Cricket in Special Collections & Archives

As the Ashes summer continues we highlight some of the cricket-related items held within Special Collections & Archives.

One of the books in The Badminton Library of Sports and Pastimes series (manuals offering guidance on various activities) focuses on cricket. It was co-written by A. G. Steel, a Liverpool-born all-rounder who played for Cambridge University, Lancashire and England; he scored the maiden test century at Lords in 1884. Various others wrote individual chapters, including W. G. Grace.

The volume, published in 1888, is packed with advice and illustrations, with various chapters focusing on batting, bowling, fielding, how to score, and the art of training young cricketers. A whole chapter is dedicated to ‘The Australians,’ ending with the lamentation that the meetings between the two sides have:

been too much laboured, and we in England are now weary of these continued invasions, not because the Australian players are unpopular with us at home, but because we want some rest and time to turn our attention to domestic cricket affairs.

A page from the Cricket volume in The Badminton Library of Sports and Pastimes series

A page from the Cricket volume in The Badminton Library of Sports and Pastimes series

Cricket Songs (1890) by poet Norman Rowland Gale, contains a number of wonderful verses, with titles such as  ‘Chuck Her Up!’, ‘O Bowler, Bowler’, and this effort, ‘Rub It In!’

Rub It In! by Norman Rowland Gale

Rub It In! by Norman Rowland Gale

The book is dedicated to ‘Frisk’, clearly a fellow cricket-lover, as the author reminisces that:

these Cricket Songs remind me of summer days when you and I blocked, bowled, hit and ran as partners in that great game which even now exercises its dominion over our stiffer backs and slower muscles.

SC&A also holds photographs of various cricket teams in the University Archive. The following are just a selection, showing some of the earliest teams connected with the university.

Women's cricket team, 1915 (D587/1/7 )

Women’s cricket team, 1915 (D587/1/7 )

 University cricket XI, 1908 (D326/1/4)

University cricket XI, 1908 (D326/1/4)

St. Aidan's College cricket team, 1920 (D44/39/2). This theological college based in Birkenhead was affiliated to the University of Liverpool.

St. Aidan’s College cricket team, 1920 (D44/39/2). This theological college based in Birkenhead was affiliated to the University of Liverpool.

1931 was a particularly successful season for the University of Liverpool men’s team. The non-playing secretary and scorer, Arthur Brack, donated his score book to SC&A, along with a document outlining his memories of the season. Writing in 1984, he recalled:

There must have been some dull and rainy days in the early summer of 1931 but like the sundial my memory has recorded only the sunny hours. Looking back over 53 years it seems to have been a succession of games played in perfect weather. Perhaps this is because it was such a remarkably successful season. Of the 16 games played only two were drawn and of the 14 finished 13 were won, and that brought us the Christie Cup, the Northern Universities Championship and the U.A.U. Championship as well as good wins against strong club sides.

After beating numerous teams including Sheffield, Manchester and Leeds, Liverpool were victorious in the final against Reading on 7th July 1931, winning by 3 wickets to become the Universities Athletic Unions champions.

Cricket score book, 1931 (D305/1); page showing Liverpool’s second innings. Liverpool’s batsmen had scored 214 runs in their first innings, setting themselves up nicely for the win. Brack remembered the team making 'heavy weather of it' in their second innings.

Cricket score book, 1931 (D305/1); page showing Liverpool’s second innings. Liverpool’s batsmen had scored 214 runs in their first innings, setting themselves up nicely for the win. Brack remembered the team making ‘heavy weather of it’ in their second innings.

Love Your Library

For National Libraries Day on Saturday 7 February, and Valentine’s Day a week later, Special Collections and Archives staff have each chosen a favourite item from the collections to introduce. Their choices can be seen throughout February in the SC&A display cases, and here’s a quick overview:

Jenny Higham, Special Collections and Archives Manager:

A wry look at the “gentle madness” of book collecting, written for the amateur bibliophile by Scots poet, novelist, literary critic and anthropologist Andrew Lang (1844-1912).

Andrew Lang, The Library. Liverpool University Library: SPEC NOBLE D.8.26

Andrew Lang, The Library. Liverpool University Library: SPEC NOBLE D.8.26

 

Andy Sawyer, Science Fiction Librarian:

Skimming through these “World of Tomorrow” cards gives us an interesting glimpse into a science fictional future presented outside the usual channels of science fiction.

Science Fiction Foundation Collection SPEC PX3425.W67 O/S

World of Tomorrow cigarette cards. Science Fiction Foundation Collection SPEC PX3425.W67

 

Jo Klett, University Archivist:

From about 1961, aged 16, Brian Patten began to think of publishing his work and produced several typescript handmade poetry booklets. These, now incredibly fragile, are a precursor to his later published poetry magazine Underdog.

Patten/1/1/59/5 Handmade poetry booklet (fragment)

Patten/1/1/59/5 Handmade poetry booklet (fragment)

 

Katy Hooper, Special Collections Librarian:

Only one copy has been recorded in the world of this 1751 pamphlet.  The Chester bookseller, John Rowley, advertises his other services on the title-page as a sort of 18th-century eBay:

18th century sermon SPEC LGP 800

18th century sermon SPEC LGP 800

 

Siân Wilks, Cunard Archivist:

Taken on board the Cunard Liner R.M.S. Ascania II during embarkation, this photograph shows Princes Landing Stage, Liverpool in 1952. Chosen because it illustrates the proximity of the landing stage to the Three Graces, this bustling port scene captures a moment in time in the ever-evolving Pier Head of Liverpool.

Cunard Archive D42 PR2/9/9/3

Cunard Archive D42 PR2/9/9/3. 1952 Photograph of Princes Landing Stage

 

Josette Reeves, Archives Cataloguer:

Discovered recently amongst the Allott papers (a collection of material belonging to former English Professors Kenneth and Miriam Allott). This item relates to the dramatisation of E. M. Forster’s novel A Room with a View by Kenneth Allott and Stephen Tait.

 

University Archive D1073/1/2/4. Flyer for 1950 production.

University Archive D1073/1/2/4. Flyer for 1950 play of A Room with a View.

 

Clare Foster, Assistant Librarian, Special Collections:

Vernon Lee is the pseudonym of the English writer, Violet Paget (1856-1935), famous for her supernatural fiction and her works on aesthetics, who also wrote a number of essays on travel as she spent the majority of her life in Italy. She forged a lasting friendship with the writer Henry James and SPEC ZAINA E.5 was Henry James’s personal copy of Lee’s The Sentimental Traveller, given to him by Vernon Lee in 1908.

SPEC Zaina E.51. Signature of Henry James.

SPEC Zaina E.51. Signature of the novelist Henry James.

 

Edd Mustill, Graduate Library Assistant:

This is one of a number of zines collected by the music journalist and author Paul Du Noyer, who worked on the New Musical Express between 1978 and 1985.

The zines give an insight into the important of fan-created journalism to the alternative music scene of the 1980s. This issue features interviews with The Jesus and Mary Chain, DJ John Peel, and footballer Pat Nevin.

 

D1106/4/3/2 Cover of Slow Dazzle issue no. 6

D1106/4/3/2 Cover of Slow Dazzle issue no. 6

 

Colin Smith, Graduate Library Assistant:

Within the University archive we hold a collection of photographs and a pilot log book for former Liverpool University student Captain Henry T Forrest of the Royal Canadian Air Force. He flew a Wellington III plane during the Second World War.

Recently there was an enquiry from a relative tracing their grandfather (Sgt FM Crossman) who flew as part of the aircrew as an M.U with Henry T Forrest during 1944 for a single mission. Using the log book we were able to identify the exact location of this mission.

 

Captain Henry T Forrest. Photograph of crew D.993.4.7

Captain Henry T Forrest. Photograph of crew D.993.4.7