HYTHE CRICKET AND SQUASH CLUB
Two years of heartache were eased for Hythe Cricket and Squash Club with the official opening of their new £300,000 clubhouse by former Kent and England spinner Derek Underwood.
The opening ceremony was performed during the tea interval of the club’s all-day match against the MCC which marked the end of Hythe’s annual cricket week at The Grove and celebrated the club’s 150th anniversary year.
Hythe’s original clubhouse was burnt down by an arsonist in April 2004, and with it went much of the club’s memorabilia.
One of the most treasured items lost in the fire was a bat and ball given to the club by its most famous son, APF Chapman, who went on to captain Kent and England.
The bat had been signed by the Australian Ashes tourists of 1926, and the ball was the one used in the final test that year at The Oval.
Now, thanks to a gift from the Hythe Venetian Fete Society, the club again has a bat used by “Percy” Chapman to display on its walls. It was purchased from Kent Cricket Club and presented to Hythe by society chairman John Schoner.
This new bat was the one Chapman used to record his career-best 260 for Kent against Lancashire at Maidstone in 1927.
Officially opening the new pavilion, Derek Underwood paid tribute to all the hard work that had gone into rebuilding the clubhouse and wished the club the best of luck for the next 150 years.
The MCC match was the end of a week-long series for events on and off the field that celebrated the club’s milestone.
Earlier in the week Hythe had played another all-day game, this time against close neighbours Folkestone, who are also celebrating their 150th anniversary this year.
The MCC game attracted a good turn out and the day ended with a last over victory for Hythe.
Put into bat the MCC made 245 for four declared, thanks largely to good knocks from James Tredwell (61), Jim Howgego (58) and Andy Towse (38).
In reply, Hythe’s batsmen refused to be overawed by the occasion and snatched victory in a thrilling finish by three wickets with five balls to spare. Leading the run chase for Hythe were Lawrence Bill (77), Paul Goddard (56) and skipper Dan Furnival (48).
Hythe president Dick Apps and chairman Alison Belcher welcomed the guests on what they described as the biggest day in the club’s history.
“In many ways the last two years have seen the club grow in strength. The rebuilding goes on but we have achieved a lot to be proud of,” said Alison Belcher.
Hythe CC have an existing site at www.hythecsc.co.uk/
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