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  • Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post

    Michael

    I'm sorry, but I completely disagree with what you say.

    Regarding the first match, the writer of the letter is quoting chapter and verse from the Laws of Cricket, and he is saying that Northallerton should have been declared the winners when Thornaby refused to play (under Law 45). He is not in the least acknowledging that the Laws allowed Thornaby to refuse to play when told to play by the umpires. He is not saying the Laws are unfair. He is saying that the decision of the League Committee went against the Laws.

    “And so, if one team gets out for 25, and another for 26, and there are still, say, three hours to play, the side that has made 26 may refuse to go on playing”

    He’s saying that if the committee upheld the decision, which they did, then they would have been, in effect, setting a dangerous precedent in that a team could just refuse to play to get the result on the first game. I’ve just re-read that part of my post Chris and it was poorly worded. It’s not actually the law that he was challenging but the fact that there was a way of unfairly turning that law to one teams advantage.


    Regarding the second match, "the visitors required 5 runs to make a win" must mean to win the first innings. Winning the first innings did eventually result in winning the game, but only because the second innings wasn't completed. At the point when the first innings was completed, the winner of the game had clearly not been decided yet.
    So the question would have to be why did he say “to make a win” at a time when a second innings would have been expected to have followed? I’m not saying that any deductions can be made from this but it’s curious wording.
    Regards

    Michael🔎


    " When you eliminate the impossible whatever remains no matter how improbable......is probably a little bit boring "

    Comment


    • Realistically, unless there was a total deluge, they would have waited some time before deciding not to even start the second innings. I presume the first innings was completed - presumably with some bad weather. They then broke for the second innings and during that time the weather worsened. Then they would have waited before deciding to call it a day.

      The match itself must have lasted in the region of two and a half hours from what we have seen.
      If you add a half hour break and an hour wait - then the match would have had to start at 12.30 to allow Druiitt to get the 4.55.
      The liklihood of that in my opinion is extremely slim.

      A glance at the map rules out chariots of different descriptions.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Michael Banks View Post
        So we have a 2 innings game beginning at 2pm with the league committee saying that it was unreasonable to expect 2pm until 7pm to have been sufficient time to have played a 2 innings game and that there had been a tacit understanding that only 1 innings would be played.
        Hi Michael - this is a variation of the question I posed early last week.

        Early in this thread, commentors suggested that the Thursday cricket games weren't started until 3 pm or even 4 pm in order to allow the 'half-holiday' crowd a chance to watch some cricket.

        On one level this sounds reasonable, but on another level it is decidedly strange. If a two-inning game can last five, six, or even seven hours, why on earth would they start so late if there was no probability of completing the match? This isn't mid-summer; it's August 30th and sundown in Dorset is 6:58 pm.

        Meanwhile, we have the big Industrial Expo in town with the doors opening at 2 pm, and the admission rates starting to drop at 3 pm and going full-tilt by 6 pm.

        It's hard for me to conceptualize the local cricket club starting the game in the late afternoon, with no hope of completing it and also directly competing with the Expo. One of the men prominently mentioned at the Expo Wednesday night (E. O. Richards) was also playing cricket in the next day's match.

        Wouldn't it have been more sensible to start the match early?

        Comment


        • Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post

          Hi Michael - this is a variation of the question I posed early last week.

          Early in this thread, commentors suggested that the Thursday cricket games weren't started until 3 pm or even 4 pm in order to allow the 'half-holiday' crowd a chance to watch some cricket.

          On one level this sounds reasonable, but on another level it is decidedly strange. If a two-inning game can last five, six, or even seven hours, why on earth would they start so late if there was no probability of completing the match? This isn't mid-summer; it's August 30th and sundown in Dorset is 6:58 pm.

          Meanwhile, we have the big Industrial Expo in town with the doors opening at 2 pm, and the admission rates starting to drop at 3 pm and going full-tilt by 6 pm.

          It's hard for me to conceptualize the local cricket club starting the game in the late afternoon, with no hope of completing it and also directly competing with the Expo. One of the men prominently mentioned at the Expo Wednesday night (E. O. Richards) was also playing cricket in the next day's match.

          Wouldn't it have been more sensible to start the match early?
          The problem is lack of starting times for the games that we know about. Before this thread, and without any real knowledge of how cricket in the Victorian era was set up, if someone had said to me that someone would start a 2 innings game at 2.00 or later I’d have said “no chance.” I’ve played a very few 2 innings games (I’m guessing at around 10) and every single one started at either 11am or 12pm. I spoke to a guy who run a Cambridgeshire cricket history website and he asked a colleague or two and they all said “possibly 11.00 but more likely 12.00. I know that you’ve seen games starting at 11.00 or 11.30 or 12.00. I’ve certainly seen as late as 1.30.

          I wonder what is the latest time that we have for the start of a provable 2 innings game? And what the sunset time would have been? All that I can go on are the ones that I’ve seen mentioned on here and 1.30 is, I think, the latest start time I’ve seen. Before anyone says anything, I’m not stating that there aren’t any, just that I can’t recall seeing any.

          You would have wanted to have asked the organisers of these leagues “isn’t the fact that so many games are being ended early and decided on the first innings telling you something?” Start earlier you fools.
          Regards

          Michael🔎


          " When you eliminate the impossible whatever remains no matter how improbable......is probably a little bit boring "

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Michael Banks View Post

            The problem is lack of starting times for the games that we know about. Before this thread, and without any real knowledge of how cricket in the Victorian era was set up, if someone had said to me that someone would start a 2 innings game at 2.00 or later I’d have said “no chance.” I’ve played a very few 2 innings games (I’m guessing at around 10) and every single one started at either 11am or 12pm. I spoke to a guy who run a Cambridgeshire cricket history website and he asked a colleague or two and they all said “possibly 11.00 but more likely 12.00. I know that you’ve seen games starting at 11.00 or 11.30 or 12.00. I’ve certainly seen as late as 1.30.

            I wonder what is the latest time that we have for the start of a provable 2 innings game? And what the sunset time would have been? All that I can go on are the ones that I’ve seen mentioned on here and 1.30 is, I think, the latest start time I’ve seen. Before anyone says anything, I’m not stating that there aren’t any, just that I can’t recall seeing any.

            You would have wanted to have asked the organisers of these leagues “isn’t the fact that so many games are being ended early and decided on the first innings telling you something?” Start earlier you fools.
            For the matches played at Blandford Recreation Ground, without going back and checking, I think we have just two start times - just before midday and 1.30.

            For games played elsewhere by Blandford, I interpret this report as saying the match at Sir William Smith-Marriott's ground on 15 August 1887 began after "a capital luncheon" which was served at 2pm. Obviously you've just posted another found by your friend starting at 2pm, which one of the captains said he had assumed was going to be two innings.

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            • There was another game that mentions a luncheon period too Chris but it doesn’t mention a time; we can’t say for certain of course but 2.00 might have been a regular time for luncheon breaks. In my opinion there would have been at the very least a period of 90 minutes play (possibly 2 hours) before luncheon which would take the start time for those games to between 12.00 and 12.30. We can see this in the game where Blandford scored a hefty 159 runs before lunch.

              Nothing concrete of course but in the 4 games that we have for Blandford, where we can either see a start time mentioned one or where can estimate one with a high probability of it being accurate, we have start times of 1.30, 12.00, 12.00-12.30 and 12.00-12.30.

              So if we just go on the above information related specifically to Blandford cricket (and I’m not suggesting that this information is anywhere near enough to draw definite conclusions) for the Blandford/Purbeck game we are looking at we have a 2 innings game cut short that might have started any time between 12.00 and 1.30.
              Regards

              Michael🔎


              " When you eliminate the impossible whatever remains no matter how improbable......is probably a little bit boring "

              Comment


              • Phil Kellingley posted some data from the Met Office's Daily Weather Report earlier in this thread:
                Ever since Irving Rosenwater published his research into Druitt's cricket career in 1973 we have been aware that he played cricket in Canford, Dorset on 1 September 1888, one day after the murder of Mary Ann 'Polly' Nichols. Researching the British Newspaper Archive I have found that Druitt was also playing cricket in


                He concluded that there had been a lot of rain that day. However, I have just been looking at the report, and the rainfall figure he was looking at was a historical average for August (and for the whole month, not for one day). In the records available online, there are daily rainfall figures and brief descriptions of the weather from three weather stations close to Blandford Forum, as shown on this map:

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                • The closest station was at Stowell near Templecombe in Somerset (just under 20 miles to the north-west of Blandford). This is from the Met Office Agricultural Weather Reports series. The rainfall is measured from 9am to 9am:
                  (Edited to add link - page 32 of PDF.)

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                  • The next closest is Hurst Castle, on the Solent to the south east. This is from the Met Office Daily Weather Report. This is stated to be the rainfall for the previous 24 hours, at 8am on Friday 31 August:
                    (Edited to add link - page 123 of PDF.)

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                    • Finally, a little further away, to the east of Blandford, there is Southampton. The Southampton figure appears in two reports, one in the same Agricultural Weather Report series as Stowell:
                      (Edited to add link - page 31 of PDF.)

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                      The other is printed in "Observations at Stations of the Second Order". This is the table for the whole of August:
                      (Edited to add link - page 45 of PDF, and again to add column headings at the top.)

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                      • I read the handwritten description at Southampton as "Showers of [rain] at intervals (some very heavy) between 9.30 AM & 4.10 PM [thunder and lightning] from 2.49 till 1.20 PM". Comparing with the printed version, I think 2.49 must be an error for 12.49.

                        I'll contact the Met Office to see if there is any more detailed information, but I think this gives us a fair idea of the weather in that part of the world - intermittent showers (some very heavy) in the earlier part of the afternoon, up till about 4pm inland. But it seems there was no rain at the coast, either at Hurst Castle or at Prawle Point at the southernmost tip of Devon. In the Daily Weather Report, there is also a map reconstructing the area where it had rained in the 24 hours to 8am on Friday. Blandford is close to the boundary between rain and no rain:
                        (Edited to add link - page 124 of PDF.)

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                        • Thanks for posting all of those weather reports, Chris. Well done.

                          For the benefit of those who haven’t read this entire thread, let me bump post 187 that mentions “very unfavorable weather” during a match played in Durweston on August 30th, roughly 4 km or 2 1/2 miles northwest of Blandford Forum. The general impression from these reports might suggest that the rain was in early to mid-afternoon.

                          Speaking of stormy weather, I should clear the air on one point.

                          Seeing that I am the person who brought up the footballer MJ Druitt playing in Christchurch in 1889, let me just say that the doubts being raised on Casebook are wide of the mark. I have done an extensive study of Druitt’s known movements (2 or 3 years ago before the Blandford paper was digitized) and, for various reasons, I have zero doubt that the MJD down in Dorset and Bournemouth that summer was Monty, the suspect. I don’t make this claim lightly. This reference to Mayo Druitt is a lone exception—throughout the 1890s he is always “M. Druitt”.

                          I have many other reasons for identifying MJD in these matches as Monty, not the least of which is that his appearances and disappearances from the Blackheath club coincide perfectly with his reappearances in Dorset and elsewhere. The doubts being raised about this not being Monty are, I feel, unjustified.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post
                            Thanks for posting all of those weather reports, Chris. Well done.

                            For the benefit of those who haven’t read this entire thread, let me bump post 187 that mentions “very unfavorable weather” during a match played in Durweston on August 30th, roughly 4 km or 2 1/2 miles northwest of Blandford Forum. The general impression from these reports might suggest that the rain was in early to mid-afternoon.
                            Yes. I saw the Hurst Castle report first, and was puzzled that it showed no rain at all, in contrast to the Durweston report you had found. It would make more sense if the weather in Blandford had been more as described at Stowell and Southampton - intermittent and presumably quite localised showers.

                            Perhaps it is also worth adding another report from further west, from Cullompton in Devon (also in the Agricultural Weather Reports series). According to the Daily Weather Report the wind was from the west, so the progression of the thunderstorm from earlier times in the west to later ones in the east seems consistent:
                            (Edited to add link - page 45 of PDF)

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                            • The question is what the weather data tell us about the reason for the match ending after one innings.

                              Given that the thunderstorm appears to have been over by about 2pm and the showers (according to Southampton) by 4.10pm, to my mind it would seem strange if they played one innings and then abandoned the match because of the weather, because (unless they started well before midday) the worst of the weather would have been over by the end of the first innings.

                              Of course we know from the report found by RJ that the Durweston match played nearby was completed, and included luncheon. One possibility is that if - for example - a midday start had been planned at Blandford, it might have been delayed by the weather, perhaps till after lunch.

                              Comment


                              • So for Thursday 30th, going from west to east, which is the usual direction of travel for weather formations...

                                Cullompton
                                Temperature: 44.0-63.6 Degrees F
                                Rain: 0.11 inches
                                Sunshine: 4.5 hours
                                Thunder at midday

                                Stowell
                                Temperature: 46.1-60.4 Degrees F
                                Rain: 0.21 inches
                                Sunshine: 5.5 hours
                                Lightning Noon-2pm

                                Southampton
                                Temperature: 48.2-64.4 Degrees F
                                Rain: 0.31 inches
                                Sunshine: 9 hours
                                Showers of rain at midday (some very heavy)
                                Between 9.30 am to ? pm Lightning from 2.49 till ?

                                The remarks for Southampton are indistinct.
                                As the Hurst Castle report is in a totally different format and different timescale it is difficult to use it to guage the weather on the Thursday afternoon.

                                I think we can say that the bad weather in Blandford would have been between 12.00 and 2.30 pm.
                                What does this imply for the match?
                                I think probably they didn't start until the storm had past and by then they knew they would only have time for one innings each. The pitch would have been wet accounting for the poor batting. Maybe they also waited for it to dry out a bit.
                                This means the 4.55 train is pretty much out of reach.
                                What is the alternative scenario for Druitt getting the 4.55?

                                Comment

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