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
Ted Dexter’s latest book
Signed copies of Ted Dexter’s latest book 85 Not Out, are now available from the Museum. This 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. For information on how to purchase a signed copy use the contact form on this page
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 – https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Q-hcUvMtQdq-SP9aiNby2Q
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.
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.