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History of Weston-super-Mare C.C from 1936 - 1951

In 1936 Laurie Hawkins is both leading run-getter and wicket taker in a damp summer.
He made his highest score (96) for Somerset against Middlesex at Lords.

George Hunt, the ex. Somerset professional and new Weston groundsman, tops both batting
and bowling averages in 1937. Hawkins is leading run-getter and Jim Priddy is leading
wicket taker.

At the A.G.M. of 1938 ‘antics and unsportsmanlike behaviour’ of certain
Weston players were heavily criticised. Sections of the National Press took up the story.
Weston had certainly picked up a bad reputation which was still being talked about many
years later.

During the War we had a barrage balloon on the ground. Matches were played mainly with
units of the services stationed in the immediate neighbourhood. It was in 1940 that our lease
expired on Devonshire Road and Mrs. Graves-Knifton’s agent advised us that she had to sell
the ground. It wanted thinking about, and ‘Bertie’ Birtll called a meeting consisting of
Russell, Hoskins, Birtill, Butter, Webber, Hawkins, Thorn and Cecil Chapman.

In 1941, Uphill Castle joined forces and Sid Hayward captained the only side.

In 1943, all agreed thatwe must purchase and, as most of our members were fighting for us, it was decided to form a
company limiting the shares to £100, with no-one to have a controlling interest. Weston
approached well-known people and other interests came from adverts in the papers (Martyn
Chambers grand-father was one that got involved). Weston raised about £1200 but could
not promise any interest. The balance of £1000 was taken up with Mrs. Graves-Knifton at
4%. Thus, cricket at Devonshire Road in 1943 was ‘saved’ by the purchases of that ground
and a further 2 acres to the East of it by the Weston-super-Mare Ground Company.

Peacetime cricket resumed again in 1945, Weston, captained by Peter Baldwin, were able to
run 2 sides.

Then, in 1946 Weston were able to run 3 Saturday sides again. Sunday matches
were played for the first time in the Club’s history and Gilbert Rattenbury ‘pioneers’
coaching of the very young.

In the 1947 season, Jim Priddy takes 100 wickets for Weston and scores over 500 runs.
Victor Sylvester and his Ballroom Orchestra play at the Weston-super-Mare CC’s Annual
Ball at the Winter Gardens.

Weston ran 4 Saturday teams in 1949 and the 4th XI was captained by Cecil Chapman who,
in 1950 retires from playing cricket aged 65.

In 1951, A Golden Jubilee Dinner was held at the Grand Atlantic Hotel, regardless that Weston’s history dates back to 1845. Weston received a new scoreboard donated by Connies & Meaden of Cardiff