1953 – England legend Trevor Bailey opens Hadleigh’s New Pavilion

One of the greatest events in the history of local cricket occurred on Sunday 16th August 1953, when England test player Trevor Bailey was included in a Southend Cricket Association representative team that played Hadleigh and Thundersley CC at the John Burrows Ground.  The occasion was fitting as Trevor Bailey, of England, Essex CCC and Westcliff on Sea CC, officially opened the new pavilion of Hadleigh and Thundersley by ceremoniously hoisting the club flag.   This pavilion served the club well until 1971, when it made way for a further two-tier pavilion which still serves the club today.

Trevor Bailey (centre) hoists the Hadleigh & Thundersley CC flag accompanied by
Cllr. Eddie Jeanes, Chairman of Benfleet Council Recreation Grounds Committee (left)
and Jack Sheavill, Hadleigh and Thundersley CC life-member (right)

In the week leading up to the fixture, the “Southend Standard” reported:  “Over 2,000 people are expected to make their way to John H. Burrows Memorial Ground, Hadleigh, on Sunday, when the local club, Hadleigh and Thundersley, open their new pavilion-cum-clubhouse.   There will be seats for 800 people and refreshments will be served on the ground.  Admission will be free, but a collection will be taken to help meet the £850 cost of the pavilion.  It was built by the voluntary labour of club members.  The Association will not have the services of County player Colin Griffiths (Westcliff) who is injured.” 

Over 1,500 spectators actually turned up on the ground, without doubt the largest crowd ever for a District Representative cricket match played in our area.   Hadleigh batted first and scored 190 for the loss of five wickets, declaring at tea.  In reply, the Southend Association made 133 for seven wickets at the close – match drawn.  For a full match report, reproduced from the Southend Standard dated 20th August 1953, please click here.

The local press pre-announced the Southend Cricket Association team as being: G. McLellan (Westcliff on Sea CC, captain), E. Ward (Leigh on Sea CC), J. Brown, F. Goodrum (Southchurch CC), D. Blott (St. Johns CC), A. Carradus (Old Southendians CC), B. Croston, J. Slatex (Old Westcliffians CC), R. Holland (Marine CC), K. Pinkerton (Rayleigh CC), T.E. Bailey, C.C. Pearce (Essex CCC).

Cricketers at Hadleigh and Thundersley CC, August 1953

Hadleigh & Thundersley CC together with Southend Cricket Association XI – Sunday 16th August 1953 at John H. Burrows Ground

Bob Homewood; Roger Sheppard; Pat Barnes; Bob Holmes; J Brown (Runwell CC); Reg Holland (Marine CC);
Alan Carradus (Old Southendians CC); B Croston (Old Westcliffians CC); Bob Pinkerton (Rayleigh CC).

Bert Hart; Jimmy Watson; Geoff Byford; C C Pearce (Westcliff CC and Essex CCC).

Front: John Scrivenor; Len Ballard; Norman Smith; Harry Ballard; Gerald McLellan (Westcliff CC); F Goodrum (Southend LCS);
Derek Blott (St Johns CC); Edgar Ward (Leigh CC).

It is not surprising that expectations of a huge crowd were made, because Trevor Bailey took to the field at the John Burrows Ground on the rest day of an Ashes test decider in which he played a key role. This test appearance at The Oval was Bailey’s ninteenth and was actually a six-day match, though only four days were needed. The eve of his Hadleigh appearance was the first day of the test, when Bailey had Australia’s legendary all-rounder Keith Miller trapped leg before wicket for just one run, finishing with 1-42 from 14 overs, three of which were maidens.

With the opening ceremony and festivities over, Trevor Bailey returned next day to The Oval, making 33 not out on his way to an eventual score of 64 to steer England on the way to winning The Ashes just two days later.  Bailey went on to play a further 42 tests, completing 61 in total from an England career which spanned from 1949 until 1959.  His highest test score was 134 not out against New Zealand at Christchurch in March 1951, while his best England bowling figures (innings) of 7-34 were achieved at Kingston, Jamaica against the West Indies in March 1954. 

Footnote:  Trevor Bailey achieved the very rare feat of taking all ten wickets in an innings for Essex against Lancashire at Clacton in 1949. (10 for 49).  He holds a record as the only cricketer in an English first class season to reach 2,000 runs and 100 wickets; he was awarded the CBE in 1994.

Crowd at Hadleigh and Thundersley CC

Part of the crowd at Hadleigh and Thundersley CC

Ron Curtis (Hadleigh and Thundersley CC)
Ken Evens (South Essex District Cricket Board)
John Jarvis (Hadleigh and Thundersley CC)
Roy Paul (Hadleigh and Thundersley CC)
Southend Standard (editions dated 13th and 20th August 1953)