Bures & District Cricket Club

2003 Tour Report

The 2003 Club tour of West Yorkshire commenced on Friday 13th June. Many members left at an early hour to beat the traffic while others played Russian Roulette with the Stealth Tax speed cameras on the A1 to make a rendezvous at noon for lunch at The Hunters Inn, Pool.

A traditional Bures warm-up routine at The Hunter's

Among the first to the bar were Messrs. Tyson, Saer, Simpkin, Hartley and Chambers C. quickly followed by Messrs. Chambers L. and Lee and Slow. An expert assessment of beer arrangements was carried out and after a little persuasion and explanation from Mr. Slow, Timothy Taylor Dark Mild became the preferred choice over the ubiquitous London Pride (as traditionally Yorkshire as ginseng itself) and the omnipresent Tetley Bitter and John Smith's. The Ayers brothers arrived late having adopted a circuitous route (as befits those with a low centre of gravity), but quickly made inroads beer-wise. Marc Norton dozed quietly in the sun, for the first of seventeen occasions in the three days which were to follow. A brace of Croppers arrived in a selection of scrap motors, scattering rust and jettisoning oil as they went. Bar grub of a basically unknown provenance was generally enjoyed and with the arrival of Messrs. McKenna, Chunnoo and Mitchell from the golf course, the tour was on! 

Weeton & Huby Cricket Club have a lovely ground surrounded by farmland. For a report of the match, click here. We won!


After the game, an early finish allowed a further visit to the Hunters but we were quickly on the road to the Crescent Hotel Ilkley to check in, shower and get out on the town. Mr. Slow managed all of these things in just eight minutes and was the first to be found in the hotel bar, smiling and arm-in-arm with a pint of Black Sheep Best. As the group assembled, any intention of remaining in the bar evaporated as wall-to-wall drug dealers challenged the bouncers for control of the local grab-a-granny nite. Mr. Slow, assuming control, led an advance party westward to the Bar T'at, where local midges feasted on juicy Bures legs. Phoenix Navvy bitter was ordered by the bucket load and it was not until nearly eleven that the subject of food was raised. By consensus, a fine Turkish establishment operated by a gentleman from Batley answering to the name of Winston, specialising in a selection of near-lamb products off the bone and served in vintage polystyrene, was chosen. To the soothing accompaniment of a burglar alarm, the Club dined plentifully if a little uncouthly and was back in the search for beer in no time. The lateness of the hour necessitated the use of the hotel bar, where the GAG nite was in full swing. The volume of the music precluded conversation and most members were content to sit on the floor and marvel at the activities of the various misshapes before them. Marc, James & Big Pat, having more resilience in these matters, drooled uncontrollably over a cute barmaid (actually, we all did...) whilst Mr. Chunnoo's attempts at levitation were sadly frustrated by a little-known phenomenon known as gravity. Numerous visits to the top shelf resulted in the premature departure of many to their rooms, but the victory had been celebrated and sleep was taken with high hopes for the following day.

Saturday dawned far too early for most of us and the breakfast lounge was quiet but thick with the heady aroma of flatulence as various attempts at rehydration took place. The Skipper, red-faced and hung over, refused to admit to pain and instructed those not padlocked to their Zimmer frames to embark on a riverside walk where various childish activities took place. The glorious sunshine was beginning to have an effect on the local populace, who had noticed that the water temperature had increased to 4oC and who couldn't resist a quick dip. Chambers L. decided on a less-than sensible attempt at laundering his mobile phone in the waters but before reparatory works could take place it was time to be off to East Keswick for lunch and from then on to Harewood House for our next game against St. George's. The cricket ground here has magnificent views and was host to a most interesting game. For a report of the St. George's match, click here. We won AGAIN! Attempts at after-match libation were ultimately frustrated by a lack of beer and the dash back to Ilkley was on, with Mr. Slow once again leading the pace buoyed by his hatful of wickets and the euphoria of McKenna's hat-trick. A quick shower and out on the town, specifically to the Bar T'at again where more Navvy and Taylor's Landlord were enjoyed in the company of our President Hugh Thornton and David Warden who, immaculately attired as ever, had joined us for the remainder of the tour. The now traditional Club curry was taken in preference to the previous evening's Turkish delicacies with some entirely good hot stuff being enjoyed. Sammy, on a high from his discovery of a vocation as a slip catcher, weighed in with gusto before all present retreated to the Cattle Market. Chunnoo celebrated his 14th birthday with Champagne while McKenna paraded around in a garment which was a cross between an eiderdown and a windbreak and which had clearly been used to make tea at some time. James Lee, so proud of his excellent 50, dressed up in a frilly shirt which his father might have acquired from Englebert Humperdink and announced himself to be "on the pull". Sadly, his efforts in that direction were hampered by his habit of dousing himself with petrol, and Tyson's unwillingness to risk further damage to his arthritic hind quarters.

The Skipper at breakfast."I wasn't drunk last night". 

Sammy Saer enjoys a light snack

Sunday arrived and found some tired Bures limbs, but the motivation for the afternoon game to come was there for all to see. A tough match at the excellent Olicanian's ground and a renewal of our rivalry with Mr. Stodge! Clearly, a good luncheon would be required after the customary morning constitutional and it was up to the magnificently situated Cow & Calf for some grub. Sammy, having devoured a full cooked breakfast with double black pudding was only in the mood for something light and therefore ordered a full Sunday roast. A triumvirate of Croppers basted each other in the midday sun, swapping information about the downturn in the scrap metal markets. Marc, as usual, found a corner and was instantly asleep and probably still would be if we hadn't woken him as we left. The President and President-elect discussed important things whilst the Ayers twins sat and giggled in a way only they can. Finally, the handbrakes were let off and it was down to the ground for the game. For a report of the Olicanian's match, click here. We won AGAIN, ending the tour on the highest of high notes. Things could hardly have gone better for us and after the various troubles which the Club has endured in recent weeks, it has provided an invaluable boost to morale and proves that the spirit of the club is alive and well. Long may it be so!

The thanks of the tourists are extended to Christopher Chambers for not only having organised the tour, but also having secured the accommodation on his VISA card! Special thanks are also due to David Simpkin (that's MISTER David Simpkin to you, boy!) who umpired every match and the non-players Roy Hartley, Alex Scarfe and Hugh Thornton who provided moral support and even bought a round or two. Well done!

Winners! - 2003 Bures & District Cricket Club tour party relaxing in the evening sunshine after the Olicanians game.

(From left to right)  Hugh Thornton (El Presidente), Tammy Hartley, David Simpkin (Umpire), Alan Cropper, David Warden, Sammy Saer, Ben Cropper, Si Ayers, James Lee, Chris Ayers, Patrick McKenna, Mitch Mitchell, Marc Norton, Colin Bocking, Tom Cropper, Lewis Chambers, Christopher Chambers.

With apologies to Roger Chunnoo - missing, presumed drunk.

Links to 2003 tour match reports - Bures Vs. Olicanian Select Xi at Weeton & Huby 13/06/03

Bures Vs. St. George's 14/06/03

Bures Vs. Ilkley Olicanians 15/06/03



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