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December 2017: A West Country Christmas – Dorset in December

Thomas Hardy’s celebration of Christmas in Dorset in his early novel Under the Greenwood Tree is perhaps second only to A Christmas Carol (a version ...More
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Is there any more British pastime than cricket? Quite possibly, as the Dutch who still play the game have a reasonable claim to being its inventors, back in the days when it was played with curved bats not dissimilar to today’s hockey sticks, the ball at that time rolled along the ground rather than bounced towards the wicket.
Whatever its origin, cricket has been played here since the Tudor era, and is part of the sporting lifeblood of many suburbs, towns and villages up and down the country. For many the village cricket game is something that would be included in their ideal view of British life, preferably with the local butcher bowling at the village GP while tea and sandwiches await them in the pavilion, and after the game a pint of bitter at the pub.
At a higher level there is no more keenly contested series than the Ashes, dating back to the very first match between England and Australia that began on March 15 1877. We lost that one too.
But for test matches to be played – and won - we need club cricket to prosper, nurturing raw young talent ready to progress to the county game. Not that all aspire to such heights. For most of us bowling left-arm mysterious for a few overs every weekend is quite enough, the memory of our best innings and bowling figures engraved on our hearts a little above the names of our children and spouse – and with women’s cricket ever stronger that could be husband or wife these days.

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Wales
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Offshore
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Northern Ireland
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Recommended Books:
Village Cricket
Village Cricket
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2004
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2004
The Cricketers' Who's Who
The Cricketers' Who's Who
Playfair Cricket Annual
Playfair Cricket Annual

Recommended Books:

A Picture of Britain
A Picture of Britain
Ashes Fever
Ashes Fever
Coast
Coast
Churchill
Churchill

Brit Quote:
I can make a lord, but only God can make a gentleman. - James I
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On this day:
Welsh Independence Dies with Llywelyn - 1282, James II Abdicates - 1688, End of the IRA Balcombe Street siege - 1975, Buncefield Oil Blaze - 2005
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