‘THE sun has got his hat on and we are coming out to play’.
Never has the well known song been more accurate and its message more welcome.
This was especially true at the Corinium Stadium where Cirencester Town slammed six goals past Guildford, reinforcing their title challenge. It is going to be an exciting spring, as Forest Green Rovers are now playing to their potential, too.
The talented James Norwood is looking more and more a complete footballer. He can score, he has pace and on Saturday contributed three assists with sublime crosses.
Veteran centre forward Lee Hughes has the experience and wisdom of a games master showing year 9s how to play. He not only delivers himself but happily directs those around him. They in turn seem eager to learn.
New manager Ady Pennock is bringing out the best in everyone and Brian Hughes is doing the same at Cirencester. There is much fun ahead. Do not expect me to stay in on Saturdays or Tuesday evenings.
Many Tetbury readers will remember Ray Peer as a hard working wing half for Tetbury Town in the late 1950s. Others may remember him as the guard on the Tetbury flier which took passengers from Tetbury via Culkerton and Rodmarton to the main line at Kemble.
It was Ray who put my push bike in the guards van when I made the biggest single journey of my life – to university.
I met Ray again on Saturday. There were four generations of his family enjoying both the match and the hospitality at FGR. It was an enchanting meeting, 50 years melted away. Sport is not just the games you play, it is the people you meet and the memories you have, which last forever.
Ray had not moved far, from Culkerton to Ewen. He looked happy and well so his post-Beeching days had obviously brought him good fortune. Trouble House Halt was another station on the Tetbury line, but of course that has gone forever. The pub of the same name looked like going that way as well, but has re-opened in a new guise.
Mrs Light and I breakfasted there the other day. It was a delight, as it is to see The Five Mile House at Duntisbourne Abbots re-opening. Countless generations of Cotswold cricketers have enjoyed a drink after playing against the Duntisbourne team. After facing Maurice Ruck and so many Messengers, a drink was certainly needed. What is needed now is the cricket club to reform.
I have heard good news from Fairford CC. This year they celebrate their 125th anniversary and great things are planned. This lively, evolving club situated at their lovely Park Street ground have many exciting events planned. One of them is a family day on August 25. This is especially appropriate because the club is very much a family one.
I cannot recall ever scoring a run there. The Peyman twins and the Barnfield family were altogether too good.
Staying with cricket, I am grateful to a reader for loaning me a Cirencester fixture list for 1947. This lists all club officers and of course all opponents. One of the club committee was Bill Wormald who taught at the grammar school. Knowing I was too aggressive too early he would say whenever he passed me in a school corridor ‘cut out the shots until you have scored 13’. This was splendid advice, but I never knew the significance of 13. Was any reader given the same advice?
It was a good Saturday for Gloucestershire sport. Ciren Town, FGR and Cheltenham Town all won their matches, Gloucester secured a welcome win at Kingsholm and locally-trained Wyck Hill won the big race at Newcastle. It must have been the sunshine.
The county club start playing friendly matches in four weeks’ time. The grounds will never be dry enough! Worcester, where one game is scheduled, will still be under water.