28 May 2022

‘When they are all out, the side
that’s out comes in and the
side that’s been in goes out’

Cricket in the early summer sunshine at the Ancell Trust Sports Grounds this weekend (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2022)

Patrick Comerford

One of the joys of summer weekend afternoons in England is spending time watching cricket in the sunshine.

I spent some time this afternoon (28 May 2022) at the Ancell Grounds on Ostlers Lane in Stony Stratford, at the end of Vicarage Road and close to ruined tower of Saint Mary Magdalene.

Over the years, many tennis, bowls, football, cricket and croquet players from around the Milton Keynes area have enjoyed the unique facilities on offer at the Ancell Trust Sports Ground.

Frederick Thomas Shillingford Ancell was a lifelong Baptist and a builder with a social conscience who lived at 33 High Street, Stony Stratford. When he died in 1919, he had no near relatives, and in his will he left over £18,000 to the benefit of the townspeople.

Under the terms of Ancell’s will, the residents of Stony Stratford were offered grants for healthcare, travelling expenses, education, apprenticeships, training and recreation facilities. Ancell also gave £105 for building a bathing place on the banks of River Ouse behind the Barley Mow – now 185 High Street.

A trust was set up and one of the first requests was for the provision of a Sports Ground by the Football and Cricket Clubs who faced being without grounds.

The trust set up a sub-committee in May 1920, and it was agreed to buy land from a Mr Calladine and the Radcliffe Trust. A price was agreed in 1921, a groundsman was employed, fences and walls were built, the footpath was diverted the layout of various sports grounds was planned for cricket, football, croquet, tennis and bowls.

A paddock beside the new sports ground was bought In February 1922, providing extra land for four tennis courts, and by 1930, old railway coaches had bought to use as changing rooms for the tennis and cricket clubs.

Indulging in the pleasure of watching cricket at the Ancell Grounds in the sunshine this afternoon, I was reminded of this humorous explanation of cricket that has been reproduced on tea towels and mugs:

The Rules of Cricket

You have two sides, one out in the field and one in.

Each player that’s in the side that’s in the field goes out, and when he’s out he comes in and the next player goes in until he’s out.

When they are all out, the side that’s out comes in and the side that’s been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out.

Sometimes there are players who are still in and not out.

When a player goes out to go in, the players who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next player in goes out and goes in.

There are two people called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when the players who are in are out.

Depending on the weather and the light, the umpires can also send everybody in, no matter if they’re in or out.

When both sides have been in and all the players have been out, and both sides have been out twice after all the players have been in – including those who are not out – that is the end of the game!

‘You have two sides, one out in the field and one in’ … watching cricket this weekend in Stony Stratford (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2022)

No comments: