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Text from the Cricket Match programme
Dear Corhampton Golf Club,
Hi!! Congratulations on scoring a Century – not easy when you spend a hundred years trying to hit a stationary ball. As the new President of the Lord’s Taverners I look forward to the cricket match celebrating your Centenary, between the Taverners XI and Hambledon and Corhampton Select, which should be as confusing an occasion as the billing suggests, especially as it’s being played at a golf club. Are you using the early bats favoured by the men of Hambledon in 1744? If you do, it’ll look more like a hockey match. I suppose the confusion lies in our different age groups. Hambledon have played since 1744 or thereabouts, you’re a hundred years old this year, and we Taverners had our Ruby last year. And very grateful she was too.
I call upon the Umpires to insist on fair play, especially with regard to one of the Rules laid out in 1774. “Ye Bail hanging on one Stump, though ye ball hit ye Wicket, it’s Not Out.” Not many years ago, Yorkshire were playing Cambridge University at Fenner’s. A ball from Macaulay beat the University batsman’s forward defensive lunge, and hit the middle stump. The bails, miraculously, remained intact. Nothing, not even the breathy oaths of the wicket keeper, would dislodge them. As Macaulay was about to bowl the next ball the wicketkeeper – Arthur Wood – leaned forward and said to the batsman “Excuse me, but has thi tried walking on water?”
Never mind walking on water – with a hundred years behind you, and the prospect of all that golf ahead of you, you must be walking on air. Good Luck to you all!
THE LORD’S TAVERNERS HAMPSHIRE REGION
Cricket was played on Corhampton Down long before the original nine-hole golf course was laid out 100 years ago but exactly when leather was first struck by willow is lost in the mists of time.
According to the Hampshire Chronicle a meeting was held at Corhampton House in May, 1885 to reorganise the Corhampton Cricket Club.
One of the rules was that no member paid less than five shillings and no playing member less than ten shillings yearly. About 35 members were enrolled and the ground on Corhampton Down had been “judiciously chosen and relaid”.
Mr. R. King Wyndham, the local landowner, who was re-elected President, said the new club would begin with a clean balance sheet. A special fund was opened to pay for the erection of a cricket pavilion, which remained on the course, latterly in a delapidated condition, until destroyed by fire during the Second World War.
In the opening match of the 1885 season Corhampton entertained local rivals Bishop’s Waltham and won by 30 runs. Corhampton put together 71 runs and then skittled the visitors for 41.
Judging by match reports in the Chronicle bowlers were consistently on top in those days or the pitches made runs hard to accumulate. At Idsworth the home team made 84, Corhampton replying with a meagre 46.
But Corhampton fared well at home to the strong Winchester club, scoring 93 before dismissing the visitors for 48, one of the two Westbrook’s in the side claiming five wickets.
When golf appeared on the Corhampton scene it had to give precedence to cricket at the weekend. The cricket ground, which was situated where today’s match is being played, was a no-go area for golfers while play was in progress. This meant that the golf course was reduced from nine to seven holes until stumps were drawn.
Between the world wars the Corhampton club’s name was changed to Wyndham Cricket Club, founded as an estate club by Colonel Wyndham Long, of Corhampton House. Members were drawn from Corhampton, Meonstoke and Exton.
The 1927 fixture list included matches against the Royal Yacht C.C., East Meon, Portsmouth Amateurs, Wickham, Knowle Asylum, Southsea, and the Training Ship Mercury, at Hamble, which was commanded by that great sportsman C.B. Fry.
A cricket match was played on New Year’s Day, 1929, between the Invalids and the Hampshire Eskimos, many of whom came from Corhampton. Unfortunately play was interrupted when the Hambledon Hunt raced across the ground in full cry. Whether the match was resumed or the players retired to the nearest hostelry is not recorded.
The start of World War II saw the end of cricket on Corhampton Down and in the succeeding 53 years golf has held sway… until today!
The Captain of Alresford E J B (John) White presenting to Bob Harvey Centenary 1991
The Swilcan Bridge, or Swilken Bridge, or Swilcanth as it was known, is a small stone bridge in St Andrews Links golf course, Scotland. The bridge spans the Swilcan Burn between the first and eighteenth fairways on the Old Course, and has become an important image in the sport of golf. The bridge had previously been known as the Golfers’ Bridge, and had been known as this for hundreds of years previously.