a limited edition booklet on this subject which is currently being prepared by Norman Epps and Phil Barnes. Jim Parks junior has given us the blazer that his father wore throughout the season, as the centrepiece for our display. In addition to Parks, we will also feature the 200th Anniversary of William Lambert becoming the first ever batsman to score a century in each innings of an important (now regarded as first class) match, scoring 107* and 157 for Sussex against Epsom at Lord’s. So remarkable was this feat in the days of rough pitches that it was 51 years before it was repeated by a young W.G. Grace.

Other displays will include a tribute to Matthew Hobden, including his dressing room locker door with messages from all his team mates following his death in January 2016 and a cabinet marking the South Africans visit to Hove in May. This will include a bat belonging to and signed by Maurice Tate used on the 1930/31 Tour of South Africa alongside a Christmas Card sent by Tate from South Africa to George Cox. We are also working on upgrading our digital displays to include a new feature on Women’s cricket to mark the 2017 World Cup and the Kia Super League Finals Day which will be played at Hove on Friday, September 1st. Rob Andrew, our new Chief Executive has shown a lot of interest in the museum and it is clear that he will become a strong advocate of our work in the coming months. He recently hosted a Dinner in the museum for local sponsors of Sussex Cricket and spoke about his strong passion for the game and of the passion for Sussex Cricket which he hopes to be able to “add to in the coming months and years”.

Rob Boddie and Jon Filby



Website Articles



This article was submitted by one of our volunteers,   David Jeater



Sussex cricket anniversaries in 2017



Ten years ago, in 2007, while the first team was taking the Championship title for the third time, Sussex II won the Second Eleven Championship also for the third time, winning six of its eleven matches and remaining undefeated for the second season running. The leading run-scorer was Michael Thornely with 726 at 42.40 and the leading wicket-taker was Ollie Rayner with 35 at 12.31.


Thirty years ago, in the match at Hove against Kent on 4, 6 and 7 July 1987, Alan and Colin Wells added 303 runs for the fourth wicket in the county’s second innings, the highest fraternal partnership from all of the many pairs of brothers who have represented the county.


Also thirty years ago, the Hove ground staged the first Test match to be played in the county. This was between England Women and Australia Women over four days from 29 August to 1 September 1987. The match was drawn, but Australia won the three-match series 1-0.


Fifty years ago, at Hove against Hampshire on 3 to 5 June 1967, Sussex staged their first home championship match which included Sunday play, attracting a crowd of about 6,000 on that day. Earlier in the season, at Leicester, the county had played an away match that also included Sunday play.


Sixty years ago, in their first match of the season, on 8 to 10 May 1957, Sussex were set 267 runs to win by Gloucestershire in 195 minutes, reaching the total with ten minutes to spare. In his innings of 166, still remembered by older members, Don Smith hit nine sixes, six over the pavilion and three into it. At one point a spectator came onto the playing area asking for play to be stopped so that ambulance men could attend to injured spectators in safety.


Eighty years ago, not long after being told his services were no longer required by the county, Maurice Tate reached his 2,000th Championship wicket, the only Sussex player to reach this total. His first-innings dismissal of Tom Dollery, caught by Tich Cornford, for nine brought him up to this milestone in the match v Warwickshire at Hove, on 11 to 13 August 1937.


Also, eighty years ago, in 1937, Sussex scored 15,358 runs in 32 Championship matches, a run total which no team has ever reached, distant even by a country mile, in the competition. Seven players scored a thousand Championship runs for the county in the season, equalling an achievement previously unique to Sussex, in 1928. The feat has been equalled twice since, by Gloucestershire in 1938 and Warwickshire in 1962. Sussex conceded 14,374 runs in 1937, a total exceeded only once, by Kent in 1928.


One hundred and twenty years ago, Sussex played their only first-class match against a touring team from the United States. At Hove, on 17 and 18 June 1897, the county were beaten by the Gentlemen of Philadelphia by eight wickets in only two days. The Sussex first innings slumped to 43 all out, with Bart King, a professional fast bowler whose swerve skills had been honed by playing baseball, taking advantage of windy conditions to take seven for 13 in 10 five-ball overs, and the home side was required to follow on.


One hundred and forty years ago, on 15 to 17 March 1877, two Sussex players, Henry Charlwood and James Lillywhite, played for an English touring side against Australia in a match in Melbourne now regarded as the first-ever Test match. Lillywhite, from near Chichester, captained the England side, which lost by 45 runs; Charlwood, from Horsham, scored 36 and 13 in his innings. Between them they played nearly 300 first-class matches for the county. Lillywhite went on to become the leading umpire of his day, standing in nearly 250 first-class matches including six Tests.


One hundred and fifty years ago, on 6 and 7 June 1867, Sussex dismissed Kent for 18 runs in their second innings at the Bat and Ball Ground at Gravesend. This has remained the lowest innings total by Sussex opponents in a first-class match. Slow bowler James Southerton, making ‘a successful reappearance’ for the county, took six for 7 in 14.1 four-ball overs. Kent were a man short, G.M.Kelson having been injured earlier in the game. Kent won the return match three weeks later.


Also one hundred and fifty years ago, on 22 to 24 August 1867, Sussex played first-class cricket at Eastbourne for the first time, on the old Ashford Road ground. They lost to Kent by 31 runs, despite a rearguard action by Henry Charlwood who scored 81 out of 182 in the Sussex second innings. Thirty years later, one hundred and twenty years ago, Sussex played at The Saffrons at Eastbourne for the first time on 1 to 3 July 1897, playing a drawn, high-scoring match with Middlesex, blessed by a century from Ranjitsinhji. The Saffrons has staged a wide variety of festival and cricket-week matches over many years; the county will return there for a limited-overs match with Gloucestershire in May.


One hundred and seventy years ago, on 27 to 30 September 1847, Sussex played ‘England’ over four days in the last-ever first-class match played on the Royal New Ground, off Lewes Road in Brighton. Sussex, assisted by the celebrated Kent player Alfred Mynn, won by 27 runs. Over thirty years, the ground staged nearly fifty first-class matches, including many of the county club’s earliest games. A largely commercial enterprise, the ground had various names, including Box’s, Hanover and Ireland’s, but disappeared when Park Crescent was built over its northern end.


One hundred and ninety years ago, in June and July 1827, Sussex played a series of three matches against England, at Sheffield, Lord’s and Brighton, for stakes of a thousand guineas. In these matches, arranged by George Knight (an enthusiast for the then new round-arm, so called ‘Sussex’ bowling), the skills of Sussex-born Jem Broadbridge and William Lillywhite were tested against many of the leading players of the time. Sussex won the first two games but lost at home by 27 runs, partly because the opposition had themselves adopted round-arm tactics of their own. The following year MCC changed the Laws to allow the bowler’s hand to be as high as the elbow, and later to be at shoulder level.


Two hundred and seventy years ago, on 13 and 14 July 1747, the West Sussex villages of Singleton and Charlton played West Dean and Chilgrove in a famous women’s match at the Artillery Ground in the City of London. The match attracted a huge crowd who broke into the ground and stopped play; the match was eventually completed on the second day.


Finally, three hundred and eighty years ago, eight men were fined twelve old pence by an ecclesiastical court for playing cricket at Midhurst on 26 February 1637, a remarkably early start to the season even by modern standards, ‘on the Sabbath day … in ye time of evening preyer’. They were required to attend church on 25 June 1637 to confess that they had ‘offended Almighty God by playing at Crickett’ and ‘other such unlawful sportes’.


D.J. 16th May 2017