Miles Richards (Allan 1974)
My early involvement (1960?) with the Lynxes CC was at the invitation/suggestion of David Firminger, to score for the Lynxes during their traditional week of cricket in the second week of August. I would be ‘looked after’!!! As a very naïve 14/15 year old, I had no clue what to expect, except that the Lynxes quite successfully left an indelible mark on me for many years
to come, in a very caring and positive manner. As a break from the long school holidays, cycling the six to seven miles to the school was something I positively looked forward to in order to be part of something exciting and different. Lynxes cricket week bizarrely presented me with an educative insight that unwittingly and much later, triggered my passion for sport, possibly contributing to my sporting achievements in later life, which at that time I had no idea about. I hadn’t experienced any serious men’s club cricket and I was overawed by the
many ‘senior statesmen’ of Lynxes CC, firstly as cricketers, but also as fine human beings that routinely returned to Cranbrook (many players staying at school) in almost ritual-like manner every August; reminiscing about the old school days, enjoying each other’s company, but above all else playing enjoyable, high quality cricket on Big Side, with and against likeminded fellow cricketers. Friendships formed at school would be enduring beyond our schooldays through our shared love of the game.

I vividly recall my debut for the Lynxes when, as 15/16 year old playing against Leicester Ivanhoe, I was asked by the skipper, ‘Icy-arse’ David Winterbottom to open the innings and scored 80 (followed by a celebratory ‘shandy’ in the Windmill PH). Many further visits were to follow over the years, often with long post-match debriefs in our adopted ‘Home of Lynxes cricket’, under the excellent stewardship of Ron and Lynn [Dawkins]. The Windmill will always be remembered for providing the venue for many long and eventful evenings, ranging from the mild to the raucous in behaviour. The Wednesday fixture v Racqueteers CC, themselves littered with cricketers of high quality, was always the ‘popular’ fixture, not merely for the calibre of cricket played, but more often for unrelated cricket issues emanating from the Windmill: the post-lunch wheelbarrow laden with Pimm’s consumed on the field of play; the late night drunken ‘under-pant brawls’ between Henry Wybourn and whoever wanted to join the challenge.........all added to the rich and happy memories of the Old
Cranbrookians’ cricket week.

From here on, until my career move to the West Country in 1997, I was to be a regular with the Lynxes CC and will always be grateful for the good times and many memories that will stay with me forever. The many cricket clubs that Lynxes regularly played over the years, enriched my cricketing experiences: Cranbrook Town, Leicester Ivanhoe, Tunbridge Wells, Old Suttonians, The Racqueteers, Bluemantles, Old Roffensians, Scorpions, Sissinghurst, Bully Boys, Fleet Street Wanderers and some I may have inadvertently overlooked.

For a variety of reasons, I now find it difficult to support the Lynxes Cricket week and despite being retired but still active in the game, my defence is rather poor. However, it remains my hope that the Lynxes CC can continue to thrive and provide as much pleasure,for many future generations of Cranbrook School cricket enthusiasts, as I have thoroughly enjoyed. Sport connects people; sport opens doors; sport is most certainly good for the mind and body
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