Laindon Cricket Club

Photograph of Team in 1950's

By Ken Porter

The team photographed in the 1950's do you recognise the location? 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Laindon Cricket Club' page

Ivor HoweBill DimentJack Wilson  Les SheppardJack RobinsonDavid Robinson

Robby HircockTom WebsterJohn Peters_______?Barry Behrend

Jack Wilson was Headmaster of Landon Park Junior School and David Robinson was Jack's son.

This page was added by Ian Mott on 25/01/2011.
Comments about this page (Add a comment about this page)

Hi  Does anyone have any info on the Rothstein family?  My Granddad was Francis Mudd who was married to Sadie Rothstein and used to run the Laindon Country Club.  He was also known as George.  Thank you.

By Faye Wheeler
On 09/04/2016

In case it may be of interest to anyone researching the history of cricket in the Laindon/Basildon area, I have recently deposited with the Essex Record Office, my father's collection of Cricket Fixture Cards for the Basildon Cricket Club (1934, 1936 and 1938) and the Laindon Cricket Club (1950 to 1966, with the exception of 1959 which is missing).  The Record Office Catalogue Reference is: D/DU 2978.

 I have also deposited with the RO some biographical information relating to my father, John Stanley 'Stan' Peters, who was made a Life Member of the Laindon C.C. in 1967.

By John Peters
On 20/04/2015

While the archive has been more than generous in recording memories of Laindon CC, there are still names which pop into my head and have not been recorded: Arthur Dunlop, Bert Malthouse, "Ginger" Crewe, Roy Dellar, Jimmy Godfrey, Eric Burns, Joe Joseph, Ken Bossom, George and Bert French, the Hill Brothers, Ron Theobald and David Yuell. There also many faces to which I cannot attach names. 

There were also non players who contributed. Firstly the Rev. Reynolds as at one time the club was near to breaking up and it was he who persuaded it to continue. The Rev.R eynolds, Councillor Wally Card, business men Charles Markham, Dennis Flack and Charles Brown. 

Then there were the ladies. Grace Peters and Mrs. Merrison who often acted as scorers and in later years a world famous sportswoman, Jillian Hipsey who would often be in attendance serving teas and also in attendance supporting away games when her husband Peter was captain. Other names may come to me and which I will submit for inclusion, courtesy of Ian.

By W.H.Diment
On 29/10/2012

Hello Bill, I hope that the additional photographs that the Editor has put on the site for me will bring back a few more memories and will help you to remember Ivor. As a bowler, I seem to remember feeling very confident with Ivor behind the stumps. Not only did he take a number of catches off my bowling, he probably also saved quite a few 'extras'!! One of the photographs also features Bert Lovell who we discussed earlier. Yes, I too was saddened by the news of Geoff's brother Brian.

By John Peters
On 24/10/2012

Hallo John, I am glad that the archive enabled you to regain contact with Geoffrey Fynn, although it was sadly marred by the news of Brian's death. As to the photograph of Ivor Howe, I believe the the suggestion of Ian, that it could be published on the archive to be the best, as then anyone interested could download. 

One point I would like to make was that your statement that Ivor wore a hair net to keep his hair out of his eyes when 'keeping', yet then the person in the club photo has short slightly receding hair which I suggest would never have fallen over his eyes. Also, as to the unnamed person in the photo, could this have been Joe Joseph as an earlier suggestion of mine that it may have been Laurie Hart aroused no comment.

Editor: I have published John Peter's Photo graphs   and some provided by Geoff Fynn Just click on the name to take a look.

By WH.Diment
On 23/10/2012

I should like to thank the Laindon History website for making it possible for Geoff Fynn and me to get back in touch with each other after all these years and to share some of our experiences since those early days at the Laindon Park School and the Laindon Cricket Club. 

As to the identity of Ivor Howe, I do have another photograph of the LCC taken in 1956 in which Ivor can be seen in his wicketkeeping gear, ready to go out onto the field. I am pretty sure that Ivor wore a hair net, not because he had particularly long hair, but simply to keep his immaculately groomed head of Brylcreemed hair out of his eyes when keeping wicket. 

If my memory serves me correctly, I think Ivor got married sometime during the late 1950s and may have left the club at around that time. If Bill or anyone else would like a copy of this photograph, I shall be pleased to send them a scanned copy.

Editor: Please could we have a copy for the site?

By John Peters
On 19/10/2012

Hello Bill, nice to hear from you. Sadly Brian died in 1996.  I am unable to help with the identity of Ivor Howe.

I have 2 photos of Laindon Cricket Club which I have email to the website. In one there is a very distinguished gentleman on the far right with a moustache who should be very familiar to you.

Editor: I will put them on site ASAP.

By geoff fynn
On 18/10/2012

Hallo Geoffrey, Good to hear from you after all these years, I hope Brian is keeping well. Perhaps you may be able to resolve the identity of of the person top left hand in the club photo. John Peters feels sure it is Ivor Howe, but as I remember Ivor had long fair hair which caused him to wear a hair net when keeping yet the person in the photo has short dark hair. Have you any opinion on the matter, is it possibly Basil Reitz? Regards.

By W.H.Diment
On 12/09/2012

If you have the email address of John Peters please pass it on to me or pass my email to him re-Laindon cricket club info thanks.

Editor: I will pass on your request with pleasure but please let the community in on your recollections of the club and its members as it helps others to recall items of interest.

By Geoff Fynn
On 12/09/2012

Hi John Yes you are correct Basil was involved with the Royal Tournament. I will be seeing Bert French who as you say was a very close friend of Basil. When I get Basil's story I will contribute it to the site.

By Ken Porter
On 18/01/2012

Following my recent comment about Basil Reitz, I now seem to recall that the major event with which Basil was associated was the Royal Tournament and not the Festival of Remembrance. With apologies.

By John Peters
On 18/01/2012

Hi Ken & Bill, Great pity about the scorebooks. At least copies of the old Laindon Recorder will contain reports of most of the matches during the 1950's, courtesy of Peter Lucus who was their chief reporter. I still have a number of my father's cut-outs from the newspaper, mainly from the early 1950's at around the time the club moved to their new ground at the Basildon Country Club. 

As regards Ivor Howe, I have two other photographs of him (one in his wicket-keeping gear) which I should like to put on this site if someone could advise me as to how to upload the images. I think they might help to clear up any doubts about the identity of the player in the above photograph. It certainly isn't Basil Rietz, who I remember quite well. I seem to recall that Basil was a regular commentator at one of the major national events - possibly the Festival of Remembrance, but am not 100% sure that I have the correct event. I think Bert French was a close personal friend of Basil and may be able to help with any further information.

Editor: If you can come to one of the memory days I will show you how to up load pictures. If this is not possible you can email them as attachments to laindonarchive@gemail.com or provide me at the email address with a phone number and I will contact you to see if I can assist.

By John Peters
On 18/01/2012

Hi Mark; Whats all this Mr Porter business. 

Hi John; Have asked around the scorebooks have all disappeared

By Ken Porter
On 16/01/2012

My playing time with Laindon was from the early 1970s up until 1999 I was there for the 50th anniversary. Mr Bill Diment was still umpiring regularly and I played against Mr Porter many times at Southend and had the odd beer, and I do from my childhood remember so many of the other names people that have written about so fondly. I followed my dad (Tony) during his playing time and never ever wanted to play for another club. Even though the club is no longer around and some of those players are no longer at the crease a smile still creeps across my face when ever I remember those happy happy days

By Mark Williams
On 16/01/2012

Further to Ken Porter's reminiscences. Bert Lovell who was described as having a wooden leg, did have a prosthetic leg but it was made of metal. Bert was a very good player who could score runs and bowl very good medium pace off a short couple of steps up to the wicket. He was also a competent fielder in the slips and I remember one time when an opposing player made a vicious late cut just wide of Bert who stuck out his leg. There was a loud bang and the ball rebounded halfway down the pitch. The batsman stood aghast until it was explained to him that Bert was unhurt.

By W.H.Diment
On 08/01/2012

Further to the team photo, while I am not positive I believe John Peters was in error in naming the first person on the left as Ivor Howe. Ivor had long fair hair, which was why he always wore a hair net. A name came up recently which jogged my memory, that of Basil Rietz MBE who died recently and may well be the person in question. I understand Ken Porter will be shortly speaking to a life long friend of Basil's and may possibly be able to confirm or otherwise. 

Also the unnamed person in the front row may be Laurie Hart, although once again I am not positive.

By wh.diment
On 06/01/2012

Reading the memories of the early days of Laindon Cricket Club has had me reminiscing about my early days with them. I hope I do not bore you. 

Prior to me joining Laindon Cricket club all I wanted to do in my spare time was to play cricket, I used to cajole my friends to play with me either in the street or on flat piece of ground on St Nicholas Hill, or on Laindon Park Junior School playing field. If there were no friends to play with I would spend hours bowling at three cricket stumps until I could pick any stump to bowl at and hit it at will. If there was a trip to the seaside on a Sunday the cricket stumps, bat and ball came with us. 

In joining Laindon Cricket Club in 1958 at the age of 14 was the year I started to drift away from my school friends. Cricket was all that mattered to me. I would spend every Tuesday and Thursday evenings practising at the club and Friday evenings being coached at the cricket school in Ilford. In my spare time I would be bouncing the ball off the back wall of my parent’s bungalow in Pound Lane, diving around catching the ball as it came off the pebble dashed walls or drain pipe at all angles. During the winter I would read as much about the game as I could and any other sport I played then and in later life was only to keep me fit for the cricket season. 

My first pair of white flannels was given to me by Sid Rose and yes they were held up with a tie but I felt very smart in them not realising at the time that they were covered in tea stains (thank you Sid). Protective gear was not the thing in those days except a piece of protective wear known as the box but nobody told me about it I only thought it was worn by the wicket keeper. I played the first season with out one; luckily I only batted at number 10 or 11 so was not called on too often. 

Although I love the social side of cricket I have never been a heavy drinker, in fact I did not really start drinking until I was 25. However part of the game was to go for a drink after the game and usually it was the Basildon Country Club we would go to. I would have to sit outside the bar area and drink my orange squash. Occasionally the lads would decide that they would go to the Sheppard and Dog at Ramsden Crays for a drink and as much as I used to try and get out of it, they would have none of it and would bundle me in the back of a van and off we would go. With child protection laws around to-day they would not have been allowed to have got away with it but it never affected me and I had a great time. 

In those first couple of years playing for Laindon I can remember hitting the head lines a few times. ‘Porter runs 20 yards to take a catch’. Then there was my first big score 45 not out it contained one two and 43 singles, I can see now why I got the name of ‘Porter cannot hit it off the square’. On another occasion playing against Westley Cricket Club at Langdon Hills on a terrible wicket we were bowled out for around 70 runs but the paper said one of the bright sparks was the batting of young Ken Porter who defied the Westley bowling attack for half and hour. I scored 9 runs. 

My biggest achievement though was when Les Sheppard threw me the ball for my first bowl. I could not believe it, I was so nervous; I wish I had those 1950's scorebooks to see exactly what happen. I know I had three or four wickets in my first couple of overs, then one of the batsman hit me for 14 runs in one over, I thought that’s my lot but no, Les kept me on and I finished with 7 wickets for 25 runs off seven overs. My photo ended up in the local paper and in the week I was being asked to play for Pitsea St Michaels in their cricket week where I opened the bowling and took another three wickets. What a game this is but as I learned in the years to come, it comes back and bites you, that is what makes it so fascinating.

Some of the players I remember from those early days, Les Sheppard, Sid Rose, Peter Lucas, John Peters, Bill Diment, Robbie Shields, Geoff and Brian Fynn, David Lloyd (the Vicar) Jack Wilson and his sons, Reg Callow, Peter Hayes, Bert Lovell, Bert Merrison, Eric Webster, Barry Behrend, Ray Farmer, Tony Williams and there are many more faces racing around in my mind but I just cannot put a name to them at the moment. Thank you lads for the path you set me off on.

By Ken Porter
On 30/12/2011

Hi Bill and John, the year was 1957, I was playing cricket with a few friends on the Laindon Park Junior school (Donaldson’s) playing field, when Jack Wilson leaning on the field gate called us over. We meekly walked over to him expecting to be told off. His first question was “who was that hitting the ball all over the place”, I replied it was either my friend Malcolm or I. He then asked us whether any of us had any white trousers as Laindon Cricket Club were short of players that weekend. The answer was no but I also added that I could get some. I was not sure where I would get a pair from but I was sure my parents would, they knew how much I loved the game. Jack said not to worry but I repeat the story to my dad that night. He said he knew a gentleman with a wooden leg who played for the club and he would speak to him for me. 

His name I believe was ‘Lovell’. The following year at the age of fourteen I was playing for Laindon. Jack advised me were I could get some private coaching and for the next five/six years I travelled every Friday to Trevor Bailey’s Cricket School at Bee Hive Lane, Ilford. 

Les Sheppard was captain of the club at the time and I still believe he was one of the best captains I ever played under. 

In 1960 I left Laindon and joined Ilford Cricket Club at Valentines Park, Ilford where I went on to play with and against many professional cricketers. John Lever (Essex and England, left arm fast bowler) being one of them. I returned for a season with Laindon in 1971, who were now playing at the Langdon Hills recreation ground before moving on to Southend in 1972. 

It was in 1971 that I introduced Peter Hipsey my future brother-in-Law to the club who was going to play for the club for the next thirty odd years. 53 years on and I am still playing, what I believe is the greatest team game around. I dread the thought of having to give it up. I will see if I can locate the score books.

By Ken Porter
On 30/12/2011

Hallo John, I did have the scorebooks at the time I was secretary and I handed them over to the person who succeeded me , I think it was Tony Williams, but I am not sure. Somebody who might know from a later date would possibly be Peter Hipsey. Perhaps Ken Porter could ask him if he can help.

By WH.Diment
On 16/12/2011

Yes, Bill is correct. Dad played regularly for Laindon from about the time it was established after the War until 1955. I think his last match was for the 1st XI against Ardleigh Green at Harold Wood on Sunday, 22nd May, 1955. He was just over 50 years of age at the time, went in at No.10 and scored 15 runs, not out. Prior to his and my mother's move from Walthamstow to Laindon in 1933, he played for the Westminster Gazette C.C. on their ground at Boston Manor, Brentford. Following their move to Laindon, he joined the former Basildon C.C. in 1934 and played with that club up to the outbreak of the War. Does anyone know if the Laindon Cricket Club's score books for the 1950's have survived and, if so, where they are now kept?

By John Peters
On 16/12/2011

Further to John's memories of the club, I think he forgot to mention that his father also played as well as being a treasurer. I can also remember playing against John after he grew up and moved outside the area, It was somewhere in the Hornchurch area if my memory serves me rightly. As to Robbie Hircock being a big hitter, I am sure John was no mean striker of the ball when I last played against him and was I think also captain of that team.

By W.H.Diment
On 13/12/2011

I have just been told about this new and very interesting website about Laindon's history and have also read the comments in the section on the Laindon Cricket Club. Memories came flooding back when I read the comments of Bill Diment and Bernard Mabey. Both my father, Stan Peters, and I were members of the Club for a number of years around the 1950's. As Bill and Bernard may recall, my father served as Treasurer of the club for a good many seasons, including the period when the club moved to the new ground at the Basildon Country Club in Basildon Road. He also served as Chairman of the club in 1954 and 1955. He later became a Vice President and then, in 1967, he was invited to become a Life Member. After his cricketing days were over, Dad spent many happy years in retirement playing bowls with the Basildon Bowls Club. He eventually died in 1998 at the age of 92, but even towards the end of his days, he and I would chat about those happy days with the Laindon Cricket Club and about the many 'characters' who belonged it. Those memories meant a lot to him. In fact, I still have his complete collection of annual fixture cards from 1950 to 1966. 

My mother, Grace Peters, was also a great supporter of the club and was always pleased to act as scorer or to help with the teas. As I recall, the owner of the Basildon Country Club was Joe Rothstein and I have some memories of the Annual Dinner/Dances that were held there. Am I right in thinking that it was Bill who entertained the guests on one or two of those occasions? Although I was one of the younger members of the club at the time, I well remember the day when Bernard Braine came to officially open the new wooden pavilion that we built on the cricket ground. 

Turning now to photograph which Kenny Porter has put on the website. This is a copy of one that I have in my possession and I think I am able to identify all of the players except the chap crouched in the front row between me and Barry Behrend. They are: back row, from left to right: Ivor Howe, Bill Diment, Jack Wilson, Les Sheppard, Jack Robinson, David Robinson (Jack's son). In the front row, from left to right: Robby Hircock, Tom Webster, John Peters, ...?...., Barry Behrend. Here are a few memories that I have of some of those in the photograph:- Ivor Howe: Our regular wicket keeper who, if my memory serves me correctly, sometimes wore a hair-net when keeping wicket. 

Bill Diment: If I am not mistaken, it was you Bill who spent much of your time looking after the pitch and preparing the wicket. As a young teenager, I would regularly come to the ground to help you by cutting the outfield with the walk-behind petrol mower. (No ride-on mower in those days!).

Jack Wilson: Apart from being my old headmaster, his family and ours were close friends and we kept in touch with both Jack and his lovely wife, Helen, for the rest of their lives. 

Les Sheppard: He and Peter Lucas were a great inspiration to me in my formative years as a young cricketer. Doug Cordery also helped me a lot. 

Robby Hircock: Boy - could he hit the ball!! 

Tom Webster: A chemist by profession, who lived in Wash Road. A very steady left-handed (I think) batsman. 

Unidentified player: I have tried, but just cannot recall his name.

Barry Behrend: I think Barry was our main left-handed spin bowler. 

Although not in the photograph, I have vivid memories of Bert Lovell who, as Bill correctly recalls, had a prosthetic leg. Despite what some may have regarded as a disability, Bert also took his turn at bowling. He would only take about two strides up to the crease, but he always seemed to generate quite a pace with the ball - and pretty accurate too! 

Finally, one of my close friends in the club was Geoffrey Fynn, with whom I lost touch when I left Laindon in pursuit of my career is Sussex. In those very early days, Geoff and I were regular bowlers for the 2nd XI, before progressing to the 1st XI. 

Congratulations to those who have created this website.

By John Peters
On 12/12/2011

Remembering how sport was played in days gone by caused me to consider that many of todays cricketers would find hard to understand some of the conditions under which we played. One prime incidence was in the 1950s when the new town was just developing, Laindon CC were asked for a fixture by a newly formed Basildon team, Cranes CC. to be played on their ground. We arrived at the designated spot, which was a meadow just east of Timberlog Lane and on which cows were grazing. These were shooed to a far corner of the field and the stumps were erected on a footpath. For the fielders it was a minefield after the presence of the cows, but for batsmen far worse, as in those days we wore no protective helmets and there was one tall very fast bowler whose name I believe was Fred Larne who made us doubt our sanity in playing on such a wicket. I believe the club eventually amalgamated with Basildon CC playing on Mopsies Parkand a very good strip.

By W.H.Diment
On 31/10/2011

Seeing Bernard's input reminded me of a very amusing incident and I hope he will forgive me for repeating it. We were playing May & Baker and Bernard was bowling and being hooked quite badly and Bernard said to the umpire, I will go round the wicket, whereby the batsman said I will bat left handed and did so continuing the trearment as before.

Another funny incident I witnessed concerned his brother John who was a big hitter and we we were playing some where around the Elm Park area, although I cannot recall the team. We were batting second and it was getting quite dark but John was connecting strongly which removed the close in fielders and the umpire offered John the light, which he refused so one of the fielders ran to the paviluon and produced a hurricane lamp which he placed behind the stumps. The umpires took the hint and ended the match. Happy days.

By W.H.Diment
On 30/10/2011

In 1947 the cricket club in Laindon was named Laindon Meadow C.C and the skipper and organiser was Jack Robinson. My brother John Mabey and myself both joined Laindon in 1948 from Chelmsford. My brother was appointed Secretary and he changed the name to Laindon C.C and we joined the Club Cricket Conference. As all matches had been played on concrete strips with matting is was essential that a new ground was found. My brother and I managed to rent a field adjoining the Country Club in Basildon Road. The French brothers supplied tractor and tools to clear the field, the square was laid and the Country Club provided tea and refreshments. The team was: Robinson - J. Mabey - B. Mabey- - S. Rose - J. Rose - Lovell - Lucas - Sheppard - Hart - Gamon - Wilson - Peters. Frank Gamon and I both married in 1952 and left the club.

By Bernard Mabey
On 29/10/2011

Funny how people look so young when you see their photos from back in the day. Mr J J Wilson, our former headmaster would have looked like this at school, the Austin A35 parked at the back dates this picture about 1957/8 which is exactly when I knew him. Such a cool dude.

By Richard Haines
On 13/10/2011

As I am part of this photo, to my shame I cannot remember all of the players, or even where this photo was taken. However, no.5 back row was Jack Robinson, no 2 front was Tommy Webster, no 4 front was I believe Bert Lovell who had a prosthetic leg but played as an equal and no 5 front I believe was Barry Behrend. It is a confusing picture for me as I cannot understand the absence of some of the regular players such as Ivor Howe, Peter Lucas and Sid Rose who with me were the opening bowlers with Les Sheppard and Peter Lucas being the opening batsmen. Ivor being the first choice wicket keeper. While I have no difficulty with old memories, even to my very early days, later memories are often more difficult for me.

By W.H.Diment
On 13/10/2011
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