Mexborough and Swinton Times, March 15.
Conisborough Cricket Club Dinner
Mr T Williams, M.P.on the Social Value of Sport.
Reminiscences of Happy Days
After a lapse for 16 years, the annual dinner of the Cricket, Tennis, and Balls Club was revived last Saturday, when 71 members sat down at the Fox Hotel.
Mr F Ogley J.P. occupied the chair, and he was supported by Mr W.Appleyard, Mr W.W Norwood and Mr H Thirlwall. Mr Tom Williams, M.P., Mr Luther Robinson, and Mr Ernest Robinson and Mr W Narroway, were among the visitors.
Mr W Appleyard, of Clifton, introduced Mr Williams to the members, and expressed his pleasure at Mr Williams presence. There were together for many years on the Doncaster Board of Guardians, and he thought that Mr Williams was a very fit person to represent them in Parliament. He had made an excellent start and would go a long way. He proposed the health of “The Visitors.”
Mr T.Williams, M.P.said the Chairman that place Mr Appleyard and onerous responsibility in asking him to say something good about a member of Parliament. Mr Williams said that men and women joined clubs for social intercourse and healthy pleasure. Lawn tennis. A few years ago was regarded as a luxury, but ideas had broadened and now tennis was a very popular game. He invited Conisborough to emulate the Bolton experiment, where rectangles made by building houses have been turned into bowling greens and tennis courts, so that the people had them almost on their doorsteps.
He advocated more facilities for real healthy sport, and instead of 20,000 persons watching 22 players he would that 22 persons watched 20,000 players. Only when the full value of outdoor recreation was realised, would we see to it that finance did not bar the way. The more we could come together in sport the sooner should we get rid of vague barriers and misunderstandings. If Izzy was developed to sport, mental development would naturally follow. He concluded by wishing success to the club, and hoped that all would give of their best.
Mr W.W.Norwood proposed “Success to the Cricket Club.” He was delightfully reminiscent, having been a member since 1888; for 25 years he was in various official capacities. The club had not fulfilled all his anticipations, but it had done as well as working men could make it. He spoke of the days when Conisborough could get fifth place in the Mexborough league, but they dropped to the bottom afterwards, and after a time in the South Yorkshire League reverted to friendly matches. Those were the matches he loved, when glory was the only thing played for, and the conviviality which followed. He said that cricket was the sport of kings. “Some say that racing is a sport of kings,” he said, “but I say cricket is. They tell me that there is some times roguery in racing. If a man does an unfair action they say that he is not playing cricket, which goes to prove the assertion.”
He remembered the making of the pitch, “two men used to work and four carried the beer.” (Laughter.) Eventually a Pavilion was erected at a cost of £160. Mr J. Downing building it for bare expenses and Messrs Walker and Crawshaw, giving the bricks. Before that the high hedge was the Pavilion and a form carried up from the Red Lion was the grand stand.
He urges young players to practice assiduously, and to make sure that they always prepared good wickets.
In replying to this toast Mr F Ogley said the size of the gathering sure that cricket interested and held the members. He spoke in glowing terms of the work done by the hon secretary, Mr J.H.Rawding, for a good secretary was necessary for the club success, and this club had one, who spared no time or effort. Sport created good fellowship. The club was financially sound, but there were many expenses and he appealed for a strong membership.
Mr Luther Robinson. This spoke of their advantages of cricket as a sports, and he told of a scorebook of 1896, which had come into his possession. On July 16 of that year, Conisborough and defeated Denaby by 45 runs to 39 – (loud applause) – but am looking later he found a particularly obliterated match, which appears old Denaby had avenged the defeat. (Laughter.) He wished to advancement to the Conisborough club, and Mr W. Narroway, who followed him, expressed similar sentiments.
Mr J.H.junk proposed, and Mr H Thirlwalll seconded, a vote of thanks to the chairman and host.
A very enjoyable musical program was provided by Messes T.Thornton, C.Thornton, D.O.Jones, E.Davis, W Cooper and W. Moore.