Museum News

Talk by C Sandford in the Museum

Monday 12th September 6.45pm

Christopher Sandford is a bestselling author who has written many books on the music, film, and political worlds. His book on the 1939 English domestic season The Final Innings was co-winner of the 2020 MCC/Cricket Society Book Award. One of Christopher’s other books, on the strange relationship between Arthur Conan Doyle of Sherlock Holmes fame and the magician Harry Houdini, is currently in development as a BBC television series. Christopher went to school in the Brighton area many years ago, and first fell in love with cricket while coming to watch the Ted Dexter-led county side play at Hove. It’s a pleasure to welcome him back to the ground at 6.45pm on Monday 12 September.’


Since he was last in Hove, 2019, Christopher has written books on the now late Middlesex & England ‘keeper John Murray, and on the Surrey ‘spin twins’ Jim Laker and Tony Lock collectively. He will primarily talk about John Murray, but would be glad to answer any questions that might possibly arise about the latter pair. 


To book a place please e-mail


Cost £5.00 (free for friends and patrons of SCMET).


Jim Parks dies

Former wicket-keeper batsman, Jim Parks, one of Sussex’s greatest players has died at the age of 90. Parks died in hospital in Worthing after a fall at home last week. He had been England’s oldest surviving male Test cricketer. Parks played for Sussex for 23 years, from 1949 until 1972, scoring 31,120 runs, taking 961 catches and making 68 stumpings. He played in 46 Tests between 1954 and 1968, his first in 1954 when he was selected as a batsman against Pakistan. He began his cricketing career as a batsman and only took up the gloves when Sussex’s regular wicketkeeper, Rupert Webb, was injured. Jim Parks was the most successful of a loyal Sussex cricketing family. He helped Sussex win the Gillette Cup in 1963 and 1964 forming a very strong batting partnership with Ted Dexter. Parks later captained the Sussex side between 1967-68. For more on Jim Parks click here

Jim Parks

Opening of the Museum

After several years closure due to covid it was a joy to see the Museum open to the public again. The opening ceremony was held on the first day of the match against Nottinghamshire and it was a pleasure for the Museum to have Luke Wright perform the opening ceremony. Read On

Luke Wright with Rob Boddie, curator of the Sussex Cricket Museum

The Sussex Cricket Museum by Nicholas Sharp

The Sussex Cricket Museum by Nicholas Sharp is the latest booklet published by the Museum and gives an excellent survey of the hurdles faced by the Museum in its early days and the story behind some of its more famous exhibits.  Nicholas is a trustee and a volunteer at the Museum and is ideally placed to write about the current collection. He gives us details of all the publications the Museum has produced – an important role in furthering understanding of Sussex cricket and in bringing in well needed funds to the Museum. A huge bonus to the Museum’s development was the auction of the Robin Marlar collection and how this happened is well documented in the booklet. The Museum collection includes many paintings and Nicholas has explained how some of these paintings came into the collection. The booklet is well illustrated with many photographs of the Museum’s exhibits, including Ranji, Arthur Gilligan and George Cox senior. The booklet would make an excellent accompaniment to a visit to the Museum or a good read about some of Sussex Cricket’s memorabilia.

The Booklet costs £12 or £14 with postage.

Details of how to buy the booklet can be found here

Chris Westcott talk at the Museum

On Thursday 5th May, at the end of the day’s play against Middlesex, Chris Westcott, author of The History of Cricket at the Saffrons, The Golden Age of County Cricket: from Bailey to Wooller and five football books will give a talk on the occasion when the all-conquering Australian team of 1921 took on Archie MacLaren’s XI at Eastbourne. MacLaren had boasted that he could put together a team to beat the tourists. Warwick Armstrong’s Australian team had won the winter series against England 5:0 and then proceeded to win the first three matches of the 1921 series against England. What happened next will be the subject of Chris Westcott’s talk which will look  at the characters who played in the match as much as the match itself.

The talk will take place in the Sussex Cricket Museum, following the end of play on Thursday 5th May.

The 1920 Australian Team

‘Field of Dreams’ available to buy

To celebrate 150 years of the establishment of Sussex County Cricket Club’s ground at Eaton Road, Patrick Ferriday and James Mettyear’s “Field of Dreams”, with a foreword by MCC President Clare Connor, will be published on Wednesday 6th April.

A limited edition of 150 presentation copies signed by Clare Connor, John Barclay, Chris Adams and Rob Andrew is available at £45.

The hardback edition, priced at £17, will be available from Von Krumm Publishing, in local bookshops and from the Sussex Cricket shop.

Further details of how to order a signed copy can be found here

New exhibits for the 2022 season

Every year we introduce new displays, often to commemorate anniversaries. For 2022, the first year we have been able to open since 2019, we will have a display on Brunswick Cricket Club and A.E.R. Gilligan in Gallery Two whilst in Gallery Three we will have displays on Sarah Taylor and Clare Connor, memorabilia from 2003 and tributes to Tony Buss, Jim Parks, Ted Dexter, Ian Thomson, Rupert Webb and John Snow. We look forward to welcoming you back to the Museum.

AER Gilligan

Sussex Cricket Nights

Here is news of a series of local chats with cricket guests that you might be interested in. They take place at the Grand Central next to Brighton Station (in the cabaret room upstairs) and consist of a full evening of cricket chat. The first of these chats is with John Barclay who is celebrating the paperback launch of his memoir and is discussing his life in cricket and his books.

Full details can be found here:

John Barclay

Ted Dexter dies

Ted Dexter, one of England’s finest cricketers, who captained both Sussex and England has died aged 86. He passed away peacefully in the Compton Hospice in Wolverhampton on Wednesday surrounded by his family.

Ted was one of the most exciting cricketers who emerged in the Post War period. Like Ranji before him, the prospect of Dexter attacking fast bowling, and driving and cutting them with fierce strokes was enough to put thousands on any gate. He was a cricket thinker who helped to revolutionise the way the game was played and in so doing led Sussex to their first ever trophies in 1963 and 1964. His aristocratic air and seemingly arrogant attitude earned him the title of ‘Lord Ted’ or ‘Lord Edward’. As a player he thrived when playing on the big stage, especially when pitted against Australia and the fast bowlers of the West Indies although at times he was criticised for his decision making on the field. Read On

Ian Thomson, one of Sussex’s greats, dies

It is with great regret that we announce the death of Ian Thomson, one of the greatest if not the greatest, of Sussex cricketers, who died on Sunday afternoon at his home in Henfield, aged 92. Neil was a true Sussex stalwart and The County Ground was an important place for Neil and indeed his whole family. Off an unthreatening run, Ian Thomson bowled 14,039 overs of in-dippers and leg-cutters in first-class cricket for Sussex and another 321 in limited-overs cricket. He bowled them to some effect, taking nearly 1,600 wickets in the course of fifteen seasons in those two formats. Only three Sussex players, all from times when careers spanned twenty seasons or more, have been numerically more successful. Read On

The Queen thanks the Museum for the book on Prince Philip

The Queen was delighted to receive a copy of the Museum’s publication, Prince Philip, Cricket’s Royal Duke, and expressed her enjoyment at seeing so many photographs relating to his great love of cricket.

Thanks from the Rt Hon Sir John Major

John Major thanks the Cricket Museum for his copy of Prince Philip, Cricket’s Royal Duke and comments on how much he enjoyed the book.

Murray Goodwin. A modern-day Sussex great

Sussex Cricket Museum is very pleased to publish “Murray Goodwin. A modern-day Sussex Great” by Bruce Talbot. This is a limited edition of 150 copies signed by Murray Goodwin and is available at £15 with all profits going towards the running of the Sussex Cricket Museum. You can order your copy from Jon Filby using the Contact Form on the Publications page here. For more on Murray Goodwin, click here

A Treasure Trove at Hove‘ by David Stoner

The unfolding story of the Club’s lowly library to magnificent museum. The fascinating and much overdue story of the long and often tortuous journey of the Sussex County Cricket Club Library from its humble pre-war origins through to its transition and reopening as a magnificent museum is revealed in this absorbing book.

But much more than that, David’s detailed research has unearthed countless interesting and lesser-known occurrences and events in the history of the Sussex club in the last 70 years or so. As a former Club Treasurer, a current Vice President and long-term devotee of the Library, David is able to impart a wealth of knowledge on the evolution and difficulties encountered by the former Library on this perilous voyage, and its transformation into an award-winning Museum.

This is a ‘must read’ for all Sussex Cricket supporters. 92 pages in a perfect bound book which is now on sale from the Sussex Cricket Museum at £12.00 (plus £2.00 p&p).  To purchase the book, use the Contact Form on the Publications page here


Prince Philip, Cricket’s Royal Duke just published

To coincide with the 100th Anniversary of the birth of HRH Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on June 10 2021, Sussex Cricket Museum and Educational Trust is very pleased to announce the publication of “Prince Philip, Cricket’s Royal Duke” edited by Jon Filby, Nicholas Sharp and Roger Packham.

We are very grateful to Sir John Major, Ted Dexter, Robin Marlar and Colin Maynard for providing most interesting contributions which reveal the Duke’s passion for cricket, his skill as an off-break bowler and, above all, his deep understanding of the ability of cricket to make a positive impact on lives and communities around the world.

For further details of this book, including how to purchase it, contact Jon Filby, using the Contact Form on the publications page here

The first book on Tommy Cook

This year is the 120th anniversary of the birth of Tommy Cook, and to celebrate the event and the new memorial stone on Tommy’s grave in Cuckfield, Phil Dennett has written the first book on Tommy titled Tommy Cook, The Double Life of a Superstar Sportsman. The book covers both his football and cricket careers and can be purchased from the Cricket Museum. Signed copies of the book are available from the Museum at £15 plus £3 postage. Contact Jon Filby using the contact form on the Publications page here

New donations received

The museum has recently recieved a number of donations including a signed bat from the 1950s, a signed lamp, and a Ranji stamp. For details click here

Don Smith dies

Sussex Cricket is deeply saddened to hear of the death of Don Smith, in Adelaide, at the age of 97, on Sunday 10th January.

Don was born in Broadwater on 14 June 1923 and educated at Sussex Road School, Worthing. He played his early cricket for Worthing Boys’ Club and Worthing Nondescripts before volunteering for the RAF in 1941. After the war, he was recommended to Sussex by J.K. Mathews and made his first class debut against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in 1946. He was a left-handed opening batsman and medium pace bowler who went on to score 16,960 runs and take 340 wickets in a first class career which did not end until 1962. He played three test matches for England against the West Indies in1957. Read on

David Mordaunt dies

David Mordaunt, at the time an Oxford prep-school teacher, scored a ‘dashing’ 96 in the second innings of his first-ever first-class match for Sussex in The Parks in June 1958: he holed out attempting the fourth six-hit of his innings. He never quite reproduced that same form when he played sixteen successive matches for the county in the first half of the 1960 season, while on special leave from teaching. Usually at around seven in the order, he made three fifties but was replaced by ‘Tiger’ Pataudi for the second half of the season, having played the last of his 19 first-class matches. Read On

85 Not Out by Ted Dexter

85 Not Out is the fascinating autobiography of none other than Ted Dexter – aka Lord Ted – the ferociously powerful and debonair former England international cricketer and captain. Dexter was a classical, hard-hitting batsman and right-arm swing bowler of the highest order. Having captained England in 1961-2, he stood as England’s chairman of selectors from 1989-1993 and then became President of the MCC in 2001. This book is no longer available from the Museum.

The Museum is chosen for an award for Cricket Scholarship

On 1 September the Sussex Cricket Museum was announced as being the inaugural winner of the Howard Milton Award. The award recognises individuals or groups who have contributed strongly to cricket writing and research. This award, a collaboration between The Cricket Society and the British Society of Sports History, will be awarded annually to a person or persons who have made an outstanding and/or unsung contribution to cricket scholarship. The award seeks to recognise good cricket writing and research whether of an ‘academic’ or ‘popular’ nature. Winners are decided on the recommendations of a panel drawn from officers of both organisations. For the full announcement click here

Discovering former Sussex professionals

Over the course of the next year, this website hopes to commemorate the role of the ‘Player’ in Sussex cricket by initiating a project which will involve researching the lives of these often unsung heroes and putting these ‘Player’ profiles onto the website. Such profiles will focus as much on the family background of these players and what happened to them once they retired, as on their cricketing careers.

There are many of you out there who have a huge depth of knowledge on Sussex County Cricket Club, and who we hope can  help us with the research into these players, who because they were professionals and played the game they loved for money have not been given the credit they deserve. We would like, with your help, to do all we can correct what many regard as a historical injustice. If you are able to help us by writing a profile or submitting  your research to us we would greatly appreciate the contribution. Click here for more information

New Donations and Acquisitions

To see the new donations and acquisitions the museum has received whilst under Covid lockdown, please click here

A discussion between Andrew Bradstock and Bishop David Wilbourne on Bishops Sheppard and Hapgood

You are invited to a free Zoom evening on Thursday 3 September when Bishop David Wilbourne and Andrew Bradstock, author of David Sheppard, Batting for the Poor will be in conversation about their respective books and their subjects. Bishop David Wilbourne is author of ‘Just John‘, the authorized biography of John Habgood, Archbishop of York from 1983-95.

Bishops Sheppard and Habgood had much in common. David Sheppard was Archbishop Habgood’s chaplain for four years. As well as careers beyond the church – science in Habgood’s case and cricket in Sheppard’s – they shared a number of passions, including ministry in the inner-city, ecumenism, opposing apartheid in South Africa and women’s ministry. Both also shared Margaret Thatcher’s opposition to their being appointed Archbishop of Canterbury! 

If this interests you, please register for the event via this link – 

The event is being hosted by the publisher, SPCK. 

Keith Partridge dies

Sussex members and supporters will be saddened to learn of the death, on June 1, of dear old Keith Partridge who had been a character, loyal Sussex supporter and major fund raiser for the Club for well over fifty years at Hove. Keith had a number of personal obstacles to overcome; he was registered blind, had a severe speech impediment which made communicating difficult and struggled with his mobility. And yet, despite all this, he was one of the most cheerful individuals I have ever met and never let any of his disabilities blunt his enthusiasm for life. He loved his cricket and his involvement with Sussex County Cricket Club. Read On

John Duncan, Life member and Patron of the Museum has died

Sussex Cricket, the MCC, Lord’s Taverners’ and many others within our sporting fraternity mourns the recent passing of a wonderful, caring human being. At the height of the global pandemic, a true friend of cricket succumbed to the Covid 19 virus. John was admitted to University College London Hospital at the end of April displaying symptoms and with trouble breathing. JD had suffered with Parkinson’s for much of the past decade and even though that disease was under control, he was a high risk.

On Friday 15 May, John’s wife, Helen phoned my wife, Adell here in Cape Town to say that the inevitable had happened. We grieved together for someone so very dear to our family; it was such a tragic passing for a genuinely wonderful guy. Being a close friend to JD, Richard Barrow suggested that I share some reminiscences for the Sussex community. Read On

Pitch Publishing put on a series of talks

Pitch Publishing have set up a series of talks by authors of recently published cricket books that are open to members of Cricket Societies via Zoom. The first of these sessions, chaired by Mark Church is with Ian Gould on Friday 29th May. –

The events will feature Pitch’s cricketing authors and run on Friday evenings at 7.30pm, kicking off on Friday 29th May with former Sussex and Middlesex batsmen and now umpire Ian Gould, hosted by BBC cricket commentator Mark Church. For further information click here.

Derek Semmence dies

Derek Semmence passed away yesterday, 29 March 2020. Derek was born in Worthing on 20 April 1938 and educated at Shoreham Grammar School before he made his first class debut for Sussex in 1956 at the age of eighteen against Warwickshire, scoring 36. Derek Semmence was a right-handed batsman who bowled right arm medium pace. He played for Sussex between 1956 and 1959 before returning to Sussex in 1967. After his career in First Class cricket was over, Derek continued to be involved in cricket at youth level, becoming an excellent coach at Hurstpierpoint College, and also playing for Sussex seniors for a number of years until 2013.

To read Derek’s obituary, click here

The BBC show Celebrity Antiques Roadtrip visits the Cricket Museum

Last Summer, the BBC show Celebrity Antiques Roadtrip came to the County Ground and visited the Museum to ‘learn more about one of the world’s most popular sports.’ TV presenter Connie Huq spoke to Museum Curator Rob Boddie who told her about the origins of the game in Sussex and how Sussex CCC became the first first class county cricket club. The programme was broadcast on Thursday, 23 January.

A Cricket Lunch at All-Saints Church, Patcham, Sat 21 March, 2020 Postponed to September

A cricket lunch with a Q and A is to be held at All Saints Church, Patcham in aid of the Church Restoration Fund. The event which costs £12 and takes place 12.30 -2.30pm will have a panel made up of Peter Graves, John Snow, Alastair Hignell, Michael Jayston and John Spencer and chaired by John Barclay. Tickets can be ordered from Eventbrite.

Wednesday 23rd October 2019

‘Behind the Scenes Open Day for Friends and Patrons’

The day was well attended, and it is our intention to repeat this after the end of the present season.

There were numerous tables depicting items which normally are not accessible to the visitors to the Museum, such as silver trophies, medals and a silk handkerchief depicting a match and bordered by the old laws of cricket, as they were in the 18th century, normally kept carefully locked away to protect its fragility.

Tea and cake were enjoyed by all and we are looking forward to the next occasion when we here at the Museum meet our Friends and Patrons.

May 7th 2019

Record Visitor Numbers at the Museum

A record number of visitors to the museum during the Royal London Match on 7th May, over 150 people past through many of them young scholars from local schools, here in Sussex. It was so good to see so much interest especially by the young people.

This view of gallery three shows just some of those who enjoyed our exhibits and IT features during the inter innings break.

Rob Boddie
Volunteers Nigel Tarr, Paul Hutson and David Jeater examine a broken bat at the recent ‘Open Day
A Record Attendance for the museum

April 5 2019

The opening of the museum for the new season

The first day of the County Cricket Season began with leaden skies and a sharp wind from the North East. The good crowd, many dressed in thermal underwear and multiple layers, were there to enjoy a summer game, but unfortunately the fact seems to have escaped the attention of the ECB scheduler.

The high spot of the day was the official opening of the Museum by Tony Buss, ably assisted by Barbara Webb. The ceremony was officiated by Jon Filby, the Chair of the Sussex Cricket Museum and Rob Boddie, the Museum’s Curator. The museum was filled to capacity and in his short speech Jon thanked the Museum volunteers for their hard work throughout the winter and especially for getting all the exhibits on display. They were under the particular time constraint of not being able to start the removal of the old exhibits until after the Friends and Patrons afternoon tea. All however was completed in time and we hope you are able to visit the Museum and enjoy the new exhibits.

The Opening of the Museum with Tony Buss, Barbara Webb, Rob Boddie and Jon Filby