Kerry Underwood

Hertfordshire Boy

with 12 comments

Bovingdon played local rivals Sarratt at cricket last Sunday.

Until 15 years ago the villages had not played each other since the 1940’s. Rationing was in place and a Sarratt player, a farmer, had been working all hours to bring in the harvest. With hay still in his hair he turned up at tea to be told by Bovingdon that he could not bat as he had not fielded.

Protestations that people would starve had he fielded were met with the response beloved of cricket teams and lawyers alike: Rules is Rules.

Sarratt walked off for 50 years. After being out for a duck on Sunday I nearly marched off; I had courgettes to pick and broad beans to freeze.

The Sarratt – Bovingdon cold war divided families. Between the wars the Bovingdon to Sarratt love-bus ran twice a year between the two villages to bring youngsters together and, apparently, to widen the gene pool. The jury is out on whether this was successful but most villagers over 70 have one of two birthdates.

Chipperfield play Bovingdon for the Chiltern Trophy, which Bovingdon always retains, not just because of our cricketing skills but because:

– I wrote the rules; and
– Chipperfield are unaware of the existence of the trophy.

Bovingdon has the loveliest of grounds so we rarely venture away on Sundays and we always get lost when we do, culminating in the Iver Heath incident when the four cars carrying the Bovingdon stars were each first in line at the four points of a country crossroads.

One time our convoy passed the other side’s convoy coming the other way. We turned up at their ground and they turned up at ours. As the team was Nazeing Common, 30 miles away, this was a problem. Mobile phones have prevented a recurrence.

Our Sunday team, like most others, is a mix of class, race, talent and age with representatives of every decade from our Justin Bieber lookalike teenager to our seventy-something Methuselah lookalike wicketkeeper.

25 miles from London and just outside Hemel Hempstead, the world’s best town, Bovingdon is a million miles from the chatterati of Hampstead.

Ours is a better England.


Written by kerryunderwood

August 18, 2011 at 11:08 am

12 Responses

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  1. There is another reason Chipperfield can never win the coveted Chiltern Trophy – they don’t exist anymore. As far as I am aware, Chipperfield Clarendon CC are not eligible to compete for the trophy…


    August 18, 2011 at 12:12 pm

  2. The Chiltern Trophy Rules do not specifically deal with that point but it is worth holding in reserve should the unlikely circumstances occur whereby otherwise Bovingdon would have lost the trophy to Chipperfield. Still best not to tell them about the Trophy in my view.


    August 18, 2011 at 12:17 pm

  3. Always wondered what the real Sarratt story was. Now I know! Hope the courgettes were nice!


    August 18, 2011 at 4:55 pm

  4. The courgettes were as good as my 4 overs of leg-spin! More revelations next week in the Bourne End Conspiracy.


    August 18, 2011 at 5:13 pm

  5. I think we should be told, Kerry……. What is your current batting and bowling averages?


    August 18, 2011 at 6:12 pm

  6. Current as in when? This season? Ever? As if I pay attention to these worldly matters! I can reveal that I am the 21st highest wicket-taker in Bovingdon’s 128 year history. I am sure others will post full details of the information you request!


    August 18, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    • Quite clearly you do pay attention to worldy matters! 21st highest ever wicket taker IS quite impressive. Funny thing is, I always reckoned I was a passable leg break bowler as well. On a good day I could turn the ball square. I think we will have to compare actions.


      August 18, 2011 at 6:53 pm

      • Square? On some days I turn the ball so much it comes straight back at me! (Editor: Is that very hard and via a bat?)


        August 18, 2011 at 7:03 pm

  7. WTF ????


    August 22, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    • Not just a one-trick pony! Next blog will be a polemic about the National Health Service Litigation Authority’s somewhat disingenuous report to Parliament


      August 22, 2011 at 2:35 pm

  8. Did that take nearly 50 years too?


    August 22, 2011 at 2:40 pm

  9. The 19th century artist Whistler was accused of churning out very similar paintings and charging a lot for them and was sued. In court, when asked how long it had taken him to paint a particular picture he relied “47 years”, that being his age at the time. I rest my case!


    August 22, 2011 at 2:48 pm

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