An account of the Club's tour to Kingston-upon-Thames in August 2007
  Sunday 12 August

 A fourteen-strong band of half-awake tourists met at County Hall on a sunny morning for their long journey by mini-bus. Pink tour shirts emblazoned with each player’s nickname (chosen by the tour committee), were handed out and donned. After an age tying-up the roof rack loaded with copious bags of kit, etc, Chairman Bob headed the bus up the A30/A303 towards our destination. 

 The delayed start meant that there was no time to stop en route, other than for one comfort break, and the party arrived on the banks of the Thames at the Seething Wells accommodation in mid afternoon. After unloading the bus, a short drive brought the tourists into Bushy Park, the home of Hampton Wick Royal CC (and, apparently, some grazing deer). Our game was actually taking place on an adjoining pitch over the wall in The Kings Field so, having changed, everything had to be taken through a deer gate to get to our venue. By this time our numbers had been increased to 16 by the arrival of Andy Drake by car and (G)reg Adams.

 Tom (Jackanory) Brooks (9) and Steve (Sevo) Holland got things off to a good start against a Treasury/Cabinet Office side as they put on 34 in the first 6 overs on a dusty pitch. Soon, Sevo was approaching his first half-century of the season but was given out LBW (wrongly he thinks) for 40. John Heaver carried on the good work in scoring 39 and then a ninth wicket unbroken stand of 60 between Bob Adams (34) and John (Gert) Liddon (19) saw us to a creditable 204-8 in the allotted 35 overs. Bob actually tried to run out Gert a couple of times so that last man Nose could get a bat. A video clip of one of Bob’s best (ever?) shots can be seen by via this link - leg pull[If you are using Windows Media Player to play the clip you may get an error message.  If so, try going to the top RH corner of the screen, on the drop-down menu click "All Video Clips" and then "Yes" in the next dialogue box. If that doesn't work, try this (poor quality) link to YouTube]. 

  Duncan Smith Mike Fernbank John Liddon Neil Pateman Steve Holland Bob Adams Andy Drake Tom Brooks Adam Brook Adam Monkley Jon Heaver Mark Griffin Adrian Nash Dozey DuckTea Break at Bushy Park

Most of the 2007 Touring Party

During the CWCC innings, an incident occurred that is destined to become part of our Tour folklore. Our scorer inquired a couple of times who one particular bowler was but, because of the wind, was unable to hear the reply. On the third enquiry the bowler shouted out “Witikaaa....” somewhat angrily between clenched teeth. Thus it is, that whenever someone now asks “bowler’s name?”, the Wear players trot out that same reply with much amusement.

 Our hosts lost a wicket in the second over, but then a stand of 71 between Neil le Milliere (33 runs, and well known to many ECFC fans) and Aqueel (31) got the innings onto a steady keel. During this period, Adrian (Gunshow) Nash somehow managed to get through 7 overs despite a dense haze of alcohol!  Wickets then fell regularly and the home side struggled to 122 all out off 20.5 overs, thanks to wickets taken by Neil (Aggro) Pateman (2-16), Mike (Boots) Fernbank (2-17), Adam (Facebrook) Brook (1-18) and Gert (1-39). John Heaver had only one over near the end but picked up two wickets for 5 runs. 

 So it started with a win, and we all retired to the Royal’s bar for a few bevvies. Late that evening, it came as a surprise to most of the touring party (ie those touring with the Club for the first time) that they were required to take part in a tour initiation ceremony! Spilt into groups of 3 or 4, they were all instructed to find their own route back, topless, to the accommodation flats with photographic evidence of having completed a particular “task” on the way. They all performed admirably in this, some actually beating the mini-bus home. Somewhat sadly, one Thomas, doubting the abilities of the others in his group, decided to abandon them and race back with another group!

 That evening, hunger pangs drove all the tourists to an Indian Restaurant in Surbiton, and thence to Coronation Hall (a Wetherspoons pub) for nightcaps. A few went on to Reggie’s flat for further frivolities but most retired to bed at Seething Wells.  

Monday 13 August

 Breakfast was taken at Coronation Hall where a “Farmhouse Breakfast” (basically double helpings of fried everything) could be obtained at a very reasonable price of less than £3.70. Ian loze then arrived to join the party.

 After a few games of corridor cricket and snacks for lunch, it was off to our next game at Long Ditton, with Bob navigating. We got within 2 miles of the pitch but then our navigator had to resort to accosting a passing lady pedestrian to ascertain the way to the “secret” location used by our hosts. We eventually arrived in plenty of time but one Rhys Goodwin took ages to find his way there on foot from Thames Ditton station carrying a heavy kit bag.

 The home side consisted of mainly young players with a few “old hands” to balance things out. They bowled very effectively on a difficult wicket to reduce Wear to 37-5 after 12 overs. Opener Mark (Spadpadz) Griffin, with 16, was the only batsman to have reached double figures at this stage. James (Leroy) Bogue then joined Duncan (Thicket) Smith to push the score rapidly along to 94 off the next 7 overs. Duncan was out for a fine 52 which included four 6s and four 4s. James carried on the good work in making 17 and the tail wagged briefly to reach a total of 131 all out in 25.4 overs.

 This total appeared pretty inadequate as Long Ditton’s openers steadily compiled a stand of 49 in 16 overs. Then Lozey dismissed both openers, Sevo got their No 3 for a duck and Lozey (4-30) had the next man caught by Greg. A partial recovery saw them to 83-5 after 30 overs, by which time Sevo had bowled 4 maidens in 8 overs and taken 1-9, and well within site of their target with 10 overs left. Tight bowling by Adam (Monkey) Monkley (2-8 off 5 overs) and Aggro (3-16 off 5 overs) scuppered that prospect.  Bogey gave them a chance, conceding 14 runs off his only over, but they finished all out for 115 in the 38th over. Amazingly, it was two wins out of two games played.

 After-match drinks and hot food went down well, various daily awards were handed out to some of the deserving miscreants and Gert (fines-master for the day) did his stuff. Just as darkness was falling, a streaker was spotted running around the boundary and then playing imaginary shots on the square!

 An evening out in Kingston’s pubs and clubs followed with visits to O’Neills, Lloyds No 1, Bar-Eivissa and McCluskys amongst others. Thicket discovered a craving for Dallas chicken that was to addict him for the rest of the tour.

 Tuesday 14 August

 Everyone went to Lloyds for breakfast where bad news was received concerning that day’s intended fixture. It had rained heavily overnight and an early decision by Thames Ditton’s groundsman cancelled the game.

 A session of corridor cricket in the morning produced a serious foot injury for John Heaver which was to handicap him for the rest of the season. A couple of games of ten-pin bowling then took place in the afternoon at the Rotunda in Kingston. Here, Mark (Little Chef) Davey and Gert showed their skills in this sport. Gert’s skidding “leg-breaks” were an amazing sight.

 An early evening meal was consumed at Lloyds, taking advantage of their Steak Night menu.

 Wednesday 15 August

 More overnight rain and another cancellation – this time by Walton-on-Thames CC.

 Over breakfast at Coronation Hall, our local guide (Reg) came up with some suggestions for a day out in London. This included a cheap train trip from Surbiton Station combined with discounted entry to various attractions in the City. By a majority vote, London Zoo was the chosen destination. A fast smooth train ride to Waterloo followed, during which some of the other passengers were kept very amused by a moving version of our corridor cricket game.

 We got off the tube at Camden Town and Reggie led on us on a very circuitous walk to the Zoo entrance. A very interesting day was spent among the animals there. Two of our party were so impressed that they had their faces painted to look like lions!

 That evening, drinks were taken at O’Neills and Lloyds (again). Most ventured on to Oceana!

 Thursday 16 August

 This day’s fixture was an evening one, so a golf day was planned a few miles up the road at Sandown Park race course. All went well until we got to the car park to find that a race meeting was taking place. Chairman Bob was confident that this would not interfere with the golfing area, so we took to the back roads to find a way in. Forty minutes later, we arrived at another car park entrance where it was confirmed that no golf takes place on race days!

 So it was back to base to pick up Drakey’s sat-nav to guide us to another venue.  Horton Park was chosen and we were welcomed to their 9-hole “academy” course. Split into groups of 4, everyone was given a name linked to a famous person in the golfing world. Commentator Thicket (alias John Daly) introduced each player to the massed audience at the first tee.

 Several balls were lost, several were found, and most people were disappointed with their scores. The lowest round was achieved by all-rounder Vijay Nuget (Mark D), who later that day was presented with the CWCC Tour Golf Cup.

 The golfing exercise should have teed everyone up for the evening match against Hampton Royal CC, but it seemed to have the opposite effect! Billed as a 20/20 contest, their Aussie captain decided that we would, instead, play an 8-ball, 16 overs-a-side game. It started well when Greg (skipper for the day) took a caught-and-bowled in his first over, but runs then flowed freely from the home batters as they amassed 175 for 4! Best bowling figures were 2-22 by Tom Brooks; worst by Andy Drake (0-34 in 2 overs).

 Four of Wear’s batsmen reached double figures (Drake, Davey, Monkley, and Pateman) but they had no real answer to a very keen and skilful side, constantly being geed-up by their skipper. The gathering gloom was also a severe handicap as we tumbled to 74 all out in 12.4 overs.

 After a sumptuous barbecue with food supplied by ourselves and cooked on a massive gas barbecue by the home club’s “chef”, it was fancy-dress time. The theme chosen by our Chairman was “what I want to be when I grow up”. A wide range of costumes were paraded before the home skipper and his panel of judges. There were a couple of lifeguards from Baywatch, a chef, a fireman, a “porn” star, commando, pop group, pirate, brain surgeon and Steve Irwin. It took the judges very little time to award third place to Bob (Lifeguard Pamela Anderson), second place to Sgt Brooks from 69 Commando, and the top spot to retired 70’s porn star Thicket, from Dallas.

 Friday 17 August

 Time to go home! The minibus was loaded up, rooms checked, keys returned and off up the Thames (initially). Pates drove admirable to a watering hole at the Rainbow Inn (just off the A36) where we lunched on the veranda. From there, the Weary travellers returned to Devon with many happy memories.

 Many thanks to Chairman Bob for all his hard work (aided and abetted by son Reg).

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 Question: (for Tourists only – the first correct answer wins a pint from Boots at the AGM):

 What is a “Bunsen” in its cricketing connection?

 Answer: The winning correct answer was submitted by one James Bogue.  As he explained: -

"Bunsen - I think it's a slow pitch, i.e Bunsen Burner - slow
turner....."

Yes, good old Cockney rhyming slang!