“It’s a nice class o’ sand ‘ere at Scarb’rough,”
Said me Dad as he marked out the pitch.
“Uncle Silas likes Brid for ‘is cutters;
But I really can’t tell which is which.”
“Cos it’s all about catching the tide right.
Y’can only turn t’ball when it’s out.
Yon dry stuff’s no good, where yer Mam’s sat.
Now give that off-stump a good clout.”
But that wasn’t always so easy,
Gettin’ t’stumps to stand plumb upright there.
We’d get two lined up straight but then t’other
Would strike rock! So we’d just move the square.
Me Dad liked to open at t’Pier End
Wi’ ‘is milit’ry medium; our Pam
Were posted to field by the deckchairs
And ward off me shots from me Mam.
There were laws about battin’ and bowlin’
That Dad said Len Hutton had made.
No body-line stuff and no run-outs*!
No sixes that reached t’promenade!
We always played limited overs -
‘Cos of tide and occasional rain.
But in mem’ry I play on forever,
Cricket heaven, again and again.
*owing to the tendency of our wayward returns from the deep (!) to land back in the drink or in the sandwiches.