YOU’VE got to admire the cricketers of Greatham. They certainly know how to put on a show.
The trend in the 1940s was to hold cricket matches with men playing against ‘ladies’ - although the ladies were men in dresses.
Greatham Cricket Club secretary Mr W Douthwaite organised the match and the ladies won the toss, deciding to bat first.
But there were immediate problems. Opening bat “Mrs” J Fewtrell was first in and had difficulty playing shots because of her corsets.
Play was held up while adjustments were made, but the problems continued and “Mrs” Fewtrell had to retire hurt.
“Mrs” J Young was her replacement and led the women’s team to 83 all out.
The Northern Daily Mail at the time said: “After tea, the ladies took the field and their costumes, though unorthodox, added a splash of colour against the whites of the men.”
And although there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, two of the ladies, fielded with umbrellas. The report from the Mail that day read: “The ladies were undoubtedly expecting an Ol Trafford style downpour.
Whatever their tactics, they clearly worked and the men could only manage 42.
But the main point of the game was it raised £3 16s and three pence for the Greatham Cricket Club.
And, of course, fancy dress cricket wasn’t the only part of the feast activities that year.
A fancy dress parade pulled in plenty of entries. Interestingly, the categories included the cigarette race, the three-legged race, the girls three-legged race and the ladies sack race.
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Contact head of features Chris Cordner on (01429) 239377 or email firstname.lastname@example.org