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Clarence Parker
Somerset cricket literature.
Clarence Parker (IP Logged)
05 October, 2018 15:07
Several years ago there was a particular thread on Grockles, in which various posters listed all items that they could find on Somerset CCC literature. These included Club histories, Yearbooks, biographies and autobiographies, statistical books and many, many more.

Sadly, well IMO anyway, the thread is now lost in the ether. I may, if I can find time and if other posters would like to contribute themselves, try to resurrect it.

I have very recently received some information from ‘Fairfield Books’ , that wonderful small but select publishing house run by Stephen Chalke in Bath, to the effect that they will be publishing its last books in 2019. I proudly own several of their titles, so am somewhat saddened by this news.

They have six fascinating books in preparation for publication in 2019, and at least two of these might very well appeal to Somerset supporters who take an interest in all things associated with the club in the past, as well as the present. The two books are: -

Fred Rumsey - ‘Sense of Humour, Sense of Justice’ and ;

Brian Rose (with help from Anthony Gibson) – ‘Rosey’

These titles are provisional. I have no idea as to when in 2019 they will be published, but should you be interested, keep a watchful eye out for them.

On the strength of all of Stephen Chalke’s past cricket books, they will be well worth reading.

Re: Somerset cricket literature.
Wickham (IP Logged)
05 October, 2018 16:23
I completely agree, CP. Stephen Chalke has written some wonderfully evocative books. I knew about the Fred Rumsey book, but not about the Brian Rose one.

Someone recently lent me Frank Lee’s autobiography. Not the most riveting read, but a few interesting passages.

Turning to more recent publications, I can highly recommend all three volumes of the biographies of Somerset cricketers, written by Stephen Hill. A fourth volume is in the course of preparation. The biographies include a lot of fascinating information about the lives of Somerset cricketers - there’s at least one gem on every page. The first volume is akin to a social history. They are good books to have by your bedside: each biography is a story in itself. For anyone interested in the history of Somerset cricket, I suggest that you put these books on your Christmas wish list.

Re: Somerset cricket literature.
cricketjerry-mouse (IP Logged)
06 October, 2018 10:34
AS CP so rightly says, Stephen Chalke has an impressive - and hugely entertaining - list of cricket books under his belt, many of them with Somerset themes.

He also operates, though, in one area of cricket literature very rarely attempted - cricket fiction.

One of his subsidiary companies. Charlcombe Books, has recently published `Second XI - More Stories from the World of Cricket`, a second collection of cricket fiction by Bob Cattell, ranging from an armed siege in Australia that isn`t quite what it seems, to a Sherlock Holmes pastiche at The Oval.

It is in paperback at £8, and Charlcombe Books can be contacted at 17 George`s Road, Bath.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/10/2018 10:38 by cricketjerry-mouse.

Demon of Frome
Re: Somerset cricket literature.
Demon of Frome (IP Logged)
12 October, 2018 17:37
Still on a literary theme, Brian Rose is going to be interviewing Mike Brearley as part of the Wells Literary Festival. Friday 26 Oct at 2 pm. Tickets appear to be still available @ £10 or £17.50 to include lunch beforehand.

Details here

Re: Somerset cricket literature.
Grockle (IP Logged)
14 October, 2018 17:03
Resurrecting it rather than trying to find the original may be a sensible way to go Clarence. It may be in the back pages but it may also have been merged into orher things as tends to be the way. One day I must 'garden' the back pages because I am sure there are some gems in the last 20 odd years but there's a lot of dead wood as well.


Clarence Parker
Re: Somerset cricket literature.
Clarence Parker (IP Logged)
14 October, 2018 21:29
I will try to start to resurrect it in the next few weeks, and hope that other posters will likewise contribute.

I have placed a few relevant keywords in the SN search engine but to no avail. It has helped me out at times in trying to find a particular reference, but I suspect that its capabilities are somewhat limited.

Re: Somerset cricket literature.
Grockle (IP Logged)
16 October, 2018 20:38
Well I'm glad it works for you. It hasn't worked for editors for some years.


Clarence Parker
Re: Somerset cricket literature.
Clarence Parker (IP Logged)
21 October, 2018 17:04
As previously indicated, I have started to compile a list of items of literature that relate to Somerset CCC.

The list below is by no means exhaustive; there are many, many more references dating back to 1890 that I know of. There are all the Yearbooks, Handbooks, Almanacs, Biographies of players, Statistical, Clubs within the county histories etc.

I will endeavour to add to the following list in due course, but I would welcome contributions from other posters as well, who may be aware of some obscure title.

Anyway, in the meantime, here follows a few to be going on with:-


Club Histories

Sixty Years of Somerset Cricket – Ron Roberts (1952);
Sunshine, Sixes and Cider – David Foot (1986);
From Sammy to Jimmy – Peter Roebuck (1991)

Sixty Summers – Somerset Cricket since the War – David Foot & Ivan Ponting (2006);
Somerset Cricket – The Glory Years 1973 -1987 – Alain Lockyer / Richard Walsh (2012);
Somerset CCC – The Return to Glory 2001 – 2007 - Alain Lockyer / Richard Walsh (2015);
Somerset Cricketers 1882 – 1914 - Stephen Hill (2016);
Somerset Cricketers 1919 – 1939 – Stephen Hill & Barry Phillips (2017);
Somerset Cricketers 1946 – 1970 – Stephen Hill & Barry Phillips (2018);
Somerset CCC First Class Records 1882 – 1995 – Nigel Johns (1996);
Cricket Grounds of Somerset – Bob Harragan (Association of Cricket Statisticians & Historians) - 2005;
A Century at Bath (Over 100 Years of Somerset County Cricket at the Rec) – Gavin Turner (2001);
Somerset CCC Fifty of the Finest Matches – Eddie Lawrence (2002);
Somerset CCC Fifty of the Finest One Day Matches - Eddie Lawrence (2005);
Somerset CCC 100 Greats – Eddie Lawrence (2001);
Somerset’s Cricketing Clergymen – Eddie Lawrence (c. 2007);
Somerset CCC (Images of Sport) – Somerset Cricket Museum (1999);
A Photographic History of Somerset CCC –1891 – 1991 - Eddie Lawrence (1991);
Somerset County Cricket Scrapbook – Vic Marks (1984);
A Year in the life of Somerset CCC through the eyes of its Chairman – Andy Nash (2013);

(To be Continued)

Re: Somerset cricket literature.
Wickham (IP Logged)
21 October, 2018 18:45
CP: another for your list is Somerset Cricket: A post-war Who’s Who, David Foot & Ivan Ponting, 1993

Loyal of Lhasa
Re: Somerset cricket literature.
Loyal of Lhasa (IP Logged)
21 October, 2018 21:56
... and there are:

Sammy: The Sporting Life of S.M.J.Woods
Clifford Jiggens

Memories of Somerset Cricket; People, Matches, Grounds
edited by
David Mills


Seventy Seasons a Somerset Supporter

Demon of Frome
Re: Somerset cricket literature.
Demon of Frome (IP Logged)
22 October, 2018 11:37
It Never Rains by Peter Roebuck (1984)

Harold Gimblett Tormented Genius of Cricket by David Foot (1982)

Clarence Parker
Re: Somerset cricket literature.
Clarence Parker (IP Logged)
22 October, 2018 19:21
Thanks to everyone for their contributions.

Here is a random list of a few more, some of them going back almost 100 years :-

Facts & Figures of Somerset CCC from 1891 – 1946 (Frank Lee’s Benefit) – R.F. Trump (1947);

Somerset CCC Facts and Figures from 1891 to 1924 – F.J.C. Gustard (1925);

Somerset County Cricket – F.S. Ashley – Cooper (1924);

My Reminiscences – S.M.J. Woods (1925);

Arthur Wellard No Mere Slogger – Barry Phillips (1996);

The Somerset Cricket Quiz book - Robert A Crampsey (1988);

The hand that bowled Bradman – Bill Andrews (1973);

My Incredible Innings – Bill Alley (1969);

Standing the Test of Time - Bill Alley (1999);

I don’t bruise easily – Brian Close (1978);

A Somerset Hero Who Beat the Aussies: The Life and Times of J.C. ‘Farmer’ White – B.A. Tinkler (2000);

Cricket is a game – Colin McCool (1961);

The Best Way to Play Cricket – Colin McCool (1961); Book on coaching;

A village match and after – M.D. Lyon (1929); Cricket Fiction;

There are still many more to be listed.

Loyal of Lhasa
Re: Somerset cricket literature.
Loyal of Lhasa (IP Logged)
22 October, 2018 20:13
I don't know whether the list should contain biographies of players whose careers extended far beyond Somerset, such as Botham (Dudley Doust) and Richards (Trevor McDonald). I DID suggest the SMJWoods book, for he was very much a one-county man. Similarly, Foot's book on Gimblett, mentioned by the Demon, has to be there.

And then there are the cricket writings of Robertson-Glasgow, "Crusoe on Cricket", which doesn't have much of a Somerset content.

In twenty years from now (when Bobstan and I will still be clinging to a hope of a CC trophy) the list will probably also contain "The Collected Cricket Reports of Farmer White".

And I am looking forward to VJM's biographical sketches of former Somerset players whom he correctly identifies at reunions, "Marks Spots the Ex".

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