I am sure Andy and Bruce can advise about the
early history of the Strollers although we probably have different
memories. First game was in 1987 when Bruce, Andy, me and
the big chap whose name I have forgotten played for the Spread
Eagle team. That's the Spread Eagle on Parkway, Camden. We
may have actually played for the opposition against the Spread
Eagle team. No idea to be frank. Somewhere I have a photo
of me returning to the boundary after batting. I think Andy's
Nicola took the photo so there may be more photos. I was playing
in DMs (shoes) and a striped shirt (you no doubt recall the
Andy and Bruce moved to St George's Square in
Pimlico in 1987 I think. They used to hold piano moving parties.
Bruce had a piano moved down from Northampton to go in the
flat. The flat was on the third floor so there was a serious
need for help. The first time the picnic in the square went
on too long and I don't think the piano got very far. Second
time some Italians in the bottom flat helped us. Not sure
what happened to the piano when Andy moved out. I digress.
Don't think we actually played in 1988. Bruce
was living in Edinburgh. The embryonic Strollers turned out
in 1989 on Regents Park. There are some very rough pitches
close to the Zoo. As well as Andy, Bruce, me, the big chap,
there was probably Matthew ? who went to school with Bruce
and Vince Wells who you may have met when he turned up last
year. Think Vince's girlfriend managed Bruce and Andy's band
"Clay and the Magnificent" (???). She probably played
too and her dog ??? We played against anyone who turned up.
Usually 14 year olds. Then probably the next year - or sometime
- we played against proper(ish) opposition. The Butler Boys
lead by Gareth (?) Butler were a favorite opposition. Butler
was a Radio 4 producer or something. Bossy and up himself
some would say. Also played a team called Bob's BBC I think.
Fathers and Sons. That game was played on Clapham Common.
Bruce was captain for those first years which
occasionally resulted in some rather strange batting line-ups.
One game I batted at seven. Not that low you may think. However
given there were seven in our team and a school friend of
mine who hardly ever played cricket was at number three it
was probably not the best use of resources. Winning wasn't
terribly important. Andy took over the captaincy and I was
vice for three or four years. Think Matt captained in 95 and
96, then me in 97. Guess Bruce did 89-92 and Andy 93-94.
As well as the hard pitch at Clapham Common
we played on the Hampstead Extension pitches quite a lot I
remember Kieran's first game there (1995?), Parliament Hill
Enclosure and on the slope. I remember we picked up Glynn
on the latter ground and John Morgan managed to head the cricket
ball whilst batting. (He drove off to the hospital at Hampstead
to get things checked out - lasting damage possibly). Finsbury
Park also (Dickie's first game I think - 1994) I think we
went to watch Lynford Christie run in the Olympics in the
Manor House pub after the game. Think the first "tour"
to Chippenham was in 1996. Before Ryans Bar we used to meet
for our AGM in a pub behind Liberty's store Regent Street.
Possibly the Red Lion. Like now the main topic - whilst still
soberish - was how to get 11 players for each game.
Frankly can't remember much since 1997.
Stroller Of The Year
Batsman Of The Year
Bowler Of The Year
The Strollers are a club of cricketers well known for their fine singing voices. Here are a couple of songs you may find yourself singing post match:
Gold (Spandau Ballet)
The official club anthem...
Strolling (Flanagan & Allen)
Those touring in Portugal in 2009 were lucky enough to be introduced to a potential new club anthem thanks to the crooning of Oporto CC's President Peter. Aptly entitled "Strolling", the ditty in question was composed and first performed by famed swingers of yesteryear, Flanagan & Allen.
Now all can enjoy this near masterpiece in it's incomparable original form... click HERE
Tales of Strollers past
For a selection of recollections from matches gone by
... click HERE
The Pompey Connection
I am sure you are aware of the Pompey connections. Andy met Bruce
at the Polytechnic of North London in about 1984. Andy and I were
at Portsmouth Grammar School together 1976-83. I had kept in contact
with Andy since school and caught up with him when I moved down
from Liverpool at 1987. Consequently I got roped in straight-away.
Quite a long line of PGS old boys have turned out for the Strollers
over the years. These include Richard Stainton-Ellis (1989?), James
Foxall (1990?), Matt Morgan (1990?-present), Mark "Jurassic"
Waterfield (off and on), Mark Beaumont Davis (once I think). Apart
from me, the others go back to about 1973 or more.
The Petersfield Connection
Deaves and I grew up in the same town (neither born there though)
- "incomers". We played football for the Butser Cub Scouts
team in 1975ish. My dad ran boys cricket teams in Petersfield and
Steep and coached me, obviously, and Deaves. Not sure we played
in the same team then - I'm a little older. Somewhere there is a
picture of Deaves in the Petersfield under 13s.
In the name of charity...
The Strollers have links with the Cystic Fibrosis Unit at the Royal Brompton Hospital. Several years ago the then vice captain, Jolyon Fallon was instrumental in organizing an annual charity match to raise fund for the unit. In
2009, to celebrate the Strollers' 20th Anniversary, the club held a special match at North London CC, again in aid of the Royal Brompton.
In the end £1,150 (inc Gift Aid) was collected. Well done to all involved!